Leadership

Written by admin on Dec 30, 2011

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Pastor Erik and his wife, Angel

Pastor/Teacher Erik Swanson

I was born and raised in Burbank, California. Throughout my childhood, my parents sent me to a Christian elementary school and a Christian day camp, but by no means was I a Christian. I learned some things about the Bible, but by high school, I was just another kid who did not think about God nor care about God.

Upon entering college at UC Berkeley in 2001, I sunk into an even more depraved lifestyle, still living apart from God. But early on in that first semester, things changed. God convicted me of the futility of life apart from Him. All other pursuits were worthless and all other pleasures were fleeting. Every person is desperately searching for satisfaction in life, but I learned then that true satisfaction can only be found in God. Partly from the Bible knowledge I had acquired as a kid and partly through my friend sharing the gospel with me, by God’s grace I came to repent and turn from my sins and turn to Christ in faith. By grace, I looked upon Christ’s work on the cross for forgiveness, whereby He died in my place. My life radically changed then and I became His follower.

Throughout my college years, I grew in the Lord and even began to teach others. I met my beautiful bride, Angel, at our church and we were happily married shortly after graduation in August 2005. Though I graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and worked an engineering job for a short while, God had more plans for my life. I discerned the call of the Lord upon my life to enter the ministry and therefore left the engineering world to enter The Master’s Seminary in 2006. God blessed me and carried me through this time and I graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2009 and a Masters of Theology in 2011. During my years in seminary, I served as the College Pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Burbank.

In the fall of 2011, God revealed more plans for my life. I accepted the call to pastor Berean Bible Church in Arroyo Grande, California, and I have been here since October 1, 2011. The adventure continues as Angel and I welcomed our first child, Olivia, in March 2012. God is good!

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Elder Don Hanson

I was born in Fresno, California in 1951. I am thankful that both of my parents were Christians, truly dedicated to serving Christ and committed to instructing their children to do the same. As a family, we faithfully attended First Baptist Church. When the church doors were open, we were there. My older sister, younger brother and myself were involved in all church activities at an early age. However, even as a child I was also involved in thoughts, words and deeds with which I was certain God would be neither pleased nor accepting. Frequently, God used my mother to remind me that although she might not always know what I had done, God always knew, and that my sin was ultimately against Him. Therefore, even at that young age, I felt the weight of sin in my life.

I longed for forgiveness, and to be pleasing to God, but it wasn’t until I was 10 years old, listening to a Sunday night sermon, that I came to the understanding that any and all of those sins were paid for by Christ. I didn’t understand that the Holy Spirit was doing a work of regeneration in my life, but He definitely was. I asked God to please forgive me, by faith believing that Jesus Christ was who He said He was, and that only His payment for my sins was sufficient to reconcile me to God. I committed to follow and obey Jesus Christ, thanking Him for what He had done for me. I can still remember going out to dinner after church that night with my family, and truly feeling that the guilt and weight of sin had been lifted from me.

I have been happily and thankfully married to my wife, Susan, for over 29 years. We have four adult children: Felena, Peter, Matthew and John. After 50 years as a believer, I can confidently say that although I have not always been faithful to God, He remains faithful. As a business owner, I am reminded that for myself and all believers, our vocation is actually our calling. I have been serving as an elder at Berean Bible Church for over 20 years. In every situation God puts me in, my goal is to be faithful to Him, glorify Him, and enjoy Him forever. I am thankful for the years He has given me here, while looking forward to eternity with my creator, sustainer, and Savior.

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Elder Rod Morabito

I was born in San Luis Obispo, California in 1948. Some years later, in March 1969, I married my bride, Mary Jane. We have four adult children who all live nearby. I have been serving our wonderful Lord at Berean Bible Church as an elder since 1989.

The story of my salvation goes back to December 1968 when I was at Fort Ord, California while training with the regular army. Mary Jane, my fiancée at the time, and my mother, encouraged me to visit the army chaplain, so I did. During the visit, the chaplain asked me why I was there. I said, “I guess I need to know something about God.” As it turns out, the chaplain told me much about God. He explained through Romans that I was a sinner with no hope, that I could not please God or earn my way to Him, and that Christ did it all for me on the cross. It was only through repentance and faith in Christ that salvation could be had.

God was working in me through that chaplain and by His leading, I asked God to come into my life, forgive me of my sin, cleanse me, wash me, and save me. At that moment, all things changed and from then on to this current day, He is still with me. My love for God grows each day and it is now my desire to help others come to know Him and live in Him as well. He is my all!