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Benji Magness, Senior Pastor

Benji came to Grace in October 2011 after having pastored churches in Texas. He is married to Heather and they have 6 children. Benji's desire in ministry is to see people bring God glory by finding their joy in Jesus Christ as their Supreme Treasure in this life (Psalm 43:4; Matthew 13:44). He is passionate about the Gospel, prayer, discipleship, and seeing the nations come to worship the Triune God. Benji earned his Masters in Theology (Th.M) in Old Testament & Pastoral Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary. He desires to preach and teach so that the Word of God becomes easy to understand, hard to forget, and impossible to ignore. And he loves Starbucks Coffee.


Greg Burtnett, Associate Pastor

Greg's passion in the ministry is to use the Word of God to live above reproach and help others do the same.  He graduated from the International School of Theology, a daughter organization of Campus Crusade for Christ and received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Talbot Seminary in December 2014.  Greg has a passion for small groups and discipleship ministry.  He and his wife, Donna were married in 1995 and have two boys, Jaron and Nathan.  They recently added to their family with the adoption of their daughter, Eliana, from China. 

James Barr, Youth Minister

James grew up in the family of a youth pastor, spending his Jr. High & High School years in SLO and felt the call to ministry while he was a high school student.  He met his wife, Tiffany while at Biola and graduated from Biola University.  He earned his Masters of Divinity in Christian Education with an emphasis in youth ministry from Talbot Seminary.  James joined the staff at Grace Baptist in September of 1998.  James and his wife Tiffany have two sons, Nathan and Isaac and daughter Kaitlyn.  Nathan & Isaac are currently involved in our youth ministries with Kaitlyn following closely behind.  He thinks he has the coolest job in the world and is a Star Wars freak.


Michelle Winger, Children's Ministry

Michelle moved to Santa Maria at age twelve and attended local schools. She has been involved in children's ministry since a VBS missionary trip to Mexico at age 15.  Michelle joined our staff in August 2000 as Director of Children's Ministries.  She brings a Biola University education, graduating from Bethel Seminary, Magna Cum Laude with a Masters in Children and Family Ministry as well as 31 years of serving here at Grace to her current position.  She and her husband Jim have two "Grace-grown" children.


Chet Harter, Contemporary Music Director

Chet grew up in Southern California, saturated in the "Jesus Movement", at the very time that contemporary Christian Music was born. He graduated from Westmont College with a B.A. in Christian Education, and from Fuller Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. Ordained as a Baptist pastor in 1986, Chet spent 15 years in Youth Ministry, leading music and worship at many camps, retreats and churches including his home church and youth group. Chet, Ann (his wife of 30+ years), their three daughters and his guitar came to Grace Baptist Church in 2000. We all know the rest of the story.


Stefanie Hassett, Office Administrator

Stefanie is a California girl but longs to be a world traveler.  Her Christian roots run deep (her grandfather was the first Southern Baptist preacher in California in the 1930's).  She & her husband of 26 years, Eric, along with their three children joined Grace in 1998.  In 2008 she joined our staff as an Administrative Assistant.  She has a varied background in both secular and Christian work ranging from the Kern County Tax Collector's Office, Lockheed, First United Methodist Church and Righetti High School.  She is active in the local art community, is a Board Member of the Ian M Hassett Foundation and enjoys supporting her oldest son at Special Olympic activities.


James DuBransky, Accountant

Jim came on board in late March 2014 to become the full-time Church Accountant upon Donna Lehman’s retirement. He and his wife for 47-1/2 years, Marianne, have lived in Santa Maria since Sept. 1970, and have seven sons, and 15 grandchildren. He has an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Cal Poly, Pomona; and an MBA from Golden Gate University.   Jim was previously the accountant for Crosspoint Community Church until its closing in 2012. Jim enjoys golfing, and officiating baseball for the local youth organizations.

Michelle Farris, Administrative Assistant

Michelle was born and raised in Southern California. She grew up in a Christian home and married her high school sweetheart who joined the military shortly after they were married. The Air Force has stationed her family in South Carolina, Colorado, North Dakota and here at Vandenberg AFB. She and her husband, Matt and their two girls, Kaitlyn and Kirstyn, have been a part of Grace since January of 2004. She has been involved with the Youth group since June 2007 and has a heart for Jr High and Sr High aged students.

Paula Harter, Children's Assistant Director

Paula has been raised in California but considers the Middle East her second home. She came to Christ at 16 when she fell in love with Jesus. She started loving on children as soon as she was old enough to babysit. At 17 she got her first job working a summer camp for the YMCA. From there, she was a preschool teacher before moving overseas. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education. She spent 18 years in the Middle East with her husband Dan telling others about Jesus.They have 3 children.  She has been Assistant Children's Director since January 2010.

  Gary Barron, Custodian

Gary was born in San Rafael, California  but raised in Texas and New Mexico.  He moved to
Santa Maria as a teenager where he met and married his wife Elaine 48 years ago.  They 
have two children and eight grandchildren.  They spent 31 years in Arizona where Gary
worked as a truck driver before working for College View Baptist Church doing
maintenance/custodial work.  Gary came to know the Lord at the age of 33.  Gary & his
family moved back to Santa Maria in 2001 and joined Grace Baptist Church soon after.  
Gary has been an Elder at Grace and currently serves as a Deacon as well as a Sunday
School Facilitator.  Gary is our 'go-to' guy for any custodial/maintenance work here at Grace.  
He enjoys taking care of God's people and looks forward every day to what His plan is for his
life.  In his spare time he enjoys playing golf.