Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church Staff
The Caretakers of the Church and our Flock
"Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood." Acts 20:28
- Church Business Administrator
- Organist and Pianist
- Youth Ministries Administrative Assistant
- Church Bookkeeper
- Associate Pastor
- Director of Music Ministries
- Graham Memorial Preschool Director
- Senior Pastor
- Director of Children's Ministries
- Financial Secretary
The Reverend Dr. David H. McElrath
Our Pastor Since 1993
Pastor David, a fifth-generation Californian, was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley community of Visalia. After high school graduation, Pastor David enlisted in the United States Navy and served for six years as a submariner. During his enlistment, David made a commitment to Christ, that would change the course of his life.
Upon honorable discharge, Pastor David returned to his hometown to begin his undergraduate studies at a local community college. While preparing for a degree in Computer Engineering, he sensed God's calling on his life, and transfered to a liberal arts school in San Francisco. He completed a double major at Simpson University, married the former Jody Lee, and the newlyweds moved to Pasadena, California, where Pastor David earned his Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. Pastor David and Jody have two adult children, Andrew and Heidi, born during their time at Fuller. Following seminary, Pastor David answered a call to Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Los Alamitos, California, where he served for three years as an associate pastor to children and families.
In 1993, Pastor David accepted a call to be the shepherd of Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church where he continues his devotion to advancing the Lord's Kingdom according to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20). Under Pastor David's leadership, the church has become a leader in international mission work, currently investing fifteen percent of its annual budget to funding missions. In 2010, Pastor completed his Doctor of Ministry, with an emphasis in preaching, at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, mentored by Haddon Robinson, one of top preachers in the English speaking world.
Pastor David is gregarious and fun-loving. His circle of friends within and beyond his own church is immense and always growing. He is a sports fan, golfer, guitarist, antique automobile restorer, avid reader, skillful communicator, and gifted humorist known for his seemingly limitless variety of anecdotes that he delivers with a twinkle in his eye. In thought, word, and deed, it is apparent that Pastor David loves his Coronado flock.
Our Church Administrative Assistant Since 2005
Phone: 619.435.6860 x101
The church administrative assistant is a generalist whose skill range must be so broad and whose temperament and ability to display decorum under all situations, and with all people, must be so exemplary that few can qualify. Sue Arnott qualifies. If there is a task that Sue can’t handle, the church has not found it in all ten years of her employment. In fact, so countless are Sue’s contributions to productivity and economy, the entire congregation hosted an Appreciation Day to honor her work in 2009.
Sue first came to Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church as the youth ministries assistant to Pastor Lisa Johnson in 2000. When the church administrative assistant position opened in 2005, Sue stepped into the role prepared by a lifetime of perfect rehearsals.
Her ease at adapting to ever-changing and ever-challenging environments results, in part, from frequent relocation in earlier years. She has resided in numerous cities across the United States as well as Japan. As a well-traveled tourist, Sue can list past journeys to Australia, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Sue’s interests are vast, and her mastery of such diverse pastimes as scuba diving, sailing, dancing, and sewing are another indication of her ability not only to appreciate but to conquer new environments requiring both physical strength and attention to fine detail. Her love for God’s creatures is well-established: if she had the acreage, she’d operate a stray-animal shelter.
Although Sue’s birth and childhood took place in the Pacific Northwest, her values have a Midwestern flavor: be a person of your word, seek the good in every situation, live within your means, save habitually, and respect your livelihood as long as it’s honest. Sue lives by her words.
Who could have foreseen that unlikely previous employment in wet-suit manufacturing would help Sue to develop materials estimating and negotiating skills that have become invaluable to the church Property Committee? Who knew that, as a construction flagger, Sue was practicing for responsibilities as chief traffic manager for the church? More recently, corporate savings and loan officers, company presidents, and a General Dynamics division head were testing and proving Sue’s complete trustworthiness in holding confidential knowledge.
It often appears that Sue has done it all, on time, and in perfect order, but she has no desire to rest on her laurels any time soon. Starting and caring for a family interrupted her post-secondary education just a few credits short of graduation. On her long to-do list is completing the final work required of her postponed baccalaureate degree. As if she really needs a diploma to impress to us!
Above all else, Sue is modest. She objected to publishing this praise for her ability, but we overruled it . . . Sue's first defeat to anyone's recollection.
Sue's Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Dr. Norman Belleza
Our Church Organist Since 2015
Phone: 619.435.6860 x111
Dr. Norman C. Belleza, PT, DPT serves as a core faculty member as Assistant Professor at the University of Saint Augustine in San Marcos, CA teaching Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Occupational Therapy students. Dr. Belleza has been working as a physical therapist for over 15 years. He graduated in the top of his class summa cum laude with his Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences and Masters in Physical Therapy from Loma Linda University. Then went on to complete his Doctor of Physical Therapy from Temple University in 2007.
