Pastors & Staff

Dr. Jim Johnston


My wife, Lisa, and I are so happy to be part of the Camelback family!

I began following Jesus as a young boy in Minnesota, and we soon moved back to France where my parents served as missionaries. Some of my earliest memories are waking up early and heading downstairs to read the Bible with my dad on his lap.
We moved from France to Deerfield, IL while I was in grade school, so I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. I attended Wheaton College (1988) and went on to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School for a M.Div. and eventually a Ph.D. (New Testament). Our family spent a memorable year at Tyndale House, Cambridge, where I worked on my dissertation. I have been a pastor for some 30 years.

Lisa and I met when I was the Singles Pastor at College Church in Wheaton, IL—that’s a fun story for another time! We have been married since 1996 and God has blessed us with four wonderful children: Claire, Julia, Sarah, and Andrew.
I love hiking, reading, long road trips, and National Parks. But most of all, I love the church. I look forward to meeting you!

Jon Rich


I’ve spent the last 30 years as a leader in the public, business and religious communities with experience serving in a variety of roles.  From 1989 through 2001, I was a professional firefighter and EMT-A, working on the front lines of emergency services in Sandpoint, Idaho. I left the Fire Service after starting my own business at the young age of 31. Together with my partners and staff, we quickly established a reputation for excellence and innovation in the building integration, automation, and wireless broadband industries.  This led to the successful sale of the business in 2007.
Following the sale of the business, I felt a calling into ministry, and in 2008, I accepted a position as Worship and Creative Arts Pastor for LIFEchurch360 in the Seattle area with a deep passion for serving others and spreading the gospel.
In 2019, I was hired as the Executive Pastor of Administration at The Grove Church in Marysville, Washington. In this role, I oversaw the day-to-day operations of the church, managing a large staff and ensuring the smooth functioning of facilities, finances and technology.
Recently, my wife Angie and I decided to fulfill a dream by moving to Phoenix to be closer to family, enjoy more sunshine and a lot less rain. It wasn’t on my “radar” to  serve as the Director of Administration here at Camelback Bible Church.  But God has a way to put us where we need to be if we trust and follow Him.  It’s been quite a ride! 

Bijan Mahlouji 


I grew up in a Christian home where my family went to church every Sunday and I attended a Christian school as well. Ever since my elementary school days, God put in my heart a conviction of His holiness and my sinfulness. As I got older, I began to see my sin more and more, but I also began to see how God’s grace went deeper and deeper.

It was in High School that I felt a call to ministry in general, but also to youth in particular, which brought me to Grand Canyon University. There I met my wife Amy and we got married in 2015. The Lord brought Amy and I to Louisville to attend The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where I graduated with my Masters of Divinity. During these times, the Lord blessed us with three beautiful and joy-inducing children: Eliana, Levi, and Lucille. We are both excited and full of joy to be at Camelback Bible Church and see how God will work among the youth.

Austin Branton


I was born and raised in Kingsburg, California where the Lord began to draw me to Himself at the age of 13 or so through the youth group that my brother and I were going to at the time. As I progressed through high school, the Lord was kind to show me more of my sinfulness and more of His kindness to me in Christ. It was then that I was also learning to use my love for music to lead in musical worship. After high school, I went to Grand Canyon University where I would further come to experience the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus and where I would come to fall in love with my beautiful wife, Rachel. 

About 2 weeks after our wedding is when I started serving as the Contemporary Worship Director here at Camelback. Since then, the Lord has helped me to learn and develop as a minister and He has continued to grow in me a greater love and desire to care for His church. For this reason, I am pursuing a Master’s of Divinity at Phoenix Seminary so that I might be better equipped for the work of gospel ministry. Rachel and I are excited to see how the Lord continues to work in and through Camelback.