Trace Martinez

Trace Martinez and his wife, Kristy, have been married since 1997 and have two children, Adrian and Kiki. Trace proudly served as a U.S. Marine for 20 years and retired in 2016, and Kristy is a veteran Marine of 4 years. Before planting with Pillar Church, Trace has been involved in ministry in a number of churches all over the country, including various worship settings, youth pastor, men’s ministry leader, and as an elder and rotating teaching pastor at Generation Church North Oceanside. Trace holds a B.A. in Music from Thomas Edison State University and an M.A. in Music Education from Boston University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at Gateway Seminary.


Michael Young

Michael Young and his wife, Audrey, have been married since 2001 and have two children, Gabriel and Hannah. Michael proudly served in the U.S. Air Force 9 nine years. During his time in the Air Force, Michael graduated from Bible College in Los Angeles. After separating from the USAF, he was licensed and ordained and entered full time ministry serving as associate Pastor and Worship Leader. Michael holds a B.A. in International Business from Southern New Hampshire University and an MBA from Syracuse University.


Daniel Carter

Daniel and his wife, Rachelle, have been married since 2017. Daniel proudly served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 2011 to 2016. During his time in the reserves, Daniel graduated from California State University Fullerton with a bachelors in Criminal Justice and is now pursuing a Master of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Aside from serving as an elder at Pillar Oceanside, Daniel and his wife Rachelle previously served as the local directors for CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) Military ministry at Camp Pendleton. They both passionately served to start movements of the gospel throughout the base by seeking to win the Marine community for Christ, disciple them, and then train them to be sent out to disciple others. Daniel is currently in the process of raising up a team to plant the newest Pillar Church in San Diego in the summer of 2020.

Ministry Leaders

Communications Director, Children and Family Ministries Director

Kristy Martinez

Kristy is originally from Roswell, NM and has been married to her husband, Trace since 1997. They have 2 children, Adrian, a music composition major at UCSD, and Kiana, a history major at UCSB. Kristy is a veteran Marine and has BA in Early Childhood Education Administration.

Kristy oversees the Children and Family Ministries, serves as Pillar Church's Communications Director, and she also heads up our KidsGames outreach each year. Kristy loves Pillar Church and the culture of quick, but meaningful, lasting, and effective connection. She says, "Given the transient nature of our congregation, we may only have people for a season. It's so important to get them plugged in, love them as hard as we can for however long we have them, and prepare them for their next mission in the Kingdom, all while pointing them constantly back to the Cross." Kristy's go-to scripture is Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Worship Leader

Audrey Young

Audrey Lee Young was born in New Orleans, LA, raised in Atlanta, Ga, but considers herself a Californian. She and her husband Michael moved to San Diego county in 2002 after meeting in the United States Air Force and have lived there ever since. They have two teenage children.
 Audrey graduated from ministry school in the early 2000's and went on to earn an Associates Degree in Music Performance with and emphasis in voice.
Audrey began serving as a worship leader in 2012 and has been the worship leader at Pillar Oceanside since 2016. 

Church Logistics Ministry Leader

John Martin

John is originally from New Haven, CT and served as a United States Marine for 22 years. He and his wife, Jacque married in 2003 and together they have 4 adult children, Vincent, Dante, Sean and Heidi, and one grandson, Jackson. John has been a Sr. Mortgage Banker for RWM Home Loans for the past 15 years. John is a leader of Church Logistics, which includes the church trailer, setup team, and audio visual teams. He says, "I really enjoy serving others by being a part of a welcoming environment and helping to make sure others are being able to connect in every aspect of our service."

John is an avid golfer and enjoys traveling and spending quality time with friends and family.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Guest Services Ministry Leader

Jacque Martin

Jacque Martin is a native Californian, born in Redding and and grew up in Huntington Beach. She has been married to her husband, John, since Feb 2003. They have a blended family of 4 children: Sean, who is married to Alicia (both school teachers) with grandson Jackson, Heidi, who lives in Carlsbad and is an instructional aide for Special Ed classes, Vincent who is married to Priscilla (both active duty Marines), and Dante who lives in New Jersey with his mom. Jacque has a degree in marketing, and is a sale executive for Brown and Bigelow selling promotional products.

