Who We Are


Gary Zacharias is the founder of San Diego County Apologetics Network. He is also an English professor at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA. He teaches a weekly apologetics class at Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, organizes major apologetics events for the whole church, and speaks to various church classes. In addition, he has set up an apologetics ministry--Apologetics For Life (apologeticsforlife.org). His email is: gary@apologeticsforlife.org. The church web page for apologetics is at efcc.org/apologetics-classes/.


Nathan Apodaca became very interested in apologetics when he began developing questions about his faith in high school. More recently the area he has devoted himself to is making the case for the life of the unborn, and showing love to those who have been wounded by abortion. He loves teaching how to engage on the issue of abortion and would be happy to do training for school groups or church groups.He can be reached at nathanapodaca90@gmail.com.


Ross Chenault has an M.A. in Apologetics from Biola University and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Theology from Newburgh Theological Seminary. He has written an introductory book on apologetics called Standing Firm: A Handbook of Christian Evidences. It is written in catechism (question & answer format) and includes responses to skepticism as memory work at the end of each chapter. Ross teaches an occasional class at his church, and endeavors to work with other local apologists to put on seminars in the area. Ross has spoken with apologists Dan Story, Kevin Conover and Bob Siegel, and has taught in Bible college and high school assemblies. His web site is www.StandingFirmInstitute.org


Don Goeller is shepherding the Apologetics/Worldview ministry at Foothills Christian Church in El Cajon.  He has his M.A. in Speech Communication from Portland State University.  He did additional graduate study at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon and at Albert Ludwigs Universitat in Freiberg, Germany.  He has served as a pastor of evangelism and discipleship, been a senior pastor, done public school teaching, and operated private businesses. He is currently working on a certificate in apologetics through Biola.  His special interest is to find and teach ways to wed apologetics and evangelism.  He also wants to see our young people equipped to overcome the challenges to the Christian worldview in school and in life.   Don can be reached by email at donliisa63@cox.net.


Tracy Kreckman has a bachelor’s degree in Technical Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from San Diego State University. He is a former Navy pilot, and now works as a technical trainer in the semiconductor industry.
Tracy attends the apologetics group at Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, and teaches in the Families in Faith adult Sunday School class from time to time. His apologetic interests include topics related to the physical sciences, and counter-cult activities. He is an admin on several apologetics-related Facebook pages, and can periodically be found engaging with folks of various beliefs at their booths in Balboa Park on Saturday mornings.


Wendy L. Patrick, JD, PhD is a career prosecutor, named the Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year by the California State Bar’s Public Law Section, and was recognized by her peers as one of the Top Ten criminal attorneys in San Diego by the San Diego Daily Transcript.  She has completed over 150 trials ranging from hate crimes, to domestic violence, to first-degree murder. 

Wendy is passionate about apologetics, using her career´s worth of evidence-based persuasion skills to defend the faith.  She is a frequent speaker at Christian conferences as well as on national television.  She is a frequent analyst on a variety of topics with over 1,500 media appearances including CNN, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and many others.

Active in ministry, Wendy holds a Master of Divinity degree summa cum laude from Bethel Seminary San Diego where she was awarded the Excellence in Preaching Award and the Zondervan Biblical Languages Award.  She received a PhD in Theology from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and is formally ordained through Converge Worldwide (Baptist General Conference).

Wendy is the author of Using the Psychology of Attraction in Christian Outreach: Lessons from the Dark Side, Red Flags: How to Spot Frenemies, Underminers, and Ruthless People, and co-author of the revision of the New York Times bestseller Reading People.

Contact her at wendypatrickphd@icloud.com or through her website: wendypatrickphd.com


Nick Perkins is currently serving at Mission Hills Church in San Marcos as the Pastoral Intern and attending Talbot School of Theology in pursuit of a Masters in Divinity.  He is a lawyer by training and came to Christ at the age of 28, after having grown up in the church but abandoning it at approximately age 20.  He can be reached at nrperkins@gmail.com.

