Meet Gethsemane Lutheran Church’s Pastor

Gethsemane Lutheran Church (2696 Melbourne Drive, corner of Shawn Ave. and Melbourne Dr.) is pleased to introduce our pastor, the Rev. Karla Seyb-Stockton.
Pastor Karla joined Gethsemane on March 4, 2019 and was installed three weeks later by the Rev. Dr. Andrew Taylor, Bishop of the Pacifica Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Pastor Karla is a proud Navy Veteran

She served as a chaplain for 20 years after graduating from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.

Her Navy chaplaincy tenure included shipboard duty on the USS PRAIRIE (AD 15) and USS TARAWA (LHA 1), assignment to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, CREDO San Diego, and seven years with two tours of duty in Navy Medicine serving as chaplain at Oakland Navy Hospital and Navy Medical Center San Diego.

After retiring from the Navy in 2008, Pastor Karla served as Associate Pastor at Incarnation Lutheran in Poway until 2017 and then as an Intentional Interim Pastor for two area churches during their pastoral search processes.

Pastor Karla is married to her high school sweetheart and fellow avid Padres fan Ed Stockton (also a Navy Veteran), and they have been married over 36 years.

An Iowa native, Pastor Karla and her four siblings were raised on the family farm, which has been in their family for over 140 years. As a 4-H member, Pastor Karla honed her skills in cooking, sewing and calf-raising. She was an exchange student in Sweden after high school graduation. Later in life she took up running and has run three marathons and a bunch of half marathons.

Pastor Karla earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Iowa State University, expecting to become a counseling psychologist. Her call to ministry came when she was working as a youth director for a Lutheran church in Bucyrus, Ohio.

Pastor Karla is an active volunteer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and is involved with the philanthropy team of her quilting guild.

Pastor Karla is looking forward to participating in the life of the Serra Mesa community and to working with Gethsemane’s highly-regarded preschool and the preschool families. She is also committed to Gethsemane’s legacy of community outreach, including collaborations with Mission Village Christian Fellowship on the Serra Mesa Food Pantry and the Serra Mesa Community Garden and Orchard.

Peggy Watkins,
Administrator

I have been in my current position as Administrative Assistant at Gethsemane Lutheran Church since July of 2015.  My main duties have included drafting weekly worship bulletins, compiling monthly “Witness” newsletter articles for print and distribution, and now weekly email updates for members and friends. I have maintained the church website and posted activities to Facebook. I maintain the church directory and print it as necessary. I maintain the calendar for room use and room agreements, answer phones, order supplies, set up for Pastors’ weekly meetings, maintaining church registry, monitor email, and other general secretarial tasks. 

 Prior to  coming to Gethsemane I worked at College Lutheran Church as the Administrative Assistant with similar tasks for three and a half years until they closed in June 2015. I also maintained the preschool accounting (both AR and AP), church accounting, and payroll.

 I also worked at Trinity Christian School as librarian and bookkeeper for five years prior to the above.  I have been attending Trinity Presbyterian Church in Spring Valley since the mid 90’s where I am Clerk of Session and corporate Secretary.  Previous work history includes many years of sharing my accounting skills.

I was married for 41 years before becoming a widow in 2013, have a wonderful son Paul who just made me a “mother-in-love” as he married his true love in March of 2021.  They reside in So. Carolina where Ashley is serving in the Navy.  I reside in east county with my three fur babies (two dogs and one kitty).  Hobbies include quilting and handcrafts of all kinds.
Gethsemane Christian Church Preschool Director Vicki.

Vicki Coffee,
Preschool Director

My name is Vicki Coffee and I have been working at Gethsemane Christian Preschool (GCP) since 1989.  I began as a teacher in the 2 year olds’ classroom and through the years I have taught all ages and transitioned to the role of Director in 2013. I have had the privilege of serving hundreds of wonderful families in the community of Serra Mesa in my over 30 years here at GCP.  As the Director I strive to provide a quality, safe, fun and engaging learning environment for our students.  I am committed to providing an environment where parents feel safe and at ease knowing their children are well taken care of and safe while they are at work.
I have been married to my husband since 1991 and became a mom to my amazing son in 1993. In 2019 my son blessed me with my first grandchild, an incredible little boy and we will be blessed again in September of 2021 with our first granddaughter.  I am truly blessed!
In my spare time I enjoy traveling, camping and spending time with my family. I also truly love what I do and look forward to many more years here at GCP.

Becky Ackerman,
Preschool Director

My name is Becky Ackerman and I have had the privilege of being a part of Gethsemane Christian Preschool since 1991. After spending an amazing 22 years as a teacher, in 2013 I was excited to expand my role to include becoming a co-director. Together with my co-director Vicki Coffee and a team of amazing and creative teachers, I am committed to providing families with a loving and engaging educational foundation for a lifetime of learning.
I have been married to my husband Eric since 1997 and have a daughter Ashleigh who has blessed us with 3 granddaughters Chloe, and twins Scarlett and Juliet. My time away from work is spent with family and my horse Sprout.

Chuck Cheek,
Maintenance Coordinator

I started working at GLC as ’the guy who fixes things’ after I retired from my real job. I wasn’t looking for a job, but my mom, who was a member, set me up. She came home and said, “I signed you up to interview for this job as a Maintenance Coordinator.” I said, “Mom, I retired for a reason. I am not looking for a job.” But she said, “Would you just go talk to the pastor for me? I don’t want to let the pastor down.” I went, fully expecting to politely decline. I came home with a job and have been fixing things ever since. My mom has since moved on, but I have stayed. I am married to my wife Gail and a glass of iced tea is my constant companion.
Malcolm Twentyman Keyboardist

Malcolm Twentyman,
Keyboardist

My name is Malcolm Twentyman, married with two grown girls. After graduating from college in London I packed my bags and emigrated to America and made San Diego my home. I have lived here 32 years and am now a proud American citizen. As a musician I have a number of jobs. I teach music to elementary kids, I give private piano lessons and am the accompanist here at church. As much as I love music my other great love is the ocean. I love to swim or paddle board, and go as often as I can.
Ken Baker

Ken Baker,
Choir Director

Ken has enjoyed being the choir director and during COVID, with no choir, the song leader here at Gethsemane Lutheran Church since January of 2008.  Prior to coming to Gethsemane, Ken directed choirs and ensembles for Church of the Nazarene, United Methodist and Presbyterian churches since 1976.  During his 26 year career in the United States Navy, he also had many opportunities to utilize his musical talents in support of shipboard religious services. He enjoys arranging and writing music as well as singing 4-part a’capella style arrangements.  On many occasions, Ken has also been called upon to lead the services during absences of previous pastors.
Ken and his lovely wife Becky have been married for 51 years and have three children and 6 grand children.  In addition to GLC, Ken is employed by a small non-profit organization in Coronado where he and Becky live and is also a rideshare driver.