Pastoral Team

Rev. Dr. Steven R. Smith

Transitional Pastor

Steve Smith is a native Californian, having spent his formative years in Garden Grove and Laguna Beach.  Following graduation from Lewis and Clark College, Steve earned degrees at both Fuller and Princeton Theological Seminaries – and then returned to Fuller to complete his Doctor of Ministry, with a focus upon helping churches clarify mission and purpose: the discernment of God’s vision for future ministry.

Steve has served churches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana prior to accepting the call to serve St. James Presbyterian Church in Tarzana in 2006.  He and his wife Nancy (who concluded a 35-year college teaching career this past spring) have been delighting in God’s gift of marriage since 1985.  They have one child, their daughter Cory, who is an attorney and is also enjoying married life – in Indianapolis.

Beyond church life, Steve’s passions include High Sierra backpacking and picturesque walks along the beach with Nancy.

Rev. Grace Park

Associate Pastor

The Reverend Grace Park is a native of Southern California and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Political Economics in 1987, with studies abroad in the U.K. and Japan.

After teaching severely emotionally disturbed (SED) high risk youth in Pacoima, she studied at Fuller Theological Seminary and graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 1993, focusing on multicultural studies and pastoral counseling. She is currently pursuing her doctorate of ministry in a joint program with New York Theological Seminary and New Theological Seminary of the West.

Pastor Grace was ordained in the PCUSA in 1996, and has served in different roles in the church as a children’s pastor, youth pastor and associate pastor. She has had the blessing of being able serve in urban missions with focus on the homeless, as well short-term missions in both Mexico and in Central America. She serves on several Boards in the southland, is very active at her children’s schools, and enjoys water sports, yoga, is an avid reader, and is a fond patron of the arts and a devout foodie.

Grace is married to Charlie, a physician, and they have four wonderful kids, Elijah, Hannah, Joshua and Jubilee, as well as three rambunctious dogs.

Rev. John Todd

Former Pastor

Rev. Todd served as pastor of Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church for nearly 20 years, retiring in 2004. He is now Pastor Emeritus.

Rev. Dr. Vahe Simonian

Former Pastor

Rev. Simonian is a former Pastor of Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church and now serves the congregation as Pastor Emeritus.