Soma Christian Church is led by a group of godly men who have been called by God and appointed by the church as elders of the congregation. They oversee the general health and direction of the church. The ministries of Soma are led by the paid and volunteer staff/ministry leaders. These women and men serve by directing the specific ministries of the church week in and week out.
Staff & Ministry Leaders
Pastor Mike Lacaze has been married to Ersilia, his wife and best friend, for over 8 years. They have two wonderful boys: Joshua who is 4 years old and Jonathan who is almost 1 year old. 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. 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 Senior Marketing Manager of a locally based company called Actagro. 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 six years ago that 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.”
Eric Arii currently serves as Soma Christian’s Minister of worship, and has since June of 2015. Eric has his Master’s degree from Liberty Theological Seminary in worship studies and church leadership, and has been leading churches in worshiping and praising God since the year 2000. Eric has been married to his wife, Abigail, since May 31st, 2008. Eric and Abby serve the community both professionally and personally. Since October of 2015, Eric and Abby have been a “resource family,” previously known as foster parents, who take in children in need. Their family is ever changing and evolving. Their heart is to one day adopt from foster care a child or children who are in need of a forever family. Because God has adopted us into his forever family, this is how the Arii’s feel they can live out the gospel: by being and living out the example God himself provides for us.
Barbara Gilman, along with her husband Paul and their 3 children are founding members of Soma Christian Church. Barbara is a nurse practitioner and loves to help others. She currently oversees our First Impressions at Soma as well as our Family Ministries. With three kids ages 22, 19 & 17; she has had a lot of family experiences and is happy to lend a helping when needed.
McKenna Gilman is a junior at Fresno State and works at Lifeway Christian Store, in addition to being on our worship team. She began serving in local and international missions at a young age. She has been on two international mission trips to Belize and currently serves monthly at Golden Living Assisted Living Center. Proud to have been a part of Soma since the beginning, she is excited to lead local missions and help involve our congregation in local mission projects around our community.
Stephen and Kathryn 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 has been married to her husband Justin for 10 years and they have a beautiful 15 year old foster daughter. Between work, small group Bible study, worship team and her daughter's sports she keeps very busy. The Craig's have been attending Soma for 5 years and Keirsten serves at the Discipleship Director, where she enjoys finding ministry opportunities for people and helping them to connect and grow with God in new and exciting ways.
Luis Soto didn’t grow up in the church; in fact, he called out to the Lord back in 2005 when he was changed for the better. In Sept of 2006, Luis was baptized and began attending Canyon Hills Bible College (CHBC). Since, he has served, led and been a part of youth, men’s, outreach, and other ministries. While attending CHBC he met and married his wife Karine. They have been married 7 years and have 3 beautiful children, Peyton 6, Logan 5, and Reagan 2. Luis is Project Manager at Tangram Interiors Fresno. The Soto family have called Soma home for 2 years and have been very much involved. They walked in and instantly felt welcomed and felt at home. Whether it's greeting people with a smile, ushering, or helping out in any way, they have enjoyed being a part of Soma. Luis serves as the Youth Ministry Director.
John Lacaze has been married to Karen for 38 years, they have 3 adult children and 9 grandchildren. John and Karen are Pastor Mike's proud parents. John is the General Manager at Don Chapin Construction - Ready Mix Division. He has experience in leading and managing organizations, and overseeing a large number of employees. John has been involved in ministry for nearly 30 years. His church ministry has included working with teenagers, teaching Sunday School, overseeing ushers, and currently, he teaches a Sunday morning Small Group at Soma. John and Karen are founding members of Soma (because Pastor Mike gave them no choice!).
Gary Butler is the leader of the Soma Christian “Men at the Cross” small group. He finds time to serve in the community as a Clovis P.D. Chaplain. Retired 15 years ago, Gary had a career in management as a business consultant for Aramark Corporation in their K-12 and College division at Central USD, later Sanger USD. Gary has 4 children, 4 grand children and 2 great grand children. He was an Elder for the Eastside Church for 4 years before coming to Soma. He has called Soma home for almost 5 years. Gary is a Grand Canyon University graduate with a BA in Christian Studies with an emphasis in applied Ministry Pastoral, Magna Cum Laude, August 2013.
Bobby Villines has been married to Stephanie for 32 years. They have three children, Tricia, Michael and Jesse, and one grandchild, Lucien. Bobby served six years in the Navy on a submarine, the USS Sculpin. After the navy, he graduated from the University of Connecticut with a mechanical engineering degree. Bobby has worked in manufacturing his entire career and currently works for Wilbur-Ellis as a plant manager over two small fertilizer plants. Spiritually Bobby has followed Christ passionately since his Navy days. Bobby has served as a deacon, elder, small group leader, missions team leader and other functions over the years. Bobby especially enjoys teaching. His vision is by grace striving to glorify God through extreme satisfaction in Him. Bobby is being recommended by the Elders to serve as an Elder of Soma.