C.J. and Renee Bergmen have been married for fifteen years. They have two children: Keane and August.
C.J. learned to love San Francisco in his childhood, visiting family regularly from his home in the Central Valley. Living here has been a life long dream for the Bergmens. C.J. and Renee have ministered in San Francisco for the past 6 years, beginning with Redemption San Francisco, and now with Citizens. Before moving here in 2012, C.J. served as a worship pastor for ten years.
C.J. and Renee’ started Citizens Church because they have a burden to be part of a diverse, multigenerational, multiethnic church that serves the least of these, pursues health, and is a safe place for those who are hurting.
Dave and Maggie have been married for ten years, serving together in ministry. They have three children: Shepherd, Trinity, and Lucy.
In 2011, Dave and Maggie visited family in San Francisco and ran the San Francisco Half Marathon. The course started downtown, ran out and back across the Golden Gate Bridge, and ended at Golden Gate Park, offering a beautiful tour of the city. In just one day, they were both captured and burdened for San Francisco. It’s a wonderful place lost to the God who created its wonder.
After pastoring in Houston for five years, they finally moved to the city in 2014 to plant a church. That church (King's Cross) joined Citizens Church in 2017. Dave and Maggie earnestly believe the gospel of Jesus empowers broken people to flourish and want to be part of a gospel church where all types of broken people flourish.
Georgia is a vocational deaconess with Citizens, working full-time for the church in two main realms:
Communications / administration — coordinating gatherings, connecting with visitors, welcoming new members, and communicating with our church family and ministry partners
Justice / mercy ministries — teaching our church about God’s heart for justice and facilitating spaces for transformational & mutually-beneficial relationships between our church, friends on the margins, and local organizations
Georgia grew up in North Carolina, graduated from Elon University, and moved to San Francisco in 2015. She has a heart for participating in God’s redemptive story through pursuing justice, being a part of missional communities, and inviting others to know God and live for His glory.
Kevin and Jocelyn Embleton are from Canton, Ohio… well, sort of. Kevin grew up a pastor’s kid overseas, and Jocelyn grew up in a ministry family that moved around a lot. The couple met in college and married in 2012. Kevin worked as a worship pastor, taught guitar lessons, and worked odd jobs for a few years while Jocelyn finished up school and worked in the coffee business.
In 2015, the Embleton’s moved to San Francisco to pursue ministry and discover a part of America they had been dreaming about for years. After a few years of transition, the couple partnered with Citizens SF. Kevin serves as a worship pastor, and Jocelyn volunteers as a social media guru. Kevin also runs a recording company in the Tenderloin called Slow Heart, pursuing his desire to be a blessing to the artist community and provide an affordable recording solution to budding artists and friends in the city.
As a bi-vocational missionary, Kevin counts in part on monthly gifts from friends & family to help sustain his ministry here. If you would like to give monthly or a one-time gift, please Click Here. Thank you so much for serving our church in this way.
In addition to our staff elders and deacons, Citizens is led by a group of deacons. All Christians are called to be servants, but after only a few weeks, the early church recognized the need for lead servants. These lead servants, which the Bible calls deacons, are men and women of strong character who further the mission of the church by sacrificially providing organizational leadership, support, skill, and encouragement to the body of Christ under the direction of the elders.
Presently (in addition to Georgia and Kevin above), we have four deacons.
Soma has been a key resource and support for Citizens Church since its beginning. Soma is a family of churches making disciples, strengthening one another and planting churches of missional communities toward gospel saturation.
Soma provides on-going support through finances. They also provide a church planting coach for C.J. who regularly meets with him for accountability and training. Citizens is also part of a strong area cohort of churches that includes 3 other Soma churches in Portland Oregon.
Soma is committed to helping Citizens become a strong, healthy, self-sustaining church in San Francisco for the long haul. Check out the Soma Family of Churches here.
Before merging with Citizens, King's Cross had been a member of the Sojourn Network since January 2015. Sojourn Network is a church planting network committed to helping pastors plant, grow, and multiply healthy churches.
When Dave Ainsworth joined Citizens in 2017, CJ enthusiastically supported partnership with the Sojourn Network. It is theologically-robust, relationally-driven, and rich with experience in planting healthy churches in creative urban contexts like San Francisco.
We are excited for Citizens to be shaped and encouraged by their influence and are grateful for their financial partnership. Check out the Sojourn Network here.