From Pastor Shawn

Thank you for taking a moment to find out more information about our pastoral transition. At the end May, I shared with our church family that after a tremendous amount of prayer, Rebekah and I sensed God was inviting us to take a bold step of faith into a new Kingdom assignment. The new Kingdom assignment is to lead a fresh start for a struggling church in that introduced me to Jesus in High School. It was almost fifteen years ago that God called me to be a part of planting Existence Church in Southern California and now fifteen years later God is inviting us to go back and lead a fresh start in Southern Alabama. Our word for the year as a church family in 2017 is the word, “why.” I shared in the beginning of this year that a godly why is all about taking a “who” to a “where.” Little did I know in January that we would be the “who” and Alabama would be the “where.”

I cannot adequately express how much we deeply love Existence Church and all of our family and friends in San Diego. We know this is not an ending, but a new beginning. We will be partnering with Existence to be sent out into this next chapter and look forward to being a part of God’s bigger story.

I consider Existence Church to be a healthy growing church family with incredible people, a phenomenal leadership team, and a burning passion to see our greater community know, love, and serve Jesus. It has been my highest honor to plant and lead Existence Church. I am confident that the best is yet come!

To find out more about our transition, please visit the podcast or Livestream labeled “The Kingdom Way: Prayer – Part 2”.


Pastor Shawn

Future Timeline

We are prayerfully moving forward to both send out Pastor Shawn and Rebekah as well as discover our new Lead Pastor for this next chapter in the story of Existence Church. We are working with a “transition/search team” with the hope of welcoming a new Lead Pastor by our anniversary service in middle of September. We have an amazing teaching team in place and are confident our church will continue to thrive in this interim season. We have also appreciated the assistance of Christian and Missionary Alliance as well as a few wonderful consulting groups who are coaching us through this process.

Transition / Search Team

We have prayerfully and diligently worked to build a team of 10 men and women who represent the culture and heart of our church. They will be responsible for discovering the leader we already feel God has chosen and prepared for our church family. They will be praying, taking in feedback and listening to our church family, interviewing, and ultimately voting on our new Lead Pastor. Our elder board will then process, pray, and affirm their vote to extend a call to the new Lead Pastor. We will introduce this team on June 18th to our church family.

Leadership in the Interim

We have an amazing leadership and teaching team that will help us be consistent, familiar, and focused. Pastor Shawn put together a series direction/teaching plan for the rest of the year to empower our teaching team to as wee prepare for this next chapter. If we find that our church needs further assistance we will consider other options, but we at this point we are confident that God has called the people we need for this next season. We will announce our teaching team and provide more information on June 25th.

Culture and Vision

Everything you love about Existence Church is going to stay the same. We will forge forward with VBS, Life Groups, Couples Conferences, Women’s and Men’s gatherings as well as our missional efforts throughout this city. We expect our ministry leaders to fight even harder for community during this time and to be there for one another while we eagerly anticipate our new Lead Pastor. The best is yet to come!


new timeline


Search Team

Kathleen Staley – Kathleen has lived in San Diego for 30 years. She’s been married to Paul Staley for 38 years.  She has one son.  Kathleen has degrees in political science and theology. Kathleen and Paul started ministry after college to South Asian refugees that grew to 400 refugees, then moved to San Diego to get medical assistance for their son. After moving to San Diego she started in sales and marketing. Kathleen then founded a call center business that grew to 300 employees nationwide. After that business was sold she started consulting in India and grew that to a three million dollar business. Presently she is retired and manages  investments  in her family’s Foundation, travels, and a brand-new Airbnb host

Levi Ryan – Levi is a Southern California native, who met his wife Jillian in 2006 while attending UC Davis. They have been married since 2008 and are raising their two children, Scarlett (4 going on 14), and Canaan (2). When he’s not working as a water resources engineer in North County, Levi enjoys family time, sports, woodworking, and fishing. On Sundays, you’ll find him wrangling K-5 kids in Kid’s Life, where he’s volunteered for the past 5 years. He and his wife have led a Couple’s Life Group since 2009, and he is an integral part of the men’s ministry at Existence. His wife serves alongside him in Kid’s Life, Couple’s Ministry, and on the worship team. Together, they have called Existence Church home for the past 9 years.

