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 (C-Groups), and coaching opportunities.

Our Staff

Larry Mendenhall - Senior Pastor

Larry Mendenhall
Senior Pastor

Larry was born in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa and grew up on a farm. He graduated from Barclay College. Larry and his wife, Shirley, 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.


Carlos Lopez - Equipping Pastor for Adults

Carlos Lopez
Equipping Pastor for Adults

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 our Adult Ministries and Missions programs. He enjoys starting new ministries and loves leading missions.


Matthew Dietz - High School Director

Matthew Dietz
Equipping Pastor for High School Students

Matthew grew up in Tustin, California and has been at Canyon Hills since 2013. Matt graduated from Hope International University with a BS in Biblical Studies focusing on biblical history and literature. 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. When he is not teaching, you can find Matt in the great outdoors on adventures in hiking, camping, backpacking, or just overall in God’s great creation.


Alec Alvarado - Equipping Pastor for Junior High Students

Alec Alvarado
Equipping Pastor for Junior High Students

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 is going to attend Vanguard University’s Professional Studies program for his undergrad in Ministry & Leadership this fall. 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.


Sheri Ver Berg - Equipping Pastor for Children

Sheri Ver Burg
Equipping Pastor for Children

Sheri was raised in Corona, California and was an original member of the Canyon Hills team (being Pastor Larry’s daughter). She graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a BA in Christian Ministry and that is where she developed her passion for equipping families to live for Christ. Sheri, her husband, BJ, and their sons, Bruce and Wade, love to be outdoors; sand rails, water sports, and playing in their backyard.


Kim Newmyer - Music Assistant for Children & Adults

Kim Newmyer
Worship & Creative Arts Director

Kim moved to Orange County from Germany when she was eight years old. After she felt called to ministry she transitioned from her classical and musical theater training at Fullerton College to BIOLA University where she graduated with a BA in Psychology. Kim is passionate about revealing the reality and power of Jesus’ love through ministry and music. She loves her husband Matt, daughters Sophie and Aria, writing/recording songs, connecting with friends, and dessert.


Shelley Molina - Wednesday Night Coordinator

Shelley Molina
Wednesday Night Coordinator

Shelley grew up in Yorba Linda, California and graduated from Esperanza High School. Shelley and her husband, Carlos, have attended Canyon Hills since 2004. Together they have 5 children: Claudia, Carlos Jr., Olivia, Jesse, and Isabella. They love water sports and just spending time together.


Wesley Haugen - Bookkeeper & Human Resources

Wesley Haugen
Bookkeeper & Human Resources

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.


Donna Aprahamian - Office Administrator

Donna Aprahamian
Office Administrator

Donna was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Shortly after Donna moved to California she met her husband Randy. They first started attending Canyon Hills in 1992. They now have two married children. Donna enjoys snow skiing, being outdoors, and spending time with her family.