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About our pastor

A Message of Hope.

Out of personal experience, the Reverend Tamara John has developed a passion for sharing the hope that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Through many challenging times and trials in her own life, Pastor Tamara has learned the truth of God's blessings in His redeeming grace.  She uses these learned truths to create meaningful relationships with those around her, and to spread the love and peace that surpasses all understanding - hope in Jesus... healing in Jesus...New Life in Jesus Christ.

Pastor Tamara received her Master of Divinity Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, and for her first call followed God's leading to start a ministry that had not been done before-an RV Ministry.  She became the ordained founder and director of Hope for Life Chapel; a unique RV Ministry in Huntington Beach where she lived and served for eight years.  

She is thrilled that God has blessed her with a next call that encompasses everything that is dear to her heart. The RV Ministry is now an added outreach of Christ Presbyterian Church Lakewood in which a team of RVers within the church and others will deploy into RV Parks and campgrounds to serve.  This mission is listed among several fruitful ministries of Christ Presbyterian Church all in the Name and Love of Jesus Christ.

As Senior Pastor/Head of Staff, Tamara feels God has placed her where all of her life experiences are being utilized. She is passionate about helping others to discover who God is, why God created them and for what purpose. She  then perpetuates this cycle by encouraging them to do the same for others.  She is thrilled for the opportunity to convey this mission through preaching God's word from the pulpit, through a deeper teaching of God's word in Bible Study, and through pastoral care walking alongside as a Shepherd prayerfully encouraging each person to walk closer to the Great Shepherd, Jesus, who is the Source of all human need.

Sandra L. Erney, Administrative Assistant

  I have been a member of Grace First Presbyterian Church in Long Beach for over 40 years, where I served as an ordained Deacon and Elder, serving as Clerk of Session. During the 1980’s I also worked there as Church Secretary and Business Manager. During the 1990’s I worked at the Los Ranchos Presbytery in Anaheim, CA, as the Administrative Assistant for Mission and Stewardship. 

Also, during the 90’s, I became a member of APA (Administrative Personnel Association in the PCUSA). For over 5 years I served as the Regional and National Certification Chair. I have been certified in all three levels offered by the APA.

And now, it’s hard to believe that I have been the Secretary/Administrative Assistant at Christ Presbyterian Church in Lakewood, since 2007 – almost 12 ½ years. This may not be my home church, but I love everything about it – the warm and generous people, and their faith and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, I am looking forward to working with and for our new pastor the Rev. Tamara John, with her joy and enthusiasm for the Lord and his ministry through CPC; so excited to see where the Lord is leading me as well as Christ Presbyterian Church.


Meet Our elders

 As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they “lord it over” the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with teaching elders, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships. When elected by the congregation, they shall serve faithfully as members of the session. When elected as commissioners to higher councils, ruling elders participate and vote with the same authority as teaching elders, and they are eligible for any office.

 PC(USA) 2011-2013 book of order G-2.03 

Elder Kirk Real, Stated Clerk of Session


  Welcome to CPC!  I'm Kirk Real and have served as your Clerk of Session for some 50 years.  Additionally, I am the only active member from the group of some 218 individuals who were received into the church as charter members when the church was organized on June 30, 1957.

Through the years one of my primary areas of interest in the church has been in the music program and -- other than period of my military service in 1958-1959 -- I have served as pianist and/or organist since the church first met in the Oliver Wendell Holmes School on May 19, 1957.

This is a friendly church with a praying, welcoming congregation.  If you don't have a church home, we invite you to join us as we worship and fellowship together.

Elder Nancy McCambridge


 I was born in Los Angeles, California and moved with my mother and father into a brand new house in Lakewood in September 1950.  I still live in that same house.

Graduated from Bellflower High School in 1960, married, raised four children and today am proud to be grandmother (Gma) of 15 and great grandmother (Gigi) of 9.

I worked in the trucking (moving and storage) industry for over 40 plus years ending as an Accounting Manager and Secretary of the Corporation in April of 2015. I was also a Notary Public for most of that time, mainly doing notarizations for the corporation.

My hobbies include playing the piano, tole painting, sewing, embroidery, crocheting, reading, crossword puzzles, and painting with stickers.  I also enjoy attending and watching two of my grandsons play baseball.  One a pitcher and one a catcher.  Unfortunately since they are attending college in two different states it seems that lots of travel will be involved (unless the games are shown on-line).

