Staff and Board

Darrin Mariott

Lead Pastor

Born and raised in CA, Darrin put his faith in Christ at age 21. He was not raised in a Christian home and considered himself agnostic until the witness of a close friend caused him to thoroughly investigate spiritual matters and begin reading the Bible. After coming to the Lord, Darrin began attending a West LA church called The Hiding Place. There, he discovered his call to ministry, and it is there he also met his wife and ministry partner Tamra and they married in 1994. Darrin enrolled at Trinity Theological Seminary and earned his M.A. in Pastoral Ministry in 1998. Beginning in 1997, Darrin served as an Assistant Pastor at Metro Calvary Chapel in Santa Monica for five years.  In 2002, Darrin, Tamra, and a team of leaders felt led to plant Sonrise Westside Community Church in the largely unchurched community of Venice Beach. At this time Darrin enrolled at Biola University and earned his M.A. in Christian Apologetics in 2006. For 20 years Darrin faithfully served as the Senior Pastor of Sonrise along with Tamra and a dynamic group of leaders. When God opened the door for them at Rock Harbor CF in 2022, they felt He strongly confirmed He had a new call for them to minister to the community and build up the church on the Central Coast for Christ.  They had always loved the Central Coast and had desired to live here for some time. Darrin and Tamra currently reside in Morro Bay.  Tamra works from home; their son Connor recently graduated from Cal Poly SLO and lives in Phoenix, AZ.  Their daughter Mackinley is a Biological Sciences major at UC Davis.  In their spare time, Darrin and his family are enjoying trying out the many eateries and exploring the natural wonders of the Central Coast!

Rob Ross

Associate Pastor

Rob was born and raised in California.  Although he grew up in the church, Rob dedicated his life to Christ in November of 2011 while in college and began going on short term mission trips in San Jose and Mexico.  Following his undergrad, Rob began serving as both a youth pastor and an associate pastor in Madera for over seven years.  Rob married his beautiful wife, Kelsey, in May of 2020 and moved to Morro Bay in December of 2021 when he was called to RHCF.  He finished Seminary in May of 2022 with a MA in Christian Ministry from Fresno Pacific University Biblical Seminary. Rob and Kelsey's son, Joel, was born in April 2023, and is a bundle of energyl. Rob loves to serve others at church, at the disc golf course, and serves as a linemen coach at MBHS. He is also a huge  fan of the Rams, Cubs, and the University of Alabama.

John Pallanes

Associate Pastor

John was born and raised in California, moving to Morro Bay in 2010. He and his wife, Diane, have a blended family of four beautiful daughters. John rededicated his life to Christ in 2006 and is passionate about living out 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” John loves his family, being a grandpa, and being of service to the Lord and his church family as God “transforms him” (Romans 12:2)!

Diane Pallanes

Children's Director

Diane was born in Washington DC, and gave her life to Jesus at the age of 10. After she retired from a 30-year teaching career, Diane was blessed to be able to live out a dream to move to Morro Bay with her husband, Associate Pastor John. It was here that she discovered Rock Harbor Christian Fellowship in 2009 and began teaching the ‘Special Friends’ Sunday School class in 2012. Children with special needs have always held an important place in Diane’s heart and career. She wants all the children of Rock Harbor to know that each one of them was created especially by God, that God loves them passionately, and that Jesus wants to be their friend and Savior forever. Diane loves being a mom and a grandma!

Proverbs 22:6: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Phil Sillas

Worship Director

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Phil is a veteran of the Christian music industry, a Dove Award winning producer and songwriter, as well as former VP of Maranatha! Music and former A&R Director for Song Discovery/Worship Leader Magazine. He and his wife, Karen, have lived in San Luis Obispo since 2014. They have a son, Andre, who has graduated from Boston. Phil’s passions for music and worship community have found a perfect home at Rock Harbor. When he’s not serving at Rock Harbor, Phil enjoys cooking, looking busy at the gym and continuing his profession as a songwriter/producer.

Michelle Schooley

Finance Director

More information to come soon.

Kelsey Ross

Office Administrator

Kelsey is a Morro Bay transplant from the Central Valley. She was a teacher in Kingsburg for 5 years, and 1 year in Cayucos. She also volunteered in youth ministry for 10 years. She met her husband Rob in 2019, and they got married in May of 2020. They were blessed with a son in April 2023. She is beyond thankful that God brought them to Rock Harbor in 2021. She is excited to continue to help the church in the role of office administrator.

Rock Harbor Executive Board

Mike Whitlock

Mike was born and raised in Long Beach, California, and married in 1984 to his lovely wife, Julie. They have two beautiful daughters, one son-in-law and a busy little grandson in San Luis Obispo. Mike is a retired Civil Engineer feeling blessed to be living in Morro Bay. He and Julie love their Rock Harbor church family, growing in and serving the Lord.

Sandra Embick

After graduating from Cal Poly, Sandra married Mike in 1989 and worked for the City of Escondido, CA for 15 years. She left her position as Police Services Manager to raise and homeschool their two sons who are now in High School and College. Sandra and Mike hosted small groups, served on the prayer team ministry, and served in various children’s ministries at their former church home in Vista, CA where Sandra also worked as classroom coordinator, and lead worship in various adult and children’s venues. Sandra and her family moved to Morro Bay in 2016. Sandra’s family considers it a blessing to be part of the Rock Harbor family as they continue to pursue Christ and serve Him.

Walt Sanders

Born and raised in Elizabeth, NJ, Walt served with the United States Navy before settling in Visalia, CA, to enter the working world. After owning a hamburger stand for 11 years, he spent 23 years delivering Wonder Bread. Walt and his wife, Joanie, married in 1995, and retired to Morro Bay in 2011. Shortly thereafter, Walt and Joanie landed at Rock Harbor where Joanie now helps lead the Women's Ministry and Walt serves with the Open Arms food ministry as well as the Executive Board. They love their Rock Harbor family!


Our executive board usually consists of four members. Currently, we have one vacant seat which we anticipate being filled in the  near future. 

Rock Harbor Organizational Chart