> Ministry Staff
Our leadership team consists of people from all walks of life, each with different God-given gifts when put together work to glorify the Lord's kingdom. Get to know our ministry staff!
Dr. David Whitaker, Lead Pastor
Church ministry is woven into the fabric of Dave's life. A "preacher's kid" born in Iowa, Dave grew up in the east bay town of Pleasanton. After receiving undergraduate and seminary degrees from Bob Jones University, Dave served seven years as associate pastor of his home church, First Baptist Church of San Ramon, and then as senior pastor of Heart to Heart Bible Church in Phoenix, AZ for thirteen years. During the years in Phoenix, Dave received his Doctor of Ministries in Church Ministry from Northland International University. Dave's burden to return to the Bay Area led him in 2004 to become the lead pastor of MHBC. In addition to serving at MHBC, Dave is the director of Next Generation Churches of Northern California/Nevada and he serves as a volunteer chaplain with the Morgan Hill Police Department. Dave also serves on the boards of CBAmerica and of Western Seminary. Dave and his wife, Lanette, have been married for more than 35 years and have one son, Jonathan (married to Carrie), and a daughter, Kaylan, who lives in New York. Dave enjoys hanging out with family and friends, reading, golf and playing with his Apple gadgets. Even more, Dave loves studying and communicating the Word, and is passionate about connecting people into a vital relationship with Jesus Christ.
Dr. Jeff Holmes, Executive Pastor
Jeff is a native Californian who spent his formative years in Texas. He graduated high school in Austin and then attended the University of Texas, earning degrees in Psychology and Economics. He returned to California to work in Youth Ministry in Laguna Beach where he met his wife, Marci. After gaining a Master's degree from Fuller Seminary and working at a church plant as a youth pastor, Jeff became the Pastor for Family Ministry and Mission at La Jolla Presbyterian Church in San Diego. His years working with families at La Jolla, earning a doctoral degree in youth and family ministries, working with homeless issues, HIV/AIDS in Africa and working with the poor in Mexico have laid a foundation for God's next step for both he and his family here in Morgan Hill. After 11 years at La Jolla, Jeff moved to Gilroy with Marci and their son, Caleb, to lead Gilroy Presbyterian Church. In 2013, Jeff left GPC to begin a partnership with Morgan Hill Bible Church. Passionate about reaching people for Jesus and helping them to walk in a vital relationship with Christ, Jeff's life mission and MHBC aligned perfectly and he has moved from a consulting position to the Executive Pastor position at our church. Jeff is a passionate husband, father and cyclist and enjoys the roads and life in Morgan Hill. He and his family love road trips and vacationing in Hawaii as well as regular trips down to Southern California.
Billy Morin, Worship Pastor
A Morgan Hill native, Billy's walk with Christ began with an invitation to Vacation Bible School at MHBC. Billy gave his live to Jesus in jr. high, and the church activities, summer camps, involvement in music, and high-impact discipleship relationships with MHBC youth leaders that followed, worked together to lay the groundwork for Billy's life path. He graduated from Valley Christian High School and went on to receive a B.S. in Exercise Physiology from California Baptist University in 2006. Billy served first as Youth Pastor then Worship Pastor at Ocean Hills Church in San Juan Capistrano before joining MHBC's staff as Worship and High School Pastor in 2011. Together with his wife, Melanie, Billy enjoys sports, exercising and lake activities. Billy is passionate about using his gifts to glorify God and loves seeing lives changed by the power of The Lord.
Dirk Caudill, Director of Operations
Born and raised in Southern California, Dirk became a Christian in middle school and remained active in his youth groups through high school and early college years. He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration after which he started working in the family's small manufacturing business in the swimming pool and spa industry. Like many young adults, Dirk's walk with Christ was put on hold while he followed his career and built up the business which he eventually purchased and fully inherited from his family. At a pool and spa trade association event in Atlantic City in January of 1995, Dirk met his lovely wife, Lauren, and they were married in December the following year. After selling the manufacturing business in 2007, Dirk and Lauren made the decision to move north to be closer to Lauren's parents in Monterey and began the process of selling their SoCal home and finding a new community to call home. After a few years of searching, Dirk and Lauren settled on Morgan Hill and made the move in 2011. It was just before the move north that Dirk and Lauren re-dedicated their lives to Christ and became active in serving the Lord through volunteering at church and other organizations. Dirk and Lauren enjoy boating, RV trips, snow skiing and spending time with friends and family
Lanette Whitaker, Director of Step-In Ministry
Born to missionary parents, Lanette grew up in a bilingual (Spanish/English) church in Phoenix, Arizona. She received a B.S. in Home Economics Education from Bob Jones University in South Carolina, and it was while she was there that she met a handsome Bible major from California who later became her husband 10 days after graduation. Dave and Lanette have been married for more than 35 years and have served at MHBC since 2004. Together, they have a son, Jonathan (married to Carrie) and a daughter, Kaylan. Lanette enjoys music, reading and finding a great bargain, and, after desert-dwelling for much for her life, considers being able to do all that in beautiful Northern California a dream come true. Lanette is thrilled to see people growing in Christ and thriving in the community of believers.
