Meet Our Staff

Here at SOUTHCOAST, we as a staff want to
emulate Colossians 3:23, which says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for mankind."

PASTORAL  STAFF 

Senior Pastor
Rino and Brenda came to SOUTHCOAST back in 1991 with their 2 year old daughter. At the time SOUTHCOAST was closed, overgrown and in disrepair. Since then they have enjoyed God's blessings to see not only the church grow but their family grow. They are proud parents of 3 daughters, Justina, Emilia and Micaela. They have a passion for Jesus and the people they serve.

Shaun Hertlein

Administrative Pastor
Shaun and his wife, Monica, have been a part of SOUTHCOAST Church since 2002. They came to SOUTHCOAST expecting to stay for 6-8 months, but after getting involved with SOUTHCOAST youth first as volunteers then as the full time Youth Pastors, found themselves connected and called there. Shaun and Monica served as Youth Pastors from 2011-2021. God has continues to bless them immensely as Shaun furthers his ministry role at SOUTHCOAST as Associate Pastor. Shaun and Monica are the proud parents of 4 amazing kids who are involved in the kids and youth programs at the church.
Youth Pastor and Graphic Design
Micaela has been at SOUTHCOAST most of her life but did not feel the call to ministry until she returned back to Santa Barbara after living in Los Angeles where she worked for a non-profit in 2017. What began as volunteer work in the graphic design department quickly grew into an undeniable call to youth ministry. After 3 years of volunteering alongside Shaun, she accepted her role as Youth Pastor at SOUTHCOAST in 2021 while also overseeing the creative department. Micaela and her husband, Jakob, welcomed their first child, Enzo, in Spring of 2023.

SOUTHCOAST TEAM

Kyle Best

Staff
What I do: Technical Director 
Kyle has been a part of SOUTHCOAST since 2020 as Production Lead after moving to the United States from New Zealand. Kyle has studied Audio and Production from an early age, earning certifications, working and volunteering in many organizations, helping to foster corporate worship environments, as well as concert and festival production.

Christa Gallardo

Staff
What I do:  Website and Media
Christa has been attending SOUTHCOAST since 2019. She was a youth student for all 4 of her high school years, and now runs the website and all social media accounts. Christa felt the Lord call her to ministry when she accepted her internship position at SOUTHCOAST in June of 2023. She is currently in her second year at Santa Barbara City College and is studying to become an Elementary School Teacher. Christa has a heart for youth students, and has  played the role as a youth leader for over a year.  

Nikki Russo

Kids Coordinator
What I do:  Kids Ministry 
Nikki has been at SOUTHCOAST since 2015 where she started as a Toddler teacher. She has been very blessed to be able to be a part of this church for so many years, and watch the children grow. She loves Psalm 127:3, “Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from him.” She has been able to grow alongside them, and has moved through many different positions within the Kids Ministry. No matter what title she carries, her love of sharing God’s word with his smallest warriors has always been at the center of everything she does. She recently finished up her BA at CSUCI for Early childhood studies, but is planning on continuing her studies in new fields. Everyday is a joyful blessing, and Nikki is thrilled to see what God has in store for her next.

Karen Rabago

Kids Lead
What I do:  Kids Ministry 
Karen, her husband George and their 3 boys have been a part of SOUTHCOAST since 2014.  She worked in the medical field for 20 years before God suddenly called her to be a stay at home mom in 2021.  This experience tested their faith as a family because financially, it made no sense.  After much prayer, they decided that they were going to trust the unknown to the God who knows all.  A year and a half later, still without any idea why God called her to stay home, the answer came.  She was to go into Kids Ministry.  He has led and guided her every step, and continues to meet every need out of His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19.)

OUR INTERNS

Eliana Girdler

Intern 
What I Do: Young Adults
Eliana has been attending SOUTHCOAST since 2021. She is currently in her third year at Westmont college studying to get her BA in Philosophy. Eliana has a heart for worship and leads on Sunday morning services and runs Young Adults on Sunday nights. Eliana has a heart for Young Adults ministry, and is growing to expand the ministry into what God has planned for it.

AMBASSADORS TO THE WORLD

Jerry and Claudia Root


Dr. Jerry Root is professor emeritus at Wheaton College, as well as a visiting professor at Biola University, Talbot Graduate School of Theology, and Moody Bible Institute teaching C. S. Lewis courses at all three schools. For over forty-one years, Dr. Root has lectured on C.S. Lewis topics at 78 universities in 18 countries. He is the author of numerous C.S. Lewis focused books, articles and publications.


Claudia is a graduate of the Wheaton College Intercultural/TESOL Graduate School Program. She has been teaching ELL to immigrant and refugee students in the public school for 25 years. She began teaching graduate classes as an adjunct professor as well as conducting workshops in several countries. Throughout her life and marriage to Jerry she has been involved in Christian discipleship and leading small groups.

Recently retired, she is now focusing on discipleship with the C.S. Lewis Institute and running the website Bearings On the Bright Blur, which encourages people to grow and develop through blogs, writings, works of C.S. Lewis and various other authors.

Dr. Jerry and Claudia Root have four married children and 15 grandchildren.