Event Information

Annual Conference is an exciting time to celebrate what God is doing throughout the Free Methodist Church and we want you to be part of it. Find out how you can make the most of the Annual Conference Experience.

Attend Annual Conference

If you are attending in person, you’ll find everything you need to enjoy a wonderful day together.

Watch Online

Watch live with us on May 14, 2022, or watch at any time through our archived video links.


If you are a voting member of the Free Methodist Church in Southern California, it is both your honor and responsibility to vote for our church leaders. Find out how.

Standing Rules

Our standing rules provide a structure for how we do business and make decisions at Annual Conference. Read the complete set of rules online.

Boards and Committees

Free Methodists are a diverse group of believers, hailing from all walks of life. Our leadership across the Southern California conference mirrors that diversity through a commitment to an equal mix of clergy and lay leaders (non-clergy), the empowerment of traditionally underrepresented people, and the engagement of communities across the broad socioeconomic spectrum that makes up Southern California.


Superintendents provide for vision alignment and implementation, leadership development, and guidance for the administration and growth of the church.

Board of Administration

The standing administrative committee of the conference, established to create and manage policy of the entire conference within the limits of the Book of Discipline.

Nominating Committee

Responsible for preparing for the annual conference a list of nominations for positions vacated by either resignation or expiration of terms.

Ministerial Education & Guidance Committee

Responsible for qualifying, guiding, counseling, and mentoring candidates for ordination as they prepare for ministry.

Ministerial Appointments Committee

Responsible for appointing qualified ministers to ministries and monitoring progress and growth.

Kingdom Ministry Group

Develops sustainable and vital Free Methodist Societies by sponsoring church planting projects and caring for societies requiring revitalization.

Finance Committee

Reviews and recommends action on all matters concerning financial actions of the local church and the conference at large.

The Management Group

Provides oversight for The Management Group, a for-benefit corporation of the FMCSC that provides bookkeeping and administrative services for eligible ministries.


We like to say that “it’s good to belong.” Within the Free Methodist Church, our elders are members of a ministerial tradition that seeks to disciple effective church leaders and grow ministries.

Incoming Leaders

Join us in welcoming our new Ministerial Candidates and incoming Elders for 2022.

Ministerial Members

Meet our elders serving throughout Southern California and beyond.

Annual Conference Delegates

Our delegates vote for leaders, provide feedback during decision making, and are an essential part of Annual Conference each year.


We remember those who have gone on to be with Christ and celebrate their impact on the Kingdom of God.

Greetings from Special Appointments

Not every elder is appointed to a traditional church ministry. Hear from elders who serve in unique ministries around the world.


Boards and Committees
Worshipping in Santa Barbara

Throughout much of the the COVID-19 pandemic, our Santa Barbara church worshipped largely outside in their parking lot. This Sunday was their first back in their sanctuary as the weather turned colder.

The following are the candidates for each of the available positions within our conference boards and committees. It’s understandable that you may not know or recognize specific people and you may have questions about the qualifications of each candidate. If you would like more information about a candidate, please contact the Nominating Committee.


Alvarez, Natalia

Pastora Natalia was born in Chile, married, and mother of two daughters aged 15 and 13. Teacher by profession. She has a specialization in biblical and family counseling. She is currently studying for her master’s degree in leadership at Life Pacific University. Natalia is regularly invited to minister at interdenominational women’s events. Her passion is to minister to Latina women and help build solid homes that reflect Christ; She also has a strong call to empower female leadership of the church of Jesus Christ. Together with her husband Jonatan, she has led the Christian Fellowship since 2005 in Azusa.

Alvarez, Soo Ji

Soo Ji Alvarez is the Lead Pastor of The AVENUE Church, a multi-ethnic church that has a heart for the community of Riverside, CA. She loves reaching people in the margins, bringing reconciliation to communities and raising up passionate followers of Jesus Christ. She has been ordained with the Free Methodist Church since 2011 and she serves on local boards and national boards and is a speaker to raise awareness for gender equity and gospel-centered justice. Soo Ji is Asian-American and pastors with her Mexican-American husband Joe. They are blessed to have 2 beautiful, Mexirean kids, their son Juaquin and daughter Nayara. She has learned to see and feel the disparity and injustice that many immigrants, migrant families and minority people groups face here in this country as well as around the world. She also has seen the beauty and power of different people groups coming together through reconciliation and believes that this is the key to modelling God’s heart for the world, both reconciliation back to God and back to each other. She believes that churches should represent the diversity of their communities in order to reach ALL people with the WHOLE gospel.

