church staff

  • Dean Mayeda

    Senior Pastor


    deanmayeda@novachurch.org

    Dean and his wife Janet have lived in the South Bay for over 50 years and they have two adult children, Matt (engaged to Jericka) and Charissa (married to Jonny). In his role as Lead Pastor, Dean oversees the staff and gives vision and direction to the Nova Community Church family. In his free time Dean enjoys being outdoors, the Los Angeles Dodgers, trout fishing in the Eastern Sierras, surf fishing at the local beaches, stand-up paddle boarding and exploring the Hawaiian Islands.



  • Adam Duchin

    Associate Pastor


    adamduchin@novachurch.org


    Adam is married to Shantel and has three uniquely wonderful children, Sadie, Dillon, and Logan. Adam joined the staff at Nova in 2018 as Associate Pastor, and is primarily responsible for adult discipleship. His desire is to come alongside others on their spiritual journey and help them grow as they become disciple-making disciples. He loves music, Dr Pepper, and his family, although not in that order! 




  • Thomas whiteside

    Director of Student and Media Ministries


    thomaswhiteside@novachurch.org


    Thomas and his wife, Kat, have been a part of this local church for most of their lives. Thomas now oversees the Youth Ministries at Nova where his passion is teaching the Biblical story and helping the students find their place in it. When he has free time, Thomas loves watching movies and will always have a movie recommendation for you if you ask. Two of his personal favorites from 2018 are Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.


  • Garrett Koch

    Director of Local Missions


    garrettkoch@novachurch.org


    Garrett is married to the wonderful Lexi and they have been living in the Los Angeles area since 2015. Garrett has been on staff with Nova Community Church since 2016, first as a Pastoral Intern, then as Administration, then as Director of Local Missions. His desire is that the ministry of Nova will actively seek to meet the real and tangible needs of those who are hurting and broken, and in doing so they will experience the transformative and saving love of Christ. Garrett enjoys rooting on the San Francisco Giants (sorry LA people), fishing, and all things sports.  


  • Ron Graff

    Associate Pastor (Active Retired)


    ronmill@att.net

    Ron and his wife Millie live near Los Angeles International Airport; Ron since 1980 and Millie her entire life. He has been in the pastoral ministry since 1967 serving in various parts of the country. Though retired, he actively serves as an associate pastor at Nova in a variety of ministries particularly in the areas of pastoral care and prayer ministry. He also serves as a chaplain of the Torrance Police Department. He and his wife Millie enjoy family gatherings, grandchildren and are avid sports fans. 

  • Jackie Austel

    Executive Assistant


    jackieaustel@novachurch.org


    Jackie and her husband Leland have two adult children, Alaina and Tiana. You can find Jackie in the church office on Wednesdays and Thursdays providing administrative support to the Nova family. She loves international travel, sewing, great conversations over coffee and relaxing breakfasts at the beach with Leland and her giant Great Pyrenees dog, Mochi.