Josh Martin

Lead Pastor

I grew up in a small town in East Texas. My parents weren’t followers of Jesus and by the age of 12 I’d only been to a Catholic Church a few times. When I was in 4th grade we moved to a new town and a classmate invited me to a Baptist Church for their Wednesday Youth Nights. After attending there for a few months, a man named Norman paid my way to RA camp. R.A. stands for Royal Ambassador. It’s like Boy Scouts for Jesus.

God saved me that summer at R.A. camp. One afternoon a missionary couple from Argentina came in and shared their story. I sat there feeling heat in my chest as they talked about how worthy Jesus was. They had joy, peace, adventure, but above all they had the Gospel and I was being drawn into it. That night I prayed with Norman and repented of my sins and asked Jesus to be Lord over my life.

The next summer at that same camp I felt a call to ministry. I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew I loved the church, it was family to me, and I wanted to spend my life doing God’s work. When I was 15 I went on a mission trip to South Africa that expanded my worldview and humbled me to the dust. The next summer I went to Venezuela and my burden for the lost grew heavier. I started a Christian Student Union in my High School that year and became much more active in sharing my faith and leading my peers. I also learned to play guitar around that time and began leading worship at our church.

I went to college at East Texas Baptist University where I grew in my knowledge and love of the scripture and further gained a passion for the local church. I was transforming in leaps and bounds and devouring every piece of church planting content I could find. I came alive under great bible teaching and under the vision of the church as an unstoppable force.

After graduating I traveled around America living in a car performing music at churches around the country. That tour took me to the Pacific Northwest multiple times. I graduated from ETBU in May of 2005 and moved to Pullman Washington in October of 2006 to help plant and pastor Resonate Church.

Amy and I were married in June of 2007, and she joined our church plant team as a staff member. A few years later she transitioned off staff to pursue a Masters in Counseling from Washington State University. We’ve been married 14 years and have 3 daughters. Girl dad life is the best.

For the 15 years I’ve served as a pastor of Resonate, a church focused on reaching college students in the Northwest. Over that time we saw God move in mighty ways leading us to baptize over 1,000 students and plant 14 churches. It was the joy of my life working beneath the favor of God and among my best friends at Resonate. I miss it dearly, but Amy and I are confident God was releasing us to pursue a new work at Grace Church. God has confirmed that so many times and in so many ways already. We’re humbled to be here leading alongside an incredible team and serving a prayerful and resilient church.

Over the years, my passion for the local church has never waned. Being a pastor is brutal at times, but I’m as committed as ever to the truth that disciple making in the context of the local church is God’s strategy to reach the world. My prayer is that God allows our background and experience to lead Grace Church towards the church God designed her to be.

Scott Laughlin

Outreach & Teaching Pastor

Scott has been attending Grace since he moved to San Diego in the summer of 2000. He and his wife Susan and their three boys; Aden, Henri & Maximus live in Alpine and love the community we have here at Grace!
Scott is our Outreach Pastor, overseeing & leading all of our outreach ministries, both locally & globally. He also oversees generosity, website, social media and is one of our teaching pastors.
He is an MMA enthusiast and loves most action sports. He also loves to travel and has led teams to countries like Haiti, Malawi, Peru, Japan, Mexico, Guatemala & Thailand. You will often find Scott at the best coffee shops in San Diego reading a leather bound book.

Jesse Jacobs

Connect & Teaching Pastor

Jesse and Desiree have been married since January of 2007. They have four incredible kids named Luke, Bethany, Bennett, and Cohen. Desiree and Jesse both came to San Diego to be undergraduate students at UCSD, where they met. They started attending Grace in November of 2011.
Jesse is the Connect Pastor, overseeing all connect groups for Grace Church. He is also one of the teaching pastors. His main passion is seeing people fall in love with Jesus and become leaders for the Kingdom of God.
Jesse has his Bachelors in Economics from UCSD, Master in Divinity from Bethel Seminary, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Ministry with an emphasis in Youth, Family, and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Jesse loves to go on date nights with Desiree. Loves to be outdoors as a surfer, snowboarder, hiker, play at the park with his kids, or watch his kids play sports. He loves to read, watch Netflix and travel the world.

