February of 2000 doesn’t seem like that long ago but I am amazed to think of all that has changed in the world (and our household) since then. That’s when I – a newlywed and recent grad of Denver Seminary – came to California to lead Calvary’s ministry to middle school, high school, and college students. The world now has iPhones, Instagram and Twitter. Kelly and I now have three children: daughter Delaney (’03), son Caden (’06), and daughter Peyton (’08).
Our goals – through it all – have remained the same: to encourage this great generation to follow Christ wholeheartedly. I pray for our students every day, from Ephesians 3:18-19
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
We still meet for Wednesday night youth group. We still take our Mammoth trips in the winter and our Hume Lake trips in the summer. We try to stay active in outreach projects and short-term mission trips. Kids that were once in middle school are now in our college group. Kids that were in high school are now in our young adults Bible study. There remains much to be done but my heart is brimming with hope for the future of the Church.
If you are a student, a parent of a student, or would like to be involved in our ministry please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.
One of my favorite verses in the bible is Psalm 63:3-4:
“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands..”
This verse is such a beautiful reminder of God’s personal nature, His glory, and the fact that He is gracious, loving, and true. His steadfast love is better than life and I am blessed to get to praise His name.
This verse is my inspiration as I plan for and serve you and your children. As we partner together, I pray that they will come to truly know that God’s love is better than life and that they will be launched into lives of dedicated love and service to Him.
God has blessed me with the chance to practice what I preach at home with my incredible husband and kids! My husband Garrett is serving the Lord in academia as a Philosophy Professor at Pepperdine University, where he strives to guide his students toward God’s truth. Our daughter Sage (9) and our sons Curran (6) and Cadiff (2) all attend school here at Calvary and are so blessed to be able to do so. I love that they get to learn about God and His creation at school, at church, and at home!
I am so excited to begin this year at Calvary with renewed vision and purpose! I want to remind you parents of the pivotal nature of this time in your kids’ lives and to thank you for letting me be a part of this important stage in their development. I am so thankful for God promise to us as parents in Psalm 22:6:
“Train your children in the way they should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
I have been blessed to call Calvary Church both my church, my ministry, my job, and my family for the last 10 years. It continues to be an incredible blessing in my life that encourages me, challenges me, and helps me grow into the type of disciple Christ is calling me to be. As I enter my 10th year on the ministry staff team, I desire the fullness of Christ to continue being displayed through me.
I graduated from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and graduated from Fuller Seminary with a Masters Degree in Theology. On October of 2015, I was ordained as a Pastor by the church.
My wife Michelle is a school psychologist and works for Los Angeles Unified School District. She has been attending Calvary Church since she was in high school and accepted Christ as a high school student during summer camp at Hume Lake. We have been married since 2014 and live in Westchester.
A verse that I have been worshipping through this season comes from Psalm 9:
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.”
I feel truly blessed to be a part of the Pacific Palisades community after being named the new Head of School at Calvary Christian. God has created this path for my family and we are going to honor his many blessings. I feel it is God’s desire to stretch me spiritually since I have never worked in a Christian environment before. You might expect me to admit that I am nervous to take on this new role, but, if God opened this door for me, I trust that he will provide for all of my needs. God is good.
God has had his hand on me my entire life. You see, Vince Downy never aspired to be a teacher or an administrator—my dream was to be a professional baseball player. I played baseball at San Diego State University and went on to play some minor league baseball before getting injured. God used my passion for baseball and guided me into the field of education. I had my first experience working with students when I was asked to help coach baseball at my alma mater, Anaheim High School in Orange County. I was hired by Anaheim High School as a teacher in 1986. This was an exciting time for me because I was able to work alongside teachers who had once taught and mentored me. Aside from summer employment during high school and college, I have never gone to “work”—I have simply and enthusiastically gone to school. I am truly blessed to work with young people on a daily basis.
I have been married to my wife, Stacie, for twenty-three years and have three beautiful children together. My oldest daughter just graduated from UCLA this past June, my middle son is going into his third year at UCLA, and my youngest son will be joining me at Calvary Christian for his 8th grade year.
I look forward to delivering the Calvary Christian School mission of being dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence and Christian values preparing students for leadership and service—this mission resonates with me in so many ways.
A scripture that God has shared with me during this transition period in my life is from Ephesians 1:11-12. That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Yes, God is in control.