You’ll receive a welcome text from Remind. It will ask if you want to download the app, but you won’t need to do that; you’ll still receive all notifications via text. You can, however, download the app if you wish to receive email reminders and/or push notifications on your smartphone (you can pick notification preferences within the app). Just know the app is not necessary to receive text reminders.
- SUNDAY MORNING YOUTH CLASS:
- 9:30-10:15 AM.
- In the Youth Room.
- We first gather in the main auditorium to worship through song with the entire church (9:00 AM). We then move to the Youth Room for our lesson (at about 9:30 AM, during the greeting time). Note: The first Sunday of every month is our Family Worship Sunday; on these Sundays we stay in the main auditorium with our families and friends for the entire worship service.
- THURSDAY NIGHT YOUTH GATHERING:
- 7:00-8:30 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM).
- In the Youth Room.
- Our Thursday nights typically consist of a time for worship through song, a time for a gospel-centered lesson, a time for a fun group activity, and a time for hanging out with one another.
Each month, we have a fun event to further connect with one another. We enjoy things like beach bonfires, movie nights, trips to theme parks, bowling nights, San Diego Padres games, laser tag nights, summer camps, etc. There are also opportunities for our youth to reach out to the local community and abroad with the love of Christ (homeless outreach, orphanage outreach in Tijuana, short term missions trips, etc.).
Meet the Team
Marttell (also known as Marty) is a local San Diegan who grew up in the area of Chula Vista. After graduating from Bonita Vista High School (2001), he served a four-year enlistment as a communications journeyman in the Air Force. He met his wife, Sandra, in 2005, after fulfilling his enlistment and returning to San Diego. They have now been married for 12 years and they have two sons: a 6-year-old named Kaleo and a 5-year-old named Christian (both of whom love soccer). For formal theological training, Marttell attended Southern California Seminary, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies (2012) and a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (2017). He has also been licensed for ministry by our denomination, the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA). On his free time, Marttell enjoys going on dates with his wife, playing soccer with his kids, having family movie nights, having friends over, eating plain vanilla ice cream, and drinking good coffee. Sorry Starbucks, he prefers local coffee shops. You can usually catch him at Brew Coffee Spot here in La Mesa!
Manny is originally from Miami, Florida. He came to San Diego for an internship at Sharp Grossmont Hospital during his final semester at Florida International University as he was completing his Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy. He loved San Diego so much, though, that he decided to stay! Today, he’s a recreational therapist at a local correctional facility, helping men with broken pasts and building relationships with them. Here at Lake Murray, Manny has been an integral part of our youth ministry ever since he started volunteering. He has a love for people and a passion for sharing Christ with everyone he meets. He enjoys sports, doing outreach, working out, pouring hot sauce on everything he eats, drinking coffee, and eating burritos from Chipotle. If it was up to him, he’d probably live at our local Chipotle!
Aaron is another local San Diegan. He comes from an awesome Jesus-loving family of 14! That’s right, along with his parents, he’s one of 12 siblings, which is pretty cool if you ask us. Aaron was predominantly home-schooled, but he also went to H-Town Christian Academy, where he dominated the line of scrimmage as a varsity football player. He’s now a foreman at a local automotive shop, which means he really knows his way around cars. So, for all you high schoolers who drive, make sure you talk to him before you purchase your first car. He can probably save you from buying a lemon! Here at Lake Murray, Aaron serves with his music abilities both with our youth and on Sunday mornings with our worship team. For fun, Aaron enjoys board games, video games, playing flag football (he pretty much still dominates the line of scrimmage), and spending quality time with his wife, Caroline. He loves burritos, too. But unlike the rest of our leaders, he’s not much of a coffee guy. No worries, though, you can always treat him to a glass-bottled Coke, and he’ll love you for it!
Autumn—along with her six siblings—practically grew up in this church. Through the years, she’s served in children’s ministry, homeless outreach, and Alzheimer’s care; now, she’s a beloved leader among our young ladies. She’s a graduate from Heritage Christian High School and has attended Grossmont College, and she lovingly works with children in daycare. As a true local San Diegan, she absolutely loves the beach. If you ask her, she’ll quickly let you know La Jolla Shores is her favorite spot (except for the parking). She enjoys the outdoors, spending time with her family and friends, pilates workouts, and all things unicorns! Oh, and she likes coffee too (especially vanilla lattes). Yep, drinking coffee is definitely a trend among the majority of our leaders!
Caroline is also a native San Diegan. She grew up doing gymnastics (she can still pull off some of her old moves, too!). After high school, she went to UC Davis, where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Biology. She now works locally as a middle school science teacher, and she definitely knows her stuff (you probably won’t beat her at any science trivia). She met her husband, Aaron, through one of Aaron’s many siblings (and the swing dancing scene here in San Diego). Caroline loves spending time with her hubby and serving alongside him. She also enjoys painting at Brew Coffee Spot’s paint nights. So, ladies, if you’re artistically inclined, you should join her the next time she goes!
Kendra is another of the famous “Park Sisters” who grew up here at Lake Murray. Following in her siblings’ footsteps, she has also graduated from Heritage Christian High School. Today, she’s working on her degree in culinary arts at Grossmont College. By the way, she’s pretty much the best baker in the history of ever. If she finds out when your birthday is, she’ll probably surprise you with a homemade cake. Or brownies. Or cupcakes. If she’s not in the kitchen making some awesome desserts, you’ll usually catch her drawing, listening to music, catching up on her Netflix shows, or getting lost at Summer’s Past Farms. She also enjoys hikes through Mission Trails and runs at the beach. And, of course, coffee!
