For Pastor Bob Rhodes, serving youth was what called him to ministry. At first resistant, Bob spent his early career years as a software engineer for Kinko’s at the former corporate offices in Ventura, CA. Having been born in a small beachside community in south Florida, Pastor Bob moved to Southern California and eventually to the city of Santa Clarita. Through life experiences including both success and tragedy, Bob struggled with the call to ministry until finding strength and affirmation through church camp experience. Eventually, Bob earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Claremont School of Theology with a focus on Worship, Preaching and the Arts, and was awarded the Fellowship Award for excellence in Worship Arts. While attending CST, Bob served as the Pastoral Intern at La Habra United Methodist Church north of Anaheim.
While retaining membership in the California-Pacific Conference, Pastor Bob was invited to a 1400 member church in Grand Island, Nebraska, where he served for three years as Associate Pastor alongside new colleagues and a new experience in cooperative ministry. There, Pastor Bob worked in partnership with community members to develop a new worship experience designed to welcome non-religious persons that won an award from the local Arts council. Pastor Bob became a public advocate for LGBT concerns in Grand Island, speaking at a number of public and civic gatherings and working for justice and equality in practices of employment, housing, and other protections.
During this time in Nebraska, Pastor Bob was commissioned as a Provisional Elder in the California-Pacific Annual Conference in 2012. Just two years, later, Bob returned home to California and to the Cal-Pac Conference with an appointment to Pacific Beach UMC in 2014. Pastor Bob was Ordained as an Elder and Member in Full Connection of the California-Pacific Annual Conference in June of 2016.
Pastor Bob’s passions in ministry are centered around Pentecost, and he enjoys seeking out relevant languages thorough which to communicate the Gospel message. In addition to spoken word, Pastor Bob employs languages of music – having studied theologies of secular music – and technology – using social media and video platforms. He is also passionate about inclusivity ministries, especially homeless and disadvantaged persons and the LGBTQ community.
Married in the summer of 2000, Pastor Bob and wife, Beth, have two “gregarious” young boys, Cameron and Zachary. In Nebraska, Beth was a case worker involved with helping the homeless find housing and now serves as the Executive Director of Shoreline Community Services. Pastor Bob’s greatest joy is found spending time with Beth, Cameron, and Zachary.