Our Pastors and Staff

Pastor Chuck Allers

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Chuck lived his early years in New York City and Northern New Jersey, and after stops in Oklahoma and Colorado he moved to San Diego in 1987.  He committed his life to Jesus shortly after moving to California, thereby gaining “true rest,” and upon graduating from the Horizon School of Evangelism in 1990 began serving in a pastoral capacity.  He pastored at Horizon North Clairemont from 1994 to 2013, at which time The Branch was formed.  Currently he serves the body at the Branch in the areas of teaching, organizational development, counseling, and helping others to fulfill their God-given calling.

Chuck and Greta were married in 1994 and enjoy their home and their dogs.  Educationally, Chuck earned his Masters of Divinity in 1994, Doctorate of Ministry in 1999, and Ph.D. in Islamic Studies in 2011.  In 2013 he published a book entitled The Evolution of a Muslim Democrat: The Life of Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim.

Pastor Wayne Kinde

Wayne's first love is to teach the Word. He serves The Branch in many capacities—preaching, teaching, counseling, comforting, mentoring, and discipling. It's his privilege to also equip future pastors and leaders for ministry.

Wayne served for seven years on pastoral staff at Horizon Christian Fellowship, San Diego, California, and was Academic Dean for nationally-accredited Horizon University.

Prior to moving to San Diego, Wayne worked for eight years at Thomas Nelson Publishers in Nashville, Tennessee, holding the position of Sr. VP & Publisher, overseeing the Biblical Reference, Academic & Professional, and Church Curriculum divisions.

Wayne has a B.A. in Bible and a B.A. in Pastoral Studies from the University of Northwestern—St. Paul, and a Masters in Theology from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary.

He has been married to Christa since 1992 and they have five children.

Pastor Richard Cates

Richard manages the financial and business aspects of The Branch Church. He also oversees the Life Transformation Groups, Men's Ministry, has recently started a new ministry, My One Word. He is also a professor at The Branch College. 

Richard received his Master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University, and his Doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has taught at Horizon University, as well as other colleges for over fifteen years.

Richard served in the leadership role at Horizon Christian Fellowship for over 26 years. He retired from the Federal Aviation Administration in June of 2012, after spending 34 years in government service. 

He has lived in California his entire life, with the majority of that time spent in San Diego. He has been married to his best friend Sylvia, since 1988.

Pastor Adam Goodman

Adam loves studying and teaching God’s Word to the youth and seeing the Truth of the Scriptures transform their lives.

Adam was born in Oklahoma, but moved to Ensenada, Mexico at age 10. He spent his formative years in Ensenada before returning to the Midwest at age 17. At age 18, Adam moved to San Diego to attend the Horizon School of Evangelism. Upon graduation from HSE, Adam began serving at Horizon North Clairemont alongside Chuck Allers. He has served with the Youth and has been mentored by Chuck Allers since 2010.

Along with the privelage of pastoring the Youth, Adam also oversees our Outreach and Evangelism team.

Adam is currently working towards a Bachelor in Biblical Studies. Adam and Nicole Goodman were married in September of 2010 and have one beautiful daughter, Ella.

Mari Hoffman

Mari is the accountant on staff at the Branch. She is also involved in Embrace Grace, Women’s Ministry, Missions, and Hearts & Hands.

Mari has been married to Dan since December of 1989. They enjoy sharing their lives together and have been blessed with three sons.

Mari has a B.S. in Accounting from SDSU and received her CPA license in 1995.

Matthew Marzec

Matt loves sharing the truth of Christianity with others. At the Branch, he teaches Evangelism Training classes for the adults and apologetics courses for the youth.

In terms of ministry, Matt oversees Sunday Tabernacle (set-up/tear down) and A Servant’s Hand.

Matt’s passion is for teaching. He teaches a course on Christian Apologetics at the Branch College. He also teaches number of classes for the Rock Church (Rock Life and Pastoral Support Training).

Matt was born and raised in Clairemont, San Diego and loves his city and its sports teams.

Matt graduated from BIOLA University with a degree is Business Marketing. He is currently pursuing his Masters degree in Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology.

Johnny Cena

Johnny’s passion is to study, live, and teach God’s Word (Ez. 7:10). He loves to equip, develop, and encourage the next generation of servant leaders to make a real difference for Christ in various contexts such as church, the market place, and academia. It’s his privilege to serve, oversee, empower, and shepherd what God’s is already doing through the awesome ministries at Branch Church such as young adults, HUGS (Hosts, Ushers, Greeters, and Security), Café, Coffee, CRV, Communion, and Bridging the Gap.

Johnny worked in the banking industry for five years in sales and customer service. As a Relationship Banker, he helped consumer and business customers accomplish financial goals thru competitive products and services tailored to specific needs.

Johnny has a B.A in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University, San Diego Regional Center, and a M.A. in Theological Studies at Bethel Seminary of San Diego. He was born and raised in Imperial Beach, San Diego. He loves just about anything active and hanging out with friends and family.

Tiffany Dixon

Tiffany Dixon works as the Church and Office Administrator. She is an excellent planner and organizer and serves the body using these skills in many areas of the church. Tiffany earned her Associates Degree from Pennsylvania College of Technology in Hospitality Management in 2001. She also completed a yearlong discipleship program in San Diego during 2008.

Lydia Kinde

Lydia Kinde is Children’s Ministry Director, and she loves working and playing with kids. In her spare time, Lydia bakes up tasty treats, plans baby quilts for The Branch’s newest members, and goes Baroque on her two cellos—Fanny and Christopher.

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