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Journey:Connect

Meet Our Team

Ed Noble Lead Pastor
Facebook.com/ed.noble2 @ednoble
After growing up in Orange County, Ed lived all over the country before landing in San Diego and at Journey — as a self-professed surf addict, he thanks God every day for ending up here. As the Lead Pastor, Ed provides directional leadership and serves as the primary keeper of the vision. He’s also the main teacher at the weekend services. Ed’s three kids are grown up… so when he’s not working or with his wife Linda, he surfs. A lot.
Tic Long Executive Pastor
Facebook.com/ticlong @ticlong
Tic joined our team in 2011. After 30 years at Youth Specialties, where he helped to equip youth workers, he felt a calling to serve in the local church. As the Executive Pastor, Tic leads our pastoral team, oversees the ministries of JCC and works with Ed to help Journey live out our calling. Tic and his wife Terrie love finding great restaurants, backpacking, going to the beach and spending time with family.
Jason Denison Worship Pastor
Jason never wanted to be a pastor, but God had other plans. Jason works across generations helping all the music teams at Journey become better at leading people in worship. He serves as the primary worship leader in the weekend services and has a passion to see the intensity of worship increase within our community. Having recently returned from a yearlong working sabbatical in Norway (his wife’s native country), Jason is readjusting to life in sunny San Diego.
Bill Yaccino Pastor of Connection and Formation
Facebook.com/billyaccino @billyaccino
Bill is a Chicago boy…da Bears! After launching his adult life as a software engineer (USAF and Amex), Bill’s passion to serve and focus on Kingdom-centered work began in Omaha, NE where he met and partnered with a young youth pastor named Ed. Since then, he has ministered in Chicago and Fresno and now San Diego! Bill and Treva married in 1988 and have two boys, Kylar (16) and Colson (14). As the Pastor of Connection and Formation, Bill provides directional leadership for community life and discipleship. He loves equipping and empowering God’s people to look like Jesus!  
Brian Berry Generation Ministries Pastor
Facebook.com/briancberry @briancberry
Brian hails from the foreign land of Northern California. After growing up and living in the Bay Area for most of his life, he migrated to San Diego. As the Generation Ministries Pastor, Brian leads the renegade team of staff and volunteers that make up our kids and student ministries. He also serves hands-on as the primary pastor to our high school age kids. When he’s not at JCC, you’ll find Brian with his five (yes, five!) kids and wife riding bikes, camping or doing something outdoors.
Sarah Merk-Benitez College + Young Adults Pastor
Facebook.com/smerkbenitez @smerkbenitez
Sarah has a heart and passion to connect young adults to the grand vision that God has for their lives. If she could, she would have the freedom to spend hours talking with every person about their life, hopes and dreams. Her hope for young people is that they find healing from past hurts, but then move outside of the walls of the church and find a life filled with mission. Outside of JCC, Sarah spends time with her husband Daniel at one of the local restaurants or coffee shops near their home in the Hillcrest area.
Chris Rader Care Ministries Pastor
Facebook.com/fchrisrader 
It takes a big heart to serve as the leader of our Pastoral Care Ministries, and Chris has just that — a big heart. Chris leads and oversees our various care ministries, recovery and support groups and helps provide counseling to hurting people. If you hike, you’ve probably run into Chris at some time — he loves the outdoors. The day he moved from Philadelphia to San Diego was one of the happiest days of his life.
David Merk Community Impact Pastor
Facebook.com/david.merk.90 
Dave did a crazy thing and retired early from a lucrative career with the Port of San Diego and signed on as our Community Impact Pastor…a job that didn’t exist before he took it. He serves as the primary coordinator for our missions and community impact programs. Dave’s heart to see the local church connect with its surrounding community is the driving force behind his work at JCC. Dave loves bike riding and looks down on those who choose to run instead. If you want to help with community impact, check out the Journey Serves page.
Lance Grush • Global Missions & Adult Campus Ministries Pastor
Facebook.com/lance.grush
Lance grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. During college, he felt a strong call to go into full-time missions—in El Salvador. For over 16 years, Lance served as a pastor and missionary there, working closely with local schools, and eventually establishing a youth center in the city of Apopa. Having recently moved to join JCC, Lance, his wife Karina and their four kids are settling in to life in San Diego. He loves fall for two reasons: (1) because of the summers in El Salvador are brutally hot, (2) football season. Staff-Photos-Lance
Bob Nelson Administration Pastor
Bob leads the team of people that handles all of our financial, administrative and HR stuff. If it has to do with “business” at JCC, Bob has a hand in it. He helps keep all of our organizational operations in order and running correctly. Bob loves fishing, hiking and pretty much anything to do with the outdoors. He is also an active part of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team — so if you ever get lost, it’ll probably be Bob who finds you.