Pastoral staff

Your pastors are here to serve and support you through your faith journey. While we all preach in worship, we are also available for pastoral counseling, home visitation, hospital visitation, and prayer.  

  • Rev. jeffrey V. O'grady

    Pastor - Head of staff

    A native of Minnesota, Rev. O'Grady is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Luther Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He is ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). After serving congregations in Minnesota and California, he returned to Princeton Seminary where he served for eleven years primarily as the Dean of Student Affairs, before receiving a call as the Pastor of San Marino Community Church in 2006. He and his wife Lynn have three children: Molly (Matt), Meghan (Phelps) and Ryan (Nanette), and four grandchildren, Elliott Jeffrey, Nolan John, Avery Ben, and Madison Ann. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton Seminary. Other interests include adventures of all kinds, riding his Harley Davidson, handball, golf, and almost anything outdoors.  

  • Rev. jan Y. cook

    senior associate pastor

    Rev. Jan Cook brings with a wealth of experience in ministry, including small group and spiritual development, pastoral care, as well as mission and outreach. After earning her BA at Cal State Fullerton 1976, Jan earned degrees in Preaching and Practical Ministry, she then attended San Francisco Theological Seminary where she earned her M.Div in 1997. Meanwhile, she was Director of Children’s Ministries at Solana Beach Presbyterian, then moved on to Director of of Family Life Ministries in 1991, followed by Resident Chaplain at Sharpe Memorial Hospital for two years. In 2000 Jan Cook became Associate Pastor at Christ Presbyterian in Rancho La Costa, and later in 2009 went on to become AP for Pastoral Care and Adult Discipleship at First Presbyterian Church in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Jan is happy to be back in California where she can be closer to her children and grandchildren.  

  • rev. becca bateman

    Associate Pastor for Family ministries

    A native of sunny Southern California, Becca loves the outdoors but also loves to travel.  After graduating from Cal State Long Beach, where she earned degrees in History, Classics and a minor in Latin, she attended Fuller Theological Seminary for her M.Dive.  Following seminary, she served as Associate Pastor of Christian Life Formation at Calvary Presbyterian, South Pasadena for several years before coming to San Marino Community Church in January 2013.  Her passion for ministry to the whole family is a big part of whey she feels called to the community of San Marino.  Bookending 2010 were her ordination in February and her marriage to her husband Mike on New Years Eve!  They live in Pasadena with their daughter, Maisie, and  three dogs Snoop, Stavros, and Cooper.  

  • Rev. Jessica Vaughan Lower

    Associate Pastor for Community OUtreach & Contemporary worship

    Jessica grew up in La Verne, California. She earned her undergrad degree at UC Irvine, in 2003. She attended Princeton Theological Seminary, earning an MDiv in 2006. She went on to be an

    Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adults program in Pennsylvania 2006-2007, then a Solo Pastor at Beverly Hills Presbyterian in Upper Darby, PA 2007-2008. She returned to California, where she was Parish Associate of Missional Leadership for El Montecito Presbyterian through 2013. From there she received a call to Grace Presbyterian Church in El Paso, Texas as head pastor for five years. Rev. Vaughan Lower joins SMCC fall of 2018 as Associate Pastor for Contemporary Worship and Community Outreach. She lives with her husband, Andy, and their two children in San Gabriel.  

  • Bong Bringas

    Commissioned Lay Pastor

    Bong resides in La Crescenta, California. He became an Elder in the Presbyterian Church in 2004. Upon entering the seminary he served as Pastor's Assistant, and Youth and Children's Minister at the Filipino Community Presbyterian Church in Eagle Rock. He was in the M.Div. program in San Francisco Theological Seminary and Fuller Seminary and hopes to return in the near future. Bong serves as Assistant for Worship and Pastoral Care in San Marino Community Church and is in his third year as a Commissioned Lay Pastor of the Presbytery of San Gabriel. Bong has been a member of the Presbytery Executive Council for the past four years and is the current Moderator of the San Gabriel Presbytery. He is an active volunteer in the Guardian Angel for program for undocumented minors under the leadership of the Pacific Presbytery. Bong is married with three lovely children.

  • rev. dr. marilyn manning

    parish associate PAStor

    Marilyn began with a degree in Music Performance at SDSU and served as organist and choir director in several churches. Once her children were in school full time, Marilyn accepted her call to ministry and received a Master’s of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA, followed by a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. Her five children, now grown and married, have blessed her with 13 grandchildren. Marilyn has served over twenty years as Solo and Associate Pastor for multiple churches across the country. While at Valley Presbyterian Church, Marilyn worked with Ministry of Hope for seven years and led ministry teams to Malawi annually. Since retiring in 2014, Marilyn moved to Monte Vista Grove Homes, Pasadena and has been attending San Marino Community Church. 

Program Staff


  • JANE WALKER

    NURSERY SCHOOL DIRECTOR

    Jane joined the staff coming from Sierra Madre Community Nursery School, where she was an Assistant Teacher, a Lead Teacher, and Staff Development Chair. Jane led the school through a previous NAEYC accreditation process and she holds both the Award of Merit (2012) and the In House President’s Award (2010) from CCPPNS (California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools, Inc.). Jane holds degrees in Spanish and Political Science from the University of Redlands. She and her husband Tom, both active members at Community, live in Arcadia with their three sons Connor, Charlie, and Ryan.   