Jacque started Pillar's amazing Hospitality Team with John (they are 1 of the 2 original founding families of Pillar Oceanside), and she is currently the leader of the Guest Services area which includes, Hospitality, and Welcome Team, as well as several other auxiliary teams. She says, "I have loved seeing Pillar Church grow. Doing hospitality has provided me the opportunity to speak with and get to know people. (Almost everyone stops at the table to get something!) It is exciting to see how the team has grown and how others that have the passion like mine have come together."
Currently, Jacque's favorite Bible verse is Galations 6:9 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Church Logistics Ministry Leader

Brian Johnson

Brian is originally from Kansas City, MO, but has been a California native for decades. He is married to his lovely wife, Arlene, and has 5 children, Derik, Cherisse, Talal, Brandy, and Mika. Brian is the lead custodian at Del Rio Elementary and has been with the school for over 30 years. Brian is a true picture of servant leadership, and some of the things he loves about serving at Pillar and specifically in his ministry is "the preparation for service, making sure everyone has what they need so they can serve, and I love interacting with all the guests and members."

Brian's favorite Bible verse is Psalm 27: 2-4,

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

Women's Ministry Leader, Fight Club Coach

Carmen Aponte

Carmen was born and raised in New York. She considers herself a "New York Rican" since her family is from Puerto Rico. She has raised five children, all grown now, and has 14 grandchildren. Carmen moved to California in 2018 for the purpose of being available to her Marine son and his friends. She also works on Camp Pendleton at the Lincoln Military Housing office and works directly with military families.

Carmen presently serves in the Children's ministry, hospitality team and leads the Ladies' Ministry and is a Fight Club coach. Carmen especially loves the Children and Youth ministries and believes it is vital to the life of the church. Her prayer is that God will make Himself real to them through His Word and Spirit before they reach adulthood.

Carmen says, "It is a privilege to serve people as unto the Lord and see God change hearts". She strives to glorify the Father and to be a living epistle that others may see as it states in 2 Corinthians 2:3 "You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men."

Sound Team Leader

Dave Courson

Dave Courson is a native California having grown up in San Juan Capistrano, California.  He has been has been married to his wife, Meagan, since 1996, and they live with their daughter Grace and three dogs Zeus, Coco and Chelsey.  Some favorite hobbies include teaching snow skiing & snow boarding in years past, wood work building his own furniture, aquaponics, playing guitar, camping and relaxing on the beach.  

He has been involved with Camp Pendleton from an early age, with friends that lived on base to riding his bike through Camp Pendleton on a weekly workout. Dave has a desire to serve those who have served and protected our country. He stands ready and willing to help out, pitch in or simply listen.  Currently Dave leads the sound ministry, helps where he can and is interested to expand his involvement. His favorite scripture is:

Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a]neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Seedlings & Saplings Children's Ministry Leader

Meagan Courson

Meagan is a proud California native. She has been married to her husband, David since 1996. Together they have one daughter, Grace, who is 19. She works as a caregiver for Home Instead Senior Care.

Meagan is the leader of the Seedlings (Birth- 2yrs old) and Saplings 3-5yr old) ministries. She says, "I love my church family here at Pillar Oceanside, and I love serving in the Children’s Ministry. I enjoy seeing the children grow and want to be a part in teaching them how much God loves them and how they can love God and others."

Meagan has several favorite Bible verses, but one she especially holds dear is "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2: 8-9

Men's Group Leader, Fight Club Coach

Brent Jurmu

Brent is an active duty Marine from Carney, MI. He is married to Melissa, and they have 2 children, Chloe and Josiah. Brent serves as an Infantry Officer and has a BA in Arabic Islam, and a MA in Government.

Brent is one of Pillar's Fight Club Coaches and serves as a co-leader for the Men's Ministry. What he loves about serving at Pillar Church is the growth (maturity & sanctification) that happens within these ministries. There is accountability that is demonstrated practically, a responsibility that is defined intentionally, and opportunity that abounds graciously. He says, "what is also special about Fight Clubs and Men's Ministry is that it weaves together all of the 5 Biblical Principles of this church (Evangelism, Discipleship, Personal Growth, Leadership Development, and Community) practically."