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Jeremy Runyan

has a bachelor's degree from UC San Diego, where he double-majored in history and the study of religion. He is a Marine Corps veteran and a member of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem. More commonly known as the Order of St. John, it is a serving order of chivalry under the British Crown, of which the honor of membership is bestowed by warrant of its Sovereign Head, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Jeremy also serves as a teacher in the youth ministry at Emmanuel Faith Community Church and helps manage the San Diego County Apologetics Network Facebook page. Contact: Jeremiah.R.Runyan@gmail.com.



Josh Runyan has a Master's Degree in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. He has done speaking on several Apologetic topics. Currently he is director of Ratio Christi at UCSD. As such Josh leads an open discussion group centered on "Big Questions". He is particularly interested in arguments for the existence of God and enjoys one-on-one discussions.


Keith Simpson has a B.S. in Christian Education from Biola University. Currently, he's an airline pilot, apologetics teacher, and writer. Keith's burden is to better equip Christian parents and youth with useful/relevant apologetic content. Keith has published Dude, What Are We Thinking--Darwinian Religion Versus the Faith of our Fathers, which is an enjoyable critique of Darwinism based on real-life conversations. He also has a concise, hard-hitting presentation that covers difficulties related to abiogenesis, the fossil record, and genetics in one hour, including Q&A. Keith can be reached at kallensimpson@gmail.com.


Eric Sterk has been interested in apologetics for years, mostly in the areas of astronomy, history, and logic. He also keeps up with discoveries in intelligent design. He can be reached at eric.sterk@earthlink.net


Dylan Valenzuela has three main areas of interest. His first two interests have to do with friends that literally come knocking at your door-- Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons. His third (and favorite interest): Tactics with sharing the Gospel (How to implement the Gospel in any apologetic opportunity). His email is valen061@gmail.com.


Steve Bruecker has a Master's degree in Christian Apologetics from Biola and speaks on a variety of apologetic and theological topics. Examples include the Trinity, evangelism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Tactics.  He posts his apologetic and theological materials on his web site: biblicalworldviewacademy.org. In addition, he has experience in running apologetic conferences. Steve lives in Escondido; his email is sbruecker73@gmail.com.


Tyler Geffeney: "I have put together over 100 apologetics talks focused in an array of Apologetics with an emphasis on Intelligent Design, a defense of the Bible, resurrection, and Jesus as well as the methods for highly effective evangelism.  Currently I am developing a series of talks aimed at addressing our most pressing apologetic need to repudiate the rampant faithless secularism that has infused the Christian ethos and which has de-Christianized the Western church's witness.
I am currently working on a book entitled "Identity Christless" which is an exposé on how Christians have hurt their testimony by an incurable lust for individualism and self-acclaim." 


Alex McLellan

serves with Josh McDowell Ministry (JMM)a Cru ministry (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ). An effective communicator with international experience, Alex is passionate about engaging others with the gospel, sharing the truth of Christ – until the whole world hears. Alex is an author/speaker who shines the light of Christ into the darkest places, helping believers be prepared to share with confidence, and knowing the reason why Christianity is reliable, relational and relevant to our lives. Alex has been married to Sheryl for over twenty years and they have three children. The family lived in Scotland, UK, before relocating to San Diego, CA.





Joe Pinner has an apologetics discipleship group called Sanctified Thinkers, which is in its third year of ministry. The group likes doing book studies, learning about competing religions, and generally anything of apologetic or theological importance. Currently, they are going through STR's Bible Fast Forward video series. You can find them on Facebook and email at sanctifiedthinkers@gmail.com. Currently they are meeting every Monday night at 7 at 1185 Linda Vista Dr. San Marcos, 92025. Joe's email: josephpinner1@gmail.com.


Sarah Renee
is founder and director of Women In Apologetics,
Professor of Apologetics at Maranatha Bible College, Digital Library Specialist (Philosophy Dept., Western Michigan University), and writer, editor, and research assistant for Special Divine Action Project. She has an MA in Christian Leadership and is working on an Ed.D. in Christian Ministry.

