the Pastoral Leadership
Pastor was saved when he was seven years old during a VBS program, and Carolyn was saved at the early age of 4 when her mother led her to the Lord.
In addition to his responsibility as Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, he is also the Superintendent of Bethel Baptist School and Bethel Baptist Academy; Chancellor of Pacific Baptist College, Pomona, CA; President of the Golden State Association of Christian Schools; and the President of The LifeLegacy Institute for Character Development.
Carolyn teaches music at Bethel Baptist School and gives private lessons at home. She helped organize and leads a youth orchestra, called Charis Strings.
Pastor and Carolyn were married in 1968. They have three children. Elizabeth is a college and high school teacher married to Pastor Matt Thomas. Stephen is a deputy sheriff along with his wife, April. Judith is a registered nurse married to Pastor Jon Moffitt. Pastor and Carolyn have 8 grandchildren.
Pastor describes his philosophy of ministry as follows:
“With all of my responsibilities, my greatest joy is leading people to Christ and shepherding those whom God has entrusted to me. I truly enjoy encouraging people in the Lord, and enabling people to more effectively serve Him. My preaching style is expository and my spiritual gift is exhortation. I seek to lead our church to fulfill our mission, which is to lead people to the Lord Jesus Christ and to help others become more like Him day by day.”
Robert and Candide were saved at Bethel, met, got married, and had all four of their children while at Bethel. It was also the place where they were called into ministry. Giving their lives to the Lord they have ministered at Bethel since 1983. Their children are Rebecca, Elisabeth, Jonathan, and Priscilla. All four children have attended Bethel Baptist School since they were 4 years old and involved themselves in various academic, art, sport, and student body activities.
Robert’s main focus at Bethel is outreach. In this role he spends much of his time ministering to Bethel’s families in times of crises and reaching out into the community to do the same. Some of Bethel’s outreach programs include Saturday morning soul winning, the bus ministry, the shut in ministry, hospital visitation, missionary care, and other various outreach campaigns. Robert has a servant’s heart and many people have been touched by his care and concern for them.
“Our family loves Bethel not because it’s a church home but because it’s a family, drawn together by Christ’s love and grace. Bethel’s people are special and Bethel’s Pastor is special, and the Lopez’s have a deep appreciation and love for both!”
Danny Thomas was born in the city of Pampa, Texas in 1959. When he was four years old, his family moved to Southern California, which became his home. He accepted Christ as Savior at a church in Midway City, CA when he was nine years old as a result of the bus ministry, and immediately became involved in the music ministry. He began taking piano lessons from the church organist, and soon he was playing for the church children’s choir that his mother directed. He later went on to play for many of the church’s teen choir, adult choir, and special groups.
At a summer teen camp just before his sixteenth birthday, Danny surrendered his life to the call of God to serve Him in the area of Music. He came home resolved to resume his classical study and to attend a Christian college to major in music. He studied one year of piano at sixteen, and two years while attending Biola University, where he received his Bachelor’s of Music Education degree with an emphasis in voice and piano.
Outside of his local church ministry, has traveled providing music nationally and internationally to several countries including SouthAfrica, Cuba, and most recently, Hong Kong. He has led choir clinics for several churches, and served on the part-time staff of West Coast Baptist Bible College in Landcaster, California for four years. He produced a Christian radio broadcast that aired for a year and a half called “Discover Liberty.” He played and sang for twelve years with a local Gospel Quartet called the Golden Street Quartet, and for twenty years in a mixed trio called the Gloryroad Singers. Between those two groups he produced nine recordings, as well as over twenty others with other Christian groups. He has been a guest musician for various organizations including AWANA Clubs International, Accelerated Christian Education, the Christian Law Association, and the National Association of Christian Athletes. God has allowed him to provide music for summer camps both in California and Tennessee.
Most recently, he serves as the music director at Bethel. In September of 2007, he joined the staff of Pacific Baptist College teaching in the Music Major program.
Sam was saved as a child and Cathy was saved in 1997. In June 2000, two months prior to their marriage in August, Sam and Cathy felt the Lord leading them to Bethel.
Sam completed three years of Biblical study as Life Pacific College in Los Angeles prior to serving three years with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Sam earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Azusa Pacific University. Cathy completed Business Administration at CSU Fullerton.
Sam and Cathy have three children – Skylar, Steve, and Kyle. They have one granddaughter, Valarie.
As Pastor of the Spanish ministry, Sam focuses on leading, preparing, and encouraging church members into service. He has been excited to see members personally growing in the Lord and desiring to serve Him in larger capacities. In addition, Sam teaches students in preparation for the ministry at the Bible Institute held weekly here at Bethel. Cathy serves in the choir, nursery and children’s Sunday evening classes and is willing to serve where needed.
Sam and Cathy regard Bethel as their family. The love friendship, and encouragement they receive from Pastor, staff, and church members are immeasurable and unique to Bethel’s ministry.
“We love serving at Bethel and consider it an honor to serve Christ here.”