Meet our Pastor
Pastor Derrick Elliott
Derrick Elliott has a Christian foundation rooted in the Baptist tradition from childhood to young adulthood until the “God is Still Speaking," campaign when, he says, “the United Church of Christ campaign spoke to him.” This led him on a journey to become a Member in Discernment with Casas Adobes Congregational Church, UCC in Tucson, AZ and the Southwest Conference in 2013. He was ordained as an authorized minister within the United Church of Christ in 2016. Derrick is currently the Pastor of Desert Heritage Church in Mesa, AZ and also an Air Force Chaplain Reserve Chaplain stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in the rank of Captain. Prior to serving as an Air Force Reserve Chaplain, he spent twelve years of service in the Louisiana National Guard as an enlisted Administrative Assistant and as a Military Intelligence Officer. He has been an elementary school teacher, Community Outreach Specialist for Homeless Veterans, a Correctional Chaplain, a Hospital Chaplain, a Youth Worship leader and a member of the Board of Directors for Arizona Interfaith Power & Light. He currently holds a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary, along with Master of Education and Bachelor of Art degrees from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He has completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education and is pursuing his Doctor of Ministry at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Meet our Assistant Pastor for Congregational Care
Chaplain Toben R. Squires
Toben is an Arizona native with roots in the state stretching back to the 1870s. He is a graduate of Northern Arizona University with degrees in Music and Philosophy and earned a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley California.
His path to ministry and chaplaincy has been anything but linear, with time spent underwater as a commercial diver and in people’s homes as a home health physical therapist assistant prior to receiving his call to this work.
With a simple message to spread, “You are loved AND worthy of love”, Toben spends most days working as a hospital chaplain meeting with people experiencing life’s changes and helping to reorient them to their unique sense of truth and meaning.
When not working he enjoys a nice cup of tea, getting beat at chess, and spending time with his wife of 16 years, Cassie, their two young children, 2 silly dogs, and one guinea pig named Pickles.