Sam Gyorfi, Lead Pastor: Sam is originally from Redwood City, California, but has lived and practiced ministry in Hawaii, Colorado, and Switzerland. Sam is a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and Denver Seminary. In August 2021 Sam and Jenna moved to Tucson with their two children, Berg and Lina to be a part of Grace Community Covenant Church. They love hiking, swimming, running, and exploring all that the Sonoran Desert has to offer.
Why Relationships Matter To Me: Ever since I became a believer as a teenager, the church has been a home for me no matter where I was geographically. I want all people who walk into the doors of Grace to know they are loved and can feel at home. George MacDonald once penned, "I want to help you to grow as beautiful as God meant you to be when He thought of you first.” My story and the story of my family is one of restoration, forgiveness, and new life in Jesus. It is a story of learning how God sees me with love and acceptance. It is because of this love that I enjoy working to help individuals and families grow to a place of bold faith from generation to generation. My hope as a pastor is to walk alongside people and families inside and outside of the church to help them see how God sees them; as His children whom he loves.
Dexter Masland, Youth Director: Dexter grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, but has bounced around to LA, Atlanta, Charlotte and finally, Tucson. He graduated from the USC School of Dramatic Arts in 2013 and has been pursuing acting, writing and comedy ever since. He and his wife Madison moved back to her hometown of Oro Valley in the Spring of 2023 to be closer to family and escape the humidity of the South.
Why Relationships Matter To Me: I began following Jesus shortly after college and my life was completely turned upside down (it’s a long, amazing story that I love to tell, so feel free to ask me about it). The only reason my walk with the Lord looks like it does today is due to the men that walked with me. I was blessed to have some incredible guys that mentored me, loved me, questioned me, but most of all, took me out for a meal. We all crave to have people see us, hear us and know us, and it is my hope that I can be that person for the youth here at Grace.
James Marvin, Office Administrator: James is originally from Dayton, Ohio, but has lived in Arizona for over 20 years. He moved to Tucson in 2008, fell in love with Oro Valley shortly after, and has been here ever since. James has three daughters living in Tucson. His youngest daughter, Kennedy, has been attending Grace’s children’s ministry since 2019 and loves soccer and gymnastics. James and Kennedy can be found swimming most days in the summer!
Why Relationships Matter To Me: Once I became a believer, I realized the quality of my relationships is the single biggest predictor of my happiness. I am a relational person and if you ask me what matters most in my life, I will quickly tell you my family and friends. I have always had a very small circle of family and friends, but now that I've found Grace Community Church, that circle of amazing friendships has grown. The relationships I have with each member of my Grace family gives me pure joy every day!
Sue Montanez, Connections Director: Originally from the Bay area in California, Sue moved first to Evergreen, Colorado, and then to Tucson in 2006. She’s been at Grace since early 2013 and is delighted to serve as the Connections Director, helping people at Grace get connected into the life of the church, whether they’re new to Grace or have been coming for a while. Sue is a lucky mom and “gwamma” who loves boating, cooking, reading, her family, and Jesus!
Why Relationships Matter To Me: Relationships hold us; they stretch and grow us; they soften us and toughen us at the same time. When a relationship breaks, our hearts hurt, and when relationships are going well, we can be bowled over by unabashed, pure joy. I’m certain we’re wired to be connected with each other, to love and support each other, and to learn how to navigate when things aren’t right. When I live into that, when I’m really present and together with others, my own life is that much richer, and I feel that much closer to Jesus. That makes me so much more thankful for all His children, my family.
Lucy Hill, Children's Ministry Director: Lucy was born and raised in Farmington, New Mexico, and moved to Tucson with her family in 2001 from Corpus Christi, Texas. She and her husband, Andy, have 3 children. She shares the Children’s Ministry Director position with her sister, Melanie Irwin, and loves using her tools as a teacher and the unique gifts God has given her to share Jesus with the children and families at Grace.
Why Relationships Matter To Me: Relationships were designed by God. He did not create us to navigate this world alone. Scripture teaches us that we are stronger together (Ecclesiastes 4:12), and Scripture encourages us to spur each other on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).
Melanie Irwin, Children's Ministry Director: Melanie and her husband, Kent, came to Grace in 2005 from San Jose, California. She is the proud mother of her crazy fun and adventurous daughter, Stevie, who serves in the U.S. Army. Melanie serves as the Children’s Ministry Director with her sister, Lucy Hill, and she feels blessed to be able to share Jesus with all the children who come to Grace. Melanie enjoys playing tennis, snuggling her dog, Tia, visiting Stevie, and going on adventures with Kent.
Why Relationships Matter To Me: I believe that being in relationship with one another is the way Jesus wants us to live. Life is so rich when we are relating with each other. People will lift us up, dust us off, and send us on our way as we help one another through our best and worst days. We have so much to offer when we allow ourselves to love one another. Ultimately, "Love Conquers All", so we will always err on the side of LOVE.
Janette Henson, Worship Director: Janette has been working in ministry for over 20 years; moving from Youth Ministry to Worship Ministry about 10 years ago. She has always enjoyed music ministry; learning to play guitar in high school and working now to learn kit drums. Beyond music, Janette works to follow the Spirit’s leading as we add creativity and spontaneity to worship at Grace. Janette was raised in Tucson and spent several years in the Seattle area. She and her husband, Tim, have three children: Rachel, Sam, and Joe.
Why Relationships Matter To Me: One of the many ways God touches our lives is through the people we come in contact with on a daily basis. There is amazing grace and love that grows in each of us when we see one another, all people, as children of a mighty God. We begin to love the way God calls us to love and we see glimpses of heaven here on Earth.