Pastor Eric Smith

Our Pastors

Our Pastors

The founding pastor of the Coronado Community Church was the Reverend Dr. Thomas P. Warmer. Tom was a beloved healer and powerful in the pulpit. He started the Church in 1996 and served until 2005. Tom passed away in 2021… may his memory be blessed.

In 2005 Reverend Stephen J. Mather took on the pastorate of the CCC. A native of Coronado, Steve is an ordained Presbyterian minister who is a graduate of Princeton Theology Seminary. He brought his brilliant intellect and insightful commentary to the pulpit each week. Pastor Steve served the CCC for 16 years until 2021.

In 2021 the Reverend Dr. Eric Smith became our current pastor. Eric grew up in Coronado, graduating from CHS in 1972. His seminary education took place at the Claremont School of Theology.

Pastor Eric Smith

Eric Smith is a seasoned preacher. He served United Methodist churches for 40 years and retired from active status with the denomination in 2021. In his career he has pastored seven churches, ranging in size from 100 to 1,300 members. His last congregation was St. Andrew’s by-the-sea in San Clemente.

Learn more about us

His church background is filled with highlights. He was pastor at the Holliston Church in Pasadena for 12 years. The Rose Parade passed by each year, so the church constructed grandstands for the parade to host 1,000 people. “It was like an urban barn raising every year,” he said.

He also recalled hosting movie shoots on church property. “It wasn’t uncommon to have stars like Eddie Murphy, Tom Hanks, John Travolta and Robert Stack on site, either in the church, or in the courtyard. Stack used our facility backdrop to introduce episodes of his TV show, Unsolved Mysteries.”

Smith also worked with Prison Ministry for several years. “Going inside the prison to spend time with men who are incarcerated, with little reason for hope, often serving life sentences, was a powerful experience of the grace of God. It has had a profound effect on me.”

As his life and ministry come full circle, Pastor Eric is always quick to share a memory of his youth growing up in Coronado. Anyone who was here during those car-carrying ferryboat years, can’t help but sit spellbound listening to his stories.

“Coronado is my home,” said the tall preacher, with a wide smile on his face. He stands well over six feet. “Coronado is the ground of my being. I was raised, loved, and nurtured on this island.

“I was given so much, by so many, that it has always been my dream to return and offer something back to this community. When I was approached by the Coronado Community Church, there was a wholeness in it that struck me immediately.”

Ironically, Pastor Tom Warmer, the first pastor of Coronado Community Church, was Smith’s mentor in ministry all those years ago. “What a gift to anticipate pastoring the church he founded,” said Smith. “This is a new and exciting chapter of ministry in my life. Pastoring this church is a joy to imagine.”

The Pastor Eric Smith is married to Karen, his partner in life and ministry; she is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Equity Actors Union. The Smiths have four grown children and five grandchildren.