Rev. Kathy Cooper Ledesma
323.874.2104 Ext. 201
The Rev. Kathy Cooper Ledesma, an elder in the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church, is the Senior Pastor of Hollywood United Methodist Church.
Appointed to this position in July 2006, Kathy has worked to intentionally grow this urban congregation, located at one of the two busiest intersections in all of Los Angeles, into a vibrant, progressive, reconciling United Methodist community in the heart of Hollywood. In her first five years, the worshipping congregation more than doubled and the number of children in Sunday school tripled. With a dedicated, talented staff, and a tireless Governance Board, the church’s vision of reaching the mildly churched and families with young children, young urban professionals and progressives, is being realized. Through intentional outreach, mission opportunities – including five teams sent to Camp’s Waveland and Gulfside in Mississippi and six teams sent to UMCOR efforts to rebuild Haiti – and numerous advocacy efforts for justice, including an intentional effort to move the denomination towards full inclusion — Hollywood UMC is growing in numbers and in faith while welcoming all God’s children into the congregation. To God be the glory.
Rev. Cooper Ledesma is a former member of The Wall/Las Memorias Project, who honored her for her work in 2014. She is the former chair of the Community Advisory Panel of the LAUSD HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention Unit. Kathy is one of the founding members of the Homeless Task Force of the Hollywood area faith communities (LA VOICE), served on the Los Angeles County Bring LA HOME! Blue Ribbon Panel on Ending Homelessness, and currently serves on the board of Faith Matters – an interfaith advisory group to People Assisting the Homeless. In addition, Kathy served on the Los Angeles County’s Safe Surrender Task Force, resulting in the creation of effective public policies encouraging women to not abandon, but safely surrender, unwanted babies at local hospitals and fire stations.
Kathy currently chairs the Cal-Pac UM Conference “Imagine No Malaria” Task Force. She is the past co-chair of the Bishop’s Task Force on Children and Poverty and the Board of Church and Society for the Cal-Pac UM Conference. Kathy also served for many years as the chair of the Conference Hunger Task Force.
From 1994-2005, Rev. Cooper Ledesma served the California Council of Churches, the public policy and education arm of the mainline Protestant community in California, as Board Chair and later as program staff. She directed statewide projects on interfaith relations, public/private partnerships, welfare reform implementation, and faith based child care. From 2005-2006 she worked as a project specialist at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture on issues relating to communities of faith and preschool for all, her strong expertise. During her tenure with the Council Kathy authored First Fruits for California’s Working Poor, a study guide for congregations, about the lives and conditions of those participating in the state’s CalWORKs programs.
In 2005, Kathy received the Boutilier Award for Distinguished Ecumenical Service from the Southern California Ecumenical Council.
Kathy received her A.B. degree from Occidental College and her M. Div. from the Claremont School of Theology. She was married to the Rev. Rene Ledesma for 26 years, until his death in 2014. She is the proud mother of two young adult sons, James and Joshua.
Rev. Dan Lewis
323.874.2104 Ext. 203
The Rev. Dan Lewis, an elder in the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church, is the Associate Pastor of Hollywood United Methodist Church.
Rev. Lewis received his B.A. in Film and Television Production from Montana State University and his MDiv from Iliff School of Theology in Denver. His career experiences prior to serving the local church have included touring rock drummer, newscast director for ABC affiliates, and counselor of homeless and runaway youth.
The ‘son of a preacher man,’ Rev. Dan grew up close to the church and finally stepped into full-time ministry in 1999 when appointed to serve the Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. He was ordained Full Elder in the Yellowstone Conference in 2004 and transferred to Cal-Pac in 2005. Rev. Lewis has since served as Pastor-in-Charge for churches in Kona, HI; Placentia, CA; and Downtown Los Angeles; and as Associate Pastor in Claremont, CA and now Hollywood. He has received specialized training for Congregational Development and Revitalization by the United Methodist Church.
Throughout his years of ministry, Dan has enjoyed having directed and counseled camps for youth and for those living with HIV/AIDS. He has served on the Boards of Directors for the Joan Macy Girl’s School in Laverne, CA and the LA United Methodist Urban Foundation. He is also an active member of the Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-LA), the County of LA Department of Mental Health Faith Advisory Council, the Skid Row Faith and Mental Health Roundtable, and is a proud honorary Girl Scout. Rev. Dan is drawn to making church language and rituals more accessible so that those outside of church culture may understand and appreciate them.
Upon the completion of the 2016 Conference Journal, Rev. Lewis will finish 8-years in the role of Co-Secretary for the California-Pacific Annual Conference.
