A southern California native, John has been serving United Methodist Congregations for twenty-five years in a number of capacities; Youth Minister, Education Minister, Minister of Evangelism, and now Senior Pastor. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California (go Trojans!) and Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his spouse Linda have three young adult children (Mark, Elizabeth, Peter). His responsibilities at Westwood include Minister-in-Charge, Worship Coordination and Preaching, Administration and Pastoral Care. When not at church, you might find him working in the garden, trying out new recipes, attending concerts, reading a good book, working a crossword, or sitting at the piano.
Rev. Chris Spearman is the Founding Pastor of The Loft, an emergent Christian Community providing transformative relationships for its participants and good for the world we inhabit together. The Loft’s mission is to pioneer new forms of Christian practice that hold true to our grace-filled history and embrace the changes technology and science have delivered to our modern world. The Loft is a conversational community in that dialogue and diverse encounter act as catalysts for personal discovery.
As the Associate Pastor of Westwood United Methodist Church, Chris leads in efforts to fulfill our organizations mission to do justice, seek kindness, and walk in humility with God. Whether leading advocacy teams to Washington DC for the poor and the immigrant, to organizing food relief efforts in the neighborhood, or mobilizing to help our friends who sleep outside find shelter, Chris is passionate about fueling ministries that humanize and empower us to know one another.
The results: 1) successful turnaround strategies assisting aging urban churches in becoming a multi-ethnic, dynamic, expanding community 2) spiritual innovation charting Christian religious practice congruent with the modern Scientific mind 3) stimulate greater creativity and imagination around art, film, and music to birth beauty in our world.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business specializing in market research while working of the University’s Small Business Development Center. He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary with a Masters in Divinity and an Elder in Full-Connection of the California Pacific Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Chris and his wife, Paige Allocco, are the proud and tired parents of Asher, Caleb, and Eden…and another “bun in the oven”.
Kathy is a native of Burbank and spent most of her adult life navigating both the southern California freeways and the United Airlines skyways. Kathy often tells people she is a “recovering banker” having spent over 30 years working in various banking roles (thus the millions of airline miles) before responding to the gentle (and, frankly, not so gentle) nudging from God to go to seminary. Since Kathy graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary she has ministered to families, children and youth. At Westwood UMC, she is also responsible for the administration of the church. Kathy is excited to have an opportunity to combine two of her spiritual gifts into one job: teaching and administration!”
Andrew is an Ohio native who relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a DMA in Choral Music at the USC Thornton School of Music. Prior to his move to Southern California, Andrew spent seven years as Director of Music Programs for Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio. Much of his time there was spent revitalizing the music program including the development of student and community choirs, bands, and orchestras while teaching courses in music theory, voice, and conducting. While in Defiance, Andrew also served as Director of Music at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Performance Series Director for the Defiance Community Cultural Council, and was an active OMEA adjudicator and area clinician.
Andrew holds undergraduate degrees from Ohio Northern University earning a bachelor of music and a bachelor of science in business administration. He also holds advanced degrees from Bowling Green State University: a master of music and a master of business administration.
Westwood UMC is part of the larger witness of the United Methodist Church. We are a part of the California Pacific Annual Conference which is actively living into the vision of “Inspiring the world as passionate followers of Jesus Christ so all may experience God’s life-giving love.”
Resident Bishop: Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
District Superintendent: The Reverend Dr. Mark Nakagawa