Meet Us


Transitional Co-Pastors

Rev. Rosalind Ziccardi
Christian Education, Executive Council, Transition, Worship

Rev. Dr. Gary Ziccardi
Deacons, Finance, Membership, Nominating, Outreach

Pastor Gary and Pastor Rosalind are Co-Transitional Specialists at Palisades Presbyterian Church.

Gary came from Cleveland, OH and Rosalind’s family, after many moves with the Navy, settled in Coronado, CA. Having met in a Bible study, they married at First Presbyterian Church, San Diego and attended Princeton Theological Seminary. They were each ordained to serve churches in the San Francisco bay area where their sons, Andrew and Benjamin, were born. Gary joined the military as an Air Force Chaplain and the family moved ten times with duty stations around the US and in Italy, England, Qatar, Germany, and Japan. Throughout those years, Rosalind served in churches, para-church organizations, and chapel communities while writing a theological novel, Sealed and Delivered. After a decorated career, Chaplain, Colonel Gary Ziccardi retired from active duty in 2016 and they settled in Coronado.

Before coming to Palisades, Gary served as the interim at Faith Presbyterian Church and Rosalind served as the interim at First Presbyterian Church of El Cajon. Andrew, is an Army Major (SEL), currently studying to become a Foreign Area Officer. Ben is an entrepreneur videographer living in Atlanta, GA.

The Ziccardi’s are avid golfers, enjoy disc-golf, and delight in living between the bay and ocean; they play guitar and sing, and read, among other things. They love Italian food and live theater. They have a cat named Sheba, their talkative “Okinawan short tail special.”

They love God, God’s people, their family, and life. Rejoicing to be part of the Palisades Presbyterian Church family serving as Transitional Ministry Specialists, they affirm with the Apostle Paul:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:2-6).

Parish Associate

Rev. Dr. Robert W. Mentze volunteers his service to Palisades and was formally welcomed as Parish Associate by action of the Session. Pastor Bob hosts Tuesday at 10 weekly Adult Bible Study and has preached and moderated Session on occasion. We are blessed to have him share his passion for Christ, intellect, talent, and years of professional wisdom with us.

A native San Diegan and graduate of Crawford High School, Bob is the son of two public school music teachers, and is an avid musician himself. He received his B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University, while writing, producing and announcing for Family Radio. Bob then received his Master of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary (San Anselmo, CA), while serving as Director of Youth Ministries at Marin Covenant Church in San Rafael, CA. Bob earned his Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) from Westminster Seminary, California. His book, Music Magnifies the Message, is based on the research for his dissertation. Called in 1977 as Associate Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Escondido, Bob served a youth program that increased 10-fold. He then served as Pastor of the Lakeside Community Presbyterian Church from March, 1984 until his retirement on October 1, 2018. Bob co-founded the Lakeside Christian HELPS Center and was Adjunct Professor of Reformed Worship at Bethel Theological Seminary for 10 years. He is now a Professor of Worship at the new