Ministry Team


Dennis Hilken
Pastor D, as he is affectionately known, has a huge heart for people and hugs are commonplace. He and his wife Judy have three sons, Colby, Christopher and Chandler. As second-career family that came from the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, they went into ministry in response to the affluence and spiritual apathy of the suburbs with a heart to bring the Gospel to life in fresh ways.
Fun Fact: Survived years of motorcycles, college sports, and crazy snow skiing.


Eric Van Scharrel
Pastor Eric believes the church is a family, and the best way to get to know others is to treat them that way. He and his wife Kristen, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, have a son named Tate, a daughter named Quinn, and a new baby boy named Jax. Pastor Eric loves to talk discipleship, especially the simple ways in which you can grow in following Jesus in the places God has already planted you. He also speaks the language of Sports fluently in several regional dialects.
Tip: God specializes in using broken and flawed people.
Fun Fact: Pastor Eric has lived in seven states: South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Minnesota and now California.


Brian Scheller
Director, Worship & Music Arts
Brian is excited to be a part of the St. John’s family.  He enjoys using his gifts to make a joyful sound to the Lord through music and the arts.  He and his wife, Sara, have been blessed with a son, Braden.
Tip: Be bold. Sing out, ring out, and praise God in all that you do!
Fun Fact: Brian has an extensive collection of Legos.  He even has the St. John’s logo designed in Legos on his laptop!


Lorraine Davis
Kidz Ministry Leader
Lorraine joyfully serves in Kidz Ministry because it combines her three favorite things: God’s Word, His children and their families. She and her husband with their two children have experienced St. John’s coming alongside their family and growing them spiritually firsthand. She is passionate about continuing this good work.


Cary Hoff
Student Ministry Team Lead
Cary is a born and raised Texan who graduated from Concordia Austin in  2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Education. He completed a yearlong internship in youth ministry near Tampa, FL, before being called to Bakersfield. His passion for youth and serving through missions has taken him all over the world. He loves being outdoors and exploring God’s creation and sharing it with others.
Tip: When it comes to missional living, it is not about “where we go,” it is about “Who we share.”
Fun Fact: Tater-tots were invented in 1953 when Ore-Ida founders needed a solution for the large amounts of wasted potato slivers made from the production of French Fries.


George Bruick
College Ministry/Worship Arts
George is a Midwest boy from Indiana who has served churches in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Louisiana. He has a passion for raising up disciples of Jesus and encouraging them to tell their stories of God's action in their lives. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have three children and follow God’s directing on this life journey that they have labeled “The Great Adventure.”
Tip: Marry an amazing woman and be blessed for a lifetime.
Fun Fact: George’s favorite hobby is waterskiing, so he is constantly looking for new friends who own a boat.


Stacey Persons
Assistant Kidz Ministry
Stacey helps Lorraine in Kidz Ministry.  She brings to the table zaney, crazy ideas and sometimes Lorraine lets her do them.  She has a Vocal Music degree and loves teaching and re-igniting kids for the Lord.
Tip: If it is loud, fun and on the edge of crazy… give it a try!
Fun Fact: I am always looking for a reason to throw a party.


Dereem Hoff
Student Ministry Team
Dereem appreciates serving on the Student Ministry Team because she is passionate about Jesus and youth! She was privileged (and sometimes annoyed) to grow up in a youth director’s household. A credentialed teacher, she taught for nine years before joining the SSM Team. Dereem enjoys music and continues to teach it at the school.
Tip: Since you can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13), commit your plans to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3), and then go for it!
Fun Fact: Dereem enjoys experiencing new places and has lived in Hong Kong, Australia, and Texas.


Chris Cawthon
Director, Worship & Technical Arts
Chris loves sharing his gifts each week with the body of St. John’s in musical worship. He sees both music and technology as being most effective when they draw people together and closer to God.
Tip: The fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and Chris is no exception.
Fun Fact: When time allows, Chris can be found being a big kid at Disneyland or relaxing on the Central Coast.


Dwayne Clemans, CSP
Facilities Manager
Dwayne loves working on campus maintaining the buildings and grounds. Dwayne and Karen have two kids, Dustin and Drew.
Tip: Be careful approaching wild life on campus. The possum is not always happy to see you.
Fun Fact: Want to have an adrenaline rush? Respond to a burglar alarm with Dwayne and the BPD at 2:00 a.m.


Mike Kinsey
Director of Finance and Human Resources

Mike oversees the finance and human resources team, who make sure St. John's ministries have the money they need to do God's work and ensures that the employees get their paychecks and health insurance.