Chelsea Cardenas

Worship Leader

Chelsea was born and raised in north county San Diego and moved to SDSU for college in 2014. She comes from a musical family and has been singing and leading worship in church from the earliest age she could. She was brought on staff at Grace during her freshman year at the age of 18 and has been leading our church family in worship ever since!
Chelsea is our Worship/Production Director overseeing the services, our online campus, and the worship each week. Chelsea is passionate about creating a safe space where people can worship freely and encounter God as well as reaching people beyond our immediate community through our online campus. Chelsea is also passionate about raising up volunteer leaders to use the giftings God has given them in these areas.
Chelsea has played soccer for 14+ years and loves to kick box. One of her favorite places she’s visited so far is Banff, Canada.You will often see Chelsea holding a very cute baby…it’s not hers.

Sierra Jovanovic

Interim Youth Director

Sierra is graduating with her bachelor’s in Communications from Arizona State University and a minor in organizational leadership. She is originally from Las Vegas but lived in Tahoe for 4 years.
If I wasn’t a Youth Director, I’d probably be . . . A marine biologist studying orcas in the wild!
Favorite part about your job or favorite moment?
Being a part of creating a safe place for students to be in community with each other and feel the love of Jesus! I didn’t grow up with a youth group, so it’s the most amazing thing to watch them build relationships with each other, grow in their faith, and feel safe asking the tough questions!
What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
I used to competitively figure skate for about 12 years!
Where’s your happy place?
Anywhere by the ocean! 🙂

Jeff Dillow

Creative Director | Story Lead

Jeff has been attending Grace since 2013, the same year he and his wife Rachel moved to San Diego from Indiana. They now have two boys, Sam & Richie, and have found a home in the Rolando neighborhood, near SDSU.
Jeff oversees how the story of Grace Church is told via sermon series videos, announcements and all forms of digital & printed media. His team’s number one mission is to make much of God and highlight what He continually does through the lives of the people who call Grace Church home.
When not at Grace, Jeff is probably in his garden. He loves behind outside and watching and interacting with nature. Spending time with his family is very important, but eating Mexican food and his garden growing salsa comes in close behind.

Colleen Teran

Grace Kids Preschool Director

Colleen joined the Grace team in 2012 with over 30 years of experience in early education as well as serving the local church with her pastor-husband, Phil. Colleen is passionate about the opportunities of ministry to the community through a preschool outreach. She also shares this passion through seminars and trainings through various organizations. Colleen and Phil are blessed with six amazing grandchildren.

Kim Isgar

Children's Director

Kim joined the team in 2021. Kim and her husband Paul are originally from the east coast but were brought to sunny San Diego in 2014 by the US Navy. They have three children, Penelope, Elias, and Murphy. Kim has a passion for serving families and walking alongside children as they grow in their faith.
If I wasn’t a Children’s Director, I’d probably be a . . . teacher. I am currently finishing up my bachelor’s in elementary education. I don’t think I would do anything else that didn’t involve children and families.
Favorite part about your job or favorite moment?
Favorite moments are Christmas time at church, especially in kids’ ministry. The kids are extra excited and the atmosphere is filled with happiness.
What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
I love hound dogs. Bloodhounds, Bassets, and all kinds.
Where’s your happy place?
Anywhere by the ocean! 🙂

Julie Rienerth

Office Administrator

Julie joined the team at Grace in 2021. Julie is originally from the East Coast and made her way to San Diego early in her career. Subsequent career and family changes had her moving to Nashville, TN where she raised and lived with her daughter Savannah until she left for graduate school. That is when Julie felt the call back to California. A few years later, in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, she returned to the city she loved.
Julie is the Office Administrator and serves the staff and church through daily administration of the office and property here at Grace. If you call the church or visit the church it is Julie you will most likely encounter first. You will be greeted with her friendly voice or smile and an unchanging desire to meet and serve the families and people of Grace.
In her free time, you will find her tucked away in her little beach cottage, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the waves. She loves spending time with friends. She loves cooking and gardening. A dream for retirement years is of having a little café where she could marry all of those

Alyssa Zarraonandia

Director of College and Young Adults

Alyssa graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Communication and started her career with Grace soon after. She is married to Jordan and together they have Cindy and Sammy. Alyssa and Jordan live in Alpine and love creating community there.
Alyssa has gone to Grace since she was two years old. She started working in Admin, then Youth for years, and is now over College and Young Adults. Alyssa loves creating relationships with people and pursuing them with the love of Jesus
She is stoked to get to know and help build stronger community at Grace in this age group. Alyssa loves doing date nights, hanging with family and friends, and when she has a minute away from the kiddos, getting in the water for a nice surf session.

Current Elders: Matt Thomas (Chairman), Yoichi Wakayama, David Blair and Erik Hoyle