Pastor Mark Krieger

MARK KRIEGER :: Lead Pastor

My wife Lori and I were married in 1992 here in Modesto.  My wife is from Ripon and I grew up in San Rafael, about 10 miles north of San Francisco.  We have three children (Elisa, Matt, and Katie).

I have been the Lead Pastor at Modesto Covenant Church since 2001.  Prior to Modesto, I served as an Associate Pastor in Mankato, Minnesota and as a Youth Pastor in the Sacramento area and the Bay Area.  After graduating from UC Davis, I have attended three seminaries - Denver Seminary (Master of Divinity degree), North Park Seminary (Covenant orientation), and Fuller Seminary (Certificate of Advanced Study in Christian Leadership and Ministry).  

Modesto has been a great place for me and my family.  We regularly connect with Lori's family in the Modesto area, and with my brother's family (in Rocklin) and my parents (in Reno) whenever we can.  Our family enjoys day trips to the coast, mountains, and Bay Area.  I also enjoy following Giants baseball, 49ers football, and skiing at least once a year.

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If you happened to get your hands on a time-machine (a Delorean, of course) and decided, of all things, to visit me in the mid-1990s, I wouldn’t believe you if you told me I was going to be a pastor at Modesto Covenant Church.  But our God is a surprising God and a gracious one; I was called to serve in the church I grew up in, in June 2018. I had a disruptive and invigorating experience of Jesus and community in college that rearranged my plans for living.  After school, I worked as a campus minister with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship in the Bay Area, later went to seminary (MDiv. Duke Divinity School) and served as an associate pastor at Foothill Covenant Church in Los Altos, CA. Somehow, I’ve also had jobs in pest control, at a tech start-up, and most recently as a high school English teacher in Ceres.  My hope is to help people experience the surprising and abundant life that’s found in being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I am married to my wonderful, Atwater born and raised wife, Jill who is an Occupational Therapist and an Enneagram type 1.  We have three young children, Evelyn, John, and Sam, who will crush you in Candyland.

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Pastor Joey Coray

JOEY CORAY :: Worship PastoR

I grew up in Visalia, CA. From there I moved to San Jose, CA where I attended San Jose State University and earned my B.A. in Music Ed/Vocal Performance. While I was in San Jose I began to attend Westgate Church where I could sense that God was building in me a passion for leading praise-worship music. I have been in full-time praise-worship ministry since 2007, and I couldn't see myself doing anything else. 

On February 23, 2013 I married the love of my life, Kelsie. In June of 2016, God blessed us with the birth of our daughter, Alice. We also have a fox red lab named Lady and a miniature something named Rose. We love being a part of the family here at MCC. We both share in the gift of hospitality and plan to develop meaningful relationships in and outside of the church. 

My favorite Bible passage is Romans 12:1-2 - "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." 

It is a privilege and a blessing to help people draw into an awareness of God's presence and to encourage the church to express themselves with praise to Him.

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Caleb Byron :: Youth Pastor

My parents named me Caleb because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.  My goal in life is to live up to that name.  In Jr. High I dedicated my life to serving God and throughout High School I worked at youth camps and grew in a passion to serve God through relational student ministry.  Because of that, I attended Baptist Bible College in Clarks Summit, PA where I got my BA in Bible and Youth Ministry.  Since then I've served in a number of youth ministries, where God has confirmed my life calling to work with students.  I have been at Modesto Covenant as the Senior High Youth Pastor Since January 2018.

I grew up in Maine, and have since spent time in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Texas, and most recently Maine again.  Of all the places that I've lived, California feels the most like home.  I love the weather, the people, and most importantly the ministry opportunity that Modesto provides!  I enjoy teaching God's word, working with a ministry team, and destroying students in dodgeball and ping pong.  I am very excited to see the work that God does in Modesto, and am blessed to be a part of it,

I played soccer competitively in college, and I have coached at the high school level for five years.  I also enjoy playing racquetball, volleyball, and most other sports. I worked as a carpenter for three summers (trying to be like Jesus) and have also worked for five years in various public school settings with special education to supplement my ministries.  I drive a motorcycle, prefer kittens, and have my own youtube channel.

