Pastor Paul is a native of Southern California who literally grew up in the United Methodist Church.
He is one of ten children, and is grateful to his parents for providing him, his seven sisters, and his two younger brothers with a spiritual and reassuring faith in God and Christ that has influenced him in developing both an orthodox theology, as well as a transformational, eclectic and ecumenical theological perspective, which he embraces to this day.
In ministry, Paul has always tried to make his interpretation of Scripture and the life of Christ a style that is known as Practical Divinity. Meaning, to find ways to incorporate our faith so it may become a natural part of our daily living as we bear witness to the Spirit of Christ through our words and actions representative of Christ in our every day lives. This is a theology he has attempted to practice in his 35 year’s of local church appointment ministry.
His journey into the ordained ministry was filled by his family, many friends, and surprising serendipitous moments.
After graduating from High School, he began his formal college education at Chapman College in Orange, CA, with the desire to become a music teacher. Along with music education studies, his primary instrument was studying and playing the classical alto sax.
After completing his first year in college, he was invited to be a staff member aboard Chapman College’s World Campus Afloat Program, where he taught music and directed the Sunday Chapel Choir. The experience of being introduced to so many cultures on this voyage had a major impact on his life. So much so, that when he returned to begin my second year in college, he changed his major from music to the Social Sciences, where his emphasis was now on Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology.
After his second year in college, he began to feel the strong promptings of God’s call in his life to enter the ordained ministry. This was especially reinforced when he was selected to represent the Cal-Pac Annual Conference as one of ten college students who studied Liberation Theology in the countries of Panama, Peru, and Bolivia in the summer of 1976. This was a theology written by Gustavo Gutierrez, a Peruvian Philosopher, Theologian and Dominican Priest whose interpretation of the Gospels gave hope and empowerment to people who were experiencing severe challenges in their lives brought on by the ruling militaristic governments in those countries.
Finally, his seminary education was filled with many memorable experiences where he studied at Boston University School of Theology, Harvard Divinity, and the Iliff School of Theology where he graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1985. Post graduate studies took him to the Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies in Israel, the Vatican in Rome and Holocaust Studies in Krakow, Poland.
We are so delighted to welcome him, his wife Connie, their sons, and even their fur family into the CVUMC family and look forward to sharing and growing with them in the faith.