Rev. Christian DeMent
Christian DeMent has served in ministry at Foothills United Methodist Church since 1996. He received his Masters of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology in May of 2005. In 2009 Christian was ordained as an Elder in Full Connection and has served as one of Foothill’s pastors since then.
Christian grew up in La Mesa, graduating from Helix High School in 1991 and from SDSU in 1996 with a degree in Psychology. He is a fourth generation San Diegan and a lifelong United Methodist, attending La Mesa First UMC from birth. He participated in its Sunday School and youth programs, and volunteered as a youth worker there for several years until arriving at Foothills and now Foundry UMC.
Christian has been an active leader in youth ministries at the local, district and conference levels of the United Methodist Church for over 15 years. He was awarded the first ever ‘Youth Worker of the Year’ honor in the Cal-Pac Conference at the Annual Conference of 2001. He has been the dean for San Diego District Summer Camps for all ages and has also led countless workshops on leadership and youth work. Most recently, Christian served as the dean of Strength for the Journey, a United Methodist Retreat for adults with HIV/AIDS.
Christian also has a passion for mission and service ministries. He has led two mission teams to Vladivostok, Russia, four mission teams to Louisiana and Mississippi for Hurricane Katrina relief, and several youth mission teams to a variety of places across the U.S. and Mexico. Christian served as the pastor in charge of missions at Foothills, the arm of the church that serves our local and global community in a variety of ways.
For the past few years Christian has been trained on new church start ministries and is now appointed as the minister in charge of planting Foundry UMC in Otay Ranch, Chula Vista.
In ministering to Otay Ranch, Christian brings a youthful, yet professional presence. He hopes to guide adults and young people in their spiritual journey, making it a positive and fun experience for all. He will continue to be guided by his passions for social justice and missions in the world and hopes to make those passions the passions of those he serves.
Interests: Christian enjoys running (completing his first marathon in the Summer of 2009), surfing, working on old cars and attending Padres games with his wife and friends. Christian and his wife Kelli seek to be active in the community, attending many fundraising events for community programs. They also enjoy trying new food at unique restaurants, tandem kayaking and traveling together.
Valerie Sachs, Ministry Assistant
Valerie Sachs is Rev. Christian DeMent’s Ministry Assistant. Active at Foothills United Methodist Church as a music and special events volunteer, Valerie has worked in non-profit marketing and fundraising for 25 years. Her past clients include The Salvation Army, San Diego Opera, Rady Children’s Hospital, Museum of Man, Joan B. Kroc Foundation, Union of Pan-Asian Communities and the San Diego Commission on Arts and Culture. Valerie has published several articles on homelessness in San Diego. Her self-produced music video “Restore Hope” raised one million dollars towards the building of a transitional living center for homeless women and children near Kearney Mesa.
A proud San Diego State University graduate, Valerie is married to another SDSU alum, Neal, a software engineer. They have three grown children and live in Rancho San Diego.
Melissa Spence, Ministry Intern
Melissa Spence has lived in Chula Vista for four years with her husband, Dennis and her two daughters, Mackenzie and Kaitlyn. Melissa is a life-long United Methodist and has served the church in a variety of capacities. As a college student she went through the Stephen Ministry program and served as a lay-caregiver in several churches. Shortly after graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in psychology, she married Dennis and followed his Navy career around the country and even out to Guam. While living in the Chicago area she took classes at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in counseling and worked for a year as the interim youth director. Upon moving to Chula Vista she became the youth director at First United Methodist Church Chula Vista, where she worked for three years. In 2011 she left her job at FUMC-CV and became a full-time student at Claremont School of Theology in the Master of Divinity program. She is currently in her second year at Claremont and upon graduation will be pursuing a Master of Social Work, to reach her ultimate goal of being a counselor in a Christian counseling center.