Who we are

We are so glad you're visiting us online and invite you to come and worship with us anytime you're here in Lake Arrowhead. We are a community of Christ-followers who believe that every person matters to God and you matter to us too. Please check out our worship celebrations on video and explore our other web-pages that allow you to become acquainted with our friendly church family and our ministries.

Love God, love people, preach the truth

That simple slogan is our passion and focus as we seek to fulfill our Lord's Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and His Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). Those passages form the biblical foundation of our purpose statement:

Trusting God, we will love people by modeling His love, ministering His love and multiplying His love in reproducing Christ-like disciples!

We want to share the love of Christ with our local community as well as the world-which includes you, our website guest. If you would like more information or have a question about how to develop a dynamic personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please let us know. Paul captured our desire when he wrote in Colossians 1:27-29, "Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me."

In His Loving Grip, Senior Pastor Rod Akins and Sandy

Meet the leadership

Elder board

Pastor Rod Akins

Dan Jahelka

Pat Hopkins

Frank Overby

Travis Alexander

Tom O'Brien

Deacons & deaconesses

Board Secretary
Cynthia Overby

Benevolence Ministry
Travis Alexander

Building Maintenance
Pat Hopkins

Teree Alfaro

Men’s Ministry
David Carr

Paul Bormann

Prayer Ministry
Pat Hopkins

Prayer Chain
Cristina Nagel

Joe Bolanos

Dan Jahelka
Travis Alexander

Wayne & Diane Oestreich

Life Groups
Dana Weaver

Women’s Ministry
Debra White

Meet the staff

Rod Akins Senior Pastor

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Rod Akins - Senior Pastor

We are humbled and so grateful for God's clear call to us to go into vocational ministry. From our first mission trip together in the summer of 1982, we knew God had called us as "partners in ministry." We joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ shortly after we were married on September 4th, 1982.

Our ministry theme verse has been 1 Thessalonians 2:8, "Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us." This verse highlights our passion to love people with the Truth of God's Word and invest our very lives into theirs.

We served with campus ministries at the University of Southern California and New Mexico State University. We then trained seminary students on campus as we both attended the International School of Theology. I received a Master of Divinity degree and Sandy earned a "Partners in Ministry" certificate.

We have three terrific kids, Chelsea, Chad and Kyra, each of whom has grown into a dynamic adult. We echo John's words in 3 John 1:4, "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the Truth."

I served at Church of the Woods as an Interim Pastor beginning in January, 1995. I was called to be the Senior Pastor in July, 1995. I have learned so much as this gracious church family has loved and encouraged me through it all. Obviously, there have been challenges along the way too. But God continues to transform lives. And we are privileged to be His servants. Keeping a good sense of humor helps us to persevere through all the stages of life. Our passion is to finish well the ministry God has called us to. We want to be known as genuine people who authentically - Love God, Love People, and Preach the Truth. Please come join us in worship either in person or through video.

Dane Nissen Youth Pastor

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Dane Nissen - Youth Pastor

I started attending Church of the Woods when I was two-years-old. I came up through the Children’s Ministry program and continued on into the Youth Group. After High School, I began volunteering in youth ministry; that’s when I felt God calling me to become a youth pastor. In 2018 I married my High School sweetheart, Kassidy. We look forward to bringing our children to Church of the Woods. My goal, God willing, is to finish seminary and major in Theology. My prayer is that God will use my life to inspire others to serve wherever He has planted them.

Dana Weaver Family Life Director

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Dana Weaver - Family Life Director

As the daughter of a pastor and missionary, I grew up in the church and on the mission fields of Trinidad, Germany and Norway. I accepted the Lord when I was eight years old, as a result of the seeds that were planted in my life by my parent's love and guidance, and through the instruction and nurturing of the Children's Ministry teachers in the church where I spent the early years of my childhood. I have continued in these footsteps by following the call on my life to guide children into a living and real relationship with Jesus Christ. In July of 1981, I married my husband Joe and we now have four children and four grandchildren. We raised our family, here, in beautiful Lake Arrowhead, and have enjoyed seeing them marry and start their own families.