Boyce, Kevin
Campbell, Rob

Rob was born and raised in Southern California. He grew up in the church and is passionate about social justice. Rob met his wife, Liz, in 2008 while attending Azusa Pacific University. They have been married since 2012 and have a daughter together. Rob is currently a high school math teacher and teaches night classes at a local community college.
Rob has been attending Cucamonga Christian Fellowship since 2010. Throughout Rob’s years at CCF, he has served in children’s ministry, on the Finance Committee, led RelateStrong marriage seminars and life groups with his wife, and served as vice-chair of the Servant’s Council.

Castillo, Joe

My name is Dr. Rev Joe Castillo, I am married to Rev. Lilyana Castillo, and we have four young adults. Lily and I are currently Lead Pastors with Light and Life Sylmar. We have been in ministry for over 30 years, 10 of those as missionaries to the Baka People in Cameroon. And 20 as pastors and reserve police chaplains with LAPD. Our goal and aspirations are to see a new generation of leaders plant churches in Southern Cal and Latin America. We currently oversee a church plant in Honduras and have conversations to planting a new church in southern Cal. I am also an entrepreneur and have engaged in multiple businesses. I love to provide job opportunities, support missionaries, and help the economy.

Coleman, Cherlyn

The Rev. Cheri Coleman has been part of the FMCSC since 1998 and was ordained in 2005. She is married to Dan (39 years), has 5 adult children and 5+ grandchildren who bring joy and meaning to her life.
She serves as a Chaplain at Loma Linda VA Healthcare System, with a specialized certification by The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. and enjoys training spiritual care providers and chaplains. Cheri has served in several areas within the conference and the denomination including 10 years on the MEG, 1 term on the FMC BOA, FM Chaplain Association Executive Committee, to name a few.

Cornell, Liz

Career/Ministry: author, classroom teacher, home/hospital teacher, children’s pastor, adult bible study teacher, small group leader and speaker
Current Ministry: racial reconciliation facilitator for FM denomination and author of The Love Required of Us published by Light and Life Publications, speaker/facilitator for the Center for Racial Reconciliation, Fellowship Monrovia Church
Current Boards: MEG, Nominating Committee, Justice Network of FMC
Education: B.A. from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, California teaching credential, currently taking seminary classes at APU
Personal: Married to husband, Brad, for 32 years, four children and four grandchildren

Gentry, Lavon

My name is Lavon Gentry, and I am a Local Licensed Minister, a lay ministry partner at Cucamonga Christian Fellowship. My wife Barbara and I have been active members/partners at FMCSC churches since 2006. I have worked both on the Pastor’s Council and Servant Leaders Council. As a Life group leader for many years, I support and disciple others. I care about and am committed to the Christian principles and values undergirding the Free Methodist Church. I would be honored to serve the needs of our national church body in 2023 as a General Conference delegate.

Gonzalez, Jonatan

Pastor Jonatan González is originally from Chile, married, and the father of two daughters aged 15 and 13. Business engineer by profession. He arrived in the USA to study for his Master of Divinity at Azusa Pacific University, graduating in 2005. That same year, he and his wife Natalia established Christian Fellowship in the city of Azusa. He has been a professor of theology and ministry at various Bible colleges in Southern California. His passion is to form solid disciples and leaders in the knowledge and use of the scriptures with a deep life in the Spirit. He is currently in his second year of a Ph.D. in leadership at California Baptist University, and with his wife and daughters, they serve the Lord.

Goss, Tracey
Greer, Adrian

After growing up as an urban, biracial, black and white, unchurched youth in the predominantly Latinx community of Azusa, Adrian had a radical encounter at 18 years old that led him to give his life to God. Since then, God has called him to be a bridge-builder to facilitate communication, reconciliation, and unity across diverse communities and individuals. Adrian is a husband to Bri, father to his daughter Anaiah, and currently serves as Lead Pastor at Foothill Community Church, a Azusa Unified School Board Member, community leader, peacemaker, and founder of a teen mentoring and discipleship nonprofit called MYTHIRDPLACE.