Sarah travels and speaks on apologetics at conferences all across the country, as well as locally in Southern California. She can be reached at womeninapologetics.com.


Alan Shlemon is an author and speaker for Stand to Reason and is known for teaching on some of the most
controversial issues of our time like abortion, homosexuality, bioethics, and Islam. He has been a guest on both television and radio, and has spoken to thousands of adults and students across the country at churches, conferences, and college campuses. For more information or to schedule Alan, contact Dawnielle Hodgman at dawnielle@str.org. His website is www.alanshlemon.com.


Mark L. Strauss, Ph.D., is University Professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary San Diego, where he has served since 1993. He is the author/coauthor of 15 books and many articles, and editor/co-editor of 40 volumes, with expertise in the New Testament, Gospels, Hermeneutics and Bible translation. In addition to his academic work, he preaches and teaches regularly at churches and conferences. He is married to Roxanne, a marriage and family therapist, and has three grown children.

Mark L. Strauss, Ph.D.
University Professor of New Testament
Bethel Seminary San Diego
6116 Arosa St. 
San Diego, CA 92115



William Soo Hoo is a Molecular Immunologist (B.A., UCSD; Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana) with a M.A. in Christian Apologetics from BIOLA University. He is a published scientist (and cartoonist!) and currently works in the biotech industry as a Senior Director. William was raised as a non-Christian and decided to become a follower of Jesus Christ while in high school, realizing that the gospel message "just made sense."  He has experience teaching topics on science, faith, and Christian Apologetics to groups ranging in age from middle school up to adults. His interests include Origins of Life ("abiogenesis"), Big Bang cosmology, and problems with neo-Darwinian evolution.  Prepared talks include, "Abiogenesis: No Time, No Chance, No Way!", "Christian: Don't Be Afraid of a Big Bang", and "If You're Not Apologetic, You'll Be Sorrrrry!"  William regularly teaches at his church, the Chinese Bible Church of San Diego, and has spoken to a number of outside groups as well. Contact: william.soohoo@gmail.com 

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Dan Story is a Christian apologist and environmental ethicist. He has a BA in theology and MA in Christian apologetics from Simon Greenleaf School of Law. Dan writes apologetic books and articles and offers short classes and talks on apologetics, Christian environmentalism, and related topics. He is also a contributing writer for the Christian Research Journal. You can reach him at danstory@earthlink.net. You can also follow his blog posts at http://danstory.net/blog/


James Wigdahl, who can be reached at <james@wigdahl.com> says, "I do my best to be a generalist in apologetics, but I am definitely drawn more toward arguments/defense that are scientific, logical, or philosophic. My catalyst in taking up apologetics is to be ready with reasoned answers for questions from my kids when they come up and to be able to give them a good grounding in the Christian faith. I have facilitated seeker-oriented discussion forums to answer questions/objections, participated in online debates on the existence of God and the inadequacy of the naturalist/materialist view to explain reality, taught through the program "Christianity Explored", and spoken to the apologetics group at EFCC  I've also been known to moonlight as a singer/actor and enjoy using those gifts in furthering God's Kingdom."

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Sean Henschel has served the Branch College of Ministry as both the Academic Dean and an instructor since 2015. His courses include Greek and exegesis. In addition, he is a regular teacher for the Branch Church morning and evening services. Previously, he served in Christian Education for five years at Horizon Christian Academy, teaching at various high school grade levels while engaged in curriculum development. He can be reached at www.branchcollege.org.

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Matt Marzec is currently on staff at the San Diego Branch Church, where he regularly speaks at the morning and evening services. In the past he was an account specialist/executive for various software and technology companies. He also conducts seminars and teaches Apologetics and Philosophy, being fully dedicated to both defending and declaring the truth claims of Christianity.He also can be reached at www.branchcollege.org.