Currently Serving Elders

Dave Hohl

David Hohl

Dave has been an elder at Christ Community Church of Milpitas since the late 1980s. He has led a variety of ministries, including deliverance and inner healing teams, a strategic intercession team and after-service prayer. He has taught numerous adult Sunday school classes, and on occasion has preached and spoken at Men’s Retreats. He has also served on the pastor nominating committee and Presbytery Engagement Team. He and his wife, Janet (a deacon at CCCM), lead a Life Group. He works as a software engineer at a medical device startup in Silicon Valley.

Dave would like to see the Holy Spirit poured out on CCCM in a powerful way, bringing those who are already Christians into a deeper relationship with the Lord, and bringing those who are not saved to a place of repentance and willingness to accept Christ’s free gift of salvation.

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Cheryl Chin

Cheryl has been an elder at Christ Community Church of Milpitas for the past 5 years, and an active partner of CCCM since 2004. She has participated in a variety of ministries, including women's ministry, vacation Bible school, and life groups, as well as served on the pastor nominating committee.  Cheryl also had the opportunity to be part of the church staff supporting pastors and ministry leaders.  Currently Cheryl works as a project manager at a tech company in the Bay Area.

Cheryl would like to see the community of Christ followers at CCCM grounded in the word of God, deepen their faith, and by the power of the Holy Spirit be the hands and feet of Jesus to this local community.

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Tom Giovannini

Tom has been an elder at Christ Community Church of Milpitas for the past 3 years, and is starting his second consecutive term as an elder this year.  He is currently serving as the Chair of the Session. Tom started attending CCCM in 1986, and has been an active partner of CCCM since 1988.  He has served as a high-school Bible study leader, as a member of the worship band, and as a deacon for one term. He is currently serving as a member of the leadership team for the men’s ministry at CCCM, as well as a men’s life group leader.  Tom and his wife, Shelley (a former deacon), have two children, Sarah and Rebecca. Tom is a Technical Director in the Architecture group at Rambus, Inc.

Tom’s prayer is that the Holy Spirit will guide and enable CCCM to be exceedingly fruitful in reaching our diverse and growing community for Christ.

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Richard Onstot

A partner since 1983, and elder since 1987, Dick has served as deacon, church treasurer, missions leader, ESL teacher, member of a pastor nominating committee, and currently serving as the Clerk of Session, and a Director for the Friends of Christ Foundation. He and his wife, Mary, have been married for 47 years and reside in San Jose. He is retired from Hewlett-Packard Co. and the U.S. Army.

Dick's vision for CCCM is for everyone to discover their spiritual gifts, invest them for Kingdom purposes, grow into the likeness of Christ - and then, help others do the same. Matthew 28:19. The "all nations" are next door!

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Gail Cain

Gail is serving her third term as elder. She has been active in Bible studies, retreats, and classes as a student, leader, and teacher since high school and Young Life where she heard the gospel stories of Jesus’ intentional pursuit of people: She realized God, whom she had only feared, loved her, knew her name and exactly what she needed for life. His community and Word began to change and challenge her to think and live as His ambassador, to “steward,” to trust and pray instead of fear. In 1969, God drew Gail and her husband, Steve, to Milpitas with a teaching job for Steve. Retired educators, with three sons and ten grandchildren, they remain committed to the community and CCCM with whom they began partnering twenty-five years ago.

As an elder, Gail is responsible to ensure CCCM always teaches biblical truth, intentionally connects all people to God’s grace, mercy, and faithfulness, and connects the congregation to God’s church and beyond in grateful service.

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Jonathan Wong

Jonathan and his wife, Nia, have been partners at CCCM since 2011.  He served as a deacon for 2 years before becoming an elder in 2015.  He also volunteers at Kids’ Club. His various forms of service have been both challenging and rewarding.

Milpitas is exceptional in its cultural diversity, and Jonathan is excited to see that CCCM reflects this diversity in its congregation.  He is especially impressed by the fact that CCCM is not just a church with separate congregations of different cultures, but that it strives to make everyone feel welcome in one common church community.  He believes that the multicultural and multigenerational nature of CCCM is a rare gift that can be used to share the Gospel with the rest of Milpitas and beyond.

