California Pastors Changing California

157 California Pastors at the Church United Awakening Tour Washington, D.C.
United States Capitol

City by City, County by County

December 2019

Celebrating 3 Years!
26 Videos of 750 Church United California Pastors’ Stories

Merry Christmas!

Have you ever wondered how your prayer and financial support are changing California? It’s not hopeless. It’s not impossible. God is using pastors and Church United to transform California’s communities.

Change is happening. California pastors are engaging congregations to respond to the spiritual issues threatening their neighborhoods, speaking truth on moral issues, protecting children, praying with other pastors and elected officials, empowering the people to vote in alignment with biblical values, and recruiting believers to run for political office.

Church United pastors are influencing California’s culture! Even pastors in other states and nations are hearing the impact of Church United and have asked to bring Church United to their state and country. How is this happening in California? The Lord is moving, and this is evident in our diverse core of Church United pastors. Below are 13 voices of 25 pastors who are Church United’s California Regional Pastors of Influence. Click here to view additional pastor impact videos. Although the following pastors are only a small representation of our 750+ California Church United pastors, it’s humbling to think that only three years ago the Lord launched this ministry with passion and vision — with a handful of faithful shepherds and donors.

View More California Pastors Impact Videos

Bishop & Senior Pastor Ed Smith 

Region: Los Angeles 

Click to watch Bishop Ed

Activated to: Mobilize his congregation. Pastor Smith is the Bishop of the Zoe International Denomination.

His words: “My experiences with Church United have been spiritual, godly and hands on…This group is about disrupting pastors’ thinking and their way of doing things. I’m happy I’ve been disrupted. I’ve been challenged to help encourage people in our church to run for public office, get involved in the legislative process and let their voice be heard.”
Senior Pastor Hugo Campos

Region: San Diego

Click to watch Pastor Hugo

Activated to: Serve as president of the Hispanic Alliance and work to network San Diego churches, especially Spanish-language congregations.

His words: “Church United has impacted me personally in that it brought me from being somewhat indifferent to saying we have to do something… to actually doing something! Now I see my grandchildren and their futures and I think, ‘Well, somebody has to do something. It might as well be me.’”
Teaching Pastor Adam Mesa

Region: San Bernardino 

Click to watch Pastor Adam

Activated to: Speak out on biblical issues facing culture including religious liberty, abortion, the sexualizing of public school curriculum and various LGBT issues. Pastor Adam leads an extended network of pastors representing over 40,000 people.

His words: “As a pastor, I can say one of our biggest insecurities is loneliness, and so we often think, ‘I can’t talk about this, or I can’t speak on this — or maybe I can’t think this way because I [assume] I’m the only one who thinks this way.’ With Church United, pastors can build networks with a system that helps in our bravery and understanding we are not going to be alone.”
Senior/Teaching Pastor David Hwang

Region: Alameda / Taiwan

Click to watch Pastor David

Activated to: Work to promote biblical values here in California and in Asia. Remains active in pro-family causes.

His words: “God wants us to stand firm. We will be persecuted, for sure, but if we are afraid of being persecuted by telling the truth, then we are really not representing Jesus here on earth. Even John the Baptist did not shy away from speaking truth at the expense of being killed. Not too many people dare to say the truth now. I think we have compromised too long.”
Senior Pastor Sam Gallucci

Region: Ventura 

Click to watch Pastor 

Activated to: Work with denominational leadership to encourage biblical voting nationwide, host candidate and issue forums, and conduct voter registration drives. Pastor Sam is the superintendent of his denomination.

His words: “Church United has started a fire and confidence within me, which I’ve brought back to the church — and this is what’s needed in this country. You get a parishioner, you get a parishioner, but if you get a pastor, you get a flock.”
Senior Pastor Javier Buelna

Region Los Angeles

Click to watch Pastor Javier

Activated to: Network with more than 200 Spanish-speaking California pastors and run for Los Angeles City Council in 2020.

His words: “Church United eliminates the great divide that most Hispanic pastors operate in, which is between the secular and the sacred. Our mindset and our culture is that politics is none of our business — and what goes on in the community is the politician’s problem to solve. We, the church, only focus on the sacred, but Church United changes all that … It creates a mobilization in our inner city, and now we are more than 200 pastors who are willing to listen and become educated and trained to influence our society.”
Bishop & Senior Pastor Art Hodges

Region: San Diego 

Click to watch Bishop Art

Activated to: Lobby against the state legislature’s attempts to muzzle free speech by religious leaders and organize weekly prayer vigils outside City Hall. Bishop Art recruits believers to run for public office and leads his denomination of 130 churches and over 300 ministries.

