Senior Leadership

Meet our Executive Leadership Team & Elders

Growing up in Northern Indiana and accepting Christ at an early age, Pastor Shawn experienced a solid Christian, but personally traumatic, childhood. You can read his 2016 memoir, All But Normal: Life on Victory Road to see how God used his mother’s traumatic brain injury (TBI) to develop a pastor’s heart in Shawn.

After completing a B.A. from Appalachian Bible College in 1989 and a Master of Divinity degree from Capital Bible Seminary in 1992, Shawn’s home church, Twin Branch Bible Church in Mishawaka, IN, ordained him to the Gospel ministry.  During his nearly thirty years of ministry, Shawn has served as an assistant pastor in the Philadelphia area, taught Bible and New Testament Greek at his undergraduate alma mater, and for over ten years led Bible Center Church in Charleston, WV, as its Senior Pastor.

In September of  2008, Pastor Shawn became Calvary’s third Senior Pastor. As our lead pastor, Shawn serves as: 1) the primary voice of the pulpit, 2) the main vision-caster, and 3) the shepherd of shepherds. In addition, Shawn currently serves on the boards of Awana Clubs International, the Joni & Friends Foundation, and Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks, CA.

In 1990, Shawn married his college sweetheart, Lesli and they have three young adult children: Jon, Katie, and Megan. The Thorntons love traveling, serving, and doing life together.

