STAFF

See below for a list of Presbytery staff members and descriptions of their positions.

Rev. Dr. Les Hyder, Stated Clerk/E.P.

Rev. Dr. Les Hyder is the Stated Clerk/Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of San Joaquin. In this capacity he is the primary administrative official for the Presbytery providing support to over twenty congregations, new worshiping communities and fellowships stretching from Bakersfield to Madera in the Central Valley of California. Rev. Hyder has been a Presbyterian pastor for 38 years serving congregations in Washington and California. His last pastorate was as senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Fresno for sixteen years, and currently the pastor emeritus. In addition to his civilian ministry Chaplain, Colonel Les Hyder had a parallel reserve ministry as an Air Force Chaplain. His last assignment was as the Director of the Air National Guard Chaplain Service in Washington D.C. where he was responsible for the recruiting, training and deployment of 600 Chaplains & Chaplain Assistants across the nation. Rev. Hyder also has certification in Church Conflict Resolution & Family Mediation through Fresno Pacific University. Les is married to Patricia Cook Hyder and they have two children and five grandchildren.

executive@sjpresbytery.org | Cell: (559) 304-2106

Rev. Amanda Nevin, Assistant Stated Clerk

Rev. Nevin assists the Stated Clerk in taking minutes at Presbytery meetings, reviewing church session minutes, and handles statistical reports with the Office of the General Assembly. She is also the staff liaison for the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and the Stewardship Committee. Rev. Nevin grew up in Fresno, went to college at Whitworth University and graduate school at Austin Seminary. She has served churches in Illinois and northern California.

astclerk@sjpresbytery.org | Cell: (415) 827-8076

Shirley Batchman, Administrative Assistant

The Administrative Assistant serves as the office manager in Visalia relating to our committees and congregations along with providing administrative support for our staff.  Shirley is the first point of contact who can answer your questions and direct you to the resources to meet your needs.

office@sjpresbytery.org | Office: (559) 739-0168

Karen Anderson, Bookkeeper

The Bookkeeper is the primary financial official of the Presbytery working with our Finance Commission to provide efficient & transparent accounting.  She also tracks per capita, mission giving, grants and loans for the Presbytery.

financial@sjpresbytery.org | Office: (559) 739-0168

Sonya Knutsen, South Valley Liaison & Disaster Response Coordinator

Elder Sonya Knutsen is the South Valley Staff Liaison and the Disaster Response Coordinator for the Presbytery of San Joaquin. In this role she will provide staff assistance to our congregations in the southern portions of the presbytery, such as reviewing Session minutes and helping Pastor Nominating Committees Elder Knutsen will also develop and train our Presbytery Disaster Response Team. Sonya Knutsen resides in Bakersfield, CA and is a member of our Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bakersfield.

sknutsen@sjpresbytery.org | cell: (661) 865-3033

Rev. Simon Biasell, Innovation Program Coordinator

Rev. Simon Biasell is the Innovation Program Coordinator for the Presbytery of San Joaquin. In this capacity he will develop and launch our presbytery Innovation Program that will encourage our churches to renew their congregations.  He will also work with the Identity Committee to manage the Lily Initiative to encourage Adaptive Change in our congregations.  Rev. Biasell is also the pastor of the Woven Community, a New Worshiping Community in Fresno.  He is a third generation Presbytery of San Joaquin pastor and is a recent graduate of the Biblical Seminary at Fresno Pacific University.  

sbiasell@sjpresbytery.org | cell: (559) 917-8482

Natasha Biasell, Communications Director

The Communications Director advises the Presbytery on public relations, social media and communication options.  She maintains the Presbytery website and Facebook page to enhance our communication. Natasha is also available to advise our congregations & mission partners. 

natasha@ivypublicrelations.com | cell: (559) 917-4476

Rev. Roger Peterson, Church Planting and Renewal Consultant

Rev. Roger Peterson is our New Church Development and Church Renewal consultant. Roger comes to us with over twenty years of experience in church planting and church growth ministry.  He has served for decades in the Central Valley and understands how to reach our diverse communities in the name of Jesus Christ.  Rev. Peterson serves as a staff liaison for our New Worshiping Community Committee as we plant new congregations, but is also available to consult with local churches on ways to grow your congregation.

churchplantingroger@gmail.com

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