Hans Kistner – Lead Pastor
I am thankful to have been invited to serve with this congregation since 2000. This church family has become a place where God is given more freedom every day to provide rescue and healing to Santa Barbara, Nicaragua, Africa, Mexico and other parts of the world. Our fabric is being remade into a more worshipful, healthy, effective church community for the 21st century.
I’ve been called to this field believing in the emergence of a new, whole, Body of Christ made up of Scriptural, Prophetic, Contemplative and Scriptural streams. I believe revival has arrived in today’s Church and that we can now sing a new song! psalm 96.1
I love living between the mountains and the ocean with my wife and four children. I have an artist’s heart, a shepherd’s schedule, and a custodian’s hands. I have served or currently serve with the leadership of Network Medical, Valle Verde Retirement Community and the Santa Barbara House of Prayer. I completed my ASA 101 sailing certification in 2010 and enjoy not being towed from stormy oceans by the Harbor Patrol...again.
Jesus gives me life in every way. But to be more specific, God placed me with loving parents in Southern Virginia to be introduced to Him on earth and to be entrusted with a Southern accent. I have had godly mentors since, an inspiring season with Campus Crusade for Christ, and an introduction to theology through Fuller Seminary. I am a contemplative Baptist with Presbyterian and Messianic-Jewish chapters. I’m an Associate of the Order of the Holy Cross. I like Germany and many of its theologians, especially Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
If you want to know more, we should be facebook friends or come by some time.
Education / M.Div. Fuller Theological Seminary; B.S. Film Boston University
Jon Bancroft – Associate Pastor
I’m the director of Journey Ministries which is one of the branches of ministry at First Baptist Church. Journey Ministries has a few different components. The mission of Journey is: “To develop followers of Jesus by preparing servant leaders through adventure and service opportunities in authentic community.”
First of all, ...adventure! We offer Christ-centered experiential adventure opportunities to both the Santa Barbara local community and afar. I know many ministires do not have the means to provide outdoor experiences for their youth. Journey Ministries offers opportunities, such as rock climbing, mountain biking, surfing, and backpacking, with the purpose of sharing the love of Jesus and building deep and real relationships. The outdoor activities serve as a door to introduce people to the love of Jesus.
Secondly... service! My hope is that we see the body of Christ united in Santa Barbara, and ready them to serve our community in tangible ways. I believe many people want to be involved in getting their hands dirty serving others. The Journey team gives direction and opportunity for local churches, youth groups, small groups, or even individuals to serve in the Santa Barbara community through short-term home and neighborhood improvement projects. The over-arching purpose is to build relationships, love the community, and share the Word.
Thirdly... community! I’m also a member of the Elder leadership of a new church for teens called NuBranch. NuBranch is a teen-staffed fellowship emerging from a variety of communities in Santa Barbara. NuBranch introduces Jesus to this generation of teenagers and equips them with the practices of listening to God, devotional growth, teaching skills, lifestyles of worship and service, so that they can reach their generation in their own language. Their goals include inviting others to follow Jesus, growing in their gifts and service, as well as planting other NuBranch communities.
April and I are celebrating over 16 years of marriage and our 4 precious children.
Education / M.A. Religion, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA (in progress) B.S., Southwestern College, Phoenix, AZ
Dyan Vorster – Children’s Director
Ten years ago, God called me to Children's Ministry and so the adventure began. Over the years it has been an incredible priviledge, and a blessing, to be part of God's redemptive work in so many young peoples lives.
If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that we often underestimate the ability of children to grasp the things of God. That is why, at First Baptist, we don't "dumb down" the teaching of the Word. Instead we concentrate on laying a firm foundation, by teaching our children to study the Bible inductively for themselves. These are skills which they will be able to use for the rest of their lives.
As a homeschool mom of three children, I believe that family plays the most critical role in the descipleship process. Children's Ministry encompasses the whole family of God as we partner with the most important people in our chilldren's lives, their parents, to develop relationships and build community.
Missions and community outreach is the third focus of our Children's Ministry. We endeavor to develop regular opportunities for our children to serve and reach out to those in their communities and around the world.
Dr. Ron Davis – Director of Spiritual Formation
Ron has authored 8 books including,
Gold In The Making • Thomas Nelson Publishers
A National Christian Inspirational Best Seller , Gold In The Making offers hope and compassion to those who are facing life's greatest trials.
Mentoring : The Strategy of The Master • Thomas Nelson Publishers
Mentoring models practical strategies helping the reader to understand how he can invest his life in the next generation in ways that will be significant and inspiring.
A Forgiving God In An Unforgiving World • Thomas Nelson Publishers
In this Christian best seller, Dr. Davis sketches in the powerful message of God's Grace touching the lives of broken people. Using heart felt illustrations and strong Biblical support, Davis points to a way of wholeness in Christ !
