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Rev. Dr. George Okusi

Father George was raised in Kenya and was ordained as an Episcopal Deacon in 1990 and as a Priest in 1991. He came to this country in 2001 to the International Theological Seminary in El Monte, California, where he obtained a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in Practical Theology. Since then, he has served in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles in a variety of positions. Most recently, he was Vicar at St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Long Beach. He also served as a Rector at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Compton, as a Supply Priest, Priest in Charge Under Special Circumstances, the Rector and as a Staff Chaplain at UCLA Medical Center – Santa Monica and Westwood.

With more than 26 years in the church and community, he has extensive experience and skills in pastoral care, leading worships/service, counseling, and facilitation of workshops, Bible Studies, and fundraisings and evangelization programs. Within the Diocese, he has served as a member of Inter faith program Group, the Black Ministry Program Group, and the HIV/Aids program Group, and a Diocesan Council member, the clergy representing Deaney 8. Currently he is a member of the Commission of Ministry, the Program Group on Global Partnership and is the Diocesan Chaplain for the Girls Friendly Society. In addition to English, he speaks fluent Kiswahili, Luo and is learning Spanish.

Father George has been married to his wife Christine for 25 years and they have 4 children. Although they are both US Citizens, they have extended family in Kenya and always visit during their summer vacation. Come and meet Fr. George

Jerika Hayes

Music Minister

I have been on the St. John staff since June of 2014, and couldn’t be happier. I am a recent graduate of Vanguard University, getting a Bachelors of Music degree in Jazz Studies. I have been a part of church music since I was 12 when began playing bass for the worship team at my church. Throughout the following years I have continued my church music ministry by leading, playing piano (and sometimes organ) here in Orange County. I also love performing my own original songs at coffee shops and small venues as well as being involved in theatre pit orchestras. Besides music and the Lord, I love film, good food, the ocean, and my husband.

Julie Ward

Child Care Coordinator

Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Julie Ward. Not only do I enjoy playing with the tots each Sunday, I also indulge my other passion each fall. For at least 20 years I have hosted, on behalf of St. John’s, the African Team Ministries display each fall for two weeks running. They send a box of goodies including wooden carvings, musical instruments, soapstone objects, scarves, purses, and precious jewelry for purchase. Prices range from $4 to around $70. All the proceeds go back to East Africa and provide books, uniforms, tuition, school fees, etc. for orphans, also refugee relief and evangelism. Please check out the website africanteamministries.org. You can purchase items directly at any time of the year or make a donation. This year the dates to mark on your calendar are November 9th and 16th. So com on by and buy – maybe get a jump on the Christmas list. Just looking is also encouraged. I look forward to serving you for this worthy cause.