United Methodist Church of Thousand Oaks
Thursday, February 22, 2018


Reverend John Yoon
  Senior Pastor
Pastor John

Rev. John Yoon was appointed to Thousand Oaks United Methodist Church as Senior Pastor in July 2016.  He comes to us from First United Methodist Church of Riverside where he has been Senior Pastor since July 2010.  Before that, he served in various other congregations throughout the US.


Pastor John was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to America  in 1974 with the family when his father became the pastor of the Korean Methodist Church in Detroit, Michigan.  He received his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in Economics.  (To this date he continues to be a diehard fan of all Detroit Sports Teams, especially the Tigers and Lions).  He received his Masters of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology.

Pastor John is a strong believer in relationship-driven  and team-driven ministry to make the gospel of Jesus Christ relevant to the community in which he serves.   When he has free time, he enjoys playing golf, working out, traveling with his family.  He has two sons, Christopher and Joshua (both UCLA Graduates) and beautiful wife Mina.
Contact Pastor John at pastorjyoon@umcto.org
Gabe Salazar    Director of Worship

Gabriel Salazar, Director of Worship, was born in Houston, Texas, the eldest of six children.  No one else in his family is musically inclined he says, but he must have had a musical ancestor somewhere because from high school on, he knew music would be his future career.  So, after high school, Gabe moved to Phoenix, Arizona to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at Grand Canyon University; then traveled to the eastern U.S. where he completed a Masters Degree in Music Performance from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. 


At both colleges, Gabe was active in vocal performance.  While at Grand Canyon U., Gabe formed The New Life Singers in 2010. This group is now Grand Canyon University's  premiere traveling performing group.  He successfully facilitated and executed over 400 performances for The New Life Singers across the western United States for over 3 years. He also produced and managed The New Life Singers very first album, "Captivate".  While at Lee U., Gabe was a member of the Lee University Singers, performing around the U.S. and abroad; and for three years he was Director of Second Edition, a small vocal group that performed throughout the U.S. every summer.

Returning to Grand Canyon University to work toward an MBA, in 2013, Gabe was named Grand Canyon University College of Fine Arts and Production Faculty Member of the Year.

Gabe has used his vocal and musical training as a worship leader or musician for several churches, including Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago; First United Methodist Church of Phoenix, Arizona; as well as Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix. 


He is affiliated with American Choral Directors Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and is a Board Member of the Arizona District Metropolitan National Opera Council.  In his spare time, Gabe enjoys running marathons.


Contact Gabe at umctoworship@gmail.com.


  Director of Youth Ministries & Adult Studies

Patricia Cogles (Patty) is 26 years old, is married and lives in Pasadena, California. She was born in Miami, Florida but was raised in Puerto Rico. She moved to Oklahoma in 2011 for her undergraduate studies in ministry and leadership with a focus in youth and family ministries. She also studied Theater Arts, both of these studies at Oral Roberts University.


Patricia is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in Worship Theology and Arts. She is a worship and dance minister, member of the California-Pacific Annual Conference, coming to UMCTO from La Plaza United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, California, is the West District representative for Camp and Retreat Ministry Council and is part of the Spanglish Design Team.

She is a foodie who loves the beach, dancing, musicals, and horseback ridding. When she's not busy, she loves to travel and learn from other cultures.  

Contact Patricia at patricia.cogles@umcto.org.



Diana Rainer
  Director of Children's Ministry

Diana Rainer, Director of Children’s Ministry, started her career here at UMCTO as a part-time babysitter at least a decade ago. She earned a B.A. in History with an emphasis on Medieval Studies in 2011 from CSUN, but her love of children continues to direct her in work and ministry at our church, and is a blessing to our families.

Diana is a native of Thousand Oaks. Though she was born here, her love of travel has taken her to various countries around the world, including England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Korea and Mexico. She even spent the summer after her graduation, studying more Medieval History at Cambridge! “I would travel anywhere”, she says, “though, the one place I’d love to see is Easter Island.”

Here at UMCTO, Diana is responsible for administering the Safe Sanctuaries policy, as well as organizing the children’s Sunday school program and our annual Vacation Bible School. The latter event regularly sees enrollment of close to 100 children and as many teen/adult volunteers. Her organizational skills are becoming legendary!

Diana keeps her Christian faith strong through her membership in and support of the Channel Islands Emmaus Community.

Contact Diana at diana.rainer@umcto.org.

May Simonds
  Office Administrator

May Simonds was born in Farmington, Maine, the third of four children of a Methodist Preacher's Kid.  The family moved to Alaska in 1967, and she grew up skiing, hiking, fishing, camping and generally, enjoying life in the Last Frontier. 

She attended college at Oregon State University, and married high school sweetheart Michael, on July 26, 1978 at First United Methodist Church (on the Parkstrip) in Anchorage.  Michael is a corporate pilot with close to four decades of professional piloting and more than 20,000 accident-free hours in the cockpit. Naturally, next to Methodism, aviation has been a dominant life theme and area of interest.  May and Michael have two daughters, Eden, an engineering student living in Seattle, WA; and Monica, who finished her Art & Design degree just last year and currently works at Sun Air FBO at the Camarillo Airport.

May has been a member of UMCTO since 1994, and office administrator since January, 2011. 

Contact May in the church office at admin@umcto.org.
Mitch Schrader
   Facility Manager

Although Mitch was born in Indiana, he moved to Thousand Oaks in 1961, so has called California home for over 50 years now.  In fact, his first residence was on Whitecliff Road, just around the corner from the church, and he has had a close association with UMCTO since joining in the early 70’s.  Mitch and his wife, Debbie, are owners of a handmade toy company, Imagination Depot, creating charming, old-fashioned wooden toy trains that they sell online, and at arts & crafts shows locally and as far away as Kentucky. 

They have three grown children; Lisa, and twins, Candace and Miranda.  Mitch likes to tell people that he “knows a little about a lot of things”, and this hands-on aptitude, whether crafting wooden train engines or repairing a broken faucet, are what make him the perfect Facility Manager.


Contact Mitch at dmsch@earthlink.net.