Pastor David and Maria White come to the Porterville Church of God from the San Francisco Bay Area, but this is more like a homecoming for them. David grew up in Selma, and Maria in nearby Traver, and they met as students at Fresno State in 1995. They married three years later and went into ministry as youth pastors and evangelists before making the fulltime plunge into pastoring in April, bringing them back to their extended family in the Central Valley. He follows after Pastor Phil Akin, who retired after almost 11 years of faithful service with his wife Gayle. David spent the past 17 years as a newspaper sportswriter, first at The Fresno Bee for 12 years before going to the San Francisco Chronicle to cover the NFL the past five years. During this time, he ministered part-time at local Church of God churches in Traver, Grover Beach, Goshen, Dinuba and Hercules. He obtained his exhorter's license with the Church of God after completing the Ministerial Internship Program, and graduated to ordained minister soon after. Maria has been active in children's and youth ministry since her teenage years at the Traver Church of God, serving most recently as Children's Pastor at Full Gospel Fellowship in Hercules. She is a Fresno State graduate with more than 10 years of lower-elementary teaching experience. David and Maria have three children: Elise, 6; David, 5; and Ethan, 4, who all love playing with their -- count 'em -- 19 first cousins, going to the beach and eating hot cinnamon mini-donuts at Pier 39. David loves the San Francisco Giants, any barbecue east of the Mississippi and watching Napoleon Dynamite. Maria loves Facebook, clam chowder at Splash Cafe and watching What Not To Wear. They can't wait to see God touch the lives of families in Porterville and beyond through the wonderful name of their Savior Jesus!