Who We Are


Jonathan & Jennifer Whitaker

Jonathan is the elder of Element CS.  He and Jennifer met in high school in Hampton, Va., and married after graduating from Mississippi State University in 2002.  They have been in ministry since 2010 when Jonathan was called to the Eldership at Element Christian Church, Santa Maria, Calif.  With her degree in Music Education, Jennifer has been involved in Music and Children's ministry since her teenage years.  The couple have lived all over the country and abroad during a 16+ year Air Force career.  Most recently they led Hilltop Community Christian Church in Harrogate, England.  The Whitakers have three daughters, Lauren (13), Holly (11), and Olivia (6).

Favorite Things to Do: Jonathan likes to crack jokes with his kids, play guitar loudly, and lift weights.  Jennifer likes to sing and play piano, do creative things, and read.

Favorite Movies: Jonathan: The Big Lebowski 

                            Jennifer: Movies make me fall asleep

Favorite Books:  Jonathan: political non-fiction

                           Jennifer: all the Jane Austen Novels.


Meet the Elders from Element Christian Church of Santa Maria, CA.

Aaron & Marianne Carlberg

Aaron is Element's Lead Teaching Pastor/Elder. He does the majority of the teaching and sets the vision and focus for Element (under the direction of Jesus our Head Shepherd).

Favorite Movies: Anything in space or on earth with bad guys dying, good guys winning, women being rescued, men taking responsibility, and something exploding. (This means I hate the college frat guy movies where men are encouraged to be little boys and never grow up)...but I also love Lilo and Stitch (because he wants a family).
Favorite TV Shows: 24, BSG, Dr. Who, Hannibal, Silicon Valley, The Flash, Suits, Bleach (in Japanese), really anything scifi...
Favorite Books: Anything by John Piper, Douglas Wilson, Wayne Grudem, Brandon Sanderson, or Tim Keller. He also likes John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, CS Lewis, John Ortberg, theology books, and anything that makes him think.
Favorite Music: Thrice, Future of Forestry, DCB, Breaking Benjamin, Sick Puppies...Rock (but not Butt Rock).
Favorite Dessert: Cookies and Chocolate (Marianne likes Potato Chips more than cookies).

Eric & Terri Djafroodi

Eric is Element's Elder that oversees discipleship. Eric keeps everyone on task when they run too far a-field with crazy ideas. He usually says, "what about discipleship" and everyone else says "oh ya."

Favorite Movies: The Bourne Supremacy, An American President
Favorite TV Shows: American Idol, Glee, Big Bang Theory
Favorite Books: The Divine Conspiracy, If you want to walk on water, you've got to get out of the boat
Favorite Music: Acoustic Guitar &  Blue-eyed soul
Favorite Dessert: Cheesecake with any kind of berries
Favorite word or phrase: For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.



Mike & Deb Harman

Mike is our Elder of Redemption Ministries, he likes to call himself, “the older elder,” because he is older than the rest of us; we think that just makes him wiser than the rest of us. Mike has a wonderful wife named Deb, two kids (Jennifer & David), and four grand kids (Drake, Noah, Brooklyn, and Grace Elizabeth). He wishes that he would have had the patience with Jennifer and David as he does with the grandkids (especially when they walk on the coffee table). They love spending time with the kids and enjoy figuring out what they are up to. Mike surrendered to Jesus over forty years ago and is still daily amazed at Jesus’ redemptive power. He continues to be arrested by God’s love, mercy and grace that was, and is, expressed in Jesus through his adoption as a son. Mike’s goal is to grow up before he gets too much older and to live in an ever deepening trust in Jesus. Mike and Deb would love to tell you about the privilege they have in leading the Redemption Group team and ministry at Element, Redemption Group Ministry is the most gratifying ministry they have ever served in.

Favorite Things To Do: Mike likes long walks on the beach (snicker). He loves large bodies of water like lakes and rivers (but not the bathtub because it is too small to be a large body of water). He also likes almost all things that have to do with high performance Horse Power (the smell of Nitro in the morning is amazing)! He considers himself a patriot and believes this land (USA) is amazingly beautiful. There is never enough time to read, but most of all he loves to hang out with Deb.
Favorite Movies: The Green Beret (The Duke, John Wayne), Hunt for Red October, and Shooter. He will watch any Action, Drama, Comedy, or Romance as long as they meet his exacting standards of at least 5 explosions.
Favorite Car: 1967 Corvette, roadster (that means convertible), 4 Speed Manual, 427CI/425HP
Favorite Books: Anything by Tim Keller or Paul David Tripp. Bo's Cafe, The Cure, Redemption, On My Worst Day, Divine Romance, He likes “understandable” Theology books (not the ones Aaron gives him), and biblical commentaries.
Favorite Music: Sixties Rock-n-Roll like The Beetles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Buffalo Springfield (yes, now you know he's old!)...but he will also go in for some Crowder when the mood strikes him. On his iPod now "Redemption" by Big Daddy Weave, and a personal selection for his memorial service - Blessed Be Your Name (Newsboys version). He loves music and worship music but will rarely be seen with and ear bud in his ear or with music on in the car, hearing God is hard enough for me, quiet is good.
Favorite Truth: For by grace have you been saved through faith. And this not of your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Favorite Verse: For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery (). When the Holy Spirit caused this to dawn in my heart it launched a season of rescue and restoration (redemption), one that brought life changing healing in our marriage.