Staff & Leadership
Fred Gurule is our lead pastor at UC. He is married to Mari and they have five children, four, here on earth and one with Jesus. His main desire is to build a church that the unchurched love to come to. His passion is to present God’s Word in a way that is easy to understand and relevant in our culture. He has obtained a bachelor's, master's, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
In his free time he enjoys traveling to the Dominican Republic with his wife, Mari. He also loves to swim. Pastor Fred loves watching Geico insurance commercials.
Jesse is a visionary leader with a proven track record of church plants, spearheading entrepreneurial start-ups, establishing winning systems and methods, and vision mapping strategic planning initiatives. Jesse promotes a winning church culture that is intentional in our ministry efforts at UC. He also approaches life from a “Live Beyond Limits” attitude. Jesse graduated from Phoenix First Pastors College with an associate's degree in ministerial studies. He served as lead pastor, church planter, and guest speaker. He is part of the preaching team at UC.
Jesse is married to the love of his life, Leah. Jesse & Leah, and their beautifully blended family, enjoy living life and face their challenges with grace and love toward each other. He loves spending time with family, hiking, fishing, bike riding, and is a huge Buffalo Bills fan!
Kyle has been serving at Uptown Church since 2005. He has a bachelor's degree in business management and a master's degree in theology. Kyle is a business manager at UPS.
He is married to Lavel and they have two kids, Amri & Aven. He loves the outdoors, golf, corn hole, and everything Minnesota (where he was born), especially the Vikings.
Carlos Valera is a Dominican bass player, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, sound engineer, light technician and band leader. He has worked with renowned Latin American artists and bands such as: Chichi Peralta, Alfareros, Techy Fatule, Covi Quintana and many more.
Carlos studied music at Autonomous University of Santo Domingo. He developed his passion for music and instrument playing while at church in the Dominican Republic where he was raised. Carlos has a vast amount of experience and knowledge as a band leader and business owner. He pushes quality and creates a level of professionalism and commitment that defines excellence.
Worship Music Coordinator
Leah DiMartino has been serving at Uptown Church for over 20 years in a variety of ministries, including managing the cafe for more than 10 years. Leah spent 10 years as a singer, songwriter and performer doing outreach ministry in New Mexico. Leah is the music coordinator and lead vocalist at UC, she is a vocal coach, piano instructor and full time Music Teacher for Bernalillo Public Schools. Leah has her BS in Music with a minor in Spanish, as well as her K-8 teaching license in the state of NM. She has a passion for using her gifts and talents to bring others to the full knowledge of salvation.
Leah is an active mother of two teens and is married to the man of her dreams, Jesse. She loves to spend time with her family playing games, and being active together. As a hobby, she has been dancing her calories off in the Zumba studio for over 10 years as a ZIN instructor. She also works as an assistant for LMP. Her favorite foods are Dominican, meatballs and sauce, and ice cream.
Women's Ministry Coordinator
Mari Bueno Gurule is married to our Lead pastor Fred Gurule who is the love of his life. She serves as UC’s Ladies Ministry Coordinator. She has three daughters Lavel, Lara and Leah and two sons, Daniel and Nathan (Nathan is with the Lord) and 10 grandchildren. Mari has a BA Degree from the College of Santa Fe and MA degree from University of New Mexico in Bilingual Education. She is a retired High School teacher.
Mari & Pastor love to travel to Dominican Republic where she was born and raised. Her hobbies are shopping from Goodwill stores to Dillard's. She enjoy Hallmark movies all year round. Her passion is sharing her faith with others and loving her family.
Sam Keller has seasoned experience in local and cross-cultural church planting, Biblical teaching, mentoring young pastors, pastoral counseling and teaching pastoral curriculum in a Bible College setting. He teaches a Sunday morning adult Bible class and leads a Wednesday evening Connect Group. Sam has a Theology degree from Baptist Bible College and a Master's degree in Ministry.
Sam was married to Karen for 63 years until her death in 2020. He and his wife spent over 35 years as missionaries. They have 2 daughters, 2 sons-in-law, 6 grandsons, 2 great daughters-in-law and 2 great grandsons. Sam enjoys photography and turning wood on a lathe.
Lead Office Admistrator
As UC Office Administrator Susan's tasks vary, but focus mainly on financial and accounting tasks for our organization. Being part of the main Sunday morning Service Team, she has the privilege of operating all the media. She enjoys facilitating and teaching ladies Bible studies.
In her spare time Susan enjoys raising young steers for market on her 2 acres of land south of Albuquerque.
Coach became a born-again Christian 29 years ago. He has a BA in Recreation Administration. Coach has been the Athletic Director and Facility Coordinator for over 20 years now at Uptown Church (formerly Temple Baptist Church). Coach has been married to Alane for over 28 years now. He is God's Ambassador!
Coach Phil loves basketball, he played for two years professionally with the Seattle Supersonics. His favorite team is the Lakers.