Pastor Erik Goehner

Senior Pastor

I’m Pastor Erik Goehner, and I’m so glad you’re interested in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. I would like to share a few quick words about who I am and how I’d like to serve you.

I was born and baptized in California, but I grew up mostly in Goldendale, Washington and Columbus, Montana. It was in these rural settings where I was largely shaped by my parents’ work as they helped begin two Christian ministries that serve adults with developmental disabilities. My worldview and faith have also been molded by study abroad and mission trips I’ve taken to Ghana, Nepal, Mexico, and El Salvador.

For my adult schooling, I attended Augustana College in Alberta, Canada followed by pastoral studies at the Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. I have continued to study ways of service in the ministry through Stephen Ministries Leadership Training and the Executive Skills for Pastors training at California Lutheran University (CLU).

Before joining the pastoral team at Holy Trinity, I served at Trinity Lutheran Church in Santa Barbara and at Mount Cross Lutheran Church in Camarillo. At Mount Cross, my focus was on youth and family ministry as well as service opportunities in the community. I also helped start a contemporary worship service at the church. I have been involved in the local community through several non-profit boards over the years, including the Ventura County Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Many Meals of Camarillo, the Lutheran Social Services Advisory board of Conejo Valley, and the Conejo Valley Interfaith Association.

I am blessed by a wonderful partner in life, my wife Desta, and our three children. Desta works as the Director of Church Relations at CLU, and I find great joy in being with my family. I love to discuss history and books with our daughter Maya, coach flag football and basketball for my son Dryden, and to dance the jitterbug with our youngest daughter, Piper, in the kitchen.

I love the image of Pastor as “spiritual adventure guide.” Like a whitewater rafting guide, I am here to help keep you centered in the raft as we navigate through rough water, but I believe our church members and attendees still need to do some rowing in order to explore the challenges and changes in the river. Each week we gather in the boat we call the church, because we know we need to be connected to our ultimate Guide and Savior Jesus Christ, and we need each other to keep moving ahead in our faith.

I am so glad you stopped by our site, and we hope you will join us for worship or another activity soon!