Staff

Pastor Brandon

Rev. Brandon Austin is a graduate of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (Master of Divinity, 1990) and transferred from the Tennessee Conference to the California-Nevada Conference at the invitation of Bishop Melvin Talbert in June 1990. Since arriving he has served as pastor in Carmel, Lake County, Sacramento, Hayward, Manteca, Modesto, and now Davis UMC. Before coming to California, he served a four-congregation church circuit in rural Tennessee for one year, served 5 years as a youth director for various churches throughout college and seminary, and grew up in a United Methodist Church, where his mother was the church secretary for 12 years – she remains a lifelong member of the United Methodist Women.

His professional training includes studies at Martin Methodist College in Pulask, TN (A.A.), a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology (1985) from Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, AL, a Master of Divinity Degree (1990), ordination into the Order of Elders of the UMC in California-Nevada Conference (1997), an M.A. in Clinical Psychology (2008), and he is currently completing his dissertation for a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy. D.). He has training as a Victim-Witness Assistance in the area of Domestic Violence, a Spiritual Director (individual and group), a Labyrinth Facilitator, a Conflict Mediator, a Clergy/Church Transition Facilitator, and as an Interim Pastor.

For fun he likes to hike in Yosemite Valley, play guitar, sing, and teach salsa dancing.

Michael Stokes

Office Manager
E-mail Michael Stokes

Michael Stokes is the Office Manager and Staff Secretary to the Treasurer. He was born and raised in Michigan where he helped build (literally) the New Community Church in Grand Rapids, where he also was a Sunday school teacher. He holds a BA in English, as well as an AA in Theatre Arts. Michael is an independent scholar as well as a tutor for the GRE Verbal Reasoning and Analytical Writing sections. His writing centers on the entangled relationships between the representation of disabled characters in science fiction literature from the 1940s to the present with race, queerness, and sexuality.

When not running the church office or tutoring, Michael spends his time writing with his partner Jess, reading, or painting. He enjoys science fiction films and books, board games, and cooking.

Music Director

Coordinator of Children's Programs

Megan Houpt

Worship Arts Ministry
E-mail Megan Houpt

Megan developed a lifelong passion for church music and drama at her home church in Schenectady, NY where she sang in the children’s and adult choirs, played in the bell choir and performed with the Dramatic Players. Additional choir experience in high school included the District Youth Chorale and Madrigals. Her BA is in Theatre Arts and English Literature from Emmanuel College, Boston.

 

Ji Hyun Song

Youth Ministry Coordinator

Ji Hyun first immigrated to the USA with her family when she was 4 years old and grew up in various areas of California. As a daughter of an ordained minister of the Korean United Methodist Church, most of her life has revolved around attending and assisting in church services and programs. She is currently studying at UC Davis in pursuit of her B.S. in Animal Science and Management and hopes to continue into the field of genetics and production in dairy animals.