Rev. Dan and his husband Kerry Cooper (Hollywood UMC member) were married in 2015.
Pastor Denyse Barnes
Denyse Barnes is a Pastoral Intern, studying in the second year of her Masters in Divinity at Claremont School of Theology. Denyse is a member of Ojai united Methodist Church where she played an active role in all areas of church life. She remains chair of their single board governance, and was formerly Handbell director, choir member, served on the worship committee, took part in pastoral care visits, preached regularly, helped with Sunday school, ran small groups, volunteered in the church office twice a week, produced the newsletter and maintained the website.
Denyse hails from the UK originally and after traveling the world teaching English as a second language, settled in California some 14 years ago. Since being here she has concentrated on her caregiving skills, running a company providing travel opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities and as a hospice caregiver, focusing particularly on Alzheimer’s patients.
Before leaving England, she was employed as a special education teacher in a school for children and young adults with severe epilepsy and other brain disorders. Her specialty area was information technology so her classrooms were always full and busy!
Her original degree was in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering and she worked for many years as a computer programmer, problem solver, and trainer.
Denyse is a confirmed candidate for ministry and hopes to pursue ordination under the Elder track with the UMC in the future.
When not working or studying, Denyse can often be found walking at the beach in Ventura with her three dogs, Dodger, Jo Jo, and Sheldon or singing with the Ventura Master Chorale. All of her family remain in the UK so there are many video calls across the ocean to keep up with the lives of her nieces, nephews, and many godchildren with where possible one or two visits ‘home’ each year – although most of them prefer to come here to visit!
Chief Operating Officer / Pastor, Toluca Lake Campus
323.874.2104 Ext. 202
As of January 2017, Mark has begun pastoral oversight of the Toluca Lake Campus (multisite of Hollywood UMC). Concurrently, he is serving as the Chief Operating Officer for Hollywood UMC. Previously, Mark was the church’s Business Administrator, while also leading adult education classes. When possible, he participates on mission trips – including previous rebuilding efforts in Mississippi, New Jersey and Haiti. Currently, Mark is member on the California-Pacific Conference’s Connectional Table, and recently served as Chair of Cal-Pac’s New Ministries Essential Ministry Team. He is part of the Finance Team for the UMC Western Jurisdiction. Mark was recognized by the Cal-Pac Conference with its annual Lay Man of the Year award, and was elected as a reserve delegate to the UMC General Conference in 2012 and 2016. Community-wise, he is on the Board of Directors for the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council, Heart of Hollywood Foundation, and Moving Arts Theater.
Music / Choral Director and Organist
323.874.2104 Ext. 205
International performing artist John West received his Master of Music degree with Honors from the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, Massachusetts. His initial organ studies began at the age of 13 under the tutelage of Richard Purvis at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.
Mr. West He has toured extensively throughout the world with performances
spanning distances from the Republic of Soviet States to the far northern reaches of Alaska, South America and throughout the United States .
His performance credits include solo appearances with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Pasadena Symphony. With the American Guild of Organists he has been a featured artist of Region IX Convention, and clinician for the 2004 National Convention. HE performed a solo concert in Ottawa Canada to rave reviews as well as on the Distinguished Artists Series at West Point, Military Academy in New York. He also has performed on all the major instruments in Southern California including the Hazel Wright Organ at the Crystal Cathedral, Disney Hall and First Congregational Church Los Angeles.
His recurring performances since 2007 as Guest Artist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) at Walt Disney Concert Hall have been extraordinarily well received. In a review from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune of the LAMC All Los Angeles High School Choir Festival, the reviewer wrote, “The students were rapt in their seats. They cheered on West, the rock star of the event, every time he appeared onstage.”
In June of 2010 John was featured to play for the prestigious 100th Anniversary Concert of the Los Angeles Chapter of the AGO on the largest church organ in the world at First Congregational Church Los Angeles.
RADIO, ORGAN RECORDINGS, DVD& COMPOSITIONS
In February 2000 John West was the solo featured artist for the longest running radio show for the organ, ‘Pipedreams’ with Michael Barone. John is most honored to be a featured organist on the DVD Documentary of the Glatter-Götz-Rosales organ at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
He has two solo organ compact discs, ‘Rev’d Up Organ!’ and “The Roar of The Furies & The Sounds of Sirens”. Both are available for purchase by contacting JohnWest@JDoubleU.com
John has choral works published by Lawson-Gould and organ works published by Augsburg Fortress.
