Rev. Dr. Liliana Da Valle was born in Argentina where she grew up as an abused child and an atheist. At the age of 18, she became a Christian and at the age of 19, she got married to Horacio R. Da Valle. The couple had three children and in 1982, they immigrated to the United States where they had their fourth child.
Liliana worked at a Domestic Violence agency in Northern California and later in Illinois. She and her husband graduated together with a Master of Divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, IL in 1990. Upon graduation, they returned to California, where they were called as co-pastors to the First Baptist Church of South Gate. During her years at this church, Liliana also served as chaplain with hospice.
In 1997, the couple moved to Boston where Liliana became an Area Minister with The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts. She served in that position for 10 years working with 95 churches. While in Massachusetts, Liliana obtained a Doctor in Ministry degree from Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, MA in 2003. In 2007, she was called to be the Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island; while in this ministry, she served 75 churches for four years. During her time in regional ministry, Liliana had an opportunity to develop her passion for social justice ministries by working closely with both the Massachusetts and the Rhode Island Council of Churches, where she was instrumental in outlawing human trafficking, creating a coalition against poverty and a church development institute, and sustaining ecumenical and interfaith relationships. In 2008, Liliana and Horacio became American Citizens.
In February of 2011, the Da Valle’s returned once again to California where Liliana became an interim minister at First Baptist Church of Alameda, a multicultural ministry. After Alameda, Liliana served as Interim Pastor at Shell Ridge Community Church in Walnut Creek, CA. For the last three years, Liliana also served as pastor of New Horizon Baptist Church in San Jose, CA.
Dr. Da Valle is a well-known international speaker. She has preached in Bulgaria, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Panama, and Puerto Rico, as well as at the ABC Biennial of 1999.
Liliana has taught Practical Theology at Andover Newton, Newton Centre, MA, Gordon Conwell, Boston, MA, and the Hispanic Summer Program at Brite Seminary, Forthworth, TX. Currently, she is supporting the Practical Theology. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the ABC Ministers Council, and she is finishing a Doctorate in Business Administration.
Liliana and Horacio have four children and 10 grandchildren. Their two daughters live in Portland, OR while their two sons live in the Bay Area. They are also raising their children in church.
Nathan Brittsan originally hails from northwestern Pennsylvania and moved to the Bay Area to escape the snow. He found the Grace Baptist family in 2010 and quickly felt a desire to be a part of this welcoming, urban ministry.
Nathan became a Christian at a young age and was active in his college fellowship at Penn State. After a first career in the business world, he moved to San Jose to begin a new chapter in life. He heard the call to ministry while attending Grace Baptist and was licensed as a minister of the Gospel in January of 2013.
Nathan leads worship at Grace each Sunday and preaches when needed. He received his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from San Jose State University and attends American Baptist Seminary of the West.
Rev. Louann Roberts received the Call to follow Christ as a young child and the call to follow Christ into pastoral ministry 14 years ago. She did her internship at Grace Baptist Church in San Jose in 2004 and became a member. She received her Masters of Divinity degree from Fuller Seminary and was ordained by Grace Baptist as an American Baptist minister. Louann serves the American Baptist Church on the board of the Pacific Coast Baptist Association and the PCBA Ministerial Standards Committee.
Her full-time ministry is as Chaplain with CIC Ministries (Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy), a non-profit ministry that provides religious services to prisoners in the Santa Clara County jails and juvenile detention facilities. She is the facility Chaplain serving 600 women at the Elmwood jail in Milpitas. Her passion is the discipleship of women who comprise the church inside, “the least of these my brothers and sisters” (Mat 25:45), and especially by providing ongoing services and classes for underserved inmates – some of these are young women under 25 years old, senior and mentally ill inmates. Louann’s ministry in the jail includes coordination of religious services for all faiths, teaching and leading Protestant worship services, pastoral counseling, training, development and supervision of chaplaincy volunteers. She also works closely with mental health clinicians and custody staff to provide ongoing support for mentally ill, aging and vulnerable prisoners.
Louann and her husband Greg have two adult daughters Nicole and Brittany. Her hobbies include playing lead electric guitar in a band called “Refuge” that performs at the Elmwood jail and at community events, horseback riding, and cycling with her husband on their tandem bicycle.