I’ve been the lead pastor here since April of 2014 with a passion to let everyone I meet that they have value and worth in life because God makes no mistakes. That’s why God’s son Jesus the Christ died on the cross to give everyone a second chance in life.
In case you wonder, I was born and raised in nearby San Jose, California but I’ve traveled around a lot. I graduated from Liberty University in Virginia, earned a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California, a Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. I also served churches in Chino Hills and Hemet, California, Plano, Texas, Arlington and Danville, Virginia. That’s a lot of moving boxes!
I’ve had the privilege of being married to my very best friend, Dr. Martha Thorson who is a licensed marriage and family therapist with offices in Fremont and Los Altos. (See description below) She is also the Parish Associate Pastor at IPC. We live in my childhood home in San Jose. Together we enjoy gardening, bike riding, restoring our 1940’s era house and living in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. We have two grown children, Kari, a parks and rec program director in Belmont, California on the San Francisco Peninsula and Eric, a middle school social studies teacher in Palm Springs, California. Kari and her husband Ben are active at IPC.
Serving as the Director of Family Ministries at IPC allows me to teach children and their parents about the joy and adventure of life with Christ. I am a Behavior Therapist, serving children with special needs in Bay Area school districts for the last 15 years. I love to use arts, drama, and gospel magic to teach Biblical truths to kids, and feel called to nurture families as they grow in faith in an increasingly challenging world.
My husband, Pastor Garrett Yamada and I have been married for 33 years, and have served in churches in Riverside, Manila (Philippines), Berkeley, Laguna Hills, Pleasanton, San Mateo, and Newark, California. We have three grown children, Brent, Kimi, and Sara. I enjoy spending time with our family, traveling, hiking, the visual and dramatic arts, and good food.
Jeanette has been the Bookkeeper for IPC since December 2008. Born and raised in the Midwest, she has two grown children and two of the four-legged furry variety currently in residence. She enjoys sharing her faith with students in Children’s Church at IPC and Kids Club at Hirsch Elementary School. She is grateful to God for mercifully saving her and patiently working in her life to conform her to the image of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Martha is a Virginia native, a graduate of Lynchburg College in Virginia, earned a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University in North Carolina, Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia and a Master’s in Psychology from Chapman University. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with an office at IPC and in Los Altos. For a hobby she sings in the Santa Clara Chorale and is looking forward to the birth of her first grandchild. Martha assists in the Sunday worship, is available to supply preach and teaches courses at IPC.