Meet the San Antonio Campus Team

Posted on Jul 28, 2021

Meet the San Antonio Campus Team

The first Chase Oaks regional campus in San Antonio is bringing faith and hope to the Alamo City. Meet two of the dedicated staff members who are making it happen!

Gina Pena

Whether helping to care for animals, teach children, or meet administrative needs, Gina Pena is a woman of many skills and a singular focus: nurturing life and learning in those around her. She is excited to use those skills to help launch and support the first Chase Oaks regional campus in the San Antonio area.

Gina grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her twin sister. She graduated from Oklahoma State University before finding her way to the DFW area. She attended church her entire life and was even baptized at age 13. And yet, for years she struggled with pressure to do and be the “right” things for fear of harming her relationship with God.

Finally at age 30, she heard a counselor clearly express the freedom which had been missing from her spiritual journey: “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” (Galatians 2:21)

Gina realized that God’s grace—not her hard work and sincere efforts—was the key to finding security in her faith. She eagerly shared the news with her twin, only to find that her sister had come to the same realization 12 years prior but had been hesitant to talk about it. That experience helped to fuel Gina’s desire to support others in their own spiritual searching.

Gina has worked as a veterinarian for over two decades. She and her husband have been involved with church planting in the past; Gina also homeschools their son, Evan, and teaches multiple subjects to a large homeschool group.

In her spare time, she enjoys taking naps, drinking Coke Zero, and wondering what it would be like to talk to animals in their own languages.

Richard Propes

San Antonio native and musician Richard Propes knows firsthand that relationships make a huge difference in the often-long journey to faith. He is committed to use his talents and background as the Chase Oaks San Antonio Program Director to help create an authentic, thriving place where others can connect with God.

Growing up, Richard never had a desire to attend church—mainly because of the negative example of the people he knew who did. Despite their dedication to live in a “good” and moral way, Richard’s family faced judgment and guilt from others who went to church but failed to reflect the reality of God in their own lives. 

Put off by the hypocrisy, Richard resolved early on that he would strive to be a good person apart from church. Though he felt a pull toward God, he did not explore it further until later in his adult years.

After studying business finance and music at UTSA, Richard went on to play guitar and bass semi-professionally. One day, he saw a Craigslist ad from a church that was looking for a guitar player. Intrigued and remembering his pull toward God, he responded to the ad. Little did he realize that at the church, he would find more than an opportunity to play music.

Over time, Richard discovered a community filled with people who were genuinely seeking to live out their faith in Jesus. As he built relationships with these Christ-followers, he sensed a change within himself. Despite the questions and doubts, Richard began to draw closer to God. His wife, a dedicated Christ-follower, was a major influence on his spiritual journey as well.

Eventually Richard came to see that his path did not lead to him pursing a good and moral life on his own. Instead, it had been leading him to be pursued and welcomed by a good, loving God all along. 

Richard lives with his wife and two young children in Helotes, Texas. He plans to take “Sheridan Whiteside” as a stage name someday. Until then, he can be found on a free afternoon spending time with his family, gardening, eating sushi, cracking jokes, or thinking about a trip to Ireland or Spain.

Interested in being a part of the Chase Oaks San Antonio launch team? Find out more and sign up, here.

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