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Senior Leadership

Meet our executive leadership team & elders

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Shawn Thornton, Senior Pastor

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.

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Jason McMaster, Executive Pastor

In July 2022, Jason rejoined the Calvary staff. Jason first served Calvary as an intern in middle school ministry in 1998, then as our middle school pastor, college pastor, and the internship director, prior to joining the elder board for 6 years. Jason has a master’s and a doctorate in education from Cal Lutheran University. From 2018 to 2022, Jason served as the Head of School at Landmark Christian in Atlanta, Georgia, and previously worked for 18 years at Oaks Christian School as a founding teacher, dean of academics, creator of the Learning Center, and Associate Head of School. Jason is excited to build into every ministry and help increase the Lord’s impact through Calvary in the Conejo Valley and beyond. He and his wife Jenny have been married since 2000 and have three daughters, Kaley, Ally, Mary, and one international son, Baffour.

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Brian Howard, Teaching Pastor

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 three children, Grace, Noah and Hope.

Brian Field, Missions Pastor

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.

Carolyn Taketa, Small Groups Pastor

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.

Dick Thompson, Seasoned Adults Pastor

In 2020, Dick joined Calvary’s staff to minister to our senior adults. After serving five years at a church in North Palm Beach, Florida primarily among seniors, Dick believes our Seasoned Adults Ministry has a mission to “leverage the wisdom of adults 60+ to live and love like Jesus.” Dick also served as senior pastor at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Westlake Village for 19 years. He was ordained in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (1981) and has a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary (1980) and a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary (1994). Dick has been married to Suzanne since 1976 and loves to hang out with their daughter and grandson.  

Doug Lemen, Welcome & Communications executive director

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.

Gina Spivey, Family Ministries & Special Abilities Pastor

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 abilities 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 Abilities Ministries. Gina’s husband Dennis, and their two children share her commitment to families with special abilities and often volunteer together.

Michelle Tumes, Worship Pastor

Michelle Tumes joined the Calvary staff in 2015. As Worship Pastor, she is responsible for assembling musicians, executing and overseeing the musical elements for all worship services, Calvary Center Stage, 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 a 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.

Steve Day, Care Pastor

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.

Troy Thornton, Development Pastor

Troy joined Calvary’s staff in 2016 and currently oversees the financial and operational aspects of ministry at Calvary, including facilities, human resources, and security. Troy has a wide mix of life experience from serving in the Army and leading various business ventures and ministries over the past 30-plus years. He holds degrees in both Bible and Process Management. Troy enjoys teaching, shepherding people in their faith journey, and helping us engage in stewardship as a vital part of discipleship. He and Stephanie have been married since 1993 and have two adult children. 

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


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

email: elders@calvarywestlake.org