Cheri Wright

Communications Director


Annette Phillips

Interim Classic Worship Director

Annette has lived in north San Diego county since 1986, and is a 20-year member of EFCC, serving as pianist, organist, string player, worship leader, and assistant choir director. She began playing piano at four by coming home from church and playing songs she had heard at the services. Later she began playing for church services and choirs around age 11. Annette studied piano performance at Wheaton College and the University of Washington. Her greatest motivation and heart’s desire is to be faithful with the gifts God has given her.

As a teacher and mentor, Annette is passionate about striving for excellence, and always encourages students to use their music for the Lord. This was modeled in her family, as she is the second of four generations of worship leaders.

Annette has four children and 17 grandchildren. When she’s not at the piano, Annette can be found in the garden making compost, tending her avocado grove, or planting carrots with a grandchild.


Nate Keating

Creative Director

Nate was born and raised in San Diego and Jesus found him when he was 15 years old on a camping trip. The Holy Spirit spoke through the words of Jesus in John 6:35 which says, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst."

Nate has an extensive career in both ministry and business. He has a strong passion for the Worship and Creative Arts, but especially songwriting and production and loves seeing others walk and grow in their giftings. As our Creative Arts Director, Nate oversees Worship, Production, Communications, and Media/IT support.

He also loves spending time adventuring with his wife and two boys. When he's not at church, you can find him and his family creating lifelong memories somewhere around the world.


Liz Grenke

Preschool Assistant Director

Liz comes to Emmanuel Faith with a background in child development and early childhood education. Liz has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Cal Poly Pomona, a master's degree in Child Development, including an Early Childhood Social-Emotional Behavior Regulation Intervention Specialist Certificate (EC-SEBRIS) from San Diego State University and a Program Director permit through the Commission of Teacher Credentialing.

Liz has been married to her husband Rian since 2014, and they have two children, Clayton and Elyse. In her spare time, Liz enjoys camping and boating with family, crafting, and laughing with family and friends.   


Tory Kirgiss

Music Director

Tory Kirgiss ( pronounced `ker - jis ) is a Midwestern transplant who was born in Chicago, Illinois, raised in Minnesota, and moved from Indiana to San Diego in 2014. His earliest childhood memories involve music, either from watching his parents performing on their instruments, or listening to their U2 and Eagles records. 

Tory tended to get his hands on any instrument that was within his reach, usually without asking first. Although he deeply regrets quitting piano lessons early on, he filled his time learning guitar and playing percussion in school orchestra bands. In 2009 he graduated from the Atlanta Institute of Music & Media College (AIMM) in Duluth, GA, with a Performance Certification degree in drumming.

Tory began serving at EFCC in 2015 and was brought on to the staff in 2017. His drive to develop musical proficiency for EFCC’s worship services culminates from his desire to give his best to the Lord, who gave His best gift to us: life through Jesus. Outside of EFCC, Tory enjoys collaborating on music projects with friends, trail running with his wife Katie, backpacking in the mountains, and attempting to surf.


Randy Carter

Director of Inside Maintenance

Randy was born in Los Angeles, California. He was called to North County San Diego in 2003 to serve in a ministry where he was Maintenance Director for eight years, and then Food Service Director for seven years.

He has since become a part of the Emmanuel Faith team, joining the staff in 2017. However, his true passion is coaching and leading men to know and walk with Christ.

Randy is happily married to his wife of 26 years, Jennifer. They have two daughters, Jorgie and Tommie, and reside in San Marcos, Calif.


Tom Wade

Technical Director

Since 1996, Tom has served as the Technical Director at EFCC, where he combines his love for music and technology with serving the Lord.

Escondido born and raised, his passion for music and providing behind-the-scenes tech started at a young age.

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Luke Bajenski

Pastor of Outreach Ministries

New Pastor of Outreach Ministries, Luke Bajenski, joined our staff in September of 2020. Luke grew up in Poland, and brings a wealth of ministry experience in global outreach, local outreach and church planting, both in the U.S. and internationally.

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Esteban Tapia

Pastor of Spanish Ministries

Esteban Tapia was born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico. He has been married to his wife, Jemima, since 1997 and has two daughters, Adaly and Aneth.

Esteban joined the EFCC staff in April 2014 as the Pastor of Spanish Ministries.

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Ryan Paulson

Lead Pastor

Ryan Paulson is a passionate Jesus follower, husband and dad. He is honored to serve Jesus as the Lead Pastor at Emmanuel Faith Community Church, and finds great joy and purpose teaching the scriptures. He loves to creatively communicate the timeless truths of scripture in a relevant and culturally engaging way. 

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