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About Us

Meet Our Team:
Pastor Michael Anderson

A native of Northern Michigan, Pastor Mike Anderson was installed as LJLC Pastor March 17th, 2024.  Mike is licensed by the LCMC and is also a Commander in the US Navy Reserve.


Pastor Mike was educated at Harvard University (BA, American History, 1990), Emory University Candler School of Theology (MDiv, Theology, 2008), and Yale Divinity School (STM, Pastoral Care and Counseling, 2010) and completed an extended unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in 2008.


Most recently, Mike served as a Chaplain Program Manager for the Commander, Navy Region Japan, from 2020-2023.  Prior to that, he was a Chaplain for the US Marine Corps at 2nd Marine Logistics Group - Camp Lejeune, the US Navy aboard USS ANTIETAM (CG54), and the US Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan.  Before Active Duty, Mike was a US Naval Reservist while serving several parishes from 2006-2009. 


Mike's hobbies include adventure travel, hiking, eating, classic cars, and watching football as a long-suffering Detroit Lions fan (there's always next year!).  Mike played college football at Harvard, where he was a reserve tight end on the 1987 Ivy League Championship team. Though he's never had children, Mike is a big fan of eye-rolling 'dad jokes,' WWII documentaries, mechanical watches, classic arcade games, and taking naps in reclining chairs.

Tracey Marino

Director of Music

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Since 2007, Tracey Marino has been the Director of Music at La Jolla Lutheran Church. She is a composer, songwriter, musician, and producer. From childhood she has sung, played the piano and the organ at church. Although she writes, loves, and appreciates all genres of music, she is especially fond of traditional hymns and contemporary praise songs.

Her upbeat, positive music is heard daily around the world and has been featured in films, documentaries, national commercials, and TV shows including; “The Voice,” “New Girl,” “The Tonight Show,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” “Fixer Upper,” BBC Kids shows, and many more.

In 2022, she and her husband Vance Marino wrote the #1 best-selling book, Hey! That’s My Song! A Guide to Getting Music Placements in Film, TV, and Media, published by Backbeat Books. The Marino’s are members of and frequent panelists for professional music organizations.

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Eliza Hugee

Administrative Assistant

Eliza Hugee is a native of Washington, DC and has spent the past 8 years in San Diego. Most of her background has been as a Legal Secretary and Administrative Assistant.  She joined the staff here at La Jolla Lutheran in August 2023 with the goal of providing Administrative Support and becoming an integral part of the Church family.


Over the years, Eliza has been in several theater and dance ministries, enjoys the arts and writing, and is currently working on her first stage play.

We’re a close-knit congregation of very active members. We are located in the San Diego community of La Jolla and our church building is three blocks from the beach. Our worship service, which combines traditional and contemporary elements, is held in the sanctuary every Sunday at 9:30 a.m., with YouTube access for who can't be present. 
Newcomers and visitors frequently comment that they immediately felt at home and recognized that we are a body of believers who emphasize scripture-based sermons and the power of prayer.
About the Church


Through much prayer and sacrifice, La Jolla Lutheran was birthed on May 20, 1945. Church members originally met in a local mortuary for services and broke ground on the current location at 7111 La Jolla Blvd in 1947.

The church, designed in the Spanish Mission style by architect William Stone was first led by Pastor Leonard Johnson. La Jolla Lutheran has a history steeped in service to God, friendship and honey. The first sanctuary was built through a generous contribution from Pastor Johnson’s friends in Wisconsin, beekeepers and international honey traders Carl and Hazel Aeppler. The church honored the Aepplers’ gift with a plaque in the sanctuary that declares La Jolla Lutheran “the church that bees built.”

In the church one can see the bee motif. The stained-glass windows in the sanctuary include bees, flowers and honeycombs. The pulpit includes bees carved into the wood. 

What We Believe


We teach that Jesus is both fully God and fully human and by his virgin birth (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31,35), sinless life (Hebrews 7:26, I Peter 2:22), miracles, death on the cross, and bodily resurrection is our Lord, and has redeemed us (Romans 5:8). We teach His ascension into heaven (Acts 1) and His imminent return (Revelation 22:20) to earth in power and glory (I Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 9:6, Colossians 1:15- 20).


We teach that there is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 44:6, Ephesians 4:4-6), eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We call this “the Trinity” (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19, I Corinthians 12:4-6, II Corinthians 13:13).

We believe the Triune nature of God is based on the testimony and revelation of God’s word in Scripture as well as supported by the ancient creeds of the Christian Church, most notably the Apostles’ Creed:
"I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary."


The Holy Spirit

We teach that the Holy Spirit, true God, makes faith possible (John 14:26, Acts 11:16-17, I Corinthians 12:3, Romans 8:14-17) and dwells in each believer (Romans 8:1-17, I Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 1:13). The Holy Spirit’s natural and supernatural gifts are available and operative today for all Christians (Acts 2, I Corinthians 12:1-11, 28-31, 14:1-12, Ephesians 4:11-13, Hebrews 2:4), and we encourage their use (1 Thessalonians 5:19). All gifts are to be used with reverence and humbleness, and none of them is to be used as a “test” for true faith.

The Bible

We teach that the Holy Bible is inspired by God. It speaks God’s Word to us as our final authority in matters of faith and life (2 Timothy 3:16, Psalm 119:105, Matthew 4:4, 2 Peter 1:19- 21, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Revelation 22:18-19, John 17:17, 20:31). The Bible is not just ancient literature, but rather a living book which Jesus opens to us (Luke 24:45). 


We teach that Jesus alone (Acts 4:12, John 14:6), by His death on the cross and resurrection, provides salvation from sin, death, and the power of the devil. This salvation is a gift; it is free and cannot be earned. We call this grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). Because of this grace, we teach that one can be certain of eternal life (“assurance”—John 5:24) and the forgiveness of sins (Acts 10:43).  We teach that we partake of this free gift of grace by faith alone (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38). We call this “justification.” It happens once and for all as the believer receives Jesus into his or her heart and is reborn (Romans 3:3, 10:9-10, Revelation 3:20, John 3:1ff) by water and the Spirit (John 3:5).

Our affiliation

The church is part of the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC), the fourth largest Lutheran denomination in North America. It includes 970 congregations with 785 churches in the United States and over 100 churches in 15 other countries.


Sunday School

Our teaching time for kids aged 3 through 12 is held on Sunday after worship. One of the great things about a church's size is the kids get individualized attention in a supportive environment.

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