Brent says that discipling and being discipled are extremely important elements of his life right now, and he is also working hard to rival Pillar's top tri-tip chefs. His current favorite scripture is Jeremiah 9:23, "Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches."

Hospitality Team Leader

Melissa Jurmu

Melissa is a native of Brooklyn, NY and is a retired NYPD Officer. She has an Associates Degree as a Medical Assistant with Studies in Forensic Psychology. She is a proud Marine wife to her husband, Brent and they have two children, Chloe and Josiah. One of Melissa's passions is what she calls a "whole-listic" (holistic) lifestyle--diet, physical, mental, relational, and spiritual health.

She is the leader of Pillar's Hospitality Team which serves a full breakfast every Sunday and also supports any other church event that involves food. She says, " I love to serve in the hospitality ministry. I don't consider myself a cook, but breakfast is easy enough! It's a great opportunity to meet new people, connect with members and serve the Pillar Oceanside Community."

Melissa's favorite passage in the Bible is the Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed, found in Matthew 13:4-23.

Welcome Team Leader

Lauren Welch

Lauren was born in Kingwood, TX and has been married to her husband, Josh, for 11 years. Josh is an active duty Marine, and as a result of military moves, their family has been a part of 3 Pillar Church campuses, Pillar Dumfries (2010-2011), Pillar Jacksonville (2014-2016), and Pillar Oceanside! They have 3 children, Christin, Tieryn, and Coltin. Lauren is a Development Manager at Urban Corps of San Diego County, and has a B.S. In Sports, Event and Entertainment Management and Masters in Human Services Counseling.

As the ministry lead for the Welcome Team Lauren shares, “I LOVE the welcoming team and what it means to the church. The Welcome Team could bring people into the Pillar Family and show them what it means to be a church family, or could help in someone not returning. It is such a crucial area of ministry to the lives of those in the church, and I am proud to be a part of it.” Her favorite Bible verse is James 1:19-20, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

Aftershock Youth Ministry Leader

Josh Welch

Josh is a Supply Officer with almost 18 years of service in the Marine Corps. He is originally from Flemington, MO and is married to Lauren. Together they have 3 children, Christin, Tieryn, and Coltin. Josh has a BS in Business Admin with an emphasis in Finance from University of Colorado at Denver, and will graduate in December with a M.Ed. in General Education.

Josh is the Youth Leader for Pillar's Aftershock Youth Ministry, and says about serving at Pillar, "There is always a need and I feel like I always grow and take more away from the experience than I can possibly give." His favorite Bible verse is Psalm 127:3-5 "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children[a] of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."

Audio/Visual Team Leader

Phil Sheffield

Phillip Sheffield is married to his wonderful wife, Megan and together they have a daughter, Evelyn Grace and are currently expecting another baby. Phil is the San Diego Field Service Supervisor for Hawthorne Machinery (the local Caterpillar dealership). Phil serves as Pillar Church's Audio/Visual Team Leader. Phil says, "I love serving at Pillar because it truly is a family, it is the most bible centered church my wife and I have been to. The first day we arrived one of the Elders was the first person to introduce himself to us on our walk in and instantly we knew this was a great church."

Phil's favorite bible verse is Romans 8:31-33 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.”

Set-up Team Leader

Micah Panjada

Micah is an active duty Marine serving as a Combat Engineer aboard Camp Pendleton. He is from Moberly, MO, and plans to wed his fiancee, Samantha, later this year. Micah is the leader of the Set-Up Team, an essential ministry in the life of Pillar Church, as we set up and tear down for service each week. Micah says, "I love working for the Lord and serving His people".

Proverbs 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron,
    and one man sharpens another."

Trailer Team Leader

Zachary Miller

Zachary is from Ridge, NY and is an active duty Marine. He is currently working towards an Associates Degree and will married to his fiancee, Megan, in September. He loves being part of Pillar Church because of its small church/family environment.

Zachary is the leader of the Trailer Team, which, just as the name suggests, serves to move our "church in a box" to and from Del Rio Elementary each Sunday. As a Motor T Marine he says, "I think it's awesome that my military job relates to my ministry." Zachary's favorite scripture is Galatians 6:8-9, "For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."