Guzman, Jannet

Jannet Guzman is an ordained elder in the Free Methodist Church. She has been part of the Free Methodist community since 2013. Jannet has an MDiv. from Azusa Pacific Seminary and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Graphic Design with a Spanish minor from Azusa Pacific University. Jannet has served on the FMCSC Executive Team, as an Associate Pastor and Executive Pastor in various FMCSC churches, and has been a member of the Nominating Committee and MEG Board. Jannet went on to do ministry as a Campus Pastor and Adjunct Professor in the Practical Theology Department at Azusa Pacific University. She is currently a Board Certified Chaplain serving veterans at the VA Loma Linda Hospital.

Hansen, Ann

My name is Ann Hansen and I am the prayer pastor at Centerpoint Church in Murrieta. My husband John is the lead pastor and we’ve been serving our community for over 18 years. My passion is helping people hear God’s voice and find their identity in Christ. I started the freedom prayer ministry at Centerpoint where we have seen over 2000 people come through for healing prayer. I am convinced that an encounter with the Lord changes everything! My treasures in life are my three children, they are such a gift to me!

Hurley-Bates, Colleen

Rev. Colleen Hurley-Bates has served as the Lead Pastor in Santa Barbara for the past six years. Previous to this role, she worked at FMCSB as both Pastor of Adult Ministries, and Children’s Ministries. She has served on staff for over 25 years and was ordained in 2000.
Colleen is currently a member of the BOA where she has previously served a few terms. She has also served on the MEG Board, as well as in other leadership capacities for the Southern California Conference, primarily in the area of caring for and resourcing Pastors and churches. She has been married to Mark Bates for 28 years and they have a daughter getting ready for college named Olivia.

James-Bergland, Ian

Ian joined Rose City Church in Pasadena shortly before its official launch in 2011. He has been a volunteer associate pastor at Rose City since 2017. Ian is currently the Director of Finance at Eden Reforestation Projects. In addition to serving the local church and supporting Eden’s vital mission, Ian enjoys hiking the mountains of Southern California with his wife Kristina.

Johnson, Faye
Jones, Doug

Doug Jones and his wife Christa have been members of the Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara since moving to California in 2007. For the seven years prior to their move, they were members of the Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church in Michigan. Doug currently serves as chair of the FMCSB Property/Finance Committee as well as on the Local Board of Administration. Professionally, Doug has been in Christian Higher Education for the past 24 years, the last 15 of which have been as Vice President/CFO at Westmont College. Doug and Christa have been married for 30 years and are parents to Caleb (married to Lyndsi) and Isaiah.

Latchison, Charles

Pastor Charles Latchison serves as the lead pastor of Light & Life West Church, Long Beach, CA, which he and his wife Carolyn planted in 2003. Charles has served in ministry for 30 years and pastor ministry for 25 years. As well as, but not limited to his current pastoral ministry, he is also currently serving as a Superintendent of the Southern California Free Methodist Conference.
Charles received an Associates Degree in Christian Education from Boyce Bible College in Louisville, KY, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Ministry from Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, KY, Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Studies: Church Development from Azusa Pacific University and postgraduate studies with the School of Pastoral Nurture.
Charles and Carolyn got married in August of 2000. Their marriage brought together a blended family, one child each from previous relationships—Candyce and Jaymar. They have one son together named Christopher.

Leonard, Ta’Tyana

Ta’Tyana has served in ministry since 2004. Ministry began in her freshman dorm room at Oregon State University, where Ta’Tyana played softball and led Champions for Christ, a Bible study for Christian Athletes. Prior to APU, she was Director of Ministries for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Los Angeles. Ta’Tyana has served at APU since as a Campus Pastor 2016, and loves the opportunity to impact young adults and future generations for Christ.

