Cypress Staff

  • Ben Sobels | Senior Pastor

    Ben is married to Joni. They have five kids, all of whom they’ve launched! Ben grew up in Australia and got saved while caddying on golf’s PGA Tour in 1995. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with a Master of Theology degree in 2000. Ben became our senior pastor in 2010. He is passionate about preaching the gospel, making disciples, and planting churches. He recently wrote a book with his good friend, Bill Hull, that is titled The Discipleship Gospel.

  • Carrie lelsz i director of worship & creative arts

    Carrie is a native of Houston, Texas, and has lived in Monterey since 2018. Raised in the Lutheran church, she always knew Jesus, but it wasn’t until she was a college freshman when she desired a deeper relationship with Him. Carrie has a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Houston Baptist University, and a Masters of Arts, Theology and Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. You can find Carrie's 5 song EP on iTunes, Spotify or anywhere music is streaming or sold.

  • Gerry gile | Director of facilities

    Gerry is married to Gelina, (the G is pronounced like a H) and together they have 6 sons that have given them fifteen beautiful grandchildren. Walking with the Lord for over 40 years, Gerry was born, raised and has lived on the Monterey Peninsula his entire life. He has years of experience in construction, law enforcement, and business administration. God has uniquely prepared Gerry for his calling in the church which is to support those in the forefront of ministry, so that they can fulfill their call to reach, teach and shepherd the flock.   

  • Kylie Kent | director of Cypress Kids & Awana

    Kylie and her husband Trevin were married in 2019, and are enjoying Monterey-life together.  Kylie's walk with the Lord began at age 6 and has inspired a passion for sharing the Gospel with kids. With a Diploma in Advanced Biblical Studies from Liberty University, Kylie has served with the Cypress staff since 2013.  Whether at Awana or prepping for VBS, she is always moving, clipboard in hand.  She adores her four younger siblings, musical theater and sushi (lots of sushi!).


  • Garreth Tiefenbach | executive director

    Garreth is married to Katie and they have three children, Eva, Norah and Daniel. After struggling to understand life’s meaning and his place in the world, Garreth became a Christ-follower during a three month missions trip to Kenya. Garreth’s heart is to see everyone at Cypress equipped for ministry, engaged in community, and living their lives for Jesus. He received his Bachelor’s in Christian Ministry from Biola University in 2013 and Master’s Degree from Western Seminary in 2019.

  • Audrey Kile | front desk administration & Hospitality

    Audrey was privileged to have been raised in a committed Christian home and made her own commitment at an early age and has been striving to follow Christ since. She is married to her best friend Doug, for 37 years. Together they have 6 grown children plus 6 spouses whom are loved as their own. Now with 8 grandchildren and counting, life is full. Here on campus she enjoys overseeing hospitality and greeting visitors at the front desk.

  • Doug Kile | Maintenance Technician

    Doug has been following Jesus from his early 20's. Has lived in the Salinas Valley since 1986. He is married to Audrey they have 6 adult children. He feels blessed at the task of doing maintenance here on the Cypress campus.

  • Hailee KILE | senior pastor's assistant

    Hailee moved to the Monterey Bay in 2011 to attend CSUMB. She started attending Cypress in the fall of 2012 and jumped right into the College & Career Group, where she met her husband, Ian. She is an individual caring passionately for the environment, diligently trying to seek the Lord, and adventuring with the ones she cares about. Hailee loves reading, cooking, and all things outdoors. That’s where she sees and feels God the most, in the beauty of nature.