About Canyon Hills Friends Church

About Canyon Hills

Pastor Larry, his wife, Shirley, and their three young children, started Canyon Hills Friends Church in East Yorba Linda on June 3, 1990. The church first met in a leased facility on La Palma Avenue for 15 years. In 2003, Canyon Hills purchased the property on Fairmont Connector and built an 18,000 square facility. On April 3, 2005, Canyon Hills had its first service in its new and current facility.

Since its beginning, Canyon Hills has reached beyond the city of Yorba Linda by starting new churches. Canyon Hills has started five other churches. The first was in Corona, California; the second in the Philippines; the third in Norco, California; the fourth in Juárez, Mexico; and the fifth in Clovis, California.

Today, Canyon Hills is still a church family dedicated to following the model of Jesus Christ and sharing His message of love and grace both locally and globally.

Mission Statement

Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” - Matthew 28:19-20

The mission of Canyon Hills Friends Church is to obey the Great Commission of Jesus by “making more and better disciples” of Jesus both locally and globally.

Purpose Statements

Canyon Hills exists to invite people to pursue Christ and to develop a character that is constantly becoming more and more like His.

The methods that Canyon Hills uses to help people pursue Christ include worship services, small group Bible studies (ROOTED), and coaching opportunities.

Our Staff

Carlos Lopez - Lead Pastor

Carlos Lopez
Lead Pastor

Carlos was born in Juárez, Mexico and raised in both Juárez and El Paso, Texas. He and his wife Olivia have been at Canyon Hills since 2000 and have three children: Carlos II, Ian, and Alexis. Carlos currently oversees the vision and mission of Canyon Hills Friends Church and is passionate about reaching, teaching, mending, and sending.

Larry Mendenhall - Founding Pastor

Larry Mendenhall
Founding Pastor

Larry was born in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and grew up on a farm. He graduated from Barclay College. Larry and his wife, Shirley (deceased, cancer, 2018), started Canyon Hills in 1990. They have three married children, two granddaughters and three grandsons, and love water sports and sand rails. Larry’s passion is to carry out the vision God put in his heart over 30 years ago to build more and better disciples for Jesus Christ.

Matthew Dietz - Equipping Pastor for Adults

Matthew Dietz
Associate Pastor

Matthew grew up in Tustin, California and graduated from Hope International University with a degree in Biblical Studies focusing on Greek and Hebrew literature.. Matthew and His wife Tiffini have been at Canyon Hills since 2013 and have a young son named Oliver who loves to greet people with waves and high fives. Creative teaching is one of Matt’s passions and he is always seeking to find new ways to make scripture come alive for all who hear it. Matt currently oversees our Sunday worship experience, helps lead our weekend teaching, connects people to our Life Group ministry, and helps manage all IT and Live Stream needs on campus.

Alec Alvarado - Equipping Pastor for Junior High Students

Alec Alvarado
Equipping Pastor for Junior High & High School Students & Office Administrator

Alec Alvarado grew up in Buena Park and joined the Canyon Hills Friends staff in 2018. He attended Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton and attends Vanguard University’s Professional Studies program for his undergrad in Ministry & Leadership. One of his passions is to lead students into a relationship with Jesus and challenge them to lead their friends to Christ. When Alec is not working, he enjoys surfing at Huntington Beach.

Micah Darden - Equipping Pastor

Micah Darden
Equipping Pastor

Micah was born and raised here in Orange county. After graduating from El Dorado High School, he began interning at the church he grew up in while working at Chick-fil-A. In 2015 Micah married his wife, Mia, and graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a B.A. in biblical studies. He spent the next many years leading high school and young adult ministries while working on a masters degree. In 2021 Micah graduated with his masters degree and began work here at Canyon Hills as an Equipping Pastor. Micah is passionate about preaching and building active communities of believers.

Kenyonna Geraci - Children's Pastor

Kenyonna Geraci
Children's Pastor

Kenyonna grew up In Chicago, IL where she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business. She had always grown up in church but felt a deeper call to Ministry in 2018 and took an opportunity to Intern at Elevation Church in North Carolina. That same year she married her husband Dan and they decided to follow the calling placed on their lives. In 2019 they moved from Chicago to the Orange County area to work in Family Ministry. Kenyonna loves to bake, garden, collect coffee mugs and spend time with friends and family. She especially loves her son Joshua who was born in 2021.

Brooke Schneider - Childcare Director

Brooke Schneider
Childcare Director

Brooke Schneider began her career as a childcare teacher when she was in high school. She has always enjoyed working with children but truly found her passion when she taught young children to ride horses. From this point on, she knew she was destined to be an educator. Throughout her career, she has worked as the head of childcare and daycare services at a fitness center, the director of the Primrose School of North Scottsdale, and as an elementary school teacher for six years. Her most recent post was an instructional coach and parenting consultant for the Leona Group and Clark Consulting & Training Incorporated in the state of Arizona. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education as and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction for early childhood education. She is currently working on her doctoral degree in educational leadership and innovation.

Brooke is originally from Malibu, California but has spent most of her adult life in Arizona. She recently moved back to California with her two dogs, Uno and Mistletoe, as well as her cat, Tila, to begin her new career as the Director of Canyon Hills Childcare.

Brooke writes, “I believe that all children have the ability to learn and succeed. By combining faith-based principles with strong early learning and developmental instruction, our children can truly accomplish anything. As educators and parents of young children, we provide the support, love, and grace to bring up children who will be successful personally, professionally, and emotionally as they grow up in our ever-changing world.”

Wesley Haugen - Administration Pastor

Wesley Haugen
Administration Pastor

Wesley was born and raised in Orange County. Wesley has been at Canyon Hills since high school when he started dating his wife, Allison, who began attending Canyon as a child the day it opened. They now have three children. His passion is to see people grow in their faith as they share the love of Jesus through serving others both locally and internationally.

Canyon Hills Elder Team

Bill Hezmalhalch

Bill Hezmalhalch

Terry De La Cruz

Terry De La Cruz

Chip Gulley

Chip Gulley

Marc McGinnis

Marc McGinnis

Katy Castner

Kat Castner

Allison Delperdang

Allison Delperdang

Manny Ontiveros

Manny Ontiveros

Bob Hoppe

Bob Hoppe

Brad Kindorf

Brad Kindorf