LEAD PASTOR: DIHAN LEE
Dihan spent 10 years in Northern Virginia, leading one of the largest Asian-American churches in the country. Towards the end of that decade, amidst severe burn out, Dihan had his Reformed, Presbyterian-world rocked by the power of the Holy Spirit. Soon after, God transitioned him to be a church-planter-in-residence at a largely African-American church called Grace Covenant. For two years, Dihan and Julie soaked in everything at Grace, learning how to be Gospel-centered, Spirit-filled, full of faith, and passionate about diversity, discipleship and evangelism. In the summer of 2014, Grace Covenant sent them along with 11 other brave souls to start Renew Church LA and the church officially launched its first service April of 2015.
Dihan graduated from Northwestern University and earned his MDiv at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School ('01). He is married to his best friend, Julie, whose ministry in leading and serving the women and children of the church is deeply shaped by her personal experience of God’s healing and redeeming love. Dihan and Julie have three precious daughters (Amanda, Hope and Emily). They love hanging out with the Renew family, eating good food, taking long walks, reading, and watching the NBA playoffs. Privately, Dihan loves to fish and hopes one day God would heal Julie of motion sickness so they can go tuna fishing together.
Raul was born and raised in Los Angeles and loves this city with all his heart. After graduating from UCLA, he has spent the last 15 years in full time vocational ministry having been a youth pastor and college campus missionary with our parent ministry Every Nation. Raul’s heart beats for the next generation and seeing them find their worth and purpose in Christ. He loves spending time with his amazing wife Kim and his two energetic boys Jordan and Ryan.
Paul serves as the Executive Pastor at Renew. After marrying his incredible life partner Tina they began as campus missionaries at UCLA in 1994. Twenty five years, four children, one three year stint in Nashville, two church plants later, Paul is still passionate about Jesus and the amazing work he can do in a person’s life, including his own. His hope is that God would use the accumulated life and ministry experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly, to serve the Renew church family well.
Jason is the Creative Director of Renew Church LA and helps establish and execute the creative vision for the church. He is a proud husband and father, and a Virginia native who is now happy to call LA home. When he's not on the road for work or hanging with his family, you might find him on the basketball court reliving his college days.
Calynn is the Children’s Director at Renew Church LA, helping set the vision for children’s programming and managing RenewKids. She is a passionate educator working in a variety of capacities throughout the city. True to her LA roots, she is a bit of a health and fitness nut, loves anything ocean related, and boasts an extensive music collection… just don’t ask her to sing!
Janet leads the Prayer Team, supports Women’s Ministry and is deeply passionate about Renew’s mission to see God’s children be set free. Part of the original volunteer team that migrated from Virginia to start Renew, Janet is the adoring wife of her husband David and proud mother of three children, who are now all happy to call LA home. When she’s not connecting with, praying for and encouraging women, Janet is homeschooling her children, volunteering, or putting her theater degree to good use writing, acting and directing.
Dave helps lead the Experience Team at Renew, supporting the operational needs of the church. He and his beautiful wife Janet, along with their three children moved from VA to help plant the church in 2014. An avid golfer, David is grateful for the daily promise of "72 and sunny" in LA and when he isn't busy helping build Renew, he is helping build the city as a civil engineer.
Michelle leads the Creative + Marketing team and is driven and inspired by the convergence of creativity and meaningful social impact…in this case, impact for the Kingdom. Michelle is one of the original volunteers who moved from Virginia to plant Renew, is married to Jason “The Bishop” McGraw, the proud mama of a rambunctious toddler, and a devout believer in Nutella and hot sauce (not together, of course).
Ashia leads the worship team at Renew and is passionate about seeing people experience God’s love in worship. She moved to LA in August of 2016, seeking opportunities to aid in the loss of music programs in the inner-city. When she’s not unicycling, songwriting, or leading worship, she's working as a business systems analyst for an “oh so familiar” corporation.
Brie comes from our sending church Grace Covenant with years of experience leading outreach and missions initiatives. She oversees our Welcome Team and Outreach Ministry and is excited to be a part of the incredible impact Renew is having on the city! Brie’s best friend is her husband Nivel and when they aren’t working or on the golf course, they love riding their bikes to the beach to catch a Santa Monica sunset.
Sharif was born in Pittsburgh and raised in Chicago, but currently lives in this City of Angels. He is married to the love of his life, his sweetness, Bethany Lynn Atkins. He has two amazing children, Noah Amir Atkins and Olivia Grace Atkins. God led him and his family to be a part of Renew Church LA after running into his old college suite mate at Life Kitchen in downtown Culver City. That former suite mate is also our beloved Pastor Dihan Lee. Sharif and his wife have enjoyed serving in whatever capacity Renew has needed and look forward to continuing to allow God to shape and mold their servant hearts for His glory. He is humbled to have been brought on as a Pastoral Fellow and looks forward to helping build a foundation for discipleship upon the love of Jesus.
Two years ago, a Grace Covenant missions team reached out to Taylor on the UCLA campus. They connected her with their Culver City church plant, Renew Church LA. Since then, her life transformed. As a youth campus missionary-in-training, Taylor is working with leadership to connect the Los Angeles middle and high school students to the Renew family. In her free time, she enjoys beach walks, mountains, crafts, and stuffing her face with food
Chris is a Michigan native and moved to LA in 2015. Originally pursuing a career in academics, God called Chris into ministry, and his life has never been the same. As the Campus Ministry Intern, Chris is connecting the college students of Renew to community, and sharing the Gospel at schools like West LA College and Santa Monica College. Captivated by nature and God’s voice, Chris can be found exploring the trails around LA and the great unknown on road-trips.
Melanie serves the college students of Renew. She loves God and her primary desire is to effectively communicate His love to His creation. Secondarily she seeks to train others to share their faith with kindness and boldness. Before coming to LA, she served in ministry in Arizona, Tennessee, and Ukraine. She enjoys no longer being landlocked, and catching waves in her free time.