Ricky Hinman, Student Ministry Pastor
Ricky was born in Los Gatos and raised in Morgan Hill. Ricky grew up in a Christian home and made faith his own after his freshman year of college. He quickly jumped around a couple of schools before finishing up his undergraduate degree at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ricky received a degree in Pastoral Care Ministries in December of 2013. Before joining on staff, Ricky served as the Youth and College Pastor at Newspring Family Church in Jenks, Oklahoma, for 3.5 years. Ricky is married to his beautiful wife, Rachel, and has one daughter, Charley Rose. His favorite things to do are spend time with his family and be outside, which includes hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing and skim boarding. Ricky's favorite part about ministry is being able to witness "AHA" moments; when Jesus becomes real to that individual.
Shani Verdon, Director of Kids Ministry
Shani was born and raised in the Bay Area. She received her B.A. in Communication Studies and Theatre from Westmont College in Santa Barbara. Spiritual roots were planted by family and church, but it was in college where her faith in Christ really began to grow. Westmont was also where she met her crazy awesome husband, Dave. Shani spent 7 years working in public relations at San Jose Repertory Theatre before leaving to stay home to raise their two crazy awesome children, Siena and Luke. She has been serving in children's ministry for over 10 years, substitute teaches at Charter School of Morgan Hill and has a blast using her years of theatre training to bring the message of Jesus to kids in a fun, relatable way. She is excited to be able to work with a fantastic group of Kids Ministry volunteers to help children and their families develop a vital relationship with Jesus Christ.
Tiffany Dos Santos, Director of Little Kids Ministry
Tiffany is a born and raised Californian, living her entire life in the Golden State except for two years when she was a missionary teacher in Micronesia. She graduated from Pacific Union College in 2006 with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a California State Teaching Credential and obtained her Master's Degree in Education Leadership in 2014 four weeks before her son, Andre, was born. She stepped out of the classroom after nine years in Christian schools to spend time with her son and husband, Paulo. During this time at home, she felt a strong pull to connect with other moms and families of littles to form a deeper sense of community in these early years of parenthood. She is excited to be able to participate more intentionally in ministry in this area that God has placed this passion for in her heart. She personally knows the difference a Christ-centered childhood brings. Tiffany feels blessed that she can connect with others desiring the same thing and support families in coming to know Christ in this very precious stage of life.
Jensen Near, Director of Young Adults Ministry
Jensen is a Bay Area native returning to his roots after a 10-year absence. Although he was saved at a young age, it was not until his freshman year of high school that Jensen realized that his faith was meant to be a relationship with the living God rather than simple rote obedience to a list of rules. This ignited a passion in him to understand the Word of God more fully. Although he graduated with a B.A. in Government, Jensen’s life trajectory changed dramatically in his final years of college, when he realized that he was not being called into the political realm. This redirected him to pursue another passion of his: discipleship. After graduating from Patrick Henry College, Jensen spent three years at his alma mater as a Residence Director. Jensen transitioned back to the west coast in 2013 to marry Elizabeth, a Morgan Hill native. The newly minted Near family moved to Rocklin, where Jensen served in a dual role as Residence Director and Assistant Director of Discipleship at William Jessup University for two years. The Nears are ecstatic to be back in Morgan Hill, and excited to be able to serve at the church that has been home to both them and their families for so many years. A few of Jensen’s favorite activities are playing any sport he can get his hands on, quoting C.S. Lewis as much as possible, and helping young believers develop as disciples and leaders. Jensen is currently pursuing an M.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies at Western Seminary.
Lisa Strickland, Director of Women's Ministry
A Southern California native, Lisa made the decision to follow Jesus while attending the church in which she grew up. It was there, also, that she met and married Kevin, her husband of more than 40 years. After they moved to San Jose, their two children, Claire and Kelly were born. Lisa loves to read, create and spend time with her five grandchildren. As a new believer, Lisa was introduced to the concept of discipleship and that has become an integral part of her life in Christ. For Lisa, the main expression of discipleship has been in ministry to women. She is excited to be involved in helping women flourish in a vital relationship with Christ.
Wendy Estorga, Worship Leader
Wendy was born and raised on the central coast, having lived in the beautiful towns of Los Osos, Prunedale and Santa Cruz, just to name a few. Raised by parents who love the Lord, she began her walk with Jesus at an early age and has had a continual desire to seek and know God ever since. She began singing and playing piano at age 5. Her passion for music continued to grow and by high school she was writing songs and leading worship for her high school youth group. In 1997, she went to Azusa Pacific University where she earned her B.A. in Music Theory and Composition with and emphasis in Voice. Wendy has had countless musical adventures including a year touring the country with a band, nine summers spent working at camps, two summers in Kenya and the chance to write and record her own CD titled "Simple." She finds true joy in the opportunity to lead people in worshipping God through song and has found musical worship to be a powerful connecting point in her own walk with the Lord. Wendy and her husband, Abrem, have been married for eight years and have two incredibly lovable kids, Seth and Selah. They love to play every sport under the sun, spend days at the beach and have "family band" time when everybody gets an instrument, picks a song and starts jamming!
Roy Stamps, Director of Pastoral Care
Roy was born in New York State but grew up in San Jose. He graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor's in Industrial Technology and later earned a Master's in Vocational Education. In 1991, Roy retired as Commander after 29 years of combined active and reserve duty in the U.S. Navy. In addition to his years of service to our country, Roy taught electronics and robotics for nearly 30 years at both the high school and college levels. Roy and his wife of more than 40 years, Lee, have attended MHBC since 2000. In addition to serving as a community group leader and elder, Roy serves as Director of Pastoral Care where his heart for people and passion for seeing them connected to the body of Christ and encouraged in their walk with God is fully expressed. When he isn't ministering at church, traveling or spending time with his grandkids, Roy enjoys gardening or spending time on the golf course.