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Ron Wetter

Ron Wetter has been attending CCCM since 2003 and became a partner in May 2005. He is married to Lisa, and they have a daughter, Rachel. Ron became a Christian at the age of 12 in the midst of his parents’ divorce as a local church reached out to him via a youth ministry.  “I saw Jesus lived out in others so I committed my life to Him and was baptized followed by attending a Christian high school.”   Ron has served in the past as an usher, volunteer coordinator for service projects, a deacon, & an elder.  He’s currently serving as a life group leader & coach, co-facilitating the Financial Peace University classes, and as a team facilitator for the Kids Club at Randall Elementary school.  Ron’s sincere desire for CCCM is for us to grow in full maturity as Christ followers together in the multi-ethnic reflection of our community. There’s plenty of room in the pews!

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Abbott Smith

Abbott has been a partner of CCCM for 25 years and has served three 6-year terms as an elder since 1994. He is now beginning his 4th 6-year term. Abbott was able to retire early from Hewlett Packard in 2007 and serving the Kingdom of God has been his focus and priority in retirement.

Worship has always been a passion and singing in choir or our special seasonal programs is a continuing love. He has co-chaired 3 capital campaigns including our most recent one. He chaired the pastoral search process and is on the team for our current Transitional Pastor search. He is also on the church finance committee and has been serving on the Friends of Christ Foundation (FOC) for the past 9 years.

He has a passion for discipleship and men’s ministry. He has been co-leading the Men’s Saturday morning group for the past 4 years. He has organized and spoken at the annual men’s retreat. He has taught Sunday school and for the past 9 years co-taught Financial Peace University and provided financial coaching as a part of the church’s financial ministry. The past 3 years he has served in Kid’s Club at Rose Elementary School.

Abbott served 6 years as Vice Chairman on Western Seminary’s Board of Trustees and is currently servicing on the President’s Council. This relationship was instrumental in CCCM’s partnership with Western Seminary from initially hosting their graduation over the past 4 years, to bringing the ReGeneration Conference (past 3 years) to our campus and having Western move their San Jose campus to CCCM 2 years ago. He has also served 5 years on Mount Hermon’s board of Directors, is currently serving on Bluewater Presbytery’s Executive Council as Treasurer. With a love for serving and learning, he has taken (audited) over 27 classes at Western over the past 7 years and is currently in a special 2-year pastor’s cohort program.

His favorite roles are being Emily’s husband (45 years) a father to 2 amazing daughters and…being Grampa Obi (don’t ask) to his 2 year old grandson and 6 month old granddaughter.

Abbott’s prayer for CCCM is to truly be that “Light on a Hill” for our community and across the bay area drawing people into a life changing relationship with our Savior and King, Jesus Christ

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Kathy Merritt

Kathy moved to California in March of 2000, after accepting a job to work at Satellite Dialysis in East San Jose.  Over the years she has continued to work with Satellite Healthcare and is now a Social Work Services Manager. She is also a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).  Shortly after the move to CA she started looking for a place to connect with others, she was a single professional looking for community.  Kathy saw herself as a “holiday Christian” before moving to CA. Attending a Christmas Eve service at CCCM, felt like a natural place to start.  After that service she felt like she had found her community, and there was no looking back. Kathy attended the ALPHA classes and recommitted her life to God.  Then through Cleansing Stream she received healing for things that had happened in her life as a child, and it was through that healing that she has grown in her walk with the Lord. Since coming to CCCM she has served in many ministries, been an usher, a deacon, and part of the women’s ministry leadership team. She continues to be a part of the Cleansing Stream discipleship/leadership team, and is the volunteer prayer coordinator. Kathy also facilitates a young adults women’s life group, and was on the Pastor Nominating Committee.  Through her interactions with the many ministries and people at CCCM she has not only grown in her spiritual walk but also in her professional career.  Seeing God move in her own life and those around her has always encouraged her to serve those God places in her path.  Kathy's prayer for the community of Christ followers at CCCM is to grow in their faith, deepen their relationship with the Lord, and develop the use of their spiritual gifts.

The Role of Elder

Elders are given authority and responsibility, along with pastors, to oversee the spiritual health of the congregation as well as the congregation’s faithfulness to God’s mission. Elders may also be asked to preach and teach. Elders shall be elected by the congregation. (ECO Constitution, section 20.02)

Scriptural Qualifications for Elders (1 Timothy 3:1-7 (NIV))

1 Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.

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