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 teams sent to Mississippi after Katrina and to rebuild post-earthquake Haiti – and numerous advocacy efforts for justice, including an intentional effort to move the denomination towards full inclusion — Hollywood UMC has grown from one campus to two, the second in Toluca Lake.
Rev. Cooper Ledesma is an active member of Hollywood 4WRD, a coalition in the greater Hollywood area working to house our brothers and sisters who call the streets home. Most recently, she served as a member of the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission, appointed by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
Kathy 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 served 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 is the past co-chair of the Cal-Pac UM Conference “Imagine No Malaria” Task Force. She is also 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 adults.
Pastor Bridie Roberts serves as the Associate Pastor of Hollywood United Methodist Church. Appointed to our Hollywood campus in the summer of 2021, Pastor Bridie’s focus is to help build our community engagement and outreach ministries. Previously she assisted Pastor Mark at our Harmony Toluca Lake Campus beginning in 2019. A long time ministerial candidate of our congregation she has been a part of our community for many years.
Before coming back to serve as Pastor, Bridie served a two point charge as Pastor in Charge at La Puente United Methodist Church and Alhambra First United Methodist Church. She brings to us her spiritual gifts of preaching, prayer, and teaching. Formerly the Program Director at Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Pastor Bridie is also an experienced community organizer and trainer who has more than 20 years of experience organizing interfaith communities on issues of economic and worker justice, housing equity, immigration reform, and voting rights. In addition to her role as our Associate Pastor, Bridie serves as the Deputy Director for Community Organizing for Unite Here Local 11, the hospitality and restaurant workers union representing more than 30,000 members in LA, Orange County and Arizona.
She is a graduate of Grinnell College with a BA in Political Science, and received her Master of Divinity at the Claremont School of Theology with a specialization in Urban Ministries. She is an avid crocheter, a beginning banjoist, and enjoys long walks with a bullhorn and a picket sign.
In January 2017, Mark began pastoral oversight of Harmony – Toluca Lake (second campus of Hollywood UMC), after being HUMC’s business administrator for many years. Being a strong ally and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, he is committed to equality and justice within our Divine Creator’s diverse family, as the affirming ministry of the church must include and honor all as beloved children of God.
As a delegate for the California-Pacific Annual Conference to the UMC General and Western Jurisdictional Conferences, Mark is participating in the creation of a bold, new, fully inclusive form of Methodism for the 21st Century. Also, he is passionate about caring for the most vulnerable in our world, as well as being involved with disaster relief efforts – having led numerous rebuilding excursions in Mississippi, New Jersey, and Haiti.
In service to the surrounding community, Mark is quite involved with the local Toluca Lake organizations, currently serves on the Board of Directors for local LA theater – Moving Arts, and previously served on the Boards with the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council, and the Heart of Hollywood Foundation.
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.”
Kyle Gattison has 17 years of ministry experience that highlights his passion for God, people and the arts. His love for leading people in worship is just as evident as his passion for expressing the greatness of God through the arts. He intentionally creates a safe space for people to freely and authentically connect with God in a deep and meaningful way. He can simply & accurately be defined as a lover of God & multifaceted creative. Whether it’s him as a Billboard charting recording artist, a worship leader endorsed by one of the biggest charismatic worship music movements, a creative consultant for artists & brands or his two songs that were considered for GRAMMY nominations, GATTISON brings his passion, creative heart and skill into everything he does.
Devon joined HUMC in 2008 as a member, and has been involved with ministries focused on food insecurity and our local unhoused community, as well as with the music ministries and choir. He joined the staff in 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.
Beginning December 1st, 2022, he became a candidate for ministry and a pastoral associate for HollywoodUMC. He is excited to see where God is leading and this new opportunity to grow and be in service to this community of faith.
Since 2010, Jase Lucas has felt a calling to ministry driven by a desire to serve God by helping others, especially children and those in marginalized communities. In 2017, he finished his ministry internship with Crossway Community Church and accepted an appointment as Next Generation Pastor at The Way Christian Fellowship. Since then, he has served in a number of roles with emphases on empowering families and strengthening diversity in the Family of God.
