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Meet our Pastor

Rev. Dr. Derrick Elliott

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Rev. Dr. Derrick Elliott's Christian foundation is rooted in the Baptist tradition from childhood to young adulthood until the “God is Still Speaking" campaign of the United Church of Christ deeply resonated with him. This campaign inspired him 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. Currently, he serves as the Pastor of Desert Heritage Church in Mesa, AZ, and Sun Lakes United Church of Christ. Additionally, he is an Air Force Reserve Chaplain at Peterson Space Force Base with the rank of Captain, from which he will be retiring in late June 2024.

Prior to his role as an Air Force Reserve Chaplain, he served twelve years in the Louisiana National Guard as an enlisted Administrative Assistant and Military Intelligence Officer. His professional journey also includes roles as an elementary school teacher, Community Outreach Specialist for Homeless Veterans, Correctional Chaplain, Hospital Chaplain, Youth Worship Leader, and Board Member for the United Church of Christ. He holds a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary, a Master of Education, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Additionally, he has completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education and obtained his Doctor of Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary.

He has been married for 17 years and loves spending time with his family and friends, as well as gardening. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, swimming, and running, and has completed five sprint triathlons.

Meet our Chaplain for the US Navy

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 18 years, Cassie, their two young children, 2 silly dogs, and one guinea pig named Pickles.  Ch Squires is currently serving in the US Navy in Floridia.

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