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Pastor Holgie Choi

Pastor Holgie Choi was installed as the called pastor of First Congregational Church of Escondido on Sunday, January 29, 2017. The celebration was both meaningful and awesome with participants and attendees from the congregation, several local churches, and from the Southern Association of the Southern California Nevada Conference, United Church of Christ. 


Holgie was born in Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated to the states at the age of one. He was reared in Milford, CT, and received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Connecticut (2002) where he was the recipient of a four-year Full Leadership Scholarship and elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Master of Divinity(2005) from Princeton Theological Seminary, and Master of Theology(2006) from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.  He is currently working on completing his Doctor of Ministry thesis project. 

His thesis project focuses on studying the life and theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Prior to coming to First Congregational of Escondido, Holgie served as the associate minister for youth and families at the Acton Congregational Church in Acton, MA (2007-2016). 


Holgie currently serves as one of the chaplains for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.  He is currently stationed at the North Coastal Station in Encinitas.

Holgie enjoys participating in a variety of sports and activities, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and powerlifting. He was a bronze medalist at the 2019 National Powerlifting Championship and gold medalist at the 2020 National Powerlifting Championship. One might also find him meeting people at a local Starbucks over a Venti Dark Roast.

To contact or make an appointment with Pastor Holgie, please contact the front office at 760-745-3320

Our Staff

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Cynthia Poole
Minister of Music

Cynthia directs the Chancel Choir and Chancel Handbells and coordinates other musical activities in the congregation. She is retired from Palomar College, where she was a counselor and professor of music. She graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and later earned an M.A. in counseling from San Diego State University.

Norma has many years of office and business experience. She has many hobbies, but her passion is volunteer outreach to the community. we are blessed to have Norma as part of our church family. We encourage you to stop in and say hello when on campus!

Tiara Miller
Nursery Attendant

Tiara is a 22-year old Muslim whose field of study is Criminal Justice. She loves her job, writing, and being able to express herself through creativity. She plans to achieve social justice in our communities through her field of study and teamwork. She also believes that prioritizing your mental health is extremely important and it is something she focuses on daily. 

Norma Vasquez
Office Administrator

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