You can follow me on instagram @thebyron8r, but I'd prefer that you follow me as I follow Christ (1 Corinthians 1:11).

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Beth GundLach :: Children's Ministry Director

I am a Central Valley girl, born and raised right here in Modesto. After high school (Go Panthers), I attended Modesto Junior College and transferred to CSU Stanislaus where I graduated with a degree in psychology. I am happily married to my high school sweetheart, Craig. We have four amazing kids (Elijah, Ellie, Adam, and Aimee) and a dog (Missy) who is far too smart for her own good.

The VBS program is what brought us to Modesto Covenant. My family began attending regularly in the fall of 2001. We have loved raising our family here. In September of 2011, I joined the church staff as an administrative assistant. Through God’s perfect timing, I became the Children’s Ministry Director in August of 2017. I count it a blessing to work in a ministry that values children and seeks to help them grow in their relationship with our Lord.

In my free time you might find me hanging out with family, walking in my neighborhood, reading, or watching good shows on Netflix.

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Cindy Benson

CINDY BENSON :: Assistant Director of Children's Ministry, Lighthouse Preschool Director

Growing up as a Navy brat, my family moved many times, finally settling in Oakland.  We attended First Covenant Church, where I eventually served as a preschool teacher after finishing at UC Davis.  My husband and I met at Mission Springs while serving on staff.  We have two grown children, a cat and a dog.   Lighthouse Preschool is said to be my third child, as I devote most of my time to it’s nurture and care.  I enjoy shopping with my daughter, photography, and I am an Oakland Raider fan. 

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Ellie Gundlach :: Jr. High MINISTRIES Associate

I grew up in Modesto, making many fond memories at places such as the Stanislaus County Library, the downtown farmer’s market, and the playground at Graceada Park. Most prominently, however, I have an abundant supply of good memories made at Modesto Covenant Church. From VBS to Young Adults Group, I have loved being part of the MCC church family. I attended Modesto Junior College for my first two years of college, and then transferred to Biola University to earn my Bachelor’s Degree in Intercultural Studies with a Minor in Biblical Studies. During my time at Biola, I worked as the Student Missionary Union’s Local Missions Director and worked with many missional ministries throughout California. This experience opened my heart to so many communities, and I am excited to continue to participate in international and local missions!  As a former MCC youth, I am ecstatic to engage with Junior High students in Sunday School, youth group, and relationally to create more fun memories, friendships, and most of all encourage deep-rooted passion and love for Jesus Christ.  

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Sandy Sutton :: Business Administrator

Sandy and his wife Pam have been a member of Modesto Covenant Church since 1991. He has served in a variety of leadership capacities over the years. Sandy is now serving on the Board of Elders for the second time.  Sandy and Pam have two sons and five granddaughters. Sandy moved to Modesto at the age of 10 and has lived in this community since. Sandy enjoyed and retired from the insurance and financial services industry after 34 years.  Sandy is a member of MCC staff and serves as Business Administrator.

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Jim Howard :: Custodian

Sharon True :: Workroom - EMAIL


Board of Elders

Board of Elders

The elder board, along with the pastoral staff, provide leadership for the church.  Elders are elected by the congregation to serve three year terms.  The current elder board includes the following individuals:

Kris Helton :: Chairman

Sara Martin :: Treasurer 

Annie Dunn :: Secretary 

Linda Bauman :: Elder at Large

Sandy Sutton :: Elder at Large

Phil Bauman :: Elder at Large 

Wally Carroll :: Elder at Large 

Terry Lewis :: Elder at Large 

Randy Scott :: Elder at Large

David Woodford :: Elder at Large