In the summer of 2008, I joined Church of the Woods staff as the full-time Children's Ministry Director. In February 2022 I stepped away from that position and became the directior of our Life Groups.

Troy Black AV Director

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Troy Black - AV Director

Troy Black is the Audio Visual director of Church of the Woods. He has been working in that capacity since 2009. After attending the church for awhile, Troy was asked if he was interested in assuming the leadership mantle for the AV ministry. His love for the Lord and Bachelor of Science degree in telecommunications made him a natural choice for the position. Troy’s tasks include managing the stage, including everything related to audio and video ministries. He enjoys his job very much and loves using his skills. Troy considers it a privilege to have a career that doesn’t feel like a job. In his free time, he enjoys video production.

Micki Black Children's Ministry Dir.

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Micki Black - Children's Ministry Dir.

Micki Black serves as the Children's Ministry Director. She uses her gifts of gentleness and compassion to care for and minister to the children, toddlers and infants and the parents of these young children.

Pam Nichols Bookkeeper

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Pam Nichols - Bookkeeper

I started working as the secretary of Church of the Woods in June of 1997. It was a part-time position back then which has now grown into a full-time job. I have since been promoted to the position of office manager and I want you to know that I still love what I do and the people who attend this church. I am blessed to have so many, who love, encourage and support me as I serve this body of believers whom God has called me to.

Mark Gilliland Treasurer

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Mark Gilliland - Treasurer

Mark makes every effort to ensure that every penny given is used to honor God with all of our resources. He considers it a privilege working as the church treasurer.

Statement of faith

1. The Bible

All 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired Word of God (inerrant in the original manuscripts) and is the supreme and final authority in faith and life (Ps 119:9-11, 89, 105; Mt 24:35; 2 Tim 2:15; 3:14-17; 2 Pt 1:20-21).

2. One true God

There is one True God, eternally existing in three Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - each of whom possesses equally all attributes of Deity (Dt 6:4; Is 43:10-13; I Cor 8:4-6; 2 Cor 13:14; Mt 28:19).

3. Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is both true God and true Man; the Second Person of the Trinity. He was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died voluntarily for the sins of people, rose victorious from the dead, and ascended bodily into heaven. He lives forever, making intercession for His own, and will one day personally return to earth (Mt 1:20-23; Lk 24:36-52; Jn 1:1-3, 14; Acts 1:9-11; I Cor 15:1-4; Phil 2:5-11; Col 1:15-20; Heb 7:24-25; I Jn 2:1-2).

4. The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, 3rd Person of the Trinity, is fully God, He came to reveal and glorify Christ and to impart new life to believers. He draws sinners, indwells believers, empowers the faithful and seals the Christian until the day of redemption (Jn 14:16-17; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; Gal 5:16, 22-25; Eph 1:13-14; 5:18; 2 Th 3:13; Ti 3:5-7).

5. Mankind

Mankind was created in the image of God; therefore, each person has value and worth. However, all are sinful and alienated from God and unable in themselves to restore a right relationship with God. Only by God’s grace can a person gain right standing with God (Gen 1:26-17; Ps 139:14; Rom 3:23-24; 6:23; 2 Cor 5:16-17).

6. Salvation

Salvation is wholly a work of God’s free grace. One is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Christ’s substitutionary death and resurrection are the means of salvation. Only those who have, by faith, received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord are forgiven (Jn 1:12-13; Acts 4:12; 16:30-31; Rom 5:8 Eph 2:8-9).

7. The Church

The Church is Christ’s Body, composed of all who put faith in Him (Mt 16:18; Acts 20:28; I Cor 12:12-27; Eph 1:22-23; Col 1:18). All believers constitute the universal church of which Christ is the Head. The local church (a portion of the Body of Christ) is a group of believers in Christ who unite together to advance the work of God’s ministry. Water baptism and communion are two important acts of obedience practiced in the local church (Rom 6:3-4; I Cor 11:23-26).