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Our Staff

Wendell and Lynda Vinson

Senior Pastors Wendell and Lynda Vinson

Wendell and Lynda Vinson have been the Senior Pastors of Canyon Hills Assembly of God since May of 1983. During these years, Canyon Hills has grown from a small group of people meeting in Northeast Bakersfield to one of the leading churches in the region.

Relevance and innovation are priorities in the ministries of Canyon Hills. Wendell has led the congregation to move beyond the walls of the church in discovering new and effective ways to respond to the needs of their community with the goal of touching hurting people with the love of Christ.

Wendell's passion is to serve with other pastors in his community to impact the culture of their city. This has resulted in hundreds of pastors and leaders effectively working together on strategies for both evangelism and city transformation.

Over these twenty nine years, Wendell and Lynda have led the Canyon Hills congregation through a major relocation and numerous building programs. The design and development of the 42 acre Canyon Hills Church campus, Florence Gardens Senior Living Community and Frazier Woods Conference Center has been driven by the priority of creating environments that invite and include the unchurched.

Wendell and Lynda serve on numerous local and national boards for Christian ministries serving to engage the faith community in reaching beyond the walls of the church. As well Wendell serves or has served as a member of the board of trustees for Vanguard University Costa Mesa, We Care America Washington DC, Covenant Foundation of California, Convoy of Hope Springfield MO, Covenant Community Services Kern County, Kern Leadership Alliance and Bless Israel Washington DC.

Wendell and his wife Lynda have two adult children, Jenifer and her husband Kris and Jeremy, who serve as an integral part of the ministry team at Canyon Hills.

Steve and Renee VinsonSteven and Renee Vinson

Executive Pastor

Steven serves Canyon Hills as the Executive Pastor. He plays a leading role in helping the church sharpen its focus and pursue the future that God desires by working closely with pastoral staff, team leaders and other church leadership. Renee is often at work serving behind the scenes and is involved in mentoring other women. Steven and Renee have four children, Brooke, Lauren, Grace and Luke.




Joseph and Lisa Rountree

High School and Young Adult Ministries

Joseph and Lisa are the pastors of the High School and Young Adult Ministries. They have a desire to see the youth of our generation rise up and become the young men and women God is calling them to be. They teach the students in their group to dig deep into the Bible to find the answers to all of life's difficult challenges. They have two children, Alanna & Ephraim.





Robin RobinsonRobin Robinson

Middle School Ministries/Connection Ministries

Robin Robinson is the pastor of Ozone Middle School Ministries. Robin has a passion to reach Jr. Highers for Christ and to see them impact their culture as the love of Jesus shines through them. Robin also helps guests on Sunday mornings feel welcome and find a place to get connected at Canyon Hills. Robin and her husband Corby have two adult children of their own, Casey & Haley.




Jeremy and Sarah VinsonJeremy Vinson

Worship Ministries/Wednesday Night Teaching Pastor

Jeremy and Sarah Vinson lead our worship ministries and oversee creating environments where people can come and encounter the presence of the Lord. Jeremy is also the teaching pastor for our Mid-Week service every Wednesday evening at The Summit.


Mary PoehnerMary Poehner

Canyon Hills Bible College

After 23 years of business experience in both the clinical laboratory and pharmaceutical industry, and a Masters degree in Business from CSUB, Mary Poehner decided to enroll in classes at Canyon Hills Bible College. There she completed the required courses to become a credentialed minister and went on to earn her Masters in Divinity from ORU and is now pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry. Mary has gone from being one of the first students at Canyon Hills Bible College to being an instructor and the Academic Dean of the college. Mary is married to Ralph and they are raising their niece, Lauren.

Shannon Grace

Shannon Grace

Early Childhood Ministries

Shannon Grace and her husband Darrell are the Directors of the Early Childhood Team. Because Darrell and Shannon have young children themselves, they can easily relate to the families they serve. They work hard to provide a safe and loving place for parents to leave their precious little ones while they attend church, as well as a place for children to develop in their understanding of the Lord. Darrell and Shannon have three children, Hannah, Joseph and Holly.

Rachel McLeanRachel McLean

Bus Ministry Director

Rachel McLean is the Driven Bus Ministry Director. She has a strong desire to impact families in our community. Rachel leads a team of volunteers who provide a way for children to attend church. She also organized a bi-monthly ministry that takes church right to where the families are in surrounding apartment complexes. Rachel also serves in the Canyon Hills church office as an administrative assistant. Rachel is married to Nick who serves along side her in ministry.

Cynthia Giumarra

Women's Ministries

Cynthia Giumarra serves as the Director of Women's Ministries.  Cynthia practiced law for twenty-two years before deciding to retire in order to pursue opportunities in ministry and coursework at Canyon Hills Bible College where she completed studies for her ministerial credential.  She is called to minister to women and desires to help them understand the freedom and power they have to live victoriously through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  She is a popular speaker at women's events, and coauthor of a woman's devotional.  Cynthia is married to her wonderful and loving husband, Sal.


Karl and Jennifer Hargestam

Missions and Evangelism Pastor

After serving on the mission field in Africa for many years, Karl and Jennifer have moved to Bakersfield to partner with Canyon Hills to launch a movement of young adults who are radical enough to take the Gospel of Jesus to the most extreme parts of the world. It is Karl and Jennifer's passion that every person have at least one chance to hear the Gospel. Their love for missions is contagious and they have ignited a new excitement at Canyon Hills for unreached/unengaged tribes around the world. Karl also serves to mobilize the congregation in local evangelism. Karl and Jennifer have four children, Hannah, Jacob, Luke and Abigail.



Jon SlagleJon Slagle

Technical Director

In addition to running his own company, Creative Screen Works, Jon is the Technical Director for Canyon Hills. Jon oversees the Technical Department and works with the volunteer team that helps to create an atmosphere of worship on Sunday mornings. Jon is one of the most creative and talented people you'll ever work with! Jon is married to Jana and they have two sons, Jean-Luc and Joel.




Jeff Whitehurst

Frazier Woods Conference Center

Jeff Whitehurst is the Camp Director of our very own Frazier Woods Conference Center. Under his leadership, the camp continues to be a blessing to churches throughout the Southern California region. He is currently overseeing the new construction taking place at the camp which will include a chapel, pool, recreational areas and new camper accommodations. Jeff loves creating an atmosphere at camp for people young and old to come and have an encounter with God. Jeff is married to Nancy and they have five children and five grandchildren.



Kris and Jenifer Watts

Florence Gardens and Facilities Administrator

Programming and Publications Director

Kris and Jenifer can usually be found right in the middle of the action at Canyon Hills. Kris manages the church campus as well as Florence Gardens, our community for senior adults. Kris also can be spotted at the piano on occasion. If you hear good old fashioned gospel music, look for Kris. Jenifer directs the Creative Team that plans our weekend services and special outreach events. Jenifer also oversees both the web and print communications. Both Kris and Jenifer feel blessed to be a part of such a great church!

Dale and Martha Rose

Pastoral Care and Senior Adult Ministries

Dale serves as Minster of Pastoral Care and brings with him many decades of ministry within the Assemblies of God.  Pastoral Care is of the utmost importance to Canyon Hills as we reach out to minister to the needs of our members and their family and friends.  Martha serves at Dale's side and is very much a part of touching people in Christ's name.  Martha also serves the Southern California District of the Assemblies of God Women's Ministries Department as Team Leader for the South San Joaquin Section and is the Director of Senior Adult Ministries at Canyon Hills.  



Cody and Angelica Criswell

Canyon Kids Ministries

Cody and Angelica serve as the pastors to our children at Canyon Hills. Cody and Angelica aren't strangers to Canyon Hills. They both attended here as students and this is where they gave their hearts to Christ and first felt the call to full time ministry. They are passionate about creating a safe and secure environment that is irresistible to kids. You can be sure that Fort Faith will be an exciting place on Sundays and Wednesdays with Cody and Angelica and their great team of volunteers!