I was born in Inchon, South Korea and moved to the United States when I was four years old. We first lived in Pennsylvania where my father, a Presbyterian pastor, work at the First Korean Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. We lived all over the United States as my father planted churches for the old United Presbyterian Church and later for the PC (USA) after the reunion in 1983. My extended family live both in California and New York City, and I spent a great deal of time in both places during my childhood.
I like to joke that I was preordained to be a pastor as both my father and mother were pastors. My mother received her ordination after my father passed away. She ran a prayer retreat center and after retiring, she married another Presbyterian pastor. They currently live in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle.
Growing up people kept asking me if I was going into the ministry, and my response was an emphatic “No.” I ran away to the military and I must say that my time in the Army was formative and challenging. I love serving in the Army and it taught me a great deal about the world and myself. Even though I enjoyed my career in the Army, I felt a longing to do something else. After spending wonderful and challenging years in the military, which took me all over the world, I finally responded to God’s call to ministry. I prayed and talked to many of my friends, family and mentors and came to clarity that I needed to go into the ministry.
After looking at many different seminaries, including many of our denominational ones, God led me to Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. I met my wife Anne while studying there, and we married during out time together at Fuller. We have two wonderful children, Christian, who is fifteen, and Scarlett, who is eight. Anne is currently a hospital chaplain, who has a love for helping people that amazes me, especially as she has cared for both care givers and those suffering during the pandemic.
I served several churches as pastor before coming to Encino Presbyterian Church, including Brunswick Church, Troy, NY, First Presbyterian Church, Downers Grove, IL, Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church, Alexandria, VA, and Christ Presbyterian Church, Chesterland, OH.
I enjoy reading, traveling, cycling, photography, anything to do with food with friends and those soon to be friends, and spending time with my family.
Holding a Master’s degree in voice from the California Institute of the Arts, Jim Raycroft has performed all over North America and in Europe. He is a current 38-year member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and sang with the Los Angeles Opera for 12 years. He is also busy in the studios and has appeared in the soundtracks for numerous movies, including Home Alone, Hook, Jurassic Park, A.I., Mars Attacks, Waterworld, XXX, Lady In The Water, Godzilla, Willow, and Star Wars 9 – The Rise of Skywalker, and appeared as a singing pirate in the opening scene of Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End. He has appeared on the Grammys, and in numerous TV shows, including the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and has sung for the President of the United States and the Queen of England. He founded and sings with the vocal jazz group Pacific Swingline and the barbershop quartet The Nickelodeon. He founded The Singers Elite Vocal Big Band, sang for 5 years with Disneyland’s barbershop quartet, The Dapper Dans, spent Christmas of 1983 with Disneyland’s Dickens Carolers, and has recorded with the Roger Wagner Chorale.
He is a published arranger and orchestrator and is the choral director for the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and has prepared choruses for the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra. His singer referral service, Singers Elite, has provided vocal entertainment of all kinds to Southern California audiences for more than 30 years, and in 2002, he founded and produces the annual “Choral Taste of Los Angeles,” a reading session of choral music by L.A. area composers.
Although Paul Pitman is primarily known for his piano virtuosity, he has held a position as church organist since the age of eighteen. He started piano lessons at age twelve, and, two years later, began playing for his family church in Oklahoma, where he was born and raised. He was principal organist for his Army base while stationed in Germany. He earned his Master's Degree and Doctorate in Music from USC. Besides his busy schedule of teaching and providing master classes, he manages to frequently perform at chamber music concerts and to give an occasional solo piano and organ recital in and around the Greater Los Angeles area.
I began working at the First Presbyterian Church of Encino Children's Center in 1981 as a gymnastics teacher while still attending high school. I continued on as an afterschool program teacher, a preschool teacher, the afterschool program director, helped open our infant/toddler program ( which operated from 1989-2004) all while completing my B.A. in Psychology and my B.A. in Child Development from California State University, Northridge. We then added a Kindergarten Program that I implemented, developed curriculum for and taught in for eleven years before taking on my newest exciting and challenging endeavor of the director of the entire Children's Center with the help of a fabulous Assistant Director, Anie Kederian. My husband, Paul, and I have two busy boys. In my free time I enjoy my children and their activities as well as reading, watching movies, baking and dining out.
Anie has been a Preschool teacher at Encino Presbyterian Children's Center since 2000. Anie has been the Assistant Director since August of 2007.