Richard Gotthardt

Lead Pastor

Brief description of what you do at SCBC:
I came on staff at the beginning of 2012 and moved into my current role in April of 2015.

What was your first car?
My first car was a 1972 Datsun 510 station wagon – puke green with a ripped vinyl top. Super ugly but ran like a champ.

Where’s your favorite spot in Santa Cruz county?
I’d have to say West Cliff is my favorite place – to enjoy God’s creative beauty as well as watching surfers, seals, and, of course, people.

Favorite place to eat in Santa Cruz?
Of course it’s Costco, but that’s not unique to Santa Cruz. Locally I’m a big fan of most taquerias and Verve.

What are your top 3 favorite movies?
Shawshank Redemption, Gladiator is up there (I wish my parents had named me Maximus), and Airplane.

What’s your hidden talent or a fun fact about you?
I can say the alphabet backwards really fast and I have most of the original Star Wars movie committed to memory. Seriously.

What was your first paying job?
I delivered newspapers (Dallas Times Herald) and cleaned swimming pools for a pool service.

Favorite food?
Hard to beat a warm apple fritter (or almost any form of fried dough), but my healthy choice would be… Cake. Costco chocolate cake with cream filling.

Favorite quote?
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot

Born in Oak Park, Illinois (suburb of Chicago) but spent the majority of my adult life in the desert (Phoenix, AZ)

Favorite book?
Besides the Bible, I love Tolkien or C.S. Lewis, but I feel like a cliché saying that. So let’s go with N.T. Wright’s Surprised by Hope.

What would your ideal day off look like?
Breakfast and a walk on West Cliff with Kelli, a motorcycle ride up the coast, movie in the afternoon, dinner with my family and friends, followed by a Seinfeld rerun or two.