Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Church Staff

Our Pastor

Our congregation’s pastor is Rev. Dr. Alfonso “Al” O. Espinosa. A native Californian from the San Joaquin Valley, he was ordained in 1991 and served Saint Paul’s from 1996 to 2002 and was called again in late 2010 and began serving Saint Paul’s on January 1st, 2011. He is a graduate of Concordia University, Irvine (B.A.) and Concordia ‰ Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN (M-Div). He brings specialized knowledge to his teaching in Christian Apologetics (M.A. from Biola University) and Theology (Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham, England). Pastor has published essays, bible studies, was a study notes contributor to ‰ The Lutheran Study Bible, and has taught for several years as an adjunct professor of theology at CUI. His most cherished service, however, is being a parish pastor right here at Saint Paul’s where in showing Christ’s compassion he proclaims and teaches the Word of Christ in public service and in personalized meetings both for the families of our congregation and for anyone seeking to know more about the saving faith.

Pastor Espinosa is married to Traci who is a gifted servant of the Lord and whose love for family shines through. Pastor and Traci have been blessed with eight children and a daughter-in-law and son-in-law as well, so make that ten which include A.J. & Gaby, Elizabeth & Andrew, Danielle, Christina, David, Esbeydi, Bryan, and Katherine. ‰ The rest of their family – our family in Christ – is Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine, California, the people of God gathered around Word and Sacrament. Pastor Espinosa and the Saint Paul’s community of faith would consider it a great honor and privilege to serve you! Our goal in serving you is very simple and yet powerful because through faithfulness to Christ’s Word and Sacrament: “Christ will shine on you.”Ephesians 5:14

Assistant Pastor

Steve Mueller was born in Gardena, California in 1964. Soon after, his family moved to Seal Beach, California, transferring to Bethany Lutheran Church. He attended Christ College Irvine from 1982-1986, graduated and then attended Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He served his vicarage in Denver, Colorado and remained at the seminary one additional year to complete his STM degree. He was ordained on June 2nd, 1991. Steve was called to Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sioux City, Iowa, where he served as Assistant Pastor for 4 years. During this time he was accepted into the Ph. D program at Durham, England. He accepted a call to Concordia University Irvine in 1995, finished his degree, and has been a member of the Theology Department ever since, currently serving as Dean of Christ College.

Steve met his wife, Nina, at Christ College. They were married in 1988 and now have three sons: Matthew, Christopher, and Jacob.
He is the author of numerous publications including books, Bible studies, and articles. These include Called to Believe, Teach, and Confess: An Introduction to Doctrinal Theology (editor and contributor), Not a Tame God: Christ in the Writings of C.S. Lewis, and the hymn “Christ, the Word of God, Incarnate.” He devotes his free time to woodworking in his shop.

Pastor Mueller has served Saint Paul’s as a visitation pastor for many years and two years ago he and his family joined the congregation. He and our senior pastor have been friends for over 20 years and have been co-workers in sacred ministry for much of that time. It is with great joy that the people of God gathered at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine receive Pastor Mueller as their new Assistant Pastor (part-time) beginning February 16th, 2014. Dr. Mueller continues his full-time service at Concordia University Irvine.

Organist and Choir Director

Gerald Dahlin started piano lessons in the first grade and continued taking lessons until he graduated from high school. He played the sousaphone in junior and high school. He started organ lessons in his junior year in high school and continued on at UCLA for six years, studying under university organist Thomas Harmon. While serving as organist at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Santa Monica, he met his wife, Jeanette, who was called to teach there upon her graduation from what is now Concordia University Nebraska. They were married in 1976.

Jerry has served at several churches in the Los Angeles area. Before coming to Saint Paul’s, he was the organist/director of music at First Lutheran Church, Long Beach.

Jerry and Jeanette have two children: Melissa, who lives in Washington, D.C.; and Andrew, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

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  1. Great post, I admire the writing style 🙂 A little off topic here but what theme are you using? Looks pretty cool.

  2. Great post, I admire the writing style 🙂 A little off topic here but what theme are you using? Looks pretty cool.

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