Pastors & Staff

Brent Swanson

Lead Pastor

Brent has been serving as the senior pastor of CPC since April 2021.  He earned his BA degree from UCLA and his MDiv from Yale Divinity School.  He is passionate about teaching the Bible and helping lead the church to love and serve the city. Originally from Long Beach, CA, Brent loves to surf, read, and play music. He is married to Anita, and they have four wonderful boys: Samuel, Luke, Jude, Micah. 

Dave McGurk

Associate Pastor

Dave was called into the ministry at 17 years old. He has faithfully served CPC since 1991 focusing on Adult and Senior Ministries as well as Mission and the work of the Deacons. He is passionate about coming alongside others in their faith journey, teaching, missions, sharing God’s word and building Christian community. 

Zachary Pitcher

Director of Administration and Ministry

Zachary has been serving as the director of Administration and Ministry since 2022. He attended Grove City College and obtained a Master’s from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He married his wife Abbey Mae in 2018. In their spare time they enjoy playing board games, traveling, cooking, running, and exploring places in Merced.

Seth Beardsley 

Director of Student Ministries

Seth grew up in Merced, but after completing his undergraduate studies at CSU Stanislaus in 2012, he began working as the youth director at Centerville Presbyterian Church in Fremont, CA. He and Jenessa were married in 2018 and Seth then moved to DC  to be with his wife and finish seminary. He completed his Masters of Ministry and Leadership from Western Seminary in 2019, while also working with youth at National Community Church in Alexandria, VA. Now he’s back in his hometown! His hobbies include playing basketball, watching the Giants, Warriors, and Niners, eating at fun places and watching Survivor with Jenessa, playing board games, and spending time with his friends and family.

Lindsay Dickson

Director of Children and Family Ministry

Lindsay was born and raised in Merced and has been a part of the church family at CPC since high school.  She received a degree in Human Development at UC Davis and has worked in the public school setting for over 12 years.  She is a proud wife to Joel and a mom to four amazing kids, Emma, Soso, Jacob and Lily.  She is thrilled to be serving the children and families at CPC and is passionate about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the next generation!

Denise Rallis

Director of Classic Worship

Denise has spent 20 years in full or part time Music Ministry. Ministry is her passion. She loves coaching and helping others become successful in their music endeavors. 

John Wendel

Director of Modern Worship

John met Christ personally when he was at Calvin Crest Junior High Camp. In college, Jesus got ahold of him in deeper ways, leading him to music ministry. Since that time, John has served in various roles involving musical worship. He also teaches English at Merced High School. John has been told by his wife, Stephanie, that he may need to limit his many hobbies: gardening, backpacking, surfing (falling), bass fishing, kayaking, writing music, or reading great literature. He loves to see people meet and praise God through music. 

Joanna Hefner

 Communications Assistant

Joanna was born in Santa Clara and raised in Merced. She has an associates degree in Art from Merced College and hopes to pursue a Bachelors degree in Media Communications. In her spare time she enjoys playing board games and  traveling with her husband Austin, and their dog Bailey. 

Linda Casebier

Office Staff

Linda was born and raised in Merced and loves her hometown. She considers it an honor and privilege to serve the Lord and her church family as an office employee. She has been married to her husband, George, since 1985, and they live in Atwater with Shadow (her dog) and Rusty (their mouse and lizard chasing cat), and the new addition to their household, Murphy, the Wonder Dog. 

Isaiah Davis

Student Ministries / Worship Intern

Isaiah is in his first year at Merced College where he hopes to get a music degree. When he is not at school he spends his time at work, playing with his golden retriever, Molly or playing instruments around the house.

Emma Dickson

Children's Ministry Intern

Emma is serving as the Children's Intern and enjoys working with the kids and families at CPC!  She is a senior at El Capitan High School where she is involved in school leadership.  She enjoys youth group, spending time with friends and coaching youth volleyball and is looking forward to starting college next year.