Pastor – Lead Catalyst
In addition to pastoring at Tree of Life, Michael is founder of SOULeader Resources, an interdenominational ministry established in 2000 to empower transformational wholeness in leaders, churches, and organizations. Michael addresses a variety of topics on formation from a holistic perspective – spiritual, emotional, relational, mental, physical, & missional. Born and raised in southern California, Michael has spent the past 25 years pastoring, church planting, and leading in para-church organizations. After 27 years of school (B.A., M.Div., D.Min.), he is definitely a candidate for the “golden pocket protector award” for educational nerds. He is an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and Azusa Pacific University. He has been married to his best friend for 26 years and has two grown children. He loves spending time in monasteries, figuring out his dysfunctional behavior, laughing with family & friends, snowboarding three feet of fresh powder, reading late at night by a crackling fire, and discussing with others how to live their lives like Jesus would live their lives if he were them.
Pastor – Teaching Catalyst
Bobby Schuller is the Teaching Catalyst at the Tree of Life Community. He received his Bachelor of Science at Oral Roberts University and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Bobby has been greatly influenced by Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, and N.T. Wright and continues to work on contextualizing Christian Spiritual Formation. He is the grandson of Dr. Robert H. Schuller and, though he parts with his grandfather on many issues philosophically, continues to have theological conversation with his grandfather to this day. He loves to travel and brew his own Belgian strong ale. He lives with wife Hannah, daughter Haven, and son Cohen, at their home in Old Town Orange.
Chad serves in a variety of roles as one of our Pastors at Tree of Life. In addition to putting together our worship gatherings he serves on the teaching team and oversees our worship teams. Born and raised in Orange County, he completed his Bachelor’s at Vanguard University of Southern California in Pastoral Leadership and his M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary. He’s always up for a good conversation over coffee about what it looks like to live out your theology, guitars, or what’s new in the tech world. Chad loves examining why it is we believe and do the things we do and how we can further develop a life of discipleship by not taking foundational beliefs for granted. Chad, his beautiful wife Hillary, and beloved dog Pip live in Old Town Orange.
Pastor – Outreach Catalyst
Growing up in So. California, Darlene loves the variety of OC. She loves the beach, hiking, camping, cycling, snowboarding and just being outside in general. She has a passion for children, cooking, reading biographies, serving and helping wherever needed. She has received her ECE certificate in Early Child Development, and loves taking classes periodically. After starting and running a successful business for 12 years and raising two children, she has committed the 2nd half of her life to encouraging women leaders and continues to empower people to use their gifts and helping them put action on their faith. She leads support groups for pastor’s wives and women in ministry and loves personal mentoring. She has been married for almost 30 years Her role at Tree of Life is especially meaningful because it is the culmination of her fruit from her first mission trip to Ecuador.
Pastor – Recovered Life Catalyst
Having met Jesus at “the bottom” in 1978, Mark has since had a big heart for troubled people. He believes “recovery” is just another word for “formation.” His distinctive approach to recovery pushes beyond 12-Step to the root of human failures – the need for adoption into God’s family, and the fulfillment of living out a unique Kingdom calling. Mark knows the importance of belonging, not only from his own experience, but in 1995 he and his wife Carey adopted two difficult boys from Romania (ages 3 & 4), who are now in college and serving alongside him in multiple ministry initiatives. He also serves as Chairman for a nonprofit ministry, Finally Home Foundation, helping communities rally around foster and adoptive families. An ordained pastor, he has written and taught curriculum in multiple settings from short seminars to 10-week courses. Always self-supporting in his Kingdom calling (as a healthcare organizing consultant), he’s developed crossover skills in the business world of coaching, teaching, and planning that are useful in the Kingdom space. He is passionate about people, surfing (a shortboard), and music.
An Orange County native, Barb loves living in the small community of Tustin with her husband(Doug), two daughters(Natalie & Erica) and dog(Daisy). She holds a BS in Microbiology from Cal Poly Pomona where she and Doug met. She’s been a stay-home mom for 13 years and will tell you that every year has been well worth it. Truly an introvert, “behind –the-scenes” is where Barb prefers to be, utilizing her God giftedness in organization and administration skills as a Catalyst at “The Tree”. Barb spends a great deal of time on the pool deck volunteering with the local swim team. When she’s not cheering for her girls during a swim meet, she is in the water herself, swimming with the Team’s Masters Group. Daily Prayer: “That I live each day as a living sacrifice, humbly being transformed daily, in order to produce fruit in God’s kingdom, bringing Him glory.” (Romans 12)
Parish Life Catalyst
Russ serves as our parish life pastor, which involves shepherding and resourcing the parish leaders and participants. He also coordinates our worship logistics, which is a fancy way of saying that he tends to the Sunday morning details other than the worship content. Russ holds a B.A. from UCLA (go Bruins!), an M.B.A. from the University of Montana (go Griz!), and a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary (never mind). He served in a variety of roles in the local church before coming aboard, including director of spiritual growth, associate pastor and executive pastor. Russ is passionate about empowering the people of God, and loves coming along side fellow sojourners to help them discover their perfect place in the body of Christ. Russ lives in Laguna Hills with his wife Deanna and their three children. They are die-hard fans of all things Disney, and can often be found wandering the theme parks at all hours, or cheering for their beloved Angels.