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Bishop Escobedo-Frank’s Announcement of new South District Superintendent in 2024

Reverend Luis Garcia to be appointed as District Superintendent on July 1

Grace and peace in this season of Advent!

I am announcing the appointment of Reverend Luis Garcia as District Superintendent of the South District, starting on July 1, 2024. Rev. Sandra K. Olewine will move from her role as South District Superintendent to serve as Assistant to the Bishop.

Reverend Garcia currently serves as Pastor at Pacoima First United Methodist Church. He has 20 years of pastoral ministry across this conference, and has been involved on multiple committees at district and conference levels. He currently serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry’s Orders Executive Committee and the conference Judicial Committee.

Reverend Garcia was born in Monterrey, Mexico. At age 16 he had his “heart warmed” in a youth camp and started attending the Methodist church. After college he was invited to work in a church-related program in Mexico called Heifer Project, beginning his missionary career.

In 1993, he and his wife, Janet, went to Chile as missionaries with the General Board of Global Ministries and served there for 10 years. They worked in educational intercultural ministries. In 1998, Reverend Garcia took a sabbatical to earn his master’s degree in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena.

In 2003, the Garcias moved to the United States. where he joined the staff of First UMC of Chula Vista as a Local Pastor. He completed his Master of Divinity in 2009. At First UMC of Chula Vista, he developed a Spanish-language ministry, served in the missions ministry, as well as serving as Associate Pastor for the English-speaking congregation.

In 2013, Reverend Garcia was appointed Pastor of Nestor UMC in San Diego. During his 8-year tenure there he started a congregation in Spanish while working with the Anglo/Filipino congregation. He helped to develop a major project building affordable housing for seniors at risk of homelessness.

In June 2018, Reverend Garcia became a Full Elder in The California-Pacific Conference. In July 2021, he was appointed to both St. Paul’s UMC of San Diego and Chollas View UMC. In the following year, he continued at Chollas View UMC and supported the ministry at Jacumba UMC. During his time at Chollas View UMC, he led a new Spanish-language ministry as part of the revitalization process of the whole congregation.

During his years of ministry in The California-Pacific Conference, Reverend Garcia has volunteered in the binational church-to-church program, connecting Methodist churches in Baja California and Southern California, called the Joint Commission. He developed a program for rapid response to the deportee crisis in 2006. He represented the UMC in the United Nations High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development conference in 2013. He has participated with Interfaith Committee for Workers Justice (ICWJ) in advocacy efforts in Sacramento and Washington, DC.

The Garcias have three adult children: Luis Jr., born in Mexico; Diego, born in Atlanta; and Maricarmen, born in Chile.

Please join me in welcoming Reverend Garcia as a District Superintendent on the Cabinet of The California-Pacific Conference.

Grace y paz,

Bishop Dottie
Resident Bishop of the Los Angeles Area
The California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church