Our STaff

  • James Laing

    lead pastor

    James serves as Lead Pastor and primary communicator on Sunday mornings. James came to Christ through the investment of a friend in High School and he is passionate about leveraging the relationships we have with the 8-15 (or so) people we each connect with on a weekly basis. James has served since 2010 at Christ First in various roles including Worship Leader and Groups Director. He and his wife, Shanna, enjoy living in the Covina area and keeping up with their three children.

  • Thiago Demendonca

    Associate worship pastor

    Thiago gives leadership to all three main worship services here at Christ First, mainly leading worship in the Modern Service with an occasional Sunday in the Classic and Spanish services. Thiago has been at Christ First since 2014 and is proud to call this his church home. His love for modern worship music, his classical training, and his Spanish church upbringing equips him with what he needs to be an effective Worship Pastor for our entire church.


    Family and Groups Director

    Jennifer has been calling Christ First home since 2004. She served in a variety of roles before coming on staff: drama director, youth ministries, and the college/young adult group. Her desire is to see families grow together and thrive. Jennifer enjoys bringing family and friends together, which is why she believes in the power of groups. Life is better when it's shared. She lives with her husband, Bert, and they cherish time with their three grown children. 

  • Jyl Ranabauer

    Assets managER

    The title says Assets Manager, but it's a fancy title for helping to get ministry done. If you have Questions on giving, want Outreach information, or want to volunteer to work on special creative projects, Jyl's the one to call.

  • cameron gillespie

    youth pastor

    Cameron has had the pleasure of calling Christ First his home since he was in preschool. His passion for working with the students stems from the impact that the youth programs here played in his personal walk with God. 


    communications And Kids Choir director

    Nicole graduated with a BM in Music and worship from Azusa Pacific University. She is currently working on her Masters of Divinity at Azusa Pacific Seminary. She is passionate about kids, worship, and administration, and she loves learning new things. If you have any questions about social media, upcoming events, or volunteering, she's got all the answers.  

  • Jennifer smith

    INTERIM Preschool Director

    Jennifer has served in the field of Child Development for 25 years and is thankful for the opportunity to serve here at Christ First. She leads an amazing staff of teachers who put their heart and soul in to guiding children. Our preschool provides quality academic and spiritual growth for children ages 2-5. Please contact Jennifer if you have any questions or would like a tour of our Preschool

  • Tom Kreinbring

    ChanCel choir director

    Tom is passionate about leading the Chancel Choir at Christ First. He directs the weekly choral performances along with 3-4 Holiday musicals per year. He is a joy to be around and you can always hear him leading a joyful noise.

  • Brian Scrivens

    Outreach Ministry Team Leader

    Brian is passionate about local and international missions. He leads the Embrace Covina campaign of leveraging local service opportunities to get our people outside the walls of the church. Brian also gives leadership to short-term mission trips and keeps our church family onnected with those on the foreign mission field.

  • Marco Ramirez

    Spanish Pastor and Care Team Pastor

    Pastor Marco has been married to his wife, Maria, for 27 years. God has blessed them with two children, Isaiah, who is 25 years old, and Smyrna, who is 18. They are here to serve The Lord Jesus and our Spanish community.