Luna, Ruben

Ruben has been in full-time ministry for 20 years. He started as the Senior Pastor at the Santa Ana FM Church and served for 2 years before moving to MCF 18 years ago. Ruben graduated from Pacific Christian High School and Azusa Pacific University with a major in Christian Ministries. In his current role, Ruben manages the operational and administrative aspects of a church including the human resources and finance areas. Ruben and Esther have been married for 18 years and have 2 children, Alexis and Kai.

Mannoia, Christopher

Christopher Mannoia currently serves as the Executive Director of Finance and Operations at Centerpoint Church in Murrieta, CA. With over 10 years of experience in rapidly growing nonprofit spaces, Christopher has helped organizations effectively scale up to meet present and future demands- all the while keeping excellence as a core value. His ability to build intuitive systems and practices that serve both the immediate and high-level needs has helped him push organizations further, faster.
Christopher lives in Murrieta with his wife and two young children. Together they enjoy spending time camping, offroading, and hanging out with family in the area.

Marshall, Jr., Robert

Dr. Robert Marshall, Jr is the Sr. pastor at Los Angeles Community Church. Along with his wife Donna, the Marshalls have served at Los Angeles Community Church since 2013. Additionally, Robert and Donna have been married for more than thirty-five years. Robert earned a Master of Theology degree from George Fox Theological Seminary in Portland Oregon in 2005 and he completed a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston in 2016.

Masters, Brett

Completing his undergraduate degree with highest honors at UCSD in 2005 (BA in Economics and Political Science), Brett went on to build a successful financial planning business while raising his two sons as a single father. After completing his ministry and theological training through the FMC extension in Indianapolis, Brett was ordained in 2015 with the FMCSC. He recently transitioned out of his business at the end of 2021 in order to more fully commit to the Dream Center ministry and exciting journey ahead!
Currently serving as Senior Pastor and Executive Director of the Dream Center Lake Elsinore (DCLE), Brett served as the Ministry Leader of Celebrate Recovery at Lamb’s Fellowship for several years prior to stepping out to plant the DCLE as a “Church-on-mission.” Brett also served on the board of The Pathway Project that emerged in 2014 as a collaborative solution for helping those with the greatest need in the Lake Elsinore community.
Brett was blessed to marry his wife, Aubrey, in December 2016, having met over four years prior at the FMCSC Annual Conference! Aubrey has since adopted his two sons, Dylan (21) and Trevor (17), and they have celebrated the addition of two more children, Madeline (2) and Wesley (4 mos).
Brett loves to surf and snowboard, run and hike (really anything outdoors), and is currently working on his golf game when he gets a moment or two.

Mendoza, Joe

I have been a member at Emmanuel church for over 6 years, and during that time I have served in the choir, drama, ushering, and youth director. Since then, I have been CEO of the ministry of Jerusalem Inc. working hand in hand on serving the community in Jesus’ name. I am a firm believer that transformation is only in Jesus and I am one to encourage others to follow Jesus to the fullest. I am also a husband and a father of 7 children who enjoys family quality time and not to mention fishing. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the Free Methodist Church, and I will do my best to my knowledge to fulfill the duties required. God bless you and may the Lord provide us with wisdom, love, and understanding.

Mills, Aaron

Aaron Mills and was born into a family with parents who met as high schoolers at a Free Methodist Youth Worship night. Growing up as a lifelong Free Methodist member, Aaron has served in many different capacities at both the local church level with Living Spring Garden Grove as well as at the denominational level. Locally he has served as a Board Member, Board President, Pastor’s cabinet, Youth Leader and Children’s Ministry volunteer. At the Conference level he has served on the Nominating Committee, Superintendent Search Committee and Bishop Search Committee.
Most recently, Aaron has been serving as the Owner of Church Guys a Real Estate/Asset Management Company that has overseen the purchasing, sales and management of multiple Free Methodist properties in Southern California. Professional Aaron has sold real estate full time for over 22 years. Consistently ranked in the top 1% of sales professionals in California, Aaron also founded and manages a successful Commercial Brokerage specializing in sales, acquisitions and property management of religious facilities known as Church Guys. With more than one million square feet currently under property management, Church Guys has enjoyed playing a part in the real estate needs of many well known ministries other than the FMCSC including the Crystal Cathedral, Saddleback Church, multiple Calvary Chapels and many non-denominational ministries throughout Southern California.
Married to his high school sweetheart for 20 years and father of two beautiful and intelligent young ladies Riley 15 and Kaylyn 12. The Mills family enjoy being involved at their home church, traveling, camping, white water rafting, fishing and anything that provides a challenge and adventure in the playground created by God.

