This is the team that makes our church the blessing that it is!
Matt Sanders became senior pastor in August 2015. Most recently, he served as a professor at The College at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Matt and his wife, Cheryl, grew up in Hawaii and lived most of their lives here. They have three daughters, Kiyomi, Ariel, and Keiko. Matt has a Ph.D. in theology from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, a master of arts in theology from Southwestern, and a bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of Hawaii. His favorite theological topic is anything to do with the Trinity. His desire is to see Waialae Baptist become a disciple-making and disciple-sending church all to the glory of God. In his spare time, Matt likes to run, lift weights, and play golf poorly.
Cheryl Sanders is serving as interim music minister, beginning in September, 2015. Cheryl has many years of experience performing musically, teaching music, directing choirs, and coordinating and leading worship services. She has a music education degree from the University of Hawaii and has done post-graduate work at Oberlin University, the University of Hawaii, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Most recently, Cheryl served as an assistant to the worship leader at McKinney Memorial Bible Church where she helped organize and prepare music for the worship team, played keyboard and piano, and directed a fine arts program. In addition to her passion for God and music, Cheryl has a heart to use music to help people in the special needs community, not only to use music as therapy, but also to develop ministry potential in all people.
Stacy Hirano has been serving as office manager since November 2016 and youth director since 2013. Stacy graduated from the University of Washington School of Law, practiced law in the areas of civil litigation, administrative, real property, and natural resources law. She has served on a number of non-profit boards, including the Hawaii Baptist Foundation, Waialae Elementary Public Charter School, The Early School, Boy Scout Troop 115, Pew Civic Entrepreneur Initiative, Young Business Roundtable, and Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. Stacy enjoys Bible study, listening to audiobooks, teaching and/or facilitating small groups, and learning to play new instruments.
“Mr. Sam”, what the kids call him, has been joyfully serving as preschool director and lead pre-k teacher since January 2016. He has been working and volunteering with children to young adults for over two decades now, and has taught preschool in fun and innovative ways for over the last 14 years! He has a M.Ed. in curriculum studies with an emphasis in early childhood education from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, as well as a B.A. in Liberal Studies in Music, Spanish, and Theater. Mr. Sam is married with three sons (ages 7, 10, & 11), and is active in fitness and coaching, playing on worship teams, and having a blast with the church hiking club-which he has hiked 56 different hikes on O`ahu since 2011! He has been a member here at Wai`alae Baptist Church since 2016, and is so excited to be teaming with the church and leading the preschool toward becoming one of the highest quality Christian schools on the island and beyond!
Phil Kim joined the Wai’alae Baptist Church family in May 2020. He is a Southern California native that now lives in and loves Hawai’i. He is married to his beautiful wife, Jimin, whom he met in South Korea during his two and half year stint pastoring in Seoul. They have two energetic boys, Yosef and Nathanael (ages 5 & 3). He has his masters of divinity from Youngsan Theological Seminary and a bachelor of arts in Biblical studies from Life Pacific College. He loves meeting people and leading them to an authentic relationship with Jesus. He has ministered to a wide variety of ages, from children to adults, and has planted a church. Phil is excited to see all that God is going to do in Oahu!