The Staff

Wendy S. Tajima

Executive Presbyter Email

Rev. Wendy S. Tajima is a native of Pasadena, and was raised in San Gabriel Presbytery. Her grandfather was an immigrant Japanese pastor and her uncle, Rev. Donald Toriumi, served for…

BIO

…31 years as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Altadena. Wendy has always believed that growing up in Pasadena’s strong and diverse community has been a great blessing in her life. After graduating from Stanford University, Wendy worked in a social service agency working with battered women and their children. She earned an MBA from UCLA (Anderson) Graduate School of Management, and worked for Apple Computer in multiple management positions for 8 years.

Wendy was a manager in the Evangelism Department at Apple Computer when she started seminary, first at Fuller Seminary’s Bay Area extension campus, then San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS). She was ordained in 1997 and served ecumenically in Hawai‘i for 10 years. She came back to California and served as Associate Dean of Enrollment at SFTS, then as Stated Clerk and Associate General Presbyter for Presbytery of the Pacific. She has been Executive Presbyter for San Gabriel Presbytery since April 2014, offering support to 39 Presbyterian churches from Eagle Rock to Claremont and Pomona.

Wendy Gist

Mission Advocate for Hunger, Poverty and Peacemaking Email

As Mission Advocate, Wendy works to be a resource to congregations on mission ministries, projects, and events.

BIO

Wendy has served as the Mission Advocate for Hunger, Poverty, and Peacemaking Issues for the Presbytery since December 2005.  This is a part-time role that she has happily taken on for our Presbytery and the Presbytery of San Fernando. She’s happy to participate in worship, lead adult education classes, speak with committees, or attend other church and Presbytery events.

Prior to this, Wendy and her husband David served as PC(USA) mission workers in Nicaragua from 1994-2000.  Wendy and David are the proud parents of Nicolás (Nico) and Tasha, both of whom were born in Nicaragua while they served there.  Between parenting; working for justice and peace in her home, community, nation, and world; and church responsibilities her days are pretty full.

Diane M. Frasher

Stated Clerk Email

Diane Frasher was born in Mineola, New York and spent her younger years moving between Long Island and Florida. She also grew up moving between the Roman Catholic…

BIO

…denomination and Protestantism as her parents exposed her to both traditions. As an adult she discovered and chose the PCUSA, which she felt was a good fit for her as it promoted use of both head and heart in worship and spiritual growth. She moved to California where her spiritual growth continued.

Diane was ordained as a Ruling Elder and became a Clerk of Session within the PCUSA. She participated in music and educational ministries and leadership training at her congregation. She was employed at two different Presbyterian congregations for a total of six years as an Administrative Assistant. She acquired her Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees, as well as began her Master of Divinity during those years, while raising three daughters as a single parent. She participated in presbytery life in Riverside Presbytery as a member, and chair, of the Mission & Stewardship Committee for six year as well as a member of the Education, Leadership Development Team for three years, and the Committee on Preparation for Ministry for two years. She was ordained as a Teaching Elder in 2009 and moved into Transitional Ministry between 2009 and 2013. She became Part-Time Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Riverside in spring of 2013. She continued that work while battling cancer. After a successful battle with cancer, she was called as Part-Time Stated Clerk for the Presbytery of San Gabriel in spring of 2015. The Stated Clerk call to Riverside Presbytery was completed on August 31, 2017 as that presbytery transitioned to an Executive/Stated Clerk model. She is delighted to continue her call as Stated Clerk to San Gabriel Presbytery at this time.

Diane is single again and has three adult children and four grandchildren, all of whom she loves deeply. Being a “Ga-Ga” means a great deal to her at this point in her life and she revels in it.

Jake Kim

Associate for Ministry Development Email

Jake is honored to serve as San Gabriel Presbytery’s Associate for Ministry Development. He staffs the Vision and Strategy Team and the Education Committee.

BIO

The Vision and Strategy Team develops new worshipping communities and seeks to revitalize our existing churches.The Education Committee provides educational programs to enrich and educate the presbytery through our annual Winterfest half-day conference, presentation of General Assembly amendments, and support the Tapestry Youth Ministry Collective of San Gabriel Presbytery.

Before returning to Southern California, Jake worked as the Director of Alumni Relations at Princeton Theological Seminary. Working in alumni relations gave him a broader understanding and compassion for pastors and seminary graduates.

As the founding director of Alpha Northern California, he worked as a regional evangelism catalyst and trainer, helping churches start the Alpha Course and position their course as outreach and leadership development courses.

He has served in various pastoral positions in Rockford, IL, Corpus Christi, TX, Cleveland, OH, and San Francisco, CA, and Upland, CA. Jake is presently pastoring Northminster Presbyterian Church of Diamond Bar.

His passion is for empowering people to enjoy and worship Jesus, and to grow as his disciples.

Jake is married to Yuni. They live in Claremont, CA, with their two boys, Ari (Hebrew for Lion) and Avi (Hebrew for Abraham). He is a graduate of Artesia High School in Lakewood, CA, Pomona College, and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Twila French

Associate Stated Clerk/Administrator Email

Twila became a member of the presbytery staff in July of 2001 when she was hired as Secretary and is now our Associate Stated Clerk and Administrator. She has a wide variety of responsibilities.

BIO

Twila is a member and Elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ontario where she is a long-time member of the choir and plays bass guitar. Twila has been married to Steve since 1978 and they have two grown children; a daughter, Vicki who is a registered nurse working in the ER at Kiser Hospital in Riverside, and a son, Rick who is a representative for Hayward Pool Products in Pomona.

Lauren Evans

Chaplain for Retired Presbyterian Church Workers Email

Lauren feels drawn to be a companion along the journey for our retired church workers. Retirement benefits from having a chaplain.

BIO

Our retired church workers bring to our presbytery a wealth of experience and and a life-long call to follow Christ. As honorably retired, they offer us wisdom and work that enrich our community. Lauren says, “I direct their talents to the corresponding ministry, bringing the two together.”

Based upon the model of a college or military chaplain, the Retired Presbyterian Church Worker Chaplain supports the well-being of our senior servants. She listens to their stories, weaving them into the greater narrative of the Church. As Doug Edwards who is on the advisory team for the new position points out, “the most important factors in our well-being in retirement are community, purpose and health.”

Lauren’s pastoral care includes visitations, helping them connect with one another, grief support and interpreting Board of Pensions material.

This is a pilot program funded by a grant from the House of Rest.