Elders (or pastors) are biblically qualified men who oversee the local church, particularly through teaching God’s Word, praying, caring for church members, and training members to do the work of ministry. These are the men our congregation has recognized as elders.

Ephesians 4; 1 Timothy 3:2-7; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 5:1-3



Daniel Carter

Daniel and his wife, Rachelle, have been married since 2017 and have two amazing kids (Ruby and Hudson). Daniel proudly served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 2011 to 2016. He has a bachelor's and a Master of Divinity and will be pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry at Gateway Baptist Theological Seminary. Daniel and Rachelle served as the ministry team leaders for Cru (Campus Crusade) Military ministry at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton from 2016-2019. They became members at Pillar Church of Oceanside in 2017 where Daniel was voted in and affirmed as an elder by the congregation. In this role, Daniel and Rachelle both felt the Lord leading them to take steps of obedience toward planting another Pillar Church in San Diego. Daniel is most passionate about leading the church to reach the lost, make disciples, and empowering them to live on mission together.


Gabe Martin

Gabe Martin and his wife, Misty, have been married since 2006 and have two children, Ross and Lily. Gabe proudly served in the U.S. Navy for 11 years. While still in the Navy, Gabe began his seminary training and also served in a variety of ministries, including mission work, leading community servant-evangelism teams, serving on the worship team, teaching Pre-K Bible lessons, and various preaching roles. After leaving the military to pursue full-time ministry, he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he earned his Master of Divinity. Before coming to San Diego to plant Pillar Church, Gabe served as a pastor in East Texas.


Luis Rivera

Luis Rivera serves as an elder at Pillar San Diego. He has been married to Cristina for almost 18 years and has three adult children. Luis retired from the U.S. Navy after almost 25 years. He currently serves as the Operations Manager for Programs at the Mighty Oaks Foundation, a non-profit aimed at helping veterans and first responders through God's Word. Luis was introduced to the Pillar family at Pillar Oceanside at the end of 2019. Then after learning about a new Pillar Church plant in San Diego, he was very excited to get involved. He and Cristina have resided in San Diego County since 2002.


Micah Kordik

Micah and his wife, Natalie, have been married since 2021. Micah has been on Active Duty in the Marine Corps since 2021 and currently serves as a Deputy Staff Judge Advocate. He holds a Juris Doctorate from Marquette University Law School and is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Biblical Counseling from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Micah and his wife were first introduced to Pillar when they started attending Pillar Church of Stafford, VA while Micah was a student at The Basic School in Quantico, VA. After receiving Permanent Change of Station Orders in 2022, Micah and Natalie joined Pillar Church of San Diego. Micah served as an Elder Candidate, undergoing training and discipleship before being affirmed as an Elder. 

Ministry Leaders

Children's Ministry Director

Rebecca Schwartz

Rebecca and her husband, Cory, have been married since May 2015 and have 2 boys, Matthew and Benjamin. Rebecca has her Bachelors of Science in Zoology/Pre-Vet from The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) and, prior to having her 2nd son, worked as a Registered Veterinary Technician at a local animal hospital. The Schwartz family moved to San Diego in January 2019 and became members of another local church. Rebecca served as their Children’s Ministry Director from August 2019 until July 2021, when they felt called to Pillar Church San Diego. She has over 6 years of experience working in Children’s ministries and loves getting to share Jesus’ love and the Bible’s teachings with kids and their families.

Worship Leader

Cole Smith

Cole and his wife Megan moved to San Diego in the July of 2020 and were with Pillar Church during the months leading up to its establishment in September of 2020. Cole earned his AA degree in Music Theory in 2017 and previously served on a worship team in Seaside, CA playing the piano for a year prior to coming to San Diego for school. Cole is currently earning his Master’s degree in Athletic Training From Point Loma Nazarene University. God has given Cole a passion for biblical worship and for leading the congregation by example. Through God's gifting, Cole desires to help church members praise and glorify our God both through music and in the daily Christian life outside of Sunday service.