Pastors & Ministry Leaders

Ed Noble

Ed Noble

Lead Pastor

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

Tic Long

Executive Pastor

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

Jason Denison

Worship Pastor

Jason never wanted to be a pastor, but God had other plans. Jason works across generations helping the music and production teams at Journey produce services on the weekend where the presence of God is experienced and the story of God is told creatively and with fresh insight. He serves as the primary worship leader in the weekend services and executive producer of weekend content. His wife Ingvild and his three kids reside in La Mesa and have called San Diego home since 2000. He enjoys surfing, donuts and movies longer than 2 hours.

Bill Yaccino

Bill Yaccino

Pastor of Connection and Formation

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 and Colson. 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!

Kristy Dees

Kristy Dees

College Students & College Age Adults Pastor

Kristy was born in Pine City, MinneSoooooota. She is the classic Midwestern turned California girl. Indeed she was a small town girl, living in a lonely world whose trains took her all around the world. She has a huge heart for people who are hurting and has worked in some pretty interesting places, including Angola, Africa for several years! Kristy loves the ocean, dystopian novels, and twirling.

Erik Dees

Erik Dees

Young Adults Pastor / Director of Leadership Development and Volunteer Engagement

Erik was born in Ojai, California but was raised in Northern Colorado. Erik spent many years working in the corporate life in Arkansas. Eventually God chose to override all of Erik’s glorious plans to build his own business and called Erik into ministry. Erik is a self- proclaimed “golfaholic” who’s learning to surf, likes fitness, and has a strange fascination with Algebra! Yes, he’s a closet nerd. And although he’s been told he has a serious personality, he considers himself a very funny guy.

Bob Nelson

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.

Chris Rader

Chris Rader

Care Ministries Pastor

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

David Merk

Community Impact Pastor

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

Lance Grush

Global Missions & Adult Campus Ministries Pastor

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.

Jarred Benitez

Jarred Benitez

Junior High Director

Jarred first started attending Journey when he was in Junior High, which is funny since he is now the Director and loves to embrace this group in all its weirdness. If you enter the Riptide room, it will be hard to find Jarred, because he is about the same size as the students, plus he’s never been able to grow a beard. He loves seeing the potential in people and believes that God wants to use them at every stage of their journey… even when their voice is cracking.

Tegan Brindley

Tegan Brindley

Encounter High School Director

Tegan was born here in San Diego but has dual citizenship with Australia where she learned how to hunt crocodiles and talk to kangaroos – or something like that. Tegan is currently pursuing her Masters in Theology. When she’s not in Australia or leading teams to Haiti, you can find Tegan Co-Directing the High School Ministry where she loves to see teens embrace God in their lives. Other things Tegan loves: crocheting, WWII novels, Harry Potter, dark chocolate and Disneyland.

Laurie Burns

Laurie Burns

Women’s Ministry Director

Laurie grew up here in East County, San Diego. She and her husband Mike started Journey back in 1993 and have helped it grow into what it is today. She has been involved in Women’s Ministry for over 25 years and is truly passionate about helping women connect with each other and with God. She loves spending time with family, including three adorable grandsons. If not with the family, you can find her ice skating, snow skiing, bike riding, at the beach or anywhere in the great outdoors!

Sara Patrick

Sara Patrick

Journey Kids Director

Sara is a native Southern California girl. During the first of two stints in Las Vegas, she got her degree in Hospitality Management and met and married her husband, Tommy. After several years in the hotel industry, Sara left her career to embark on a new journey as stay-at-home mom with their three amazing kids. They moved back to CA, found Journey and immediately jumped into serving in Middle School. Sara later joined the Generation Team staff and now leads the Journey Kids Staff and Edge 56 team. Sara loves hanging out with her family, thinks camp is so fun and enjoys time with friends.  

Tony Schlegel

Tony Schlegel

Technical Arts Director

Tony joined our team as the Technical Arts Director in 2012. Before coming to Journey, he was a worship pastor and a youth pastor with 20+ years of experience in both. He has a heart for helping people discover and advance their God given gifts and also brings a shepherding/worship centered focus to the behind the scenes world of Tech Arts. His wife Mary is a hair-stylist and they have two children, Ole and Bea. They live in Pacific Beach and in his spare time, Tony enjoys being with family, surfing, golfing and getting his hair styled.

Marnie Stitzer

Marnie Stitzer

Weekend Service Producer & Guest Services Director

Marnie is a native Californian, and grew up on the Central Coast of California. She was a professional nanny for several years both in San Diego and in the US Virgin Islands (poor thing). She began her work in ministry in Atlanta, GA where she spent over 6 years. She moved back to San Diego in 2013 and is thrilled to be home! Her heart is for those far from God, and her passion is to help create environments that make coming to church a fun, welcoming and loving environment where people can experience God in a fresh and authentic way!