  • Steven Talbot

    Director of Development

    Steven Talbot earned his BA in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach and has spent the last twenty years in fundraising and business development. More than ten years of that time has been devoted solely to advancing the needs of non-profit institutions. His clients have spanned the breadth of the non-profit sector and he has managed over $2.5 billion in fundraising goals. As Corporate Vice President at CCS Fundraising he conducted the feasibility study and initial campaign planning for SMCC’s successful 2009 capital campaign. Steven and his wife, Kathleen, are originally from the Pasadena area and both attended La Salle High School. They have a four-year-old son.

  • DR. PETER GREEN

    CHANCEL CHOIR DIRECTOR

    Dr. Peter Green was born in Newfoundland, Canada. He has a Masters of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California. In 1989, Peter received first prize in the national piano competition of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Association. Peter currently serves as Chair of the Visual & Performing Arts Division at Glendale College. He is also director of the Glendale College Concert Singers, and on the board of directors of Glendale Arts and the Mark Thallander Foundation.  Peter has recorded several collaborative albums, and been nominated for a Grammy Award in 2008. Recently, he recorded a CD of new music for French horn and piano that will be released in early 2020. He is also a frequent recitalist, adjudicator, and is a clinician in both piano and choral music throughout Canada and the US. Dr. Green joins San Marino Community Church in August of 2019.

  • LISA EDWARDS

    ORGANIST & PIANIST

    Lisa Edwards is a graduate of North Texas State University in Piano and Organ Performance with a Master's Degree in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from USC with honors. She plays with the Los Angeles Master Chorale at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and assists in rehearsals and performance for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She is part time organist for other congregations, as well as teaching piano at the college level. She is also the pianist for Vox Femina under the direction of Dr. Iris Levine and choral director at Alverno High School in Sierra Madre.   

  • Natalie MacMillan

    Director of Children's Ministries

    Natalie MacMillan is a native Angeleno, who earned a BFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. An actor/writer/director and teacher, Natalie has a passion for illuminating the power of the Holy Spirit through the arts. Natalie has written and acted in film and stage pieces to accompany sermons. She has been at the helm of several faith-based film projects, as well as directing the world premiere of a musical based on the Book of Ruth. Natalie has also worked with children in various capacities, including Sunday school, theater camps, and tutoring. Raised in a family where Christianity and creativity went hand in hand, Natalie loves exploring the way to impart that to the next generation.  

  • Jenny Jones

    CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP LEADER

    Jenny Jones, a Montana native, got her start playing for Young Life camps all over the Western U.S. and Canada. She attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington from 2008-2011 where she majored in Hispanic Studies and Music. She served at Soma Tacoma Church for eight years as a worship leader and administrative assistant. During that time she also helped oversee several writing/recording projects including a children’s album and a collaborative record featuring several Tacoma songwriters called The Story Vol. 2. A classically trained multi-instrumentalist, Jenny released her first EP in May 2017. Jenny and husband, Adam (a pastor in the LA area) currently live in Los Angeles. When she’s not making music, she spends time hiking, or dancing.  

  • ELIZABETH KERSTEIN

    HANDBELL RINGERS DIRECTOR

    Elizabeth Kerstein is SMCC's Handbell Ringers Director. She received a Bachelor of Music from St. Olaf College  and a Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory.  Passionate about both opera and contemporary music, she is in frequently in demand as a performer and a collaboratol. As a classically trained mezzo-soprano, Elizabeth has performed at SongFest, Los Angeles’ resident art song festival, as well as with Lyric Opera Baltimore and the Peabody Conservatory. Raised with one Christian and one Jewish parent, Elizabeth is active in both faiths.  

  • BRANDON COOKE

    A/V TECH COORDINATOR/MUSICIAN

    A native of Southern California, Brandon Cooke grew up in the mountains of San Bernardino where he enjoyed the outdoor life. In middle school, Brandon began his interest in playing and recording music. After “gigging it” through high school, Brandon attended the Musicians Institute, receiving a degree in Percussion Performance and Recording Technology. Immediately after graduation Brandon began working as an engineer in recording studios around Los Angeles - working with such artists as Chad Smith and Josh Freese. Brandon also has a band, The Rebel Light, which has toured the U.S. playing sold-out festivals and clubs While not on circuit, Brandon also works part-time as the Audio Visual Technician, and drummer for the Contemporary Worship service.  

OFFICE STAFF


  • SKIP OBER MILLER

    BUSINESS MANAGER

    A native of Illinois, Skip graduated from Aurora University, in Illinois in 1988 with a double major in Communications and Christian Studies and a minor in Accounting. He received his Master of Divinity from Bethany Theological Seminary, Oak Brook, IL in 1993. Not long after being ordained to pastoral ministry in the Church of the Brethren, he discovered his true calling to church administration. Skip has previously served as Co-Pastor of South Bay Community Church of the Brethren in Redondo Beach, California and as Administrator at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pasadena. He has a daughter, Lauren and is recording his lifetime of observations about church life in his blog: “Things I Learned In The Church Office”.  

  • PEGGY FLYNN

    ADMIN. FOR PASTORAL SUPPORT, WEBSITE & Communication

    Peggy graduated from UCLA with a degree in Psychology/Communications. She brings experience as an account executive in advertising in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Upon moving to San Marino with her husband and two children, she managed a satellite office for a worldwide film distribution company and served as board member of many non-profit organizations for the arts, and education. Peggy joined the staff of SMCC providing support for the 2009 Capital Campaign, facility renovation and overseeing the website.  

  • DEBORAH KWAN

    OFFICE ASSISTANT


  • Sharon Grosshans

    RECEPTIONIST