OUR LEADERS

Pastor Mike Lacaze

Lead Pastor and Elder

Pastor Mike Lacaze has been married to Ersilia, his wife and best friend, since 2008. They have two wonderful boys: Joshua who was born in November 2012 and Jonathan who was born in January 2016.  Pastor Mike has worked in ministry since he was 18 years old for different churches and for the California Southern Baptist Convention. His most recent position was at Woodward Park Baptist Church in Fresno where he served for 5 years as an Associate Pastor of Student Ministries and Missions. For graduate school Mike attended Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (now Gateway Seminary) for two years, before finishing his Masters of Divinity at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. Mike was blessed to grow up in a Christian home; he gave his life to Christ and was baptized at 9 years old. Ersilia is the Marketing Director of the Central California Blood Center.  Growing up outside of Naples, Italy with her family, she grew up in the Roman Catholic Church.  She and her family immigrated to the United States when she was 14 years old.  It was during her college years that God began to draw her to himself as she began to understand what it meant to know Christ personally. She was baptized when she was 22 years old. It was in 2010 that Pastor Mike and Ersilia took a leap of faith in being obedient to God’s call to plant a church. They have said that “we want to be a church that sees lives changed, our city transformed, and the nations impacted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Denise Nicholes

Worship Ministry Director

Denise Nicholes began serving as our Director of Worship Ministry in the summer of 2020. Denise is a mother of 3, and a graduate of a Christian College with a degree in Music. She served as promotional director and music instructor for 6 years at the college after graduation.  She led worship for 20 years at Harmony Free Will Baptist Church in Fresno and served in the children’s ministry teaching music and drama. Currently she serves as a Job Specialist for the Fresno County Department of Social Services where she coaches people to go from welfare into sustainable employment. She has a deep love for music, and for worshiping together with the people of God. She has a passion for building music teams, finding hidden talent and watching that talent grow.  She grew up in Oklahoma in a Deacon’s home and started serving in various ministry areas at a very early age.  She was a very shy little girl who was petrified to be in front of any group and God gave her a love for music that helped her grow into a worship leader.

Kathryn and Stephen Borba

Children’s Ministry Director and Global Missions Director

Kathryn and Stephen Borba seek to serve and glorify God in everyplace he takes them. In 2011, they moved to Japan out of faithfulness to God to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through teaching English. Since then, after several moves and three beautiful children (Jillian, Samuel, and Amelia), God called them back to serve with the very church that sent them out all those years ago. Kathryn serves at the Children’s Ministry Director, bringing over a decade of teaching and ministry experience along with her passion to see whole families drawn to the love of God. Stephen serves as the Director of Global Missions and finds joy connecting Soma to what God is doing around the world.

Keirsten Craig

Outreach & Events Director

Keirsten Craig has been married to her husband Justin for 14 years and they have a beautiful 19 year old adopted daughter and 13 year old foster daughter. Between work, small group Bible study, worship team and her daughters’ activities she keeps very busy. The Craig’s have been attending Soma for 8 years and Keirsten enjoys serving where she can connect people with ministry/service opportunities and help them grow with God in new and exciting ways.

Elders

Jesse Hemstad

Jesse Hemstad and Maria were married in 2011 and began attending Soma that same year.  They have one precious daughter, Alanna.  In 2002, Jesse graduated from Hope International University in Fullerton, California with a business degree.  He is currently the Chief Technology Officer at Lotpath, a software company for the agriculture industry.  Jesse came to love Christ at a young age and desires to see His kingdom grow in breadth and depth.  He is honored to serve Soma as an elder, as well as singing on the worship team, leading a small group, and teaching Sunday School to 1st and 2nd graders.

Jason Blankenship

Jason Blankenship married Alex in May of 2017.  They have 2 beautiful girls – Sami and Mia.  Jason serves the Fresno area Southern Baptists as the Director of Missions for the Mid-Valley Southern Baptist Association. He has served Corcoran as pastor of Harvest Community Baptist Church for seven years, and in Ojai at Ojai Valley Baptist Church for four years.  Jason graduated with a BA from Fresno Pacific University in Contemporary Christian Ministries and Non Profit Administration, and earned a Master of Theological Studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (now Gateway Seminary). He was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley and has spent almost all of his 43 years in it.  He has also served as a Sheriff Chaplain for five years.  He enjoys time with his family, friends, and fishing.

Bryan Griffith

Bryan Griffith has been married to his wife Jennifer for three years, and their blended family includes five children. Bryan graduated from Fresno Pacific University, where he studied mathematics and served on the student executive team. Immediately after college, he began working in the financial services industry with Principal Financial Group. He now owns his own wealth management firm, Cornerstone Advisory Group, Inc., where he provides financial planning and investment management services to individual and corporate clients. Bryan has been blessed to grow up in the Church and has been a follower of Christ since he was a young boy. At Soma, Bryan is currently serving as a teacher in the 3rd-5th Grade Class, and he has been working with our team as we transition to live-streaming of our worship services. In all aspects of his life, Bryan is passionate about serving others and continually pointing people towards Christ.

Ryan Tucker

Ryan Tucker has been married to Nicole for two-and-a-half years. Ryan spent four years serving in full-time vocational ministry as a youth pastor and as a team leader for an evangelistic para-church ministry. Ryan left full-time ministry in the summer of 2015 and moved to Clovis to return to school. While in school, Ryan began working for Clovis Unified spending one year as a special education aide before moving to Clovis High School to work with the Transition Program providing academic, social, and emotional support to foster youth, homeless students, migrant students, and economically disadvantaged students. In May 2019, Ryan graduated with his bachelor’s degree in History from California State University, Fresno, and began teaching History at Clovis High School during the 2019-2020 school year. Spiritually, Ryan was raised in the church, came to saving faith early in life, and has served in various capacities since junior high. Ryan and Nicole have been members of Soma since 2016.