Pearl Church

Leadership Team

photo of Ben Barczi
Ben Barczi
Home Groups

Ben is one of the many transplants to Portland from California, and hopes you won’t hold that against him. After studying philosophy and serving as Pastor of Spiritual Formation at First Baptist Church, San Luis Obispo for 13 years, Ben moved to the Northwest to finish his M.Div at Portland Seminary. His passion is to journey alongside people and help them discover their unique, creative partnership with God for good in the world. Ben is the co-author of Good Dirt, a devotional series for families, a spiritual director and founder of Poiema Soul Care, and also has the best dog in the world, whose name, Arete, means virtue.

photo of Cheri Gilbert
Cheri Gilbert
Neighbors – Pantry Coordinator

Cheri is a city girl who grew up in Chicago, married in San Diego, and now calls Portland home. She’s been attending Pearl since August of 2014. Cheri helps run Pearl Church’s food pantry and this is a great fit considering she loves God, people, and food. She believes that living out the abundant life includes sharing it with others by sharing God’s love in tangible ways. Being a city dweller and a part of an urban church, loving our neighbors as Jesus would is a joyous part of her everyday life.

photo of Constantino Khalaf
Constantino Khalaf

Tino grew up in a secular family, and by the time he reached adulthood he was a staunch atheist. He spent five months in 2011 walking from his home in New York City to the Deep South, and it was then that he first heard the whispers of the Holy Spirit. To his surprise, he began to pray. The still, small voice led him to the gospels, and reading them, he fell in love with Christ. He thinks he’ll always feel nostalgic for NYC, but he can’t imagine making a life anywhere other than by this pond we call Pearl Church. In addition to serving in leadership in the Neighbors ministry, he leads a home group with his husband, David. He loves winter, and days when the sun sets at 4:00.

photo of Ian Durias
Ian Durias

Ian was born in the Philippines, raised in Seattle, WA, and has been in Portland ever since college. He and his wife, Mindy, have five kids and the Durias family have been at Pearl Church since 2002. Ian first came to Pearl Church as an interim music minister and has served Pearl in a variety of different ways since. He says, “Pearl has been integral to my spiritual formation and it’s a privilege to contribute to this faith community so that others can be nurtured spiritually, too.”

photo of Leslie Barnes
Leslie Barnes
Neighbors – Dinner Coordinator

Leslie moved to Portland in 2014 and immediately found her home in not only NW Portland but also Pearl Church and the Pearl Court Ministry. Her career path in Sports Medicine naturally evolved into her passion for global medical missions. She considers it a blessing that she has been allowed to use her talents on short term missions to the countries of Bhutan, Benin, Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico Thailand, Bangladesh, and India. She treasures her role as coordinator of Pearl Court Dinners and considers it her local mission field.