Pastor Chris Estrada
Raised in El Paso, TX it was in no time at all until Chris found himself in a lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, lust and trouble. Not understanding why his dad slept at one house & his mom slept at another, sent him on a search that landed him at church. It was here he was invited to youth camp in the summer of 1999. This is where everything changed; Chris received the gift of salvation, experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit and was called into full-time ministry all in one night!
Chris Estrada is now a voice impacting generations. His roaring excitement and ability to address current issues with solid, life-changing truth makes him a dynamic communicator for everyone that hears him. He carries a mandate: to release courage & power into risk takers and dreamers who desire divine turn arounds. Chris passionately pursues ministering the gospel of Jesus Christ, developing leaders who want to transform society and consulting organizations to have a strategic & lasting influence. Being a former business owner, missionary and pastor makes him a diverse resource. In addition to serving as the Director of Youth For The Nations at Christ For The Nations Institute, his lifestyle of excellence, honor and revival led him to develop The Circle - a 12 month leadership & character intensive for pastors, as well as host the National Youth Leader Experience - a leadership gathering attended by pastors & leaders from all over the world.
Chris is a graduate of Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas, TX. Chris & his wife, Erica are working on getting over their addiction to chai tea lattes and they have 4 children; Elisha, who loves baseball & frozen yogurt, Jasmine, who loves dressing like a princess while drinking chocolate milk, Carissa, who loves dancing & singing along to bubble guppies, and their newest addition, baby Micah.
Alberto has always been a visionary; a passionate person. There are three things he’s most passionate about: Encouraging people to love God, love people, and maximize their fullest potential here on earth.
He came to Christ when he was 15, but fell away two years later. At 22 he lost everything that mattered to him and hit “rock bottom.” A life-threatening overdose left him half unconscious, and he heard an inner voice ask “Where he’d go if he died?” right then and there.That moment scared him. He pulled through and almost immediately got back everything he’d lost, but still felt empty. He walked away from it all and checked into the Teen Challenge, a Christian rehab center. As he walked up the steps, he felt liberated and during his second day there, knew he was supposed to go into ministry.
One year later, Alberto completed the program and was accepted into the Teen Challenge Ministry Institute (TCMI) Bible School. He preached his first sermon to the most captive audience he’d ever have – the “lifers” in cell block ten of juvenile hall. That’s when he realized he had a gift.
His first church planting experience was in South Central LA, while Alberto was in bible college. He started a youth ministry and then, he and several other bible college students, including his now wife Ashley, helped the bible college’s director plant the church. There they’d learn how to pioneer, starting something from nothing with limited resources, and witness God’s faithfulness.
Four years later, Alberto and Ashley accepted a position as Youth Pastors at Bakersfield First Assembly of God, an established church of 1,500 members at the time. Now, God was showing them what it should look like several years down the road. After two years in Bakersfield, Alberto felt the call to plant a church that was so diverse, everyone would feel like they were coming home.
The Gathering LA began with four people, meeting at The Oasis of Hollywood on Thursday nights. After three months they moved to Sunday morning services, and the official launch took place on January 12, 2013. For three and a half years, Alberto and Ashley’s primary focus was to lay a healthy foundation. They would accomplish this through being intentional about having the church rooted and modeling Biblical pattens in leadership and the church, they saw many come to Christ.
Currently, Alberto serves at the Associate Pastor at Bakersfield First Assembly of God, where he once served as Youth Pastor. This is been a “full-circle” moment in his life, in where God is bringing dreams that started years ago into completion!
Aside from his pastoral ministry, Alberto had served in Youth Ministry for 6 years where he was the area representative for Los Angeles and Bakersfield, camp director as well as speaker, and served on the executive youth leadership team for the SoCal AG. Alberto is currently an up and rising conference speaker as well as the Hispanic Next Gen representative for the NHCLC (National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference).
From 2016-2017, Alberto and his wife Ashley, hosted their own television program on the TBN Salsa Network entitled, “Life In The City.” A sit-down, talk show, in where they told the stories of those who are currently making an impact for the kingdom of God through living missional lives in their own careers and contexts- with emphasis on the entertainment industry.
Next to every good man stands a great woman, and Ashley is the love of Alberto’s life. She is his biggest fan, cheerleader, encourager and best friend. They have been married for almost 10 years, have two beautiful girls, Brooklyn and Talia, and their youngest son, Mateo. Their greatest joy is to see people encounter God in a relevant and powerful way, while discovering His plan and purpose for their lives.