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 - Executive Pastor

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


David Hopper - Executive Pastor

David Hopper
Executive Pastor

David hopper has spent over 25 years in ministry. He has a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Biola University. He and his wife Alisa have led teams in all levels of leadership, and recently launched Valley Friends Church in the heart of the Central Valley. They have three children, Analise, Nate, and Noelle. His life mission is focused on building leaders with the expectation that they will go out, and in turn, invest and build additional leaders within their communities. He has a passion for writing that extends to four published works: In the Eye of the Storm, 10 Steps Closer to God, Growing Grass on Rocks, and Discover Our Church.


Matthew Dietz - Equipping Pastor for Adults

Matthew Dietz
Equipping Pastor for Adults

Matthew grew up in Tustin, California and graduated from Hope International University with a BS in Biblical Studies focusing on Biblical history and Greek & Hebrew literature. Matthew and His wife Tiffini have been at Canyon Hills since 2013. 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 and Tiffini going on adventures in the great outdoors or having friends over for coffee.


Alec Alvarado - Equipping Pastor for Junior High Students

Alec Alvarado
Equipping Pastor for Junior High & High School 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 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.


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.


Alisa Hopper - Music Director

Alisa Hopper
Music Director

Alisa has lived all over California and loves being back in Orange County. She has been a worship leader and songwriter since the age of 10, and her passion is creating an environment in which people can draw closer to God through music. She hopes to be able to mentor and coach aspiring musicians and worship leaders as often as possible.


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

Rachel Salazar
Office Administrator

Bio goes here.