blue ocean senior Leadership team

  • Dave Schmelzer

    executive director & CO-FOUNDER

    Dave grew up an atheist in San Diego. As a student at Stanford University, he had an encounter with God that, after two years of exploring religions, he came to understand as being an encounter with Jesus. Afterwards he helped found a ministry to kids in a nearby high-crime neighborhood before spending a decade as a working playwright in San Francisco, where he met Grace in a local church. After being married for two years, Dave and Grace were invited by friends in Cambridge, Massachusetts to consider moving there to help start a new church. (By this time, Dave had also picked up a Masters in Theology from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena.) The church boomed, a surprising outcome in a city with a 2% churchgoing rate (compared to about 35% nationally). This led to conversations with many church leaders in the U.S. and Europe, and ultimately to the formation of a new network called Blue Ocean Faith.  He and Grace have five children and live in Santa Monica.



    Grace grew up in Houston and as a child used to pray every night for God to help her grow in her faith (something which at the time seemed completely mysterious to her). In college, she discovered a vibrant Christian fellowship group on campus and after graduating, moved to inner city San Francisco to join in with a team doing kids' ministry & church planting among the large S.E. Asian refugee community in the neighborhood. In 1995, she & her husband Dave moved to Cambridge, MA to be part of starting a church there. She particularly enjoyed helping lead Seek classes and developing the church's International Initiatives & overseas partnerships - including launching a long-term team to the Middle East in 2008.

    In 2012, Grace & Dave began to sense God inviting them to move to L.A., not sure what He would have for them there. That next year, they and their five kids made the big move cross-country, and the Blue Ocean Faith network was formed as well. These days in L.A., Dave & Grace are working with a team experimenting with new "forms" for church, leading home-based spiritual direction groups practicing meditation, centering prayer & faith.



    Adey grew up in a Jewish kosher keeping home in a Jewish suburb of Chicago and was Bat Mizvahed at 13.

    Ten years later she had a dramatic encounter with Jesus in which she promised to give the rest of her life to serving him. As a young believer Adey partnered with her church and World Relief to help sponsor Indochinese families. 

    In 1999 Adey and Tom moved out to Iowa City and planted  Sanctuary, having their first service in a local bar. Today that church is a vibrant fully inclusive community.




    Steve Watson joined the staff of Reservoir Church as its senior pastor in July, 2013. Prior to that, he served as the headmaster of Watertown High School, as a middle- and high-school English teacher in the Boston Public Schools, and as a campus staff minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. In all of his endeavors, Steve has maintained great passion for teaching, coaching and mentoring, organizational and community development, and really good chocolate. Steve attended Brandeis University, where he graduated with a B.A. in music, and has immersed himself in graduate and self-directed studies in secondary English education, educational leadership, Bible, theology, and ministry—some of which have resulted in completed degrees.

    Born and raised in eastern Massachusetts, Steve has traveled extensively but has never left behind his great affection for the Charles River, the Red Sox, and (almost) all things New England. Steve and his wife Grace, who shares his local roots and works as the director of Next Steps in Brookline, became members of Reservoir Church in 2006. They love this community’s accessibility, authenticity, and vibrant connection with a living God. When not at the church, Steve, Grace, and their three children—Julianna, Zeke, and John—enjoy all manner of family adventures big and small together.



    Christina is originally from St. Louis and grew up in a large Greek family. She met her husband, Chris, while doing international humanitarian work. In 2009, they moved to Madison, WI to start a new faith community, Foundry414.  

    Christina studied Benedictine Spirituality at Holy Wisdom Monastery where she serves as an oblate and leads spiritual formation retreats.  She has a B.S. in Organizational Development & Leadership and enjoys coaching and encouraging others to develop their gifts.   

    Christina & Chris have 2 daughters and 1 son.