Meet Our Staff

Rev. Dr. Bau Dang

Pastor
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Rev. Dr. Bau Dang (M.Div., MBA, D.Min.) is an Elder of The United Methodist Church. He studied at Biola University, National University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Claremont School of Theology. Rev. Dang was the pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in San Diego for 20 years before he became the District Superintendent of Riverside District (2008-2012) and East District (2012-2014) of the California-Pacific Annual Conference.  Rev. Dang has served as member of the General Commission on Religion and Race (2000-2008), director of the General Board of Global Ministries (2008-2012), delegate to the General Conference (2008) and Western Jurisdictional Conference (2008 & 2012). Rev. Dang is also the translator of the Vietnamese Bible, 2011 Version (BD2011), which is available on www.BibleGateway.com and www.YouVersion.com.  After completing his term as District Superintendent, Bishop Minerva Carcaño has appointed him to serve as the Senior Pastor of Garden Grove United Methodist Church since July 1, 2014.

Eketone Tosi

Samoan Pastor

Our Samoan Pastor is Eketone Tosi. Tone, as he prefers, is serving his very first congregation since answering God’s calling. His theological, religious training and education began in American Samoa at Kanana Fou Theological Seminary, where he received a Diploma of Theological Studies in 2001 and a Bachelor of Divinity the following year. In 2009, he received his Masters of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology. He is married to Barbara Tu’ua and they have one child.

Janine Ryder

Administrative Assistant
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Janine Ryder is the Administrative Assistant at Garden Grove United Methodist Church. She began working in the Church Office ten years ago as a Church Secretary. Before that, she published Expectations, the church newsletter, and worked in the church office as a volunteer. Janine grew up at Garden Grove United Methodist Church and is the daughter of Lloyd and Martha (deceased) Cole. She is married to Steve and they have one son, Eric.

Elizabeth Solares

Preschool Director
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Meet Our New Preschool Director

July is here and I am very excited to work, with not only the church members, but with the families of the Preschool as well.  Years ago, I was looking for a preschool for my daughter, and as a first time parent, I had the same questions and concerns that most parents have.  After looking into nine different preschools, I finally decided on one.

Just over a year later I lost my job due to the recession.  It was a blessing in disguise because it gave me the opportunity to open my own Family Child Care Facility–helping other families by offering the service and the experience that I wanted for my own child.  After successfully running the program for nearly six years, I moved back to Orange County with the desire to serve a larger community of families and I was privileged to achieve the position of Assistant Director at a Long Beach preschool.

The skills and abilities I have acquired by obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Public Relations, a Master Degree in Business Administration–and of course experience in Child Care, will be used to help the church and preschool in as many ways as I can.  The verse that is helping me through this new venture is, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I look forward to that wonderful future with all of you.

Blessings,

Elizabeth Solares

Ray Woods

Director of Music
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Ray Woods is the Garden Grove United Methodist Church Director of Music, a position he has held for the past 32 years. As Director of Music, Ray directs the Chancel Choir, Madrigal Singers, and Sanctuary Bell Choir, and supervises the overall music program at the church. Prior to coming to GGUMC, he held the position of Organist/Choir Director at the First Presbyterian Church of San Pedro, CA for 7 years. Ray received his post-secondary education at Whittier College, Occidental College, and the University of Southern California. He was the Chapel Organist at Occidental College from 1969-1972. Ray also teaches Choir and AP Music Theory at Dana Hills High School, and is the Artistic Director of The South Orange County School of the Arts there. In addition, he is the Musical Director of the South Coast Singers, a community chorale based in South Orange County. Ray’s wife, Amy, sings in the GGUMC Choir, and their daughter, Lisa, lives in Denver, with her husband Mark.

Norberto Guinaldo

Organist

Norberto has been our dedicated, energetic, and much beloved organist since 1965.  There are very few musical projects that take place at Garden Grove United Methodist that Norberto is not involved with.  Whether it is stirring our listeners with the presence of our impressive pipe organ or accompanying the Chancel Choir on the piano during rehearsals, Norberto can be relied upon to support his fellow musicians with his technical skill and talent.

Norberto holds a Master’s Degree in Musical Theory and Composition from the University of California at Riverside and the prestigious  Diplome Superieure d’Orgue from the Schola Cantorum in Paris, France, where he studied with internationally celebrated composer of modern classical music, organist, and improviser,  Jean Langlais.

For more information on Norberto’s original compositions and audio samples, browse http://www.guinaldopublications.com/index.html 

 

Sally Hickman

Director of Children & Youth Choirs

Sally Hickman is a career educator.  Here at GGUMC she has devoted her life to teaching our younger folk, the “short people”, as she lovingly calls them, the joys of singing through faith.  Our Cherub Choir, Chorister Choir, Sonshine Singers, and Summer Choir School Day Camp all lift their voices to heaven under Sally’s nurturing direction, make new friends, and gain a musical life experience that they’ll never forget.

Mitzie Larson

Wedding Coordinator
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wedding_12805acMitzie has been a part of the wedding ministry for over 20 years now at GGUMC and finds it such a blessing to be a small part of those who are joining in holy matrimony at our beautiful church.  Can you think of another job where you cry tears of joy regularly?