His words: “I’ve been absent because I feel like we elect leaders to do the job and I’m trusting them to do that job but now, with what’s happening, I realize I was giving too much carte blanche trust in our elected leadership. Repentance means I’m not just sorry for what I have done or what I haven’t done, but it means I’m going to change my ways. So get used to seeing me, get used to hearing my voice, and get used to the fact that I’m going to become an activist.”
Senior Pastor Refugio Sanchez & Other Influential California Spanish-Speaking Church United Senior Pastors

Region: Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Central Valley

Click to watch Pastor Refugio and Others in Spanish

Activated to: Share the vision of Church United to his congregation and — as a United Methodist Spanish-speaking denomination leader — at national and international conferences. 

His words: “To talk about Church United is to talk about a door that was hidden for a long time, but now we have the possibility to see and do something about it. Church United has changed my perspective to see politics versus church, and teaches me to be involved and not separated.”
Senior Pastor Eli Loera

Region: Central Valley

Click to watch Pastor Eli

Activated to: Monitor marijuana dispensaries and their impact on the community, promote equal educational opportunities for all students, and remain involved with the mayor’s cabinet and the Pastors United political action group. Pastor Eli leads 225 pastor clusters (groups of pastors in the Central Valley), primarily Spanish-speaking.
His words: “Church United has taught me that I have an obligation to be a moral voice for the community I minister in — and that I should speak politically and be involved in politics, no matter who I might offend.”
Senior Pastor & Councilman Scott Thomson

Region: Butte

Click to watch Pastor Scott

Activated to: Serve as Oroville Vice Mayor, network with more than 20 other community pastors, and defeat any plans to turn Oroville into a mecca for recreational marijuana. 

His words: “To see the love, unity and common vision among the pastors in Church United has been such a joy. Ministries come in town and they are like, ‘What’s happening here is unprecedented when you have 25-plus pastors that gather together and just love each other and have a common vision.’”
Senior Pastor David Miller

Region: Sonoma

Click to watch Pastor David

Activated to: Mobilize Cultural Impact Teams in Petaluma and equip congregation. Pastor David leads the Petaluma pastor network.

His words: “People in my congregation and the city, who are responsible Christians, are not out there to get angry and upset. They really care about the nation, so they’ll invest over the long-term. One of the things state Sen. Morrell emphasizes is it’s one thing to win a legislative battle, and we can do that periodically. But it’s another thing to see the whole climate of culture change — and that’s a huge and long-term, lifetime undertaking.”
Senior Pastors Discipler Monty Sharp

Region: Riverside

Click to watch Pastor Monty

Activated to: Continue to mentor and disciple a network of senior pastors in Southwest Riverside, helping pastors understand they are the gatekeepers to their cities.

His words: “I’ve been in ministry for 35 years, and I’ve never seen anything that is affecting the Kingdom in a more powerful fashion. I praise Jesus that he raised Church United to inspire pastors to speak boldly in the pulpit again. Pastors feel good about it. There is nothing worse than walking in fear — nothing worse — and for them [pastors] to be set free to walk in the love and the power and authority of God again, to speak with that prophetic voice, and to see people’s lives being changed, it’s awesome.”
Bishop/Apostle and Senior Pastor Ron Hill

Region: Los Angeles

Click to watch Pastor Ron

Activated to: Meet weekly for prayer with like-minded pastors. Pastor Ron is a highly respected African-American voice to the black community.

His words: “Sometimes we can preach the Bible, but we don’t show the connection in what’s going on in the Word of God and what’s actually going on in our culture. So we need the Holy Spirit to assist us and enable us to bridge that gap to bring a relevant Word to our congregation so that they can see the Bible is up-to-date and that they can use it in their day-to-day lives.”

View More California Pastors Impact Videos

These 13 pastors are only a snapshot of the many ways your prayers, financial support, and partnerships are transforming California. Would you prayerfully consider a year-end gift toward our 2020 goal of bringing 200 pastors to Washington, D.C.? Donate online.

Your tax-deductible gift must be received by December 31, 2019 for the 2019 tax year.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas!

Jim Domen
Church United Pastor and Founder