Sports Pastor: Josh Merrill

Sports have always run through Josh’s bones—from little league baseball, soccer, and swimming as a child growing up in San Diego, to playing three sports in high school. Josh went on to play college and professional basketball. It wasn’t until his college career at University of California Santa Barbara was over that he began to learn that life was more than a game. It was then that he fully came to know Jesus Christ.

Josh spent six years playing professional basketball internationally. He calls it “missionary basketball,” because in countries like Portugal, Argentina, Australia, Italy, Lebanon, and China, he was able to share his faith in Christ on a personal level through the common bond of sports.

Josh and his wife Angie reside in Simi Valley, CA with their children, Donovan, Kyra and Milani. They hope to have a little basketball team of their own some day. Josh's favorites include surfing, golfing, snowboarding and any sport with a ball.

Sports Coordinator: Josue Navarro

If you were to ask Josue, what are three things he is most passionate about, he would say God, Sports, and Music. Being brought up in a Christian home, God has always been his driven force. Josue had a natural talent for sports growing up and soccer became his main sport of choice. He joined various soccer teams starting from the age of five and went on to play travel ball all throughout his teenage years. In High School, Josue played for Taft’s varsity soccer team. He also ran Cross-country and Track and Field. In his junior year, Josue had the 4th best mile time in the city for his division.
After high school, Josue went on to focus on ministry and missionary work. Serving in the church as a worship leader, which he continues to do so till this day. Today he feels extremely bless to be part of the Sports Ministry here at Shepherd Church where he can continue to focus on ministry and missionary work through his passion for sports.

Sports Coordinator: Justin Flint

Justin Flint was born in Los Angeles, California. After graduating from California State University Northridge, Justin combined his passion for youth education with his love of sports. In 2008, he began coaching at the recreation level for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. This eventually led to Justin organizing and overseeing multiple youth sports programs. In addition to coaching several club teams since then, he has also coached elementary through high school basketball at several private schools in the Los Angeles area. In the beginning of 2018, Justin began coaching basketball at Shepherd and he is now the Sports Coordinator at Shepherd Sports.

Sports Coordinator: Louis Fernando

Louis Fernando was born and raised in Granada Hills California and has deep passion for sports. The combination of sports and his love for Jesus make him a great fit for sports ministry. He studied and played basketball at Moorpark College and Concordia University Chicago.

Sports Coordinator: Ethan Cottrell

It’s hard to imagine Ethan without a ball in his hand, especially when you know his dad was a professional baseball player. Ethan loved all sports and was known to create new sports with anything he could find. Sports was his passion, but it wasn’t his only one. In Ethan’s eyes, he was blessed to grow up in a household that was close to God. He attended Shepherd Church and started a journey with Christ when he was just a little boy and has continued that journey into the present day.

Ethan now coaches volleyball at Alemany high school where he continues to share the amazing outreach opportunity of Jesus and sports. He believes that one day he can become a sports pastor himself and just wants to impact as many people as he can.