Bud Wenzel

Lead Pastor :

Pastor Bud is a native Southern Californian and has been a pastor since 1996.  Bud has been recognized as a true shepherd and a passionate leader.  His is a graduate of Liberty University (B.S. Biblical Studies, Masters in Theology and Church History) and has pastored several churches throughout the Northwest and California. As a Gulf War veteran and former Marine, he has also served with Campus Crusade Military Ministry as a missionary to U.S. Marines and their families in San Diego. Bud is a gifted teacher, and his dynamic preaching style sets the pace for fun, exciting, and relevant church life. Bud loves spy movies, ice cream, the beach, and black labs. He and his wife, Julie have three beautiful grown daughters.


Luke Pettengill

Associate Pastor (Youth & Worship) :

Luke came to Venture in September of 2014 after spending 4 years as a Student/Worship Pastor in Seattle, WA. Luke grew up in northern California for most of his life and ended up graduating with a Bachelors in communication from Simpson University in Redding, CA. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity in Philosophy from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Luke is passionate about leading young people to be sensitive to God’s leading and calling on their lives. When not at church you might see him cheering on the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, playing and writing music, playing 18 holes of golf, or exploring new restaurants. Luke has been married to his lovely wife Sarah for just over 6 years and has a son (Clarke) who is just over a year in age.

Alejandro Gastelum


Alejandro was born and raised in Adolfo Ruiz Cortinez, Sinaloa Mexico. He emigrated to the United States in 1989 with the dream of a better future. He had great plans for his earthly life, even then being unsaved, God was working with an eternal plan for his soul. Alejandro became a Christian in 1992 in the city of Perris, CA and Immediately felt called to be a pastor to the world and share the gospel. He prepared at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary Seminary with the fervent desire to teach the truth to a lost world. Alejandro came to Venture Christian Church in 2016 with the task of sharing and teaching the word to the Spanish-speaking community. In his spare time he enjoys going on vacation and spending time with his beautiful wife Rosalina, her two children and her granddaughter. She loves to walk, eat ice cream, go shopping and eat a lot! 

Laurie Pettengill

Children's ministry DIRECTOR :

"Laurie is a native Californian and the most recent addition to the Venture staff. Laurie is married to her husband Mark and they have three grown children and five grandchildren. Before settling down in Murrieta a decade ago, she spent 20 years in Redding,CA raising her family and staying at home with her children. She received her Bachelor's Degree from San Diego Christian University and recently finished a Graduate Degree in Human Services, a degree that she hopes will help her equip children and families with tools to help improve their quality of life. On the weekend, you might find Laurie going for a run in West Murrieta, hiking the Santa Rosa Plateau or riding her beach cruiser at the beach with her husband. She is extremely excited and honored to be on staff at Venture Christian Church and to minister to the early child and elementary aged kids. Laurie feels grateful to walk alongside VCC families to help lead children to a deeper and thriving relationship with Jesus!


Kelly Catlett

Adventure Island Pre-School Director : KELLYCATLETT@VENTURECC.COM

Kelly Catlett was born and raised in Southern California.  Her experience and focus of study in Child Development spans 25 years.  She received her degrees from Palomar College, Pacific Oaks Children's College, and earned her Master's in Education from Walden University.  Being a struggling reader in her elementary years guided her towards embracing literacy, early reading, and a love of children's books.  Besides reading, Kelly also enjoys gardening, cooking, spending time with her children and grandchildren, and outdoor activities with her husband of 36 years.  Volunteering is one of Kelly's passions and she is a group leader trainer for Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies for women.  She desires to live a life of purpose that glorifies God and demonstrates her love for Jesus.  "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.  You can make many plans, but the LORD's purpose will prevail."  ~Proverbs 19: 20-21