A member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Jase is passionate about engaging people to reconcile brokenness and hurt while redeeming the world’s perception of the Church as a place of love and acceptance.
Professionally, Jase is a public relations manager working with fashion and beauty companies to build brand reputations while maximize positive social impacts. In his free time, he loves to bake and listen to true crime podcasts.
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 husband, Tony.
Melissa Perrigo is transplant from Cleveland, Ohio. One who has made a home in the heart of Los Angeles ever since graduating from Ohio University, with a Bachelor of Science in Cartography. Surprisingly though, she did not end-up making maps! Instead Melissa established a long corporate career, mainly in finance based roles. Industries have included: commercial & residential real estate, entertainment, retail & wholesale businesses, and merchant service companies. Now with HUMC, she has delved into the world of non-profit religious organizations, and Melissa feels God has placed her exactly where she should be!
Kevin Weiler has a long history of success in both the entertainment and public health/medical industries. Earning his acting chops as an actor on both stage and screen, Mr. Weiler eventually took on the role of producer, working on feature films such as Little Heroes; Jane White is Sick and Twisted; Wild Land; and The Last Letter. His production company, New Voices Productions, filmed and produced the documentary When Boys Fly and, partnered with Rise Up Entertainment, developed a series of tech industry television commercials. Mr. Weiler has both produced and starred in several film and television productions since.
As a community activist, Mr. Weiler has staged many benefit performances, such as Psycho Beach Party, which raised several million dollars for the Gang Violence, Tobacco and HIV Prevention programs at the Valley Community Healthcare in North Hollywood. He continued community support efforts by developing Smart Health LA – the Disease Prevention and Treatment Center at the same center. His efforts raised awareness and support for those infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic for many years. He was also an active supporter of the Kidz Eyes Foundation, a non-profit organization that provided arts scholarships to underprivileged kids. In addition, Mr. Weiler’s well-known networking events, Break for Breakfast and The Sunset Sunday Series, have helped hundreds of industry professionals forge new relationships and create new opportunities in a professional but easy-going environment.
Marlon De Silva was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, and has been attending HUMC with his parents since he was a one-year-old. His passion for the film and television industry sparked when he was eight-years-old, and made him realize he had the power and the tools to create stories using the medium of filmmaking. He would make short films at the church that would be shown during worship services, as he prepped for his career. He has also interned and worked on projects for Netflix, Fox, Disney, and NBCUniversal throughout high school and college. Right after his internship at NBCUniversal, his team at NBCU hired him as an Assistant Editor a few months before graduating with his B.A. in Television, Film, and Media Studies from California State University, Los Angeles in 2021. He was also one out of a hundred selected nationwide for the Class of 2021 Academy Gold Rising Program from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and was one of thirty-five in the group to be in the Production Track—emphasizing in Film Editing.
During the COVID-19 global pandemic, Marlon helped edit together the online worship services while in college and interning full-time at NBCU, and ultimately helped build the livestream set-up for HUMC along with the HUMC A/V team. As the Video Director, he loves directing the broadcast and other video elements involved in the service, real-time editing, and putting together the weekly live streams—bringing a virtual worship experience and making everyone feel like they are home at HUMC.
Emily came to HUMC by way of Australia, joining the congregation in 2008 and volunteering for several ministries. She also began work at Nielsen NRG as a supervisor, where she worked both in the office and the field running research screenings. She was thrilled to join HUMC as production coordinator and help bring worship services together.
Donna Miller first came to HUMC in 2008, and attended until 2010 when she moved back to the Midwest. Since her return in the fall of 2017, she has been active in the community here and in June of 2018 began her role as part of the HUMC team. She brings her media and writing skills to bear in helping to create print and multimedia for the worship services and email newsletters, as well as coordinating the front office.