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Leaders & Staff

David NavyRev. David B. Rodriguez ~ Senior Pastor

Currently Mobilized to Africa for the U.S. Navy

I was born in Walnut Creek, CA and grew up in Castro Valley, CA. While in college at UC Berkeley, I met my wife Cathy in the Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship Group. We've been married for 34 years and we have two sons, Andrew (30 years old) and Daniel (25 years old). Andrew is married to Julia and they are expecting their first child (our first grandchild!) in August 2015.  

This picture is of Cathy and me while on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route in Spain.  We walked this route in the fall of 2014 and traveled through the area where my grandfather was born and raised.

I have been a Presbyterian pastor since July 15, 1984.  I graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a M.Div and Princeton Theological Seminary with a Th.M.  I have previously served churches in Fontana, Hollister, and Pacific Grove, all in CA.    

I am also a chaplain in the U.S. Navy (Reserve Component) with the rank of Captain.  I have served with the U.S.M.C., U.S.C.G., and U.S.N. Commands since starting my naval career on August 19, 1992.  I have also been mobilized twice to Iraq and Kuwait. 

I love to sail, backpack, play the guitar and bass, and spend time with my family.  I played with a Christian rock band in college and with a Beach Boys/oldies band from Gilroy, CA.  I am currently playing in a Johnny Cash tribute band and almost like this music.

My favorite Bible verse Is 1 Corinthians 15:58 and I am blessed to be able to live out this verse in Ukiah. 

While mobilized in Africa with the U.S. Navy, you can send mail to me at:

CAPT David Rodriguez, CHC, USN

Religious Affairs CJTF-HOA

PSC 831 Box 0015

FPO AE 09363


Rev. Daniel Christian ~ Temporary Senior Pastor

Daniel Christian has been called to FPCU as our Temporary Senior Pastor. Dan is the former pastor of St. Luke Presbyterian Church in San Rafael, Director of Development at San Francisco Theological Seminary, and Moderator of Redwoods Presbytery. He was Transitional pastor at Bethesda Presbyterian Church outside Washington D.C. He is a graduate from SFTS. He has a B.A. in film from SFSU. He taught graduate and undergraduate film courses at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He and his wife Michelle own Beso Bistro and Wine Bar in Novato, located in Hamilton Field. They have a 7 year old daughter named Tessa who is in first grade and attends Good Shepherd Lutheran School. Daniel and Michelle were just married on October 2 of 2016! Michelle is from Novato and lived in Nashville for 20 years and was a music executive for BMG and Cherry Lane publishing.
They enjoy hiking, tennis, and general fitness. They have two dogs, one cat and a fish. As church/restaurant people they have a passion and joy for good food, wine and friends.
Dan began his ministry at FPCU on March 20, 2017, filling in for Pastor David who was mobilized to Africa for the U. S. Navy.

 

 

   
Denise Beckler ~ Office Manager & Director of Music/Worship

I have been on staff at 1st Pres since 1994.  I believe that music helps to prepare us to feel God's presence and to hear the Word of God through scripture and sermon.  I work closely with the pastors to include a variety of hymns and contemporary music.  I encourage open participation from the congregation, and especially enjoy when the children help lead with as many musical instruments as they can find, making a "joyful noise unto the Lord! To learn more about Denise click here

Meet the Session (Board of Elders) 

 

Roe Sandelin ~  Personnel/Nominating

Roe and his wife Kitty share five daughters and ten grandchildren.  Roe has been a member of FPCU since age 12.  He is a 4th generation Ukiahan with deep family roots in the community.  He enjoys bringing a carload of senior church members to Sunday worship and other church events.  Participation in church facilities maintenance, Vacation Bible School and various mission events are other joyful activities.  “I am blessed to have Jesus in my life and to share fellowship with a loving church family!”

 

 

Shirley Lewis ~  Worship   

Shirley Lewis has been a member of First Pres for almost 20 years.  She has served previously as an Elder and Deacon and volunteers for "Hangout," Vacation Bible School, Stitches from the Heart, Operation Christmas Child and Very Important Persons ("VIPs"). She is a member of the Sisters in Prayer Bible study. Shirley and her husband Roger, are both retired and have 3 daughters and 9 grandchildren, with one great-grandchild on the way. "I believe that serving is an act of worship." 

  

Dory Haselswerdt ~ Children and Youth Education

Dory grew up at FPCU, while her parents led children’s programs and taught Sunday school. When she returned home from college, Dory reengaged with the church. She has been involved in the children’s programs, youth group, and Sunday school, because she wants to make sure these are thriving and available for the community’s, as well as her own, children to experience. She is married and currently has three children, all boys, and works at Frank Zeek elementary in the special education department.

 

Randy Beckler ~ Buildings and Grounds

Randy has been an elder at First Presbyterian since 2000.  He has also served as a Building and Grounds Trustee.  His joys are wife Denise, two adult children and a grandson.

 

Michele Young ~ Missions

I have been a member of FPCU for over 30 years.  I most recently was a member of the PNC, have served several terms on the Deacon board, been involved with youth group, Sunday School and Nursery ministries and had the wonderful opportunity to go to Texas on a Mission Trip. I am excited to see where God leads me on this new adventure as an Elder!

 

Karen Golden ~  Adult Education

Karen is a recent transplant from Houston, Texas where she grew up and lived most of her life.  For the last eight years of that time she worked as the graphic designer at her church - St. Andrew’s Presbyterian. Upon retirement, Karen felt God calling her to Northern California to paint and be involved in her church. She landed in Ukiah last November and her first visit was to FPCU - now her church home.  "I am thrilled and honored to be elected as your elder and will continue to pray for God’s guidance as I serve this Body of Christ."

 

Chris Gordon ~ Congregational Care/Fellowship  

Chris has been a Christian for 43 years and has called FPCU home for over 30 years.  In that time, she has served in the children's  department in Sunday School and the Nursery, served as a Deacon and as an elder on Session. She has enjoyed serving meals at the Buddy Eller shelter, VIP's and where ever she can be of help. 

 

 

Warren Pribyl ~ Clerk of Session

Warren has been a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, becoming a member of FPCU in 1971.  Since 1971, he has served the church in various roles:  youth choir director, Sunday school superintendent, Deacon, Elder, and Clerk of session.  He and his, Wilma, have a son, daughter-in-law, and grandson living in Vacaville, California.

 

Randy Huffman ~  Finance

Randy and his wife Kim have been members of FPCU for many years working mostly behind the scenes.  As the Finance elder he looks forward to working with the leadership to do more than just planning and building repairs, or making budget changes but moreover through finance providing an opportunity for the church to be engaged in a type of ministry and mission that helps the body of Christ grow and mature. He is an "outside the box" thinker hoping to bring a style that will enhance the position.  He has a heart for today's youth whether laughing and sharing in VBS, or as the District Chairman for the BSA, in everything striving to share Gods Love, Grace and Truth.

 

Kevin DeVries ~ Finance

Kevin has been an active member at First Presbyterian since he moved here with his family while in high school.  He rejoined the church with his wife and two daughters after having lived in LA for ten years.  Kevin has especially focused his church service in the area of Buildings and Grounds, keeping the church facilities in good condition.  Kevin has a heart for God and for all those that he serves side by side in this church.

...OUR DEACONS 

Kim Huffman (Moderator), Diane Yanez, Cherie Alton, Sandra Applegate, Caroline Crowley, Marie Pera, Sharon Ruddick, Debbie Holland, Myrinda Head, Debbie Brutocao, Juanita Coddington, and Tom Desroches