Senior Pastor Richard Gantenbein
Rich came to St. Andrew in January, 1982. Back then, St. Andrew was a small country church, meeting in the converted carriage house on what was the Spreckels Sugar Family Estate. In 1989, things changed when the old building burned to the ground.
From the ashes, God raised up a new church building with a congregation that has been “on fire” and growing ever since. The one thing that has been constant for the past twenty-four years is change — change in Rich’s life and change in the life of the congregation. The verse that gives Rich hope and purpose is from Paul’s prayer for the Philippians: “…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
Rich graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1976, then went on to earn a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 1985. He grew up in Portland, Oregon, and met his wife Lorna at Portland Adventist Hospital, where she worked as a nurse and he worked as an orderly. They were married in 1972. Their daughter Julie and her husband Russ Findley have two children, Oliver and Cecil. Since they live in Kensington, CA, Rich and Lorna get to see their precious grandchildren often. Julie is an attorney with the Water & Power Law Group PC. Russell is the Director of IT for Bebe, a women’s clothing company popular with the younger set.
Rich is passionate about bicycling (passionate is an understatement), builds custom furniture in his “Geppetto’s” woodshop, and is a neophyte fly fisherman.
Director of Worship David Irvine
David Irvine has served St. Andrew as Director of Worship since January 1994. David’s responsibilities include music, visual art, drama productions and technical aspects of the worship service. He is also fortunate to have served on four trips to El Salvador as leader of our mission team in Buenos Aires.
In addition to his duties at St. Andrew, David is the Conductor/Artistic Director of the Sonoma Valley Chorale, Associate Conductor of the Consort Chorale of Marin County and is frequently heard as a baritone soloist in the North Bay. A product of Chapman College in Southern California, David majored in Choral Conducting under William Hall.
David and his wife, Kris, have two grown and married children; Michael & Gina Irvine of Sonoma and Molly & David Potter of Minneapolis.
When the Irvine’s are not at church, they enjoy Giant’s baseball, travel and hanging out with friends.
Director of Evangelism Hal McCown
Hal is definitely a “People Person”. Top management positions in the department store business (Emporium/Capwell’s, Gottschalk’s, and Nordstrom’s), college instructor, retail store owner, wine industry education manager, VIP tour guide and numerous hospitality positions helped hone skills that he uses today in doing God’s work at St. Andrew.
In addition to greeting visitors with a warm smile, handshake and/or hug, Hal also helps fellow members of the St. Andrew church community to identify and utilize their God given gifts. He is active in the drama ministry both as an actor and director and is a member of the St. Andrew choir.
Hal and his wife, Shay moved from Castro Valley 19 years ago and now live in the Sonoma Valley. They have been married for 50 years and have two children, Caitlin & Case. The have four grandchildren and a great grandson. Hal enjoys fine dining, great wine and an occasional cigar, live theater, acting in local small theater groups, day trips with his wife, board games, cooking, the Oakland A’s and spending time with great friends.
Director of Children’s Ministries (Infant – 5th Grade) Tracy Walthard
Tracy is a long time Sonoma resident, having grown up in the valley. She received her BA in Speech Communication from California State University, Fresno. She currently holds a Multi-subject K-12 credential and has taught for over 18 years in Kindergarten through 8th grade. She joined the St. Andrew staff in 2002 as the Director of Children’s Ministry. This was natural transition not only with her teaching experience, but Tracy grew up at St. Andrew, attended Sunday School and participated in the youth group as a teenager! She is married to Scott, who she met at college. They have three children, Kelsey, Owen, and Lindsey. Her hobbies are family time, reading, fun filled family get a-ways! Her dream vacation would be to visit the ancient cities of Rome and Athens.
Director of Youth Ministries (6th – 12th Grade) Dawne Carver
Dawne Carver became a member of St Andrew when she became baptized in 1995. She has been a part of choir and is very passionate about the drama ministry. She served in Children’s Ministry in the late 90’s.
Dawne became Director of Youth Ministry in 2006. After chaperoning on Caravan, a youth mission trip to Calais, Maine, she realized her calling to work with and live life with young adults. She feels that God had been preparing her for this role for a long time. There is a saying on a shirt that goes like this- “Chaos amuses me- I’m a youth leader!” Helping the youth embrace who they are in Christ can be messy and chaotic.
Dawne has worked in the restaurant world for over 20 years. She loves her job as a server. She gets to meet people from all over and enjoys learning and sharing stories. She loves food and wine, and enjoys guiding people in their dining experience.
Dawne is married to Paul Carver. They have 2 children, Rachael and James. In her downtime, she can be found dining out, wine tasting, reading, gardening, at a race track with her husband or walking, her first choice- on a beach.
Director of Small Group Ministries + Wedding Coordinator Cathy Collier
Cathy has been an active member since the 1980s and part of the staff team since 1993. She was born and raised in Sussex, England, and moved to California several years ago. Cathy is married to husband Mike, has a daughter, Kerrissa and a son, Kieran.
Cathy’s primary role at St. Andrew is to support and grow our small group ministry. She works with the Point Leadership Group and the staff to make sure St. Andrew is doing the best we can to offer opportunities for us all to grow in community. But that’s not all Cathy does for us—she also coordinates our hospitality services, including fellowship events, funerals, and weddings. Whenever we are able to serve a family both in their sorrow (memorial service) or their joy (wedding), Cathy is in the background providing invaluable leadership and support.
When not working on church-related activities, Cathy likes to cook, entertain and expand her culinary skills.
Pastoral Counselor Cindy Yoder-Brown
Cindy is thrilled to join the ministry team as the Pastoral Counselor of St. Andrew.
Jesus has given Cindy a heart to support and serve others who are hurting and striving to resolve spiritual issues or personal struggles.
Cindy is a retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and earned her B.A. in Psychology and Business Administration at the University of Notre Dame and her Master of Social Work from the Jane Addams College at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Before retirement, Cindy’s primary areas of practice were managing and directing Employee Health and Wellness Programs, organizational consulting, and individual and group psychotherapy.
Cindy grew up in northern Indiana and met her husband, Terry, at Notre Dame. After marrying, they moved to Chicago to go to graduate school, work and build a family. Their greatest joy is their sons, Colin and Daniel!
Cindy became a member of St. Andrew when she and her family moved to Sonoma in 1998. Cindy has participated in the choir, coordinated welcoming services for new visitors, and directed evangelism and new membership as an elder on session. In the North Bay, Cindy was a volunteer counselor for the Pregnancy Resource Center in Novato and also was a long-time member and group facilitator of Bible Study Fellowship in Santa Rosa.
Cindy and Terry love to take long walks, exercise, explore new restaurants and travel with their boys. Mostly, they spend their free time in the bleachers at a baseball field, cheering on their favorite players – their sons!
Office Manager Luanne Wellander
Luanne, (also known as the “Queen Bee”) has been our Office Manager since 1994. She is the “go to” person and the main contact for general information, booking weddings and handling facility rental contracts at St. Andrew. Luanne performs administration duties, gives support to each staff member in their different ministries and oversees the well being of the facility.
Luanne and her husband, Ron, a local landscape architect, have been married since 1976 and have lived in Sonoma since 1985. They have three adult children, Ryan (his wife, Wendi), Danae and Jared. Luanne and Ron enjoy cooking together and have enjoyed being a part of a “gourmet group” for 30+ years.