Jonny Gose – Jonny is a proud husband to his wife Becky and father to their 1yr old daughter Liberty.  Born and raised in San Diego, Jonny received a B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning from UC San Diego, where he also encountered God, and ultimately, a call to ministry. He currently serves as a Campus Staff Minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at UCSD, leading college students to experience God and developing the next generation of Godly leaders. In his free time, Jonny loves to surf, garden, and spend time with his family. Jonny and Becky have called Existence Church home now for over 5 years.

Adam Dixon – Adam switched coasts three years ago to join a smartphone engineering team at Qualcomm after finishing his studies at Georgia Tech. Within a couple months of being in San Diego, he connected with the fun, warm and compassionate community at Existence Church and finds joy every Sunday in meeting new people and running around with the pre-K posse in Kids Life. He also met his amazing soon-to-be-wife, Samantha, while volunteering here, and they are excited to be getting married in July. In his free time, you’ll find Adam playing soccer, hanging with the Collide young adults small group, chatting tech, or contemplating yet another automotive project.”

Weston Ring – My name is Weston Ring, and I have served on staff at Existence Church as the worship pastor for nearly six years. My wife, Heather, and I moved here from Colorado. We have one young son and are expecting another child this winter. I am excited to find our next lead pastor, and look forward to working together to form creative, impactful, and life-changing services together!

Lisa Botts – Lisa was born and raised in New York and came to faith in Christ at the age of 18. She graduated from New York University and received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the Stern Business School. She responded to God’s call and came to San Diego to attend the Horizon School of Evangelism. Soon after she met and married her husband Jeff. They just celebrated their 25th anniversary. Professionally, she has worked as a mortgage loan offer for more than 12 years before becoming a mom. Jeff and Lisa have three teenage daughters, Danielle (19), Natalie (15) and Amanda (14). Lisa has spent her time volunteering in women’s ministry, teaching, leading, emceeing special events, writing skits and performing at women’s retreats. She has been a leader and member of Moms in Prayer for the past 13 years. Lisa and her family have been attending Existence Church for one year, where she has gotten involved with KidsLife, VBS, Moms Connect and the planning team for the women’s conference.

Mikala JvR – My name is Mikala JvR, and I have served on staff at Existence Church as the Executive Director for the last several years. I am married to Wesley and we have 2 awesome kids – London and Durban. I feel privileged and excited about being part of discovering who God has called to take us into the next season at Existence!

Bill Mangham

Prayer Calendar

Week leading to May 28th: Prayer for clarity and cohesion

Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Week leading to June 4th: Prayer for our church family

1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Week leading to June 11th: Prayer for the search team

Matthew 7:8 – For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Week leading to June 18th: Prayer for discernment in the process

1 John 4:1 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Philippians 1:9-10 – And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

Week leading to June 25th: Prayer for the new pastor, his family and current church

Isaiah 43:19 – Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Week leading to July 2nd: Prayer for sustainment in our staff & leaders

John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Week leading to July 9th: Prayer for our vision – IMC

Habakkuk 2:2 – And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.

Proverbs 29:18 – Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.

Week leading to July 16th: Prayer for our current leaders & teachers

Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Matthew 20:25-28 – But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Week leading to July 23rd: Prayer for excitement about our future

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Isaiah 40:31 – But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Week leading to July 30th: Prayer for Shawn & his family as well as his new church

1 Timothy 5:17-18 – Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

Week leading to August 6th: Prayer for our new leaders & teacher

2 Timothy 3:17 – That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 – But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.

Week leading to August 13th: Prayer for our community in RB

Hebrews 10:24 – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Acts 2:42-47 – And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, …

Week leading to August 20th: Prayer for our chairs to fill

John 8:12 – Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Ephesians 2:20-22 – Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.