Our Staff



Dan Smith
Senior Pastor

Called “Pastor Dan” by everyone, Dan Smith has blessed our congregation with his zeal for God and the Church, and his love for people everywhere as our Senior Pastor since Fall 2009.  His heart and soul is preaching grace and the character of God, facing the hard questions about faith, and making God and Adventism make sense and look good to seekers and the Next Generation. And his heart for world mission ministry has fueled a love for public evangelism that takes him overseas whenever he gets the chance! OC Grace / GGSDA’s global ministry has been energized by his years of experience in facilitating local ministries in many countries including Ghana, India, Malaysia, Jamaica, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and Zimbabwe. The son of missionary parents, Pastor Dan attended high school in Singapore after growing up in Thailand.  From there he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Pacific Union College in Angwin, California followed by a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Andrews University Theological Seminary in Michigan. Beginning his ministry as an urban youth pastor, he has brought his passion for creative evangelism and nurturing people to every kind of church, from country churches in Oregon, a hospital church in Chicago, and a university church in Riverside, to our urban church in Orange County. His wife Hilda is a college librarian in Riverside, and his oldest son Alex is a PE teacher in Scottsdale, Arizona and his son Eric is a La Sierra University college student.

Gerald Penick
Executive Pastor


Currently on temporary reassignment.

Following a long tenure as President of our Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Elder Gerald Penick, Sr., joined OC Grace / GGSDA’s pastoral staff in January, 2014.  A member of a large, extended family replete with ministers and church workers, Elder Penick started his career in music ministry, but was soon called to preaching and evangelism. After pastoring all over the United States, he eventually came to Riverside as Senior Pastor of the large African-American Kansas Avenue Church.  While there he and his team held meetings all over Riverside, starting up what is now the huge Mt. Rubidoux Church.  He then joined our Conference’s staff as the Black Ministries Director, then as Executive Secretary, and finally as President for nine years.  A world-class organist and pianist, he loves ministry and evangelism, and is thrilled to spend the last few years of his public ministry in a flourishing local church.  GGSDA is both honored and richly blessed to have Pastor Penick and his wife Linda ministering with us in Orange County!


Sara-May Colón
Youth Pastor

Having joined us after completing her Master of Divinity degree at Andrews University in Michigan, Pastor Sara-May quickly entered our hearts and our church as our terrific youth pastor.  She spent her early years with her missionary parents in West Africa’s Ivory Coast and Russia, and then moved with her family to the Washington, D.C. area.  She has a second Master in Business Administration and a third in Chaplaincy. Pastor Sara-May is passionate about Youth ministry, and GGSDA is blessed to have her pastoring our high school youth!


Ed Carceler
Filipino Fellowship Coordinator

Having come to the United States in 2007 after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Ed hails from the Philippines where he worked with Pastor Dan’s mission trip group in 2009!  He joined OC Grace / GGSDA’s staff in September 2013 after completing a Masters in Business Administration with 15 years of experience as a church-planter missionary, hospital chaplain, and pastor in various Seventh-day Adventist churches in the Philippines and United States.  Through Ed’s mentoring the Filipino Fellowship is rapidly growing and the ministry’s lofty dreams of growing a vibrant, caring fellowship to serve OC Filipinos is being realized day-by-day!


Isaiah Duong
Vietnamese Fellowship Coordinator


Helen Sneed
Bible Instructor

Helen has served on Garden Grove’s staff for over fifteen years.  Deeply loved by all who have come under her ministry, she has a tremendous gift and love for spiritual nurturing.



Silvino Briceno
Office Manager

A member of our Young Adult Ministry, Silvino sings, he organizes, he makes it all work!  Wise beyond his years, he grew up in Orange County, sings all over with his wife Melissa, and juggles a dozen tasks at once with grace and respect for everyone.


Josh Tameifuna
Facilities Coordinator

Josh oversees maintaining and improving our church facilities towards total excellence for the glory of God! Originally from Tonga, he and his family have been at GGSDA for more than 25 years.  Their ministries in music and our youth programs, as well as the many other ways they serve, are a blessing to our congregation.