I love singing in our choir, as well as, the fellowship of the choir members and getting to sing praises to our God with other church choir members.  Being a member of the Women’s Association brings another way to be a blessing to others through outreach.

My service at CPC has been 6 years as a Deacon and 11 years as an Elder.  Completing the 12th year in December, 2020.  I look forward to continuing service as a member of the teams. 

Elder Judy Hardy


I was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. When I was 9 years old, my family moved to Long Beach. Two weeks after arriving, I contracted polio and spent the following year in hospital recovering and receiving what would now be called rehabilitation.

I graduated from Lakewood High School, Long Beach City College and California State College at Long Beach. I worked for the County of Los Angeles full time for 32 years and part-time for five years. When I retired I was the Director of Human Resources at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

I am a widow. My husband and I were in an automobile accident in September 2014 and he did not survive the crash. Currently my 22 year-old step-grandson is living with me along with 2 dogs and 2 cats.

I am active in the Assistance League of Long Beach and, in particular, their Orthodontia Program. The Assistance League has several philanthropies that seek to address the needs of underserved children living in Long Beach. I am also an active member of the Fine Arts Affiliates whose purpose is to raise money for scholarships for students in the Fine Arts programs at CSULB.

My main hobby is reading and I particularly enjoy English murder mysteries which I also enjoy watching on PBS.

I started attending CPC after my husband died, and I am enjoying getting to know people and getting involved in the activities of the church.

Elder Tom Philips


  Tom Philips, originally from Levittown, New York, moved to Cerritos, California in 1970; later, he moved to Norwalk, CA and began learning the trumpet in the 6th grade. With the help of his musical father, Tom continued through high school and later, earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from California State University, Fullerton. He began teaching band and orchestra at Norwalk HS from 1989 and then accepted a position at Nogales HS in La Puente.  In 2000, he was called home to Lakewood (where he lives) to teach at Mayfair High School. Mr. Philips was honored as “Teacher of the Year” in 1992, 1996 and the Bellflower USD “District Teacher of the Year” in 2006. Tom and his wife of 33 years, Kim, loved being part of the music department at all of their churches. At their previous church, Tom conducted the church orchestra while Kim ran the children’s choir. They have two daughters, Alexis (30) who lives in Oakland and Courtney (27), who married her high school sweetheart, John Barrera in 2017. They just bought a house in Omaha, Nebraska. Kim and Tom have been at CPC since 2005.

Elder Kim Philips


Kim Philips is CPCs Elder of Children’s and Youth Ministry.  Kim has recently taken on this position and is excited for the opportunity to help grow CPCs Sunday School and Youth Programs.   She enjoys singing in the choir, participating with the praise team, and helping with the worship service where needed.   Kim and her husband have been attending CPC for about 15 years.  During that time Kim stepped in as the Praise Leader for a time, served as a deacon, is currently serving as an elder and led a Financial Peace University class with her husband.  She loves spending time with her family and friends, and her newest hobby is traveling to visit her children and first grandchild.

Elder Cheryl Riddle


Elder Charlene Van Nostran


I was born in Detroit, Michigan to wonderful, Christian parents, went to school there, worked several different jobs before beginning a 25 year career at Ford Motor Company in 1959. I transferred to Ford Pico Rivera, CA in 1961 as an Administrative Assistant and am now retired.

I have been Presbyterian most of my life and have been an active member of Grace First Presbyterian Church of Long Beach for 28 years and prior to that a member of Christ Presbyterian Church of Lakewood for 10 years and, more recently, 9 years here again at CPC. I have been blessed by service as Deacon, Deacon Moderator, Elder, Bible Study leader, and Vice President of Women’s Association.

I am a member of P.E.O. (a philanthropic education organization) which promotes scholarships and loans for women’s education. Positions I have held are Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Vice President and President.

My hobby is reading, especially mysteries, and bragging about my grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I love this church and my church family, and am grateful for the opportunities to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Meet Our Deacons

The office of deacon is one of sympathy, witness and service after the example of Jesus Christ. It is a ministry of caring; a ministry of love; a ministry of compassion; and a ministry of prayer and community service. Deacons take the initiative to reach out to those who have suffered loss, are in the hospital, lost their jobs, need a word of welcome, are shut-in and minister to any people who need to experience the love of Christ in concrete ways (transportation, food, shelter, clothing and a listening ear). All Christians are to provide these ministries of sympathy and caring. But the Deacons provide an organized way of bringing the love of Jesus Christ to the church and the community in ways for the whole world to see through service to God. We look forward to serving you and our church. This is a ministry of caring, a ministry of love, a ministry of compassion, a ministry prayer and a ministry of community service.

