Cory Ishida
Senior Pastor


Education and/or experience: I attended John Muir High School in Pasadena (Blue & Gold), Pasadena City College (Cardinal & Gold), UCLA (UCLA Blue & Gold) and Fuller Theological Seminary. I served as the Youth Director of the First Christian Church of El Monte (1973-1974), Youth Director of First Presbyterian Church of Altadena (1974-1976). I served as Senior Pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church of Los Angeles (1977-1997) and then Senior Pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church of San Gabriel Valley (1997-current). 

Family: Reine and I have been married since 1969. We have three daughters, their husbands and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 

Vision for the church: That we would be a blessing to God and others and that we would be salt and light in this world.

Favorite books, authors, websites, etc.: My favorite all-time book is the Bible since it teaches us truth and was written by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I used to read the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis whenever I got sick. More recently, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading, Prodigal God by Tim Keller. 

Hobbies, interests, pastimes: I love being with my family. We attend a summer conference together each year, which has become one of the highlights of the year. I go to Disneyland less, but enjoy it more because of the grandkids. I enjoy talking UCLA/USC football with Chris Chan and Tim Wong since it pains them greatly when we beat them. I have actually begun going to UCLA football and basketball games due to the generosity of good friends. I coach my granddaughters in volleyball and basketball. I also enjoy overseeing teams in our Men’s Basketball League even though Marc Sahara and others always say my team is stacked even though I am assigned a team.

Favorite Sports: My favorite sport to watch and play is football (I retired from Flag Football with my undefeated record against Paul Wang intact*). My favorite sport to coach is girls’ volleyball. The sport I played the most is baseball. My least favorite sport is jogging (oh yeah, that’s not a sport).  

Most Competitive Activity: My wife and I play a game called ‘Spades’ with Stuart and Mona Jung. It’s the only thing that displays even an ounce of competitiveness in my wife (Mona is my teammate).  

Activity most likely to cause me to lose my “Man Card”: I like to occasionally get a pedicure (with no nail polish!). Whenever I do, make sure I am reading a copy of Sports Illustrated while wearing basketball shorts and musk. 

Favorite foods: My favorite place for breakfast is Flappy Jack’s in Glendora. My favorite steak house is Jocko’s in the beautiful city of Nipomo. My preferred place for BBQ ribs is Dr. Hogly Wogly’s in Van Nuys. I enjoy Wood Ranch BBQ because Reine likes it there. I like to go to Roy’s in Pasadena because Michael Yamada (whom I have known since his birth) manages the restaurant and I used to beat him regularly in chess until he made me play speed chess (smartest move he ever made in chess). 

Least favorite game: Speed chess. 

Life verse: I love the Bible verse, which says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”Philippians 4:13.

Favorite quotes: Here is a listing of some of my favorite quotes.

  • Seek first to understand before being understood.
  • Blessed to be a blessing.
  • Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
  • God Is More Concerned With Our Holiness Than Our Happiness.
  • Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

People I admire the most: The four men I admire most are Billy Graham, John Wooden, George Wood and one man within our church family. 

Favorite attraction at Disneyland: I think that “Soaring over California” is the best ride at Disneyland. We have seen Aladdin the most since my wife loves it. I have probably endured it over thirty times. It is a great show and a good place to take a nap on a hot summer day. 

Least favorite attraction at Disneyland: My least favorite attraction is the Tiki Room although the pineapple soft serve available for purchase is the best refreshment at Disneyland. When my eldest grandchild was small, I took her to the Tiki Room and she freaked out over the masks hung on the walls. I never understood how scary they could be for a child and that they have pagan origins.

Favorite vacation: Aside from going to Mount Hermon, a week at the beach, a stay at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels with my family, I enjoy going to Mammoth Lakes to fish for trout.  

Favorite movies: (1) The Kid, (2) Princess Bride, (3) Miracle, (4) The Greatest Game Ever Played, (5) Westside Story, (6) The Rookie, (7) Invincible, (8) Guarding Tess, (9) Hook, (10) Superman, the Movie. This list hasn’t changed over the past few years. I will update soon with a second ten.

Current book you are reading: Love Walked Among Us: Learning to Love Like Jesus by Paul Miller, which is our all church study. 

Latest blog: I have been writing two blogs a week since March of 2012. You can access them here.

Facebook, Twitter, etc.: Haven’t started yet.


*One time I took all the females who played and still beat him.