Who We Are
Senior Pastor Dennis Ray
Pastoring a church is the last thing Dennis Ray would have imagined himself doing as a career. After graduating from college with a degree in business administration in 1990, he immediately went to work for Hewlett-Packard Co. in Palo Alto, CA. He worked there for seven years as an accountant and project manager. It was during his time at HP, that the unthinkable happened, he felt God calling him to become a pastor. He began taking courses at Fuller Theological Seminary and eventually completed a Masters of Divinity degree.
Dennis came to Sunnyside in March, 2000. Prior to Sunnyside, he served for two years as the young adult pastor at Sunnyvale Seventh-day Adventist Church.
His wife, Diane, is an RN at Fresno Heart Hospital. He has two sons, Devin and Derek. His hobbies include sports, reading and bike riding. He is passionate about the Giants, 49ers, Bulldogs, Cornhuskers, and any team that is playing the Dodgers, Cowboys or Raiders.
Youth Pastor Tom Gearing
While in high school at Rio Lindo Adventist Academy, Tom Gearing decided he wanted to work in ministry. He first chose to study medicine in order to become a medical missionary, but in his second year of college he felt called to switch to pastoral ministry. He took a year away from school at Southern Adventist University to attend ARISE Bible College and work as a Bible worker in Oakhurst, CA. Through interning at churches in Tennessee and California, Tom has learned that one of the best parts of ministry is seeing the change in people’s lives as they grow closer to Jesus. He loves the personal aspects of ministry, especially in youth ministry, and has spent several summers working at Glacier View Ranch in Colorado or with the Youth Evangelism Team in Central California helping to lead out in the Conference’s Teen Bible Academy.
Tom enjoys many diverse activities from disc golf and snowmobiling to chess, scripture memorization and car mechanics. As a child growing up in Sonora, CA, Tom dreamed of becoming an editor for SnoWest, a popular snowmobiling magazine, mostly for the fun of test-driving the latest snowmobiles. He loves to get out in nature, a hobby that led him to hike the John Muir Trail (220 miles) in the summer of 2014. He often finds time to take his jeep up in the mountains and explore new trails.