Curtis and his wife Sheryl Lynn joined Calvary in 1992 and two years later, he became a member of our Elder Board where he served for eleven years. In 2006, Curtis joined the staff as our Executive Pastor. In this role, Curtis works closely with our Senior Pastor, the Elders and the Operations Board, while overseeing the Executive Team and senior leaders of Calvary’s ministries, facilities, and finances. Prior to vocational ministry, Curtis worked for 22 years in corporate positions. God has used Curtis’ various life and work experiences to further the mission of Calvary through strategic analysis, practical compassion and spiritual wisdom. Curtis holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and 60 units of Bible from Multnomah University and Talbot Seminary. Curtis has been married since 1984 to Sheryl Lynn and they have two married young adult sons.
Brian has been on staff since 2010 and first joined our team as an intern in our high school ministry. Currently he serves as the teaching pastor where he preaches regularly in the adult, young adult and high school ministry services. Brian also continues to oversee high school and young adult ministry, providing leadership, vision and direction for the teams that serve in these areas. Brian graduated with his Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2015 and in 2016 was ordained by the elders of Calvary Community Church. Brian and his wife Dani have been married since 2013 and have two children, Grace and Noah.
Steve has been serving as Calvary’s Care Pastor since 2001. He oversees all aspects of Care ministries including counseling, support and recovery groups, marriage preparation, memorials, benevolence, and the 24/7 minister-on-call program. Steve did his post graduate work at Fuller Theological Seminary and has an M.A. in Church Leadership from Hope International University. Steve helped plant a church in Scottsdale, Arizona, served as a founding pastor in Moorpark, California for sixteen years, and also ministered as the Coordinating Chaplain for the Ventura County Fire Department for twelve years. Steve is a ministry team builder with a heart to help people find hope and healing through Jesus. He has been married to Allyson since 1981 and has four children and three grandchildren.
Since joining Calvary’s staff in 2005 and the Executive Team in 2011, Carolyn has been overseeing all aspects of our small groups ministry, including leadership development, vision, strategies, and curriculum. She is a former attorney with a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley Law School, who has been leading small groups for over thirty years. Carolyn is passionate about building authentic relationships that move people deeper in their relationship with God and with one another. She is a contributing author for Disciples’ Path from Lifeway Christian Resources, part of the editorial advisory team at Christianity Today’s smallgroups.com, and host of “Group Talk,” a monthly podcast for the global Small Group Network. Carolyn, her husband Donn, and their two daughters have been part of Calvary’s family since 2001.
Brian has been part of Calvary’s staff since 2008 working in the Missions ministry. In January 2015, he joined the Executive Team as the Missions Pastor. Brian oversees Calvary’s mission outreach both into the local community and ministry partnerships around the world. He is passionate about seeing lives transformed by the power of the Gospel and helping mobilize the Church into reaching the lost, poor and marginalized for Christ. Brian grew up at Calvary and after graduating from UCLA, Brian served for several years as a missionary for Youth With A Mission in Townsville, Australia, where he met his Canadian wife Carmell, also on staff with YWAM. They have been married since 2006 and have four children.
Jeremy has been a member of Calvary since 2007. Prior to vocational ministry, he was a small business owner for fifteen years. Jeremy first joined our staff as Pastor Shawn’s assistant in 2009, then he served as part of the Small Groups Ministry and Men’s Ministry teams. In 2014, Jeremy left Calvary to plant Saddleback Los Angeles as the Campus Pastor. Then, in 2016, Jeremy returned to Calvary as the Pastor of Discipleship and Evangelism.  Jeremy is passionate about leading, serving, and supporting people as they learn to trust Jesus with their body, mind, heart, and soul. Jeremy grew up in the Conejo Valley and is currently working on a Masters of Divinity in Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Lexie have been married since 2009 and have four children.
After being part of the Calvary family since 1993, Doug joined the staff in 2011. Prior to Calvary, Doug had a successful career in retail marketing, store design, and merchandising. Doug believes God has been preparing him for this unique role at Calvary with many years of experience in mass communications, space planning, and visual storytelling. He loves to communicate God’s story through multiple mediums. He also wants to make sure our church continues to be a welcoming place where everyone can connect and serve in their areas of giftedness. You can usually find Doug on Sundays in the center of our lobby, greeting and assisting people in finding their place at Calvary.
Nate hails from Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia, and has come to Calvary via Florida. After beginning his career in education, God called him into children’s ministry within the local church setting. After transitioning to the role of Children’s Pastor, he earned a Masters of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and joined Calvary’s Family Ministry Team as the Pastor for Children’s Ministries in March of 2013. Nate oversees ministries for birth-5th grade and middle schoolers, which fits well with his passion for teaching kids and students about Jesus and seeing families grow in their relationships with God together. Nate has been married to Lauren since 2005 and they have three children.
Gina is passionate about making sure individuals and families affected by disability are welcomed and integrated into the life of our church. This includes providing one-to-one buddy support,  self-contained programs, community engagement through special events, and parent support groups. Gina joined Calvary’s staff in 2014 with over 17 years of experience in the special needs community after earning her degree in Child Psychology with an emphasis on Special Education at Loyola Marymount University. She became a licensed pastor in 2019. Gina also serves as a resource for other churches seeking to start, strengthen, or revive Special Needs Ministries. Gina’s husband Dennis, and their two children share her commitment to families with special needs and often volunteer together.

In August 2015, Michelle joined Calvary’s staff as the Director of Music. She is responsible for assembling musicians, executing and overseeing all the musical elements for weekend worship services, Spotlight – Calvary’s Creative Arts Academy, and special events. Michelle is  passionate about creating worshipful environments where the Holy Spirit can move, heal, and breathe life into people. Originally from Adelaide, South Australia, Michelle was a touring Contemporary Christian artist and songwriter for many years. She has been awarded ASCAP songwriter of the year, won the Dove Award, and has recorded 7 CCM #1 radio singles, gold and platinum albums. She and her husband Doug have three children who love the expressive arts. 

Elder Board
Calvary is governed by an elder board made up of the following people:
 


Rick Bartlett (Chairman)
Ryan Liljegren (Vice Chairman)
Larry Carignan
Mark Davis
Harry Frum
Craig Hardy
Doug Hume
Bert Overholt
Dan Smith 
Shawn Thornton

email: elders@calvarywestlake.org