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"The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.  He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?  He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil."

                                                                                                                                     1 Timothy 3:1-7

our STAFF:
Jesse and Lauren Ruiz

Pastor Jesse grew up in the lovely community of Sierra Vista. After graduating from Buena Highschool, he pursued higher education at Global University where he earned his Ministerial License.

Through God's drawing and the example of his mother, Pastor Jesse became a believer at the age of 8. Even at a young age, the calling into ministry was placed in his heart. His passion for serving others ignited during his years as a youth volunteer and drummer on the worship team in his local church. In 2018, he officially joined the staff as a youth pastor, and by 2020, he had the honor of becoming the lead pastor at the inception of Desert Grace Church.

Love blossomed in his life when he married his wife, Lauren Nicole, in April of 2008. Together, they are blessed with three children: Jeremiah, Micah, and Gigi.


“Sierra Vista is not just a place where we reside; it's our home, and we believe God has placed this city on our hearts to share the gospel and reflect the light of Christ in our community.”

Pastor Ken had an encounter with Jesus at an early age when he happened upon a discarded gospel tract by Jack Chick titled, “Somebody loves you.” 
This event was the catalyst to a series of encounters that culminated in him bowing both his knee and his heart to Jesus as Lord and Savior at Veterans Memorial Park on May 8, 1992. A few months later he met the love of his life, Angela, and the two were married on Feb 28, 1993. They have two beautiful adult children and have also gained a precious daughter-in-law. 


Pastor Ken felt a call shortly after his salvation experience to serve the body of Christ in any way possible although he was not sure in what capacity. Over the years he has served as a Deacon, home group and worship leader and he is honored to serve as Associate Pastor here at DGC with the talents, abilities and giftings that God has given him. 
Ken and Angela’s story can be best summed up in the lyrics of a song written by a 90’s Christian Alt Rock band Clear entitled, “What Your Grace Can Do.” 
“Way beyond this broken life, way beyond the fall 

In Your eyes, I found a peace that carries me on 
And it’s brought me to the truth 
This is what Your grace can do…”  

Ken and Angela Johnson
Brian and Cindy.jpg
Brian and Cindy Loiselle

Pastor Brian became born-again in February of 1988 and God has been faithful without fail that entire time. In 1990, God brought the great blessing of Cindy, into his life, to be his wife and partner in life and in ministry. They have three adult children and two grandchildren. Their life of full-time ministry began in 1997 when they completed the Church of God Ministerial Internship Program and Biblical studies through Lee University (Cleveland, TN). Both became credentialed ministers at that time. Since then, they have served in ministry to the military in Okinawa, Japan and Bitburg, Germany. They have had the privilege of pastoring in Ayer, Massachusetts, Hanover, Lebanon, New Hampshire, and Sierra Vista, Arizona, where they are both a blessing to Desert Grace Church.

Pastor Shawn grew up near Seattle, Washington. Shortly after high school, Shawn joined the U.S. Army, where he spent time at Fort Drum and served overseas in Afghanistan. While serving, Shawn felt the call to ministry and exited his military service after 10 years of active duty. Pastor Shawn then began an internship at Abundant Life Foursquare Church in Washington State which led to his earning of a Pastoral License through the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.  Pastor Shawn spent years as a youth pastor as well as ministering to young adults and the military before he, his wife, Jaclyn and their three children followed God's leading and moved to Sierra Vista in the summer of 2023 to start a military ministry at Desert Grace Church. Shawn and Jaclyn have a passion to help service members, veterans and their families connect with Jesus, and understand the unique challenges of military life.

Shawn and Jaclyn Heistand

Youth & Military Pastor

Valerie Keenan

Children's Director

Valerie is originally from West Virginia, but she has been living in Sierra Vista since 2019. She is a homeschool mom of 3 boys and has been married to her husband Jeremy since 2011. Valerie received her M.Ed. from Liberty University in 2014 and her B.A in English from West Virginia University in 2010. She has been teaching kids in a variety of settings, including both private and public schools, homeschool co-ops, online classes, and children's church, for over a decade. Valerie loves a good book, a strong cup of coffee, going for hikes with her family, and staying healthy.  She is excited to see God continue to grow the Children's Ministry at DGC!

Jaclyn Heistand

Church Coordinator

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