Healing Life's Hurts • Word
Council Members 2013
Debbie Price – Moderator
I have been at FBC since the summer of 1989 and have worn a lot of different hats in my time here. Currently, I am the Moderator but do double duty as the treasurer, assist in Children’s Ministry and act as chief cook and bottle washer when necessary. It’s probably no wonder that my life verse is Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”.
FBC has always been the home of strong, spiritual elders but over the last few years, we’ve been putting more and more focus on the growth of our youth and young families as well as missions outreach both here in the SB community and around the world. Our members have worked at the Rescue Mission, Esparanza House, Kids Club on the Westside and Journey Ministries to reach out to our local community. I, personally, have been blessed the last two years by trips to meet and work on the ground in Lugazi, Uganda at Faith Children’s Home helping to care for 60 orphaned or vulnerable children. Through my full-time job at Westmont College, we’ve been able to form a partnership between the college students and Faith Children’s Home that, with God’s help, should continue to bless the children of Uganda.
In my spare time, I love to travel and take photos. I’m a bit of a showbiz nut and I’m willing to participate in almost any sport or game that someone suggests.
I began attending First Baptist before I could walk! My wonderful parents served and led within this congregation and I have followed in their footsteps. I love details. I enjoy decorating and celebrating with flowers and streamers but also with prayer and encouragement. I am grateful for my church family and I work to create an atmosphere of 'home' where the Heavely Father can lead us, teach us and heal us.
I have a special interest in facilitating our church family in supporting Faith Children's Home - Uganda and the children of Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse. I am retired from teaching Kindergarten and I am now a small business owner. My husband, Bob, and I have called the Mesa home since just after we were married. I hope you will let our church and us be family to you, too!
I have called Santa Barbara home now for about 13 years. God brought me here to finish college at Westmont. It has been a wild ride ever since - mostly, since I met and married my wife which happens to be an amazing story of God bringing us together.
Now, we have two kids and a dog and we live on the westside. I work as a capenter by day and as a relief worker by night. I like riding bikes, taking pictures and seeing people learn how to experience and interact with God. That's when things really get interesting!
God has been very present in my life in recent years, helping to keep me grounded when my husband died and leading me to be more active with FBC. He gave me the desire to learn more about his word and I have started attending two Bible Studies on Sunday mornings, which I had never done before. I also sing in the church choir. He has called me to be more involved in our church and I am now a member of the church council. God has said,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
So, with the Psalmist I sing, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I believe that God is leading our church in a new direction with more emphasis on the youth of our congregation and the community, along with more interaction and activities for our seniors.
I am a firm believer that keeping one’s body in shape and good health is so important in conjunction with our spiritual life and that is why I power walk 3-4 times a week. Gives me a time to “talk to God” when I need more time with Him and listen to uplifting music when I don’t have anything to say. My “adventure” through Alzheimer’s disease with my husband for many years, brought me closer to God because I knew I could lean on Him and He would give me strength and guide me on the path that I needed to take.
Nancy Sanchez – Worship Team Coordinator
Mikaela Ryan - Worship Leader
So far my life has been full of many adventures, from spending a summer in Africa with my family to climbing Half Dome in Yosemite, CA. Serving as a worship leader at First Baptist Church is yet another adventure and I love it! I am passionate about connecting with the Lord through worship and leading others to encounter His love for them.
Even though I am still in high school, God has provided many incredible opportunities for me to grow as a worship leader. Ever since a young age, my family gathered in the living room in the morning for a time of worship together as my dad played guitar and I, the piano. Although I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, I lived in Kansas City for 15 months in 2011. We were a part of the International House of Prayer community, where prayer and worship has been going 24/7 for 12 years. Being immersed in a community of singers and musicians caused me to grow and I gained practical tools as I sang on a youth led worship team. I am currently enrolled in Bethel Worship University and look forward to continuing this journey of learning to lead others in worship.
I am so grateful to be apart of the First Baptist Church family. It is my privilege to be able to serve as a worship leader and I cannot wait to see what God has in store! I believe that worship helps usher the presence and kingdom of God to earth and for this reason I will never stop worshipping.
Elaine Parkey – Choir Director Emeritus
I'm the chief canary! I stepped into the role of Choir Director in 1981 until a replacement could be found... here I am, over 30 years later! I love having the opportunity to serve the Lord with this church family and the wonderful choir that will take on challenging and inspirational pieces. I participate in the Santa Barbara Women's Club and enjoy making a regular trip to the Bluegrass festivals around southern California. I'll look forward to meeting you, and... can you sing?
Education: Masters in Music; Piano, University of Southern California.
Belinda Busby – Office Administrator
I have been serving with the First Baptist family since 2003 and my work is front office ministry. I'll help folks schedule weddings, meetings, worship. I provide the various communities with the opportunity to partner in mission on the Veronica Springs campus. I look forward to an having a chance to welcome you! I'm blessed by my husband, four children and my 3 grandsons.