Jan Schum, Deacon Moderator


Hello! It is a joy and privilege to attend and serve here at CPC. I have been a member here for 10 years, recently served 6 years as a Deacon and after a break am currently serving as the Moderator of our CPC Board of Deacons. I also participate in our CPC Prayer Ministry, Hospitality Team and Women’s Association.

John & I grew up in Boulder, Colorado and moved to California after we married in 1980. We moved to Lakewood in 1983 and we have two adult daughters Megan and Hayley and furry pup Jaylee.

I worked as a Clinical Medical Assistant before our girls were born. I enjoy traveling, gardening, doing stitchery and swimming.

Betty Schadee


I'm 74 years old. I graduated from Laguna Beach High School in 1962. My hobbies are sewing baby blankets and all types of blankets. I also love to paint Christmas village houses made out of plaster, my daughter & I try to get together once a week to paint. I have been coming to CPC for 6-7 years and feel that I've grown a lot in my faith by attending CPC. 

Joyce Molinar


 My name is Joyce Molinar and I was raised in Long Beach by two loving parents.  I attended schools in Long Beach and in 1972 I married Ed Molinar.  We spent our first couple years of marriage living in Germany.  Ed was stationed there with the U.S. Army and when we returned to the states we came back to Long Beach and started our family.  We have 3 children:  Jason, Amy and Jonathan; and 2 grand-daughters:  Madison and Hailey.  When my youngest son was in Kindergarten I went back to school and received my A.S. Degree and then became a Licensed Vocational Nurse.  I worked for Harriman Jones/Health Care Partners in Pediatrics until I retired to take care of my grand-daughters.  I enjoy sewing, crafts, water exercise, volunteering at Longfellow Elementary School and traveling.  I was raised in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, but I didn't feel at home and my mother encouraged me to start looking for a new Church.  One day I was driving down Candlewood and I noticed the Marquee.  The next Sunday I attended and as soon as I walked through the gate I knew this was going to be my Church.  I have been a member since 2006 and I have been involved in Women's Association, Bible studies, small groups and VBS.  I was also the Elder of Children and Youth Ministries for 3 years.  This is my first year as Deacon and I am eager to be able to serve all of you here at CPC..... 

Derek Wung


Hello all! My name is Derek Wung, and I am one of the Deacons for Christ Presbyterian Church (CPC) in Lakewood, CA! I've lived in Southern California for a majority of my life from as far south as San Diego to as far north as Santa Barbara. I attended Northminster Presbyterian Church (NPC) in Tucson, AZ, where I discovered my love for volunteering and giving back to the community. I volunteered for numerous different non-profit organizations based in Tucson, and I supported the church for various special events like Easter Sunday, Market on the Move (The 3000 Club), and the annual Halloween Trunk-or-Treat! After being blessed with the gifts God had given to me during my stay in the desert, I moved back to Southern California in 2014 and have attended CPC since then.

I became a member in May 2015 and was nominated to the Board of Deacons just 18 months afterwards. The following year, I joined the sound tech team and have worked behind the soundboard for select Sunday and Memorial Services. I've also lent a helping hand at various events for Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) from time to time. It's amazing the work that God has done over the past several years of my life! I'm looking forward to what the next several years will bring!

Kathy Edwards


I grew up in a Christian household – prayer of thanks at the family dinner table every night, we knew the real/Christian meaning of holidays, went to church when Daddy didn’t have to work, Christian morals and values.

As a newly married young adult, I taught the kindergarten Sunday school, helped at VBS, and taught preschool. I took my kids to Sunday school and youth groups, ran a home day care, was a scout leader for many years, went to church most of the time. As they grew older life got even busier and we kind of got away from going to church, except on Easter and Christmas. “Sunday is the only day I had to relax,” was my reasoning! But there was a BIG hole – an emptiness in my life that I couldn’t identify.

About 10 years ago Carolyn (our second daughter) and her husband decided to stay in the area and wanted a church home – they invited me to come along – moral support and all that! The hole was filled and here I still am!

I have always known that I was cared for/taken care of – nothing really, bad ever happened. Until about April 2015. The God’s presence was really proven! I AM taken care of, prayer really DOES work, and I AM LOVED – I absolutely know it!!! And, I tell others about it!

Norma Brown