A HOLLYWOOD CAREER- TV, FILM, RECORDINGS
John is also very active as a performer/musician in film, television and recordings. Since arriving in Hollywood he has continuously had a successful career in the entertainment field.
He got his first professional industry job as a staff writer on the Motown Records label. He eventually became staff producer and had the opportunity to hone his skills working directly with founder Berry Gordy, Jr. He has had songs recorded by such singers as Jennifer Holiday and Nancy Wilson
His uplifting spiritual song “Heaven’s Hands” was used to open the Vienna Music Festival, Vienna Austria in May of 2011. The song was performed with a full orchestra, a chorus of 100 plus voices before a crowd of 10,000 people.
John has had his songs placed in film, and his vocal arrangements can be heard in the following feature films. Disney’s “The Three Musketeers” starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy, “Phone Booth” and the 2010 release “Faster”.
He became an in-demand vocalist for TV and Film and has worked as vocal contractor for such blockbusters as “Hairspray”. “Godzilla”, and “South Park” His vocal performances are included in the films “King Kong”, “Norbit”, “Men In Black”, “Night At The Museum 1 & 2 & 3”, “The Matrix Trilogy”, “Happy Feet 1 & 2”, “The Lorax”, “The Simpsons”, “Ice Age II, III & IV”, “Star Wars 2016”, and a host of others totaling over 150 films!
Television appearances include “Dancing With The Stars”, “The Academy Awards”, “Boston Legal”, “American Idol”, “Grammy Awards”, “GLEE” and “The Voice.”
323.874.2104 Ext. 202
Originally from Illinois, Bethany moved to California in 2005 hoping to be discovered. She wasn’t particularly sure what her talents were or where her passions lie, so until fame and fortune arrived, she decided to dabble in the non-profit sector, working at The Fuller Foundation in Pasadena for two years. Then the movie industry came calling. Bethany made her debut at DreamWorks Animation, SKG in the business and legal affairs department, where she had a good run for nearly eight years. But she received a different and higher calling in 2017 when the Heavenly Director asked her to participate in His epic story and join the team at HUMC. With the final scene already shot and in the can, Bethany is looking forward to seeing the dailies, watching how her character develops, and reflecting the Director’s glorious vision.
Children's Ministry Coordinator
323.874.2104 Ext. 200
Kevin has worked with children, youth and families for over 20 years, much of that in church and Christian ministry. He is the father of three children, Rachel, 20, Grace, 17 and Silas, 6, and loves being a part of the HUMC family with his partner, Tony.
323.874.2104 Ext. 100
Laura has been HUMC’s Administrative Assistant since January of 2007. Growing up as a member of a small Methodist church in Virginia most of her life, Laura decided to check out Hollywood UMC in 2004 shortly after moving to Los Angeles, mostly because it was used as a film location in two of her favorite movies: ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Sister Act’. She fell in love with the congregation, joined the choir after her first visit, and has been a member of the Hollywood UMC family ever since. In addition to her full-time office duties during the week, you’ll see Laura at the Welcome Table after service every Sunday, or you may see her running lights, or PowerPoint, or maybe even in the choir loft. If you have any questions about Hollywood UMC and how to get involved, Laura is the person to ask!
Devon Michael Jones
Communications / Marketing Director
Devon joined HUMC in 2008 as a member, and has been involved with the homeless ministries and the music ministries. He joined the staff at the beginning of 2015 and has been working to grow our social media presence and community awareness with the hopes of growing our church family and ministry programs here in the heart of Hollywood and Toluca Lake.
Capital Campaign Coordinator
323.874.2104 Ext. 100
With a background in the non-profit, education and financial management fields, Aly joins her colleagues at HUMC as a stewardship partner and the leader of our Organ Renovation campaign. Her time as an AmeriCorps inner-city teacher, along with travels around the globe, ignited a passion for larger than life ideas and took her faith journey to new heights. She carried this enthusiasm to a boutique wealth management firm and, after more than a decade of “success”, decided it was high time to listen to God’s gentle calling and threw herself into ministry work full-time. The mom to three young gals, Aly and her husband love this wondrously messy, grace-filled journey.
Assistant Children's Ministry Coordinator
A native Minnesotan (ya sure, you betcha!), Heidi has developed and managed children’s programs in both the public and private sector for over 15 years, most recently with Princess Cruises. After following a gentle “nudge”, Heidi made the leap, leaving the corporate world in 2015 to concentrate on advocating for children in foster care and changes to the system in LA County. She has been active with our Children’s Ministry at HUMC since becoming members of the congregation with her husband Tom in 2011. She has served in several capacities and is currently also a member of the HUMC North Campus Launch Team.