The Olive East Seventh-day Adventist Church in Merced, and the Mariposa Seventh-day Adventist Church welcome Pastor Stephen Eastwood as their new pastor.  Originally from Kurri Kurri, New South Wales (Australia), Stephen Eastwood grew up in England where he attended Newbold College, obtaining a degree in religion in 1995.  Before coming to Merced, Pastor Eastwood was pastor of the San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay Seventh-day Adventist churches in the southern portion of the Central California Conference where he pastored for about nine years. 




A Word from Our Pastor

When I was 4 years old, I announced to my parents that I wanted to be a pastor - "they only work one day a week you know", I said.


Over the following years, I battled both a strong sense of calling to the church, its mission and its leadership, along with a reluctance to Gods call to be a pastor.  But through everything, I am convinced that God has me right whre he wants me.  I've tried doing things my way - even ministry.  That is such hard work, and brings a level of responsibility I do not believe I was created for.  But now I find myself far more willing to offer my life, family, ministry, the world, and church, over to God.  I call it the surrendered life, and in my truly beautiful moments, it means he directs my actions and decisions, and it means I walk in peace and confidence.  and now... what if we, together as a church, went beyond the spectacular, hardworking, looking for the clever short cut, or the perfect argument... and as a church listened for the voice of God, and then followed Him?

I am so excited to be bringing this new chapter of my life to Merced.  The more I find out about my new home, the more I see God at work.


I think the worst that could happen is for everyone who tells me that it's been 2 years since you last had a pastor, to think that now a pastor has finally showed up they can stop doing all this church stuff, put their feet up and let the new guy do it all!  What a shame that would be for the kingdom of God!

So let's not do it that way.  Let's choose instead to fully immerse ourselves in building God's Kingdom with each other, and with God himself.  So while I won't be taking our jobs away, I will make it my business to inspire you, feed you, and connect you to deep Godly things we know to be true.

Right now I am up to my eyes in boxes.  I've found a new home a couple miles from the church, and everything is falling into place nicely.  As I write this, I am 3 and a half weeks from preaching my first sermon in [the Merced ] church.  There is so much to do between now and then, yet I feel incredibly ready.  So I mean it when I say - I can't wait to get started, and for us all to get to know each other better.


Your Pastor,



To get in touch with the pastor please visit or or call the Merced Olive East church at 209-383-4449.    You may also Email us at