Meet The Staff


Steve Smith

Senior Pastor

Steve has been pastor of the Upland Brethren in Christ congregation for more than fifteen years. Prior to serving the Upland congregation, he served two congregations in Pennsylvania and has been in full-time pastoral ministry for 21 years.

Before being called into ministry, Steve was in the technology business, first as an electronics technician and later as Vice President of Systems Development and Marketing for a systems integration company. Spending time with his wife, Phyllis, their five daughters, and eight granddaughters is his priority and delight. He also enjoys working around the house on various projects, as well as an occasional attempt at golf.


Ricky Neilsen

Youth Director

Ricky has worked with teenagers for ten years and served on a board of youth advisors (youth council), where they would plan events for the teenagers. His primary role was to design t-shirts and flyers for events. For six of those eight years he taught Sunday School for the adults and teenagers.

He is currently attending CSUSB for a BA in Graphic Design. Family relationships are the most important to him, so he makes time to be with his wife Annie and other family members. When he gets a chance he takes Dash his dog to the dog beach at Huntington Beach.


Jimmy Dunn

Worship Pastor

Jimmy has served in church music ministry for more than 20 years, including nearly 10 years as the director of worship and creative arts at an evangelical church in Phoenix, Arizona. Jimmy is an accomplished pianist, accompanist, composer and arranger, with an eclectic expertise in classical, gospel and contemporary music. Jimmy’s motto is, “play it from the part of you that sings! Always give it 110% because god deserves our very best.”

Jimmy’s interests (outside of his full-time passion for music) include golf, golf, and golf. Oh! And also biking, hiking, and playing sports. Jimmy’s greatest passion is spending time with his wife, Robin, and his two daughters and four grandchildren. (He may not look old enough, but he does have 4 grandchildren!)


Robin Dunn

Choir Director

Robin Dunn is a music graduate of Azusa Pacific University. She enjoys singing and playing the cello, as well as encouraging the choir and orchestra to learn challenging music that glorifies God. Robin has served in ministry alongside her husband, Jimmy, for more than 20 years, and also loves spending time with their grandchildren. Robin’s personal interests include family, friends, reading, writing, and fundraising for the causes and ministries she holds dear.


Laura Duncan

Children’s Ministry Director

Laura Duncan has attended Upland Brethren In Christ since she was 4 years old. Laura is married to a wonderful man named Morris, and they have two children, Brad and Bethany. The Duncans are avid Disneyland fans, which keeps them all kids at heart. Even more than Disneyland, though, Laura loves to teach children about the love of God through Bible stories, games, crafts, especially helping children build a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.


Phyllis Smith

Director Community School

Phyllis has been married for 39 years; has 5 daughters and 4 granddaughters. As the director of the preschool, she gets to combine her joy of working with children and their families, along with serving the lord. In her spare time, she likes to travel. Pennsylvania is one of her favorite destination spots because that is where 3 of her grandchildren live. The Panama Canal is on her “must see” list.


Joan Bowers

Office Manager

Joan has been serving the Upland Brethren in Christ Church for over 20 years and has been involved since she was 9 years old. She has a son and daughter-in-law and a step-granddaughter. When time allows, she enjoys camping, reading, and having fun with her little sheltie. One of Joan’s favorite verses is Romans 8:28 – “and we know that in all things god works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”



Ann-Margret Neilsen

Youth Director

Annie is a communications major emphasis in public relations. She has been serving in youth ministry for ten years. She can often be found at a movie premiere or film festival. She is happily married to her best friend Ricky Neilsen.