Pastors & Staff

Sergiy Tarasenko


I was born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1976. I came to the Lord in 1991, right when the iron curtain fell and was baptized the following year. After I graduated from International Christian University, I got married. In 1999 I started my ministry as a church planter in a newly developed region of Kyiv and seminary studies at Irpin Biblical Seminary, Irpin, Ukraine. After my graduation, I was invited to continue my theological education at the Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, California. In 2004, after two years of education, I graduated with a Master of Theology degree majoring in Systematic Theology.

After my studies, I returned to Kyiv, Ukraine as a missionary and continued my ministry as a church planter and professor of Theology at Irpin Biblical Seminary. I was ordained as a minister of the Gospel in 2006. In 2007 I was invited to continue my ministry as a senior pastor in Santa Barbara, California in one of the ethnic Slavic Churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. At the same time, I continued my teaching ministry under the Pacific Coast Slavic Baptist Association as the cofounder of BLAGOVEST Bible Institute, Sacramento, CA.

In 2010 I was invited to the our church, Family Baptist Church of Carpinteria, as the Assistant Pastor. Since 2015 until now I have continued to serve, but now as the Senior Pastor. I have my Doctorate from Gateway Theological Seminary. My wife, Maryna, and I have two sons: Sergiy Jr. (23) and Alexander (19).

Dave Pennington


"The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life." 1 Timothy 1:16

Christ has demonstrated His patience and ability to save sinners in opening up my eyes to believe in Him. He has always been faithful to me and continues to amaze me everyday that I get to be in a relationship with Him. I am thankful that my salvation depends not on me, but on Christ who loved me and gave Himself for me.

He has also blessed me with an amazing wife, Katherine, who shows me the servant love of the Lord everyday in the way she loves me and loves our children. He has given us four crazy boys who love soccer, baseball, wrestling, and Taco Bell. I recently completed my Masters of Divinity degree in Christian Ministry from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Lastly, I'm amazed that He has given me the privilege to be a part of this church family. Through it, He is teaching me about what sacrificial love looks like in the family of Christ. He gives me a front row to watch Him work in the hearts of His people everyday.

Joe Epley


The Lord has been faithful to His call for my life since I felt His leading at an early age, while attending a small Baptist church with my Mom. Upon graduation from high school, I entered the Air Force where I spent eight years, one of those in Vietnam. In 1970 I began a career with IBM as a computer engineer. During that time my wife Benita and I raised four sons, seeing each of them commit their life to Jesus.

God provided the circumstances that allowed me to retire at age 55 and complete my preparation to fulfill that early call to full time service as a pastor. I was called as Associate Pastor in 1996 and served as Senior Pastor from 2001 until 2015 at First Baptist Church of Carpinteria (Family Baptist).

After the death of Benita, God brought another wonderful wife, Jeanie, into my life. I now have seven children, all of whom know the Lord as Savior, seventeen grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

God has called me, prepared me, protected me, and provided for me throughout the entirety of my life, and has allowed me the privilege of shepherding his wonderful followers.

Tom Bauer


It has been my privilege to be part of the family at Family Baptist Church for the past seven years. I have come to realize the importance of attending a local Church and the joy that comes from getting to know my neighbors and joining them in worship.

As a semi-retired employee from Westmont College, I am discovering new opportunities to be of service in my Church and have the time to take advantage of them. My passions are group prayer, worship through singing, and hospitality.

I particularly love the blending of all ages at Family Baptist from the nursery through the seniors. We all are an important part of our family. I invite you to join us in our worship services and various ministries and look forward to getting to meet you.

Joni McGoldrick


"Be still and know that I am God" -Psalm 46:10
I was blessed to raise three kind and wonderful boys.  I am also blessed with three grandchildren and one arriving anyday (at the time of this writing)!  I come from a large family where we were raised to love God and love each other but we didn't know about the personal relationship that was available through Jesus.  Jesus knocked on my heart about 9 years ago and this time I heard.  I fell in love but my past was haunting me.  Finally realizing that Jesus died for me and my haunting past, I was freed.  This is the personal relationship that I now understand.

 I was baptized in the waters of Carpinteria by the pastors and my church family:  Family Baptist Church.  This is my family in Christ, my brothers and sisters.  What a comfort, what a trial, what joy.  

I have served in many ways at Family Baptist Church because God pulled me to explore my gifts.  This is my practice ground and my learning arena and I am so very grateful for this church.

Brittney Grimshaw


I was born and raised most of my life in Santa Barbara, CA. My first year of college, with aspirations of law school, I began working as an assistant in a local preschool and found the Lord’s calling on my life (hint: it was not law school). I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology and my Master’s in Human Services. I have spent five years teaching in the classroom and over fifteen years as a preschool director.

Working with young children and their families allows me the great privilege to experience daily what the Lord means when he implores us to receive the kingdom of God like a child. I recently moved to Carpinteria with my son, Jacob, and feel so grateful and privileged to be a part of the family at Family Baptist Church.