Moon, Emmanuel

Currently serving as lead pastor at the Foundry Community Church in Escondido since 2015. I’ve had the privilege to serve in our MEG for a few years and I’m pleased to be serving now in our Nominating Committee. I was born and raised in Bolivia. I’ve lived in South Korea and have settled in SoCal where I met my wife Alexandra and we are happily and sometimes patiently raising our three boys.

Neilson, Melanie

Melanie Neilson currently serves as Lead Associate Pastor at Cucamonga Christian Fellowship. She has been a ministry partner at CCF since 1989 and served on staff since 1999. She is an Elder in the Free Methodist Church and a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary. Melanie serves on the board for Heavenly Treasures and has a passion for missions, justice, and pastoral care, both locally and globally. She loves to see the body of Christ equipped, empowered, and encouraged to grow in their faith and use their gifts to share Jesus with others. She believes that everyone’s story is important and that every person created in the image of God. Melanie met and married her husband, Ron at CCF in 1992. Although Ron went to be with the Lord in 2016, their legacy continues. They have four adult children who are married to amazing humans. One of the greatest joys in Melanie’s life are her seven grandchildren.

Nielson, Mary

My name is Mary Nielsen. I am married to Stephen and have been happily married for 27 years. My family and I have been attending The Foundry Community Church since 2006, when it was Light & Life Ministries. I began working at the school/church in 2009 and in 2010/2011 became the Finance Director.
In December of 2014, myself and a few others began our food pantry ministry. When we started this ministry served approximately 15 families a week. We have since expanded and moved our pantry to my kid’s old 3rd grade classroom. Right now, our pantry feeds approximately 150-200 families per week.
My top strength is responsibility, and I love serving our church body in any way I can.

Oriero, Jeff

My name is Jeff Oriero and I attend The Avenue Church in Riverside serving under Pastor Soo Ji and Joe Alvarez. I have been in leadership at The Avenue for the past two years. I’m currently serving on the Board of Trustees, welcome team, prayer team and youth ministry. My wife and I have five children and three grandchildren. We were blessed to be able to foster and adopt our two youngest children. I have been working at First American Title Insurance Company for 31 years. During this time, I’ve been in various positions including Supervisor and Manager. I’m currently working from home and work with Engineers and County Agencies throughout the State of California.

Oriero, Serena

My name is Serena Oriero and I attend The Avenue Church in Riverside as an LMC serving under Pastor Soo Ji and Joe Alvarez. My husband and I have been in leadership at The Avenue for the past 4 years. I serve on the worship team, prayer team and I am helping to lead our women’s ministry. For the past couple of years, I have served on the MAC board for the conference and am also a member of the Justice Network board for FMCUSA. My husband and I have five children and three grandchildren. We were blessed to be able to foster and adopt our two youngest children and after their adoptions were final I had the opportunity to work for the nonprofit foster and adoption care agency for the next 10 years. During this time I helped recruit, interview, train, and mentor foster and adoptive families. Our youngest child is special needs and as a special needs mom, I now sit on multiple advisory councils at Loma Linda University Medical Center where I give patient/parent perspective to hospital staff, doctors, and residents as well as work to implement new programs that help with patient experience.

Patterson, Sandy

Sandy Patterson has been attending FMC Santa Barbara since 2015 along with her husband Don and children Theo, Joy and Martha. Her oldest son Jay lives and works in Orange County, CA. Recently, she has been serving on the board of our church preschool Cliff Drive Care Center and overseeing the Transition House dinners as well as teaching various small groups. Additionally, Sandy has been partnering with Nikki Rammage on coordinating adult education at FMCSB. Her love for Jesus and his church recently led her to start the process to become a Local Licensed Ministerial candidate. She is currently working part time as a Student Success Coach at Westmont College and in her free time, Sandy loves reading and roller skating.