Dr. Belleza served as the Director of Music for two churches when he lived in Tidewater Virginia prior to moving here to San Diego, CA. He is a classically trained pianist and proficiently plays numerous musical instruments. His musical career began with piano lessons at the age of 6 with Ella Drew. At age 13, his mother, Esther Belleza, purchased a clarinet for him and he began lessons with Dr. Pol and Dr. Al Asercion. His musical abilities started to flourish as he began violin lessons with Nicholas Ricardo, as well as guitar lessons shortly thereafter. At the age of 14, Dr. Belleza auditioned for Georgi Riabikoff, a Russian concert pianist. Mr. Riabikoff, whose great uncle was Sergei Rachmaninoff, and part of the lineage of Tchaikovsky, was impressed by the young talent. Norman was trained for 2 years under his tutelage and began mastering complex compositions by Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff.
Norman's Favorite Scripture: Psalm 150:1-2, 6 (NIV)
“Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.”
Youth Ministries Administrative Assistant Since 2015
Phone: 619.435.6860 x105
Amber’s desire has always been to serve others and come alongside them in their walks with Christ. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, where her father pastored a bilingual church for the majority of her childhood. During high school, she served with a student leadership organization called TeenPact where she was a staff member and small group leader. She enjoyed the opportunity to serve her peers and encourage them in their faith as they learned about Godly leadership.
She attended Multnomah University in Portland where she studied English and Biblical Theology. She enjoyed her Bible study and psychology classes the most, and still studies these things on her own time. She loves learning, especially about how God created our personalities to be unique with special gifts we can use to serve Him in our daily lives.
Amber felt called to move to San Diego in 2014, trusting that God would provide for her. He has proved himself faithful over and over again, and Amber loves talking to others about her journey so far. She is excited to join the GMPC family and see what God has planned for the future.
Amber's Favorite Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
Our Bookkeeper Since 2006
Phone: 619.435.6860 x106
Randy joined the Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church staff in September 2006. He holds a baccalaureate degree in music and another in healthcare administration. Ten years spent in cash management service at a commercial bank and another seven years' experience in public accounting provided perfect preparation for his responsibilities as church bookkeeper.
The Reverend John Joseph
Our Associate Pastor Since 2009
Phone: 619.435.6860 x103
Although raised in Southern California, John Joseph was born in Cairo, Egypt and now enjoys the ability to speak Arabic fluently. John majored in philosophy and theology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and earned his baccalaureate degree in 2002. He served as the Interim Director of Youth Ministries at Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in 2003 until he began studies toward his Master of Divinity degree from Bethel Theological Seminary. In 2006, our Pastor David united John and his wife, Kimberlee, in marriage on the church campus. And in January 2009, John returned to the campus, this time to fill a permanent position as Director of Youth Ministries.
John's Favorite Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:4–9 (NIV)
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
Our Director of Music Ministries Since 2011
Phone: 619.435.6860 x108
Kimberlee Joseph has been involved in music for most of her life. She began playing flute in the fourth grade but had been singing in her church children’s choir since kindergarten. She continued to play in various bands and orchestras through high school and traveled the East Coast with her high school marching band. Kimberlee was accepted to Point Loma Nazarene University in the fall of 1998; her major study was music education. After completing her degree, she taught elementary school and junior high school band at Calvary Murrieta Christian Schools for six years. When her husband, John, became the Graham Memorial director of youth ministries, the couple moved to Coronado, and Kimberlee offered private music lessons at a school in National City. Kimberlee is very excited to be at Graham Memorial and is looking forward to what God has in store for her, music ministries, and her church family.
Kimberlee's Favorite Scripture: Psalm 23 (NIV)
"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
Our Preschool Director Since 2009
Phone: 619.435.2182 x202
Valerie Lewis began substitute teaching at Graham Memorial Preschool when her own daughters were preschoolers on campus. Valerie progressed to and maintained a position as a lead teacher at the preschool throughout the ten years prior to her accepting the current role as assistant director in 2009.
Valerie holds a baccalaureate degree in business administration from California State University, Chico. Completion of additional college-level early-childhood development and preschool administration classes have provided excellent preparation for her position.
Valerie's Favorite Scripture: Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."
Our Director of Children's Ministries Since 2005
Phone: 619.435.6860 x104
Rebecca Smith earned her BA in elementary education with an emphasis in cross-cultural communication from Crown College and a Master of Theology with an emphasis in cultural anthropology from Bethel Theological Seminary. Her teaching experience includes both public and church institutions, grades preschool through college. She is equally well qualified as a wife and as a mother of three sons. Rebecca accepted her position as Director of Children’s Ministries in 2005. And in 2007, Rebecca introduced Awana to the Children's Ministries. Awana Club was an instant hit with parents and kids alike and consistently reaches maximum enrollment each fall.
Rebecca's Favorite Scripture: Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
"I can do all things through Christ who gives gives me strength."
Our Financial Secretary Since 1990
Phone: 619.435.6860 x115
Annetta became a member of Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in 1981. She accepted her position as financial secretary in 1990. Her responsibilities include providing accurate and reliable financial data to staff, lay leadership, and church members in order to enable realistic planning and implementation of church goals and projects.
Annetta earned her baccalaureate degree at the University Of Redlands and has completed some post-graduate studies. Prior to her church employment, Annetta was the playground director Los Angeles city schools, a secondary school teacher, an administrative assistant, and an office manager.
Annetta's Favorite Scripture: John 3:16 (NIV)
"For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."