Like Pastor Barry, Steve was born and raised in Madera, graduating from Madera High School in 1983. As a child, he grew up going to church and quickly developed a faith in Christ that was as real as it was deep. Later on, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from BIOLA (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) University, he began to sense God’s call into the ministry and served as a youth pastor for thirteen years (’88-‘01) at churches in Wasco, CA (near Bakersfield) and Sheridan, Wyoming, before returning to Madera. In 2001, the Lord transitioned him into public education and thus he taught English and Social Studies in Le Grand, Planada, and Madera High School.
Sadly, in the years that followed, Steve’s faith would be stretched to its limits and beyond with the stunning collapse of his first marriage. During this tumultuous time, God stripped away every façade he’d unwittingly constructed and forced him to both seek and discover a deeper, more meaningful relationship with His Creator. Thankfully, the people of Westside were there to help guide and support Steve through this dark season with unconditional love and prayerful encouragement, thus allowing him to rediscover the compassion and strength of our blessed Savior.
Today, he proudly works for Madera Unified School District as the County’s BTSA (Beginning Teacher Support & Assessment) Director. He has also experienced even more of the Savior’s kindness and mercy in the person of his best friend and now second wife, Rhianna – along with their blended family of five precious children (Joshua, Christian, Maison, Ashley, and Emma). To quote Steve, he considers it “…an honor to serve among the people of Westside. Through all my experiences with various congregations, I’ve never felt the depth of love and acceptance as I have here in this fellowship!”