Sandra is originally from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, but she immigrated to San Diego after marrying Pastor Marttell over 12 years ago. The two met at a small Hispanic church in the City Heights area of San Diego, where they became best friends and fell in love. Pastor Marttell is a very fortunate man! Together, they are the joyful parents of two boys (one in first grade and the other in kindergarten). Prior to marriage, she worked on her bachelor’s degree in graphic design at Universidad de Tijuana. Today, she enjoys being a stay-at-home mom. She loves spending time with her family, eating good tacos (note the emphasis), drinking Mexican mochas or caramel lattes, watching food and travel shows, and dreaming about her husband getting over his fear of flying so they could one day travel to Europe and Hawaii! (yes, he was in the Air Force; no, no one understands why he has a fear of flying!)
Our Apprentice Leaders
You guessed it. Brianna is also another of the famous “Park Sisters.” And, yes, she also graduated from Heritage Christian High School! She’s now a freshman at Southern California Seminary working on her biblical studies degree (while simultaneously working as a library aide at one of our public libraries). After finishing her undergraduate studies, she plans to work on a graduate degree in library science. You’ve probably figured out by now that she loves books. It’s true, and she wants to be a librarian some day. Some cool facts about Brianna: she is probably one of the biggest Harry Potter fans you’ll ever meet. She also loves science fiction, and she’s a huge Star Trek fan! If she’s not reading or watching sci-fi movies and shows, you’ll probably find her eating some kind of gluten-free food. And while she might not be into coffee as much as some of our other leaders, she does love tea. Did someone say, “Tea party”?!
Like Brianna above, Jose is another of our newest high school graduates. He’s now a first-year student at Grossmont College. But here’s the coolest news ever: he gets to work at our local Chick-fil-A! If he’s not busy being a new college student and Chick-fil-A team member, you’ll find him spending time with friends, and that’s because his favorite thing to do is to spend time with people he cares about. By the way, Jose was a varsity football player and wrestler at Grossmont High School (where he still serves as a coach), and his nickname was “the flying tarantula.” But don’t let that intimidate you—he’s the biggest teddy bear you’ll ever meet. You’ll learn that hugs are always free with Jose. So, if you’re ever feeling down, he’s the one to go to. His big smile alone will cheer you up right away!
Cameron is our newest apprentice leader, and we’re so glad he’s part of our team! Just like Jose above, he’s a first-year student at Grossmont College (he graduated last year from West Hills High School in Santee). In high school, Cameron was a varsity water polo and volleyball player. He also grew up playing recreational soccer, and today, he works as a soccer ref. On his free time, Cameron likes spending time with his friends. He also loves going on random road trips, too! Side note: Cameron is probably one of the coolest-most-chillest persons you’ll ever meet. Don’t let his chill, quiet nature fool you, though; he’s super competitive in games! (Good luck jumping over him to catch a frisbee)
- EXALTING THE LORD: Since worship is not just done through music—although songs of praise are certainly a part of worship (Col 3:16)—and since worship is also not limited to Sunday services, we aim to live daily lives of worship in all that we do (Rom 12:1; 1 Cor 10:31), that the Lord might be magnified and glorified through us.
- EXPOSITING THE LIVING WORD: Since the Scriptures are foundational to all that we do and imperative for our walks with Christ (Ps 119:105), it is important to us to spend time each week learning from the Bible and applying its truths to our hearts, that our lives might better reflect Christ.
- EQUIPPING FOR LAY MINISTRY: Since we’ve been called to edify and equip one another for the Lord’s purposes in our lives (2 Tim 2:2; 1 Pet 3:15), we desire to build each other up for ministry and service.
- ENCOURAGING IN LIFE CIRCUMSTANCES: Since we’ve been tasked to love and encourage one another (Jn 13:34-45; Gal 6:1-2; 1 Thess 5:11), we aim to come alongside each other in order to point one another back to the gospel as we walk through the various circumstances we face in life.
- ENDURING IN LINK: Since Christ gave His life as a ransom for one Body, we want to persevere in loving unity (Ps 133:1; Jn 17:23; 1 Cor 1:10), linked together as one family in Christ (Eph 4:15-16).
- EXTENDING IN LOVE: Since the two great commandments in Scripture are to love God and to love our neighbors (Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18; Matt 22:37-40), and since Jesus then deepened the command to love our neighbors by instructing us to love one another within the church sacrificially, in the same way as He loved us (Jn 13:34-35; Gal 6:10), we desire to live out the gospel by extending the love of Christ to all those around us—in our church, in our community, and the world beyond.
To mentor and disciple middle school and high school students toward maturity-in-Christ in a healthy, gospel-centered environment (Matt. 28:19-20).
We envision an interlinked family of youth (1 Cor. 12:12; 1 Pet. 3:8) who are lovingly committed to each other and the Lord (Col. 3:14; Heb. 12:1-2), unashamed of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16; 2 Tim. 2:15), firm-footed in their faith (1 Pet. 3:15), and multiplying in Christ (Jn. 17:23; 2 Tim. 2:2)—young people equipped to be all they are called to be and do all they are called to do in the local church, the local community, and the world abroad (Acts 1:8).