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Benji Magness, Senior Pastor
benji(at)gracesantamaria.org

Benji came to Grace in October 2011 after having pastored churches in Texas. He is married to Heather and they have 6 children. Benji’s desire in ministry is to see people bring God glory by finding their joy in Jesus Christ as their Supreme Treasure in this life (Psalm 43:4; Matthew 13:44). He is passionate about the Gospel, prayer, discipleship, and seeing the nations come to worship the Triune God. Benji earned his Masters in Theology (Th.M) in Old Testament & Pastoral Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary. He desires to preach and teach so that the Word of God becomes easy to understand, hard to forget, and impossible to ignore. And he loves Starbucks Coffee.

Greg Burtnett, Associate Pastor
greg(at)gracesantamaria.org

Greg’s passion in the ministry is to use the Word of God to live above reproach and help others do the same.  He graduated from the International School of Theology, a daughter organization of Campus Crusade for Christ and received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Talbot Seminary in December 2014.  Greg has a passion for small groups and discipleship ministry.  He and his wife, Donna were married in 1995 and have two boys, Jaron and Nathan.  They recently added to their family with the adoption of their daughter, Eliana, from China. 

James Barr, Youth Minister
james(at)gracesantamaria.org

 James grew up in the family of a youth pastor, spending his Jr. High & High School years in SLO and felt the call to ministry while he was a high school student.  He met his wife, Tiffany while at Biola and graduated from Biola University.  He earned his Masters of Divinity in Christian Education with an emphasis in youth ministry from Talbot Seminary.  James joined the staff at Grace Baptist in September of 1998.  James and his wife Tiffany have two sons, Nathan and Isaac and daughter Kaitlyn.  Nathan & Isaac are currently involved in our youth ministries with Kaitlyn following closely behind.  He thinks he has the coolest job in the world and is a Star Wars freak.

Michelle Winger, Children’s Ministry
michelle(at)gracesantamaria.org

 Michelle moved to Santa Maria at age twelve and attended local schools. She has been involved in children’s ministry since a VBS missionary trip to Mexico at age 15.  Michelle joined our staff in August 2000 as Director of Children’s Ministries.  She brings a Biola University education, graduating from Bethel Seminary, Magna Cum Laude with a Masters in Children and Family Ministry as well as 31 years of serving here at Grace to her current position.  She and her husband Jim have two “Grace-grown” children.

Paula Harter, Children’s Assistant Director
Paula(at)gracesantamaria.org
 

Paula was raised in California but considers the Middle East her second home. She came to Christ at 16 when she fell in love with Jesus. She started loving on children as soon as she was old enough to babysit. At 17 she got her first job working a summer camp for the YMCA. From there, she was a preschool teacher before moving overseas. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education. She spent 18 years in the Middle East with her husband Dan telling others about Jesus. They have 3 children.  She has been the Assistant Children’s Director since January 2010.

Chet Harter, Contemporary Music Director
honorandthanks(at)gmail.com

 

Chet grew up in Southern California, saturated in the “Jesus Movement”, at the very time that contemporary Christian Music was born. He graduated from Westmont College with a B.A. in Christian Education, and from Fuller Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. Ordained as a Baptist pastor in 1986, Chet spent 15 years in Youth Ministry, leading music and worship at many camps, retreats and churches including his home church and youth group. Chet, Ann (his wife of 30+ years), their three daughters and his guitar came to Grace Baptist Church in 2000. We all know the rest of the story.

Stefanie Hassett, Office Administrator
stefanie(at)gracesantamaria.org

 
Stefanie is a California girl but longs to be a world traveler.  Her Christian roots run deep (her grandfather was the first Southern Baptist preacher in California in the 1930’s).  She & her husband of 26 years, Eric, along with their three children joined Grace in 1998.  In 2008 she joined our staff as an Administrative Assistant.  She has a varied background in both secular and Christian work ranging from the Kern County Tax Collector’s Office, Lockheed, First United Methodist Church and Righetti High School.  She is active in the local art community, is a Board Member of the Ian M Hassett Foundation and enjoys supporting her oldest son at Special Olympic activities.

James DuBransky, Accountant
Jim(at)gracesantamaria.org

Jim came on board in late March 2014 to become the full-time Church Accountant upon Donna Lehman‚Äôs retirement. He and his wife for 47-1/2 years, Marianne, have lived in Santa Maria since Sept. 1970, and have seven sons, and 15 grandchildren. He has an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Cal Poly, Pomona; and an MBA from Golden Gate University.   Jim was previously the accountant for Crosspoint Community Church until its closing in 2012. Jim enjoys golfing, and officiating baseball for the local youth organizations.