John Melsness

John grew up as an Air Force brat at various places around the country, but the family eventually settled in Washington State, where he graduated from high school in Spokane and attended the University of Washington earning a BA in International Studies.

After college he worked with college students in full time ministry for two years at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, and liked it so much he went on to Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Christian Education.

Since college, John has had short-term mission experience in rural Mississippi, Washington, D.C., Dakar, Senegal, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil. His first ordained call was as Youth Pastor in Red Bank, NJ, followed by five years as Outreach Youth Pastor for a cluster of urban Presbyterian Churches in Trenton, NJ. Since then he has earned a BA in Fine Art from Academy of Art University in San Francisco, worked in painting/ construction, manufacturing supervision, and real estate development for churches and campus ministries adjacent to universities.

During this time he volunteered at First Presbyterian Church at Berkeley, teaching at Men’s Breakfasts, retreats, and Adult Ed classes, and as Parish Associate at Ojai Presbyterian Church, as well as preaching pulpit supply for the Presbytery.

John is married to Monica, and they have a beautiful daughter. Whether working as a full-time pastor or volunteering nights and weekends after his day-job, John has been focused on growing in the Grace, Truth, and Justice of Jesus Christ and sharing them with others. He is delighted and privileged to participate in what God is already doing at St Andrew’s to extend God’s reign in our hearts and in the world around us.


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