Rhee, Helen

Helen Rhee is an elder of Free Methodist Church, Santa Barbara (FMCSB), and professor of Church History in Religious Studies at Westmont College, Santa Barbara. Helen believes that understanding the history of Christianity is an important part of Christian discipleship and spiritual formation and she is passionate about teaching it at both FMCSB and Westmont College. Helen is also deeply interested in developing the younger generation of Christian leaders and mentoring them.

Rittenhouse, John

John has been in the FMCSC 26 years. 10 as a lay leader and 16 as the lead pastor of Living Spring Church in Garden Grove. John teaches History & Polity and Wesleyan Theology classes and has served on the BOA, Management Group, Property & Finance Committee and MEG Board. Prior to Living Spring he spent 16 years in the import / export industry. He has been married to Lisa for 32 years and has 3 adult children. Audrey teaches biology in Santa Barbara, Emily teaches English in Korea and their son Jesse recently graduated with a degree in cybersecurity.

Sanchez, Refugio

Refugio Sanchez currently serves as MEG chair, MAC board member, Hispanic Ministry Director and Nationally serving as President of La Conexion Latina FMCUSA .
Pastor Refugio has been faithfully serving with his wife Pastor Maria E. Gonzalez and their 4 children at Santa Ana FMC since 2008 as Senior pastor.
Originally from Oaxaca Mexico, he immigrated to the United States in 1985 at the age of 17, he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1996 and since then he and his wife serve the Lord in the Free Methodist Church of Santa Ana California.

Seyfert, Wendy

After 30 years in executive management, Wendy serves as laity at Foothill Community in Azusa through the LBOA, as delegate, and wherever her pastor will let her. She also is a mentor and volunteer staff with MYTHIRDPLACE, an urban youth program, and a volunteer in the immigration office of the West Coast Mennonite Central Committee. Additionally she loves to hike, travel, eat ice cream, and watch anything Marvel Comics related.

Song, Edward

I teach in the Philosophy Department at Westmont College, and have worshiped at the Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara since we moved here in 2013. At church, I help to lead worship, and serve on our LBOA. I also serve on the Conference BOA, and the Study Commission on Doctrine for the national Free Methodist denomination. At the last General Conference, I helped to write a resolution to add language to our Book of Discipline regarding racism. My wife, Felicia, and I have two kids.

Tuiasosopo, Eleitino

I am an associate CMC pastor at Chapel of Change under the leadership of Pastors Brian and Laura Warth. I have experience in serving on church boards, various task forces and committees. Most recently, I served 3 years on the Leadership Council at Chapel of Change, in which I helped to lead and navigate the church through the global pandemic. I am adept to reading financial statements. I currently serve on the MAC committee for the SoCal conference. In 2021, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. Currently, I am in my second semester at Northeastern Seminary.

Venter, Fraser

Rev. Dr. Fraser Venter is the Free Methodist Strategic Catalyst for Love-Driven Justice. A position that serves and encourages the FMCUSA Conferences, Churches, Networks, Pastors and Leaders to both know and demonstrate God’s heart for Justice.
Recently Fraser was the Lead Pastor of Cucamonga Christian Fellowship for 25 years, a multi-site and multi-lingual congregation. In addition to his former pastoral role in the Rancho Cucamonga area, he also served as one of the Southern California Free Methodist Superintendents overseeing 50 plus churches and ministries.
As a member of the FMCSC Fraser has had the privilege of representing Southern California at three previous General Conferences.
Fraser graduated with a double major in Management and Psychology from San Diego State University and then received his Masters of Divinity and Doctorate in Spiritual Formation and Leadership, both from Azusa Pacific University.
With regard to family, Fraser’s claim to fame is that when he married JoAnne, he ‘married up’. And that is still true after 30 years. He and JoAnne have been blessed with two adult children, Madisen and Jeffrey, who are amazing world changers. And now the captor of his heart, his first grandchild, Gabriel William Marble.

Warth, Laura
Whyte, Bruce

I was ordained in 2018 and have been in hospital Chaplaincy since 2014. I have a passion for serving the Imago Dei and serving a diverse community at my hospital. I am able to provide an outside perspective to ministry outside of congregational ministry that is holistic in connecting with others. I live in Upland with my wife and 18-month-year-old daughter and a daughter that is due in June.