Rev. Sungho Lee
209-466-5046 ext. 2
Sungho Lee was appointed to the Central UMC on July 1, 2022 as the Senior Pastor. He has a Korean accent when he speaks English, but when he smiles you do not see any accent.
His focus is on helping people to find biblical Value, Identity, and Purpose in life (he calls it VIP) through worship, small groups, and missions. He works with the lay leaders, church administrator, and other staff members to grow God’s love here in Stockton. He values lay people who serve the local churches, especially those who give their time, talents, treasures, and testimonies for mission and ministries.
He enjoys “practicing” violin (you do not want to say that he “plays” violin when you hear him playing), swimming, hiking, biking, and outdoor activities.
Sungho graduated from the Seoul National University (Law School) in Korea, and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston Illinois (M. Div.). He then got his Ph. D. from the Northwestern University in the Communication Studies/Hebrew Bible in conjunction with G-ETS. Before coming to Central, he served South Suburban Chicago, Schaumburg, Belvidere, and Orland Park (4 churches) in the Northern Illinois Conference and Santa Clara Valley and Concord (2 churches) in the California Nevada Annual Conference.
His wife, Hyesung Lee, is also an ordained pastor of the UMC and now the pastor of Brentwood Community UMC. He and his wife have 2 adult children – one son and one daughter.
Sungho is involved in Small Group Academy-UMC (Small Group leader training program under GBGM), VIP Ministry Network (Network of pastors who want to promote biblical VIP together), and CRCCMadnag (Cross Racial Cross Cultural Ministry network) beyond our local church.
His favorite Bible verse is, “Not my will, but Thy will be done” (Luke 22:42), and his favorite hymn is “Hymn of Promise” (UMH #707). He is very positive because he believes in God who is doing marvelous things in hopeless situations. Sungho says that he experiences God’s grace all the time when he surrenders his will to God’s. Sungho hopes and prays for others to experience the same grace in their lives.
Rev. Viseth Hou
Viseth Hou began serving the Cambodian Stockton community as an associate pastor for Central United Methodist Church and the Cambodian congregation on July 1st, 2018. Prior to this appointment, he served as a local church lay servant for five years at the Cambodian Point Pleasant United Methodist Church in Elk Grove, California.
Originally from Cambodia, Viseth earned a Bachelor’s degree from the National Institute of Management in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia. Not long after, he and his family moved to the United States so that he and his wife could attend Ashland Theological Seminary (ATS) in Ashland, Ohio. Sponsored by a scholarship for international students, he was able to continue his education and received a Master of Divinity degree in 2008. Through the National Brethren Church, Viseth and family moved to Stockton, California in 2009. He ministered as the Pastor of God’s Purpose Church and was ordained into the Brethren Church in May 2012.
Viseth heard God’s calling and has passion to help restore the lost connection between older and younger generations as well as work with all Americans to help people grow spiritually in Jesus Christ.
His interests are caring and praying for the sick, helping the poor, and comforting those who are broken in spirit. He and his wife, Socheata, live in Stockton and their two children, Victor and Victoria, who are both attending Delta College.
Rev. Dr. Gary Putnam
The Rev. Dr. Gary Putnam served as Senior Pastor at Central UMC 1990-2003. His is the longest tenure of all pastors in the 171 years of our church. Previously he served as Pacific’s University Chaplain, and in campus ministries in Iowa and Wisconsin.
209-466-5046 ext. 1
Susie joined the Central team in the fall of 2013 as the Church Administrator. Her friendly smile is the first thing people see when they come by the office during the week. Susie oversees the daily operations of the church, facilities and supervision of volunteers and facility staff. She also coordinates the many activities, events, tenants and church programs.
She enjoys designing the newsletter, flyers, signs, brochures and invitations for the various church events and ministries. She also creates the logos and graphics for special events.
Susie graduated from University of Pacific with a degree in Communication. Before coming to Central, she worked in the Human Resources Department at California Pacific Medical Center and for St. John’s Presbyterian Church, both in San Francisco.
When not at work, Susie enjoys spending time with her husband Aaron and their families. She loves anything outdoors and in the mountains. Her hobbies and likes are: hiking, biking, reading and photography.
Ricardo “Ric” Campero
Director of Music
Ric Campero has been Director of Music at Central United Methodist Church in Stockton since 1994. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Music Education from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, Stockton. Ric recently retired from Ceres Unified School District in Ceres after 38 years teaching music at all levels.
Ric leads the Chancel Choir in inspirational choral presentations for worship services and, over the years, has coordinated sacred choral festivals that include other church choirs in the region.
Ric also directs the Stockton Singers, a community-based adult choir, which performs as part of the Stockton Chorale organization. Ric is in demand as a clinician/guest conductor, and has appeared in recital and as a featured soloist.
Please contact Ric if you are interested in joining the Chancel Choir!
Originally from the UK, Elaine began serving as the Youth Director in August 2023. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music (emphasis on voice) from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music. She is also a member of the Society of Pi Kappa Lambda, whose primary goal is to recognize and support academic and musical excellence at the highest level. Elaine is also the founder and Executive Director of Out of the Box Music Arts, a youth-based nonprofit providing access to music-making opportunities to our underserved communities of Stockton.
Elaine’s passion has always been to use music to help motivate and share about God’s love and His desire to have a personal relationship with us. She has used her skills and talents as a Community Music Instructor while living in Manchester, UK, also as part of the groundbreaking Christian Dance Band, “The World Wide Message Tribe,” as a solo Christian Artist within her local Church as a Children’s ministry leader and as a teacher and Worship Leader. Using music in this way has helped to open the hearts of the listeners. I like this quote by JS Bach “Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.”
Nursery School Director
Elaine has taught at Central Methodist Nursery School since 1997 as the transitional kindergarten teacher. She became director of the school in 2014. Most parents and students know her as Ms. “G.” because she still teaches in the mornings while handling director duties in the afternoon. Elaine’s passion lies in helping children learn and grow in self-confidence.
If Elaine isn’t at school you might find her running or working in her garden. Elaine has two grown daughters, Mary and Allison who are alumni of the school.