First Christian Church of Orange Staff
Senior Pastor – In Search Process
Interim Senior Pastor – Rev. J. Dale Suggs
Rev. J. Dale Suggs was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, but his family roots are in East Texas. Dale is a life-long member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Dale’s father, the Rev. Dr. James C. Suggs is an ordained minister and has held leadership positions at the Regional and General Level of the Disciples as well as the Texas Conference of Churches. Dale’s mother, Lynell Burgess Suggs (1932-1982), was an accomplished High School Business Teacher and lay leader of the church.
As a youth, Dale was an active member of his church youth group and served on the Regional Youth Council in Indiana. Dale received a B.A. from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, serving in the leadership of the Disciple Student Foundation and the Campus Christian Community. Dale received his Masters of Divinity from Brite Divinity School, also in Fort Worth, Texas
Dale served as Youth Minister in United Methodist and Disciple churches while in seminary. After seminary, Dale attended the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland. Dale has served as Senior Minister in Lebanon, Indiana and La Jolla, California. Most recently, Dale was a Spiritual Counselor for San Diego Hospice. Please feel free to contact him with any questions.
Associate Pastor – Rev. Dr. Olivia Bryan Updegrove
Rev. Dr. Olivia Bryan Updegrove is originally from Kentucky. She was raised in a Disciples of Christ church and has always appreciated the way that the Disciples denomination lets a person truly have a faith journey. Olivia’s faith journey has included undergraduate work at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Her Masters of Divinity is from Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Olivia recently finished her Doctorate of Ministry at Claremont School of Theology in California.
She lives with her wonderful husband, dogs, and child. Her primary work areas include small groups, new worship experiences, youth, children, young adults, young families and women. Please feel free to contact her with any questions.
Minister of Music and Arts – Dean Shepherd
Dean Shepherd has served as Minister of Music and Arts at First Christian Church of Orange for the past ten years. In addition to a MFA in Choral Conducting, Dean graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelors of Music degree in Piano Performance. Currently he also teaches on the Music Faculty at Irvine Valley College where he has taught choral music, piano, theory and music appreciation. In addition, he freelances as a music producer and director. Recent productions include Jason Robert Brown’s musical theatre masterpiece “The Last Five Years,” as well as a singing album for movie star Christopher Lee (co-star of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy). Past church work includes ten years as pianist and assistant music director for the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA. Dean is blessed to work at FCCO where he has the opportunity to work with such wonderful people while preparing a great variety of music in all styles.
Organist – Phil Chap
Phil Chap began with FCCO in 2005 as organist and accompanist. He previously held positions at Trinity Lutheran in Silverton, Oregon, and St. Paul’s Lutheran in Tokyo, Japan. His interests include a range of musical styles, including French Romantic and contemporary. He has studied with the late William Fawk, and currently with Ester Jones.
Youth & Children Choir Director – Jazmine Harnishfeger-Brand
Jazmine Harnishfeger-Brand has been the Children’s and Youth Choir Director for the past two years. She received her BA in Music and her MA in Teaching with an emphasis in Music Education from the University of Southern California. There she studied jazz piano and voice with Russ Ferrantte (of the Yellow Jackets,) John Clayton and Anne Farnsworth. She studied choral music with Dr. Megan Solomon and was President of the USC Concert Choir for two years, which included a performance of Mozart’s Requiem with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to her work at FCCO, Mrs. Harnishfeger-Brand has taught Elementary and Middle School Music in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Long Beach and as Director of Instrumental Music at Mountain View High School in El Monte, and has taught piano privately throughout Southern California. She still continues to perform both classical and jazz piano throughout Los Angeles. Ms. Harnishfeger-Brand currently lives in Pasadena with her cat, Hughie and enjoys horseback riding and gardening.
Youth & Children Accompanist – Primitivo Cervantes
Administrative Secretary – Linda Smith
Bookkeeper – Wini Chuidian
CYF Coordinator – Erin Cooper
Chi Rho Coordinator – Natalie Nevin
JYF Coordinator – Dana Gray
Young Disciples Coordinator – Sharon Addington
Custodian – Miguel Cosme
Nursery Superintendent – Sandy Carden