Ministry Team Leaders

  • Al Soto - Lead Pastor

    Name: Al Soto


    Family: Valerie my bride of 33 years, Five sons: David (29), Matthew (28), Michael (25), Jonathan (22), Aaron (20), Millie our Blue Nose Pit


    Education: BA Life Pacific College (85), Graduate Level Certificate in Recovery, Fuller (92), Certificate in Church Planting Coach, CRM, (04), MA Vanguard University, Leadership and Spiritual Formation (13)


    Your role at Bayside Placerville: Lead Pastor (I want to wash feet really well)


    How you met the Lord and a bit about your faith journey:


    I grew up in the Bay Area and was raised in the Roman Catholic Church. I attended eight years of Catholic Academy from first grade through eighth grade (and was even the Head Altar Boy). My freshmen year of high school my father passed away from a brain aneurism. It was during this time that my world imploded and left our home at age 15. I began to drink heavily and it was August of 1977 that I found Christ in a church in Sunnyvale, California. It was at this church I met my wife, Valerie, whom I married February 6th, 1982. Though I knew Christ I was continuing to struggle with unresolved issues from my family of origin and I relapsed back into drinking. It was February 27th, 1984, that I made the decision to fully surrender my life and began my road to recovery.


    I have been a pastor for 35 years and because of the grace of God I have remained sober for 32 years. I feel that every day I have the opportunity to live at the heartbeat of Jesus and not work for Him but have the privilege of being a partner with Him. I am completely passionate about loving the local church and being fully engaged on its mission to be a force of reconciliation for the kingdom of God.


    Christian hero (and you can’t answer Jesus):


    I admire and am a Big Fan of the Late German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer but my biggest champion is my mother, Nancy Rae Mathis, who has taught me what it means to keep your passion and joy in Christ regardless of the Circumstances.


    What do you love about serving in ministry?

    I absolutely enjoy helping people understand who they are in Christ and seeing them emancipated to be who they were created to be. My life statement is, “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”



    How did God call you to ministry?

    I was called the evening I fully surrendered my life to Christ, August 1977.


    Favorite Scripture:

    “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

    Ephesians 2:10, NIV


    Favorite Food: I love seafood and I really enjoy a good hamburger.



    Favorite Animal: On land Dogs in the Sea Dolphins


    Hobbies: Golfing, Scuba Diving


    What are you reading besides the Bible?


    Friedman, Edwin H. Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue. New York, New york: The Guilford Press, 1985.


    Klopp, Henry. The Ministry Playbook: Strategic Planning for Effective Churches. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2002.


    Steinke, Peter L. How Your Church Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems. second ed. Herndon, Virginia: The Alban Institute, 2006.


    Wilder, Marcus Warner and Jim. Rare Leadership: 4 Uncommon Habits for Increasing Trust, Joy, and Engagement in the People You Lead. Chicago, Illinois: Moddy Publishers, 2016.

  • Betsy Vanderpool - Care & Connection

    Name: Betsy Vanderpool


    Family: My husband Ed, and teens Drew, Fiona and Ian.


    Education: I love school! Undergrad BS from UC Davis, an MA in Psychology from National University, an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University and a Biblical certificate from North Park Seminary.


    Your role at Bayside Placerville: I get to lead teams in the Care Ministry, Connection Ministry and Operations.


    How you met the Lord and a bit about your faith journey:


    I spent my childhood overseas in Bahrain and loved going to the International Church. When we came back to the States I started working for a horse vet who was a Christian; because of him and his family I went to church and surrendered my life to Christ when I was 16.


    I was called to ministry from the beginning of my relationship with Christ and always found myself teaching, counseling and in leadership roles. I was teaching at William Jessup University when I got a call from a guy who got my name from someone and wanted me to come work for him as he was planting a church. I said, “no thanks” and gave him the names of some other people to call. A year later I shared a table at a faculty training with him and after talking more felt led to check out the church. A couple weeks later both Ed and I attended the church and knew it was where we were supposed to be. Six weeks later I accepted the call to serve and was on staff beginning the ministry journey with the Evangelical Covenant Church, getting my ministry license and working on the ordination process.


    Christian hero (and you can’t answer Jesus):


    I have several! Barnabas who was instrumental in the lives of several early church heroes in the faith, Lioba who was an 8th century nun who left the abbey at the request of Boniface to help him convert the Saxons, John Wycliffe who worked diligently and at great cost including his life, to get the Bible translated into English and into the hands of everyone, Elizabeth Elliot and Dietrich Bonhoeffer to name a few. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.


    What do you love about serving in ministry?

    I love see people transformed by Christ and getting to serve with amazing teams


    How did God call you to ministry?


    A long process of gradual surrender.


    Favorite Scripture:

    Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”


    Favorite Food: Mexican and Italian.


    Favorite Animal: Horses, cats and dogs.


    Hobbies: Hiking, Swimming, Scuba Diving



    What are you reading besides the Bible?


    The Only Necessary Thing by Henri Nouwen

    Thriving in the Second Chair: Ten Practices for Robust Ministry by Mike Bonem

    Turn the Ship Around by David Marquet

    Order to Kill by Kyle Mills continuing the Vince Flynn Mitch Rapp series

  • Heather Cook - Children's Ministry Director

    Name: Heather Joy Cook


    Family: Spouse William Cook and puppy Silas!


    Education: Bachelors of Children’s and Family Ministries at TIU!


    Your role at Bayside Placerville: Children’s Ministry Director


    How you met the Lord and a bit about your faith journey:


    I grew up in a Christian household with parents and grandparents quite involved in our local church. I first met Jesus when I was six years old after an AWANA program. Years of kids’ church, Bible Quizzing and Youth Group helped me grow in my walk with the Lord but more importantly my family and many volunteers impacted my life greatly and brought me closer to Jesus.


    Christian hero (and you can’t answer Jesus): Noah, how he lived in that ark with all those smelly animals and the boat swaying, I can’t even imagine!?

    Oh that & Henrietta Mears, the Children’s Ministry pioneer.


    What do you love about serving in ministry? Dancing, singing and praising Jesus with young ones!! Connecting kids to Jesus and brining families together around the Bible and kids serving others.


    How did God call you to ministry? I started serving in kids when I was eleven and loved it!! I started to go to college to become a teacher but God spoke through my first field experience, I had a really hard time getting excited about teaching kids’ math or science.


    Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 3:24, Romans 8:28


    Favorite Food: Cheese


    Favorite Animal: Silas (puppy dogs)


    Hobbies: Board games, wine tasting, camping & Disney! (Am I allowed to say that??)


    What are you reading besides the Bible? Magazines, Ads, The Clipper, Covenant books for licensure…



  • Brian Boyd - Worship Ministry Director

    As Worship Ministry Director at Bayside of Placerville, I am blessed with the opportunity to work with an array of musicians, singers, and techs that have passion for the Lord and for our community. Together we create an environment in our Sunday services that is exciting, engaging, new and powerful, that ushers in the Holy Spirit which is the goal each week. 

    I see God moving and molding the hearts of our church family as they submit to His will. Allowing God to speak through my obedience to reach others is truly one of the greatest joys of being in ministry.

  • Matt Morecraft - Student Ministries Director

  • Trish Thompson - Senior Administrative Assistant