OUR PASTORS

  • Senior Pastor | Jeff Leis

    Originally from eastern Colorado, Pastor Jeff grew up on a farm and was the fourth of four boys. After high school he moved to Portland, Oregon where he studied and graduated from Multnomah Bible College in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Studies. 


    He then served as an Intern Pastor at Easthill Church in Gresham, Oregon under Pastor Jerry Cook. Pastor Jeff would say it was Jerry who first helped him to fall in love with the Church and the desire to live out love, acceptance and forgiveness, the mission and motto of Easthill. 


    After a couple of years, Jeff went on staff at Easthill and served for five years with the new senior Pastor, Ted Roberts. While there, he enjoyed serving as the college-age pastor and was also able to serve as youth pastor to jr. and sr. high students as well as a year with young couples.


    After having two children, Pastor Jeff and his wife and ministry partner, Debbie, moved to the Merced area to be closer to Debbie's family. They began attending YC as "just another family" and within a few weeks Pastor Jack Parker, asked Jeff to fill in while Parker was away. 


    The opportunity to share with the YC family came often, which began to meld Pastor Jeff and YC together. When Jack decided to leave YC, the church asked Jeff if he would fill in as their interim pastor during their search for a new senior pastor. 


    Jeff agreed to fill the interim position and in one short month, the elders asked if they could suspend their search and offer the position to him. He accepted the position in October of 1991 and felt blessed to be given the opportunity to serve as a senior Pastor, which had been a goal of Jeff's for many years. 


    Jeff and his wife, Debbie, of 34 years have two children and two grandchildren. They love spending time as a family, hiking, playing board games like Settlers of Cataan (and others) and vacationing together. Jeff enjoys collecting antique oak furniture and doing the needed restoration, and riding off-road dirt bikes with a collection of wonderful friends from the church and community.


    Jeff's lifelong dreams have been to enjoy a thriving marriage, to be intimately close to his children, to have a small cluster of very close friends and experience a church movement that has a powerful and sustained impact for Christ on the community. Jeff passionately pursues to live out the mission of meeting people where they are and loving them to where Christ wants them to be.


           

  • Executive Pastor | tino ballesteros

    Dr. Tino Ballesteros’ service to God spans a variety of churches with progressive responsibilities in leadership. While in seminary, he served an internship with Dr. Robert H. Schuller at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California (1978) and a pastorate at the Philippi Presbyterian Church in Raeford, North Carolina (1980-1981), respectively. 


    After his ordination in 1982, Tino began his pastoral work serving as Minister of Education at First Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina (1982-1984). He then went on to serve as Minister of Education and Program at First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Florida (1984-1992). In 1992, Tino returned to the Crystal Cathedral where he served as Minister of Education for 9 years (1992-2001).


    In 2001 Dr. Tino first accepted the position of Executive Minister for the 4,500- member Presbyterian Church of Orlando, Florida. In 2006, Tino, as a Member-At-Large in the San Joaquin Presbytery, joined Yosemite Church as their Executive Minister.


    Dr. Ballesteros has held several positions of service within the denomination, including Union Theological Seminary / Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia as a member of the Board of Trustees, the President’s Advisory Council, and currently the Presbyterian Panel.


    Born on June 27, 1953, Tino is a second-generation Presbyterian minister. His father was a candidate for moderator of the PC(USA) General Assembly in 1988 and served on the committee that authored the Brief Statement of Faith. 


    Tino has two younger brothers living in Georgia and a sister who resides in Savannah, Georgia. His parents are now retired, living in Atlanta, Georgia. Tino earned his B.A. with a double major in Religion & Philosophy from Birmingham-Southern College, his M.A. in Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education and his Doctor of Ministry from Union Theological Seminary. He is married to Rebecca Ballesteros, a Registered Nurse from Birmingham, Alabama. They have been married for over 30 years.


  • Production/Worship Pastor | matt shumaker

    Matt stepped into the role of production arts pastor with a passion to elevate the name of Jesus in the worship, creative, technical and communication arts. Matt is an artist, writer, director, musician and an all-round pursuer of creativity- in no particular order. He joined the YC team in February of 2008.


    Originally from California, Matt and his wife Liz came to us from the Big Island of Hawaii where they taught high school and jr. high at a Christian school for three years while helping to plant Elevate Church in Hilo.


    Matt graduated with a master's degree in business administration, preceded by his bachelor of fine arts ministry degree from California Baptist University, completed in 1999.


    While working on his degrees, Matt was also a part of Sandals Church in Riverside, serving as the volunteer director of video at the then 1,500-member church. 


    Matt worked as a production assistant and assistant to the casting director for Manifesto Films in Hollywood while attending the Los Angeles Film Studies Center. He also attended the Focus on the Family Institute semester program with Dr. James Dobson and John Eldredge as well as serving as a summer term missionary for the North American Mission Board and Adventures in Missions, among others.


    Matt enjoys telling stories through all kinds of media, blogging, playing his guitar and singing, writing in his little black journal, creating art of all kinds, learning more about technology, lighting, graphic design, video, film, audio engineering and all the technical and worship arts, but most of all- Matt is passionate about using the talents God has given him to run hard after Jesus and bring everyone he can with him.


    Matt & Liz have four incredible children, sons Cavin & Callum and daughters, Camilynn & Cambria. They absolutely love spending time at the beach, camping and trips to the park.


              


  • Latino Pastor | Angel Barragan

    Angel Barragan serves as the Yosemite Church Latino Pastor. Originally from the Bay Area his family moved to the Central Valley in 1985. During his High School years in Le Grand California Angel met his future wife Nelly.

    Angel has been married to his lovely wife Nelly for 20 years and has two children, Michael who is a freshman in High School and Samantha who is in third grade. Angel and Nelly are expecting their third child this summer 2017.


    Angel Barragan graduated from Champions College in 2010 with an Associates Degree in Biblical Studies. He also graduated from Merced College with an associate's degree in Communications and Social and Behavioral sciences in 2012. After his time at Merced College he attended the University of California, Merced where he received his Bachelors Degree in Sociology with a minor in Anthropology.


    Angel comes to us with prior experience in ministry and education. He has a  natural evangelical gifting and seeks to spread the gospel message to those in his sphere of influence and those around the world.


    In his pastime Angel enjoys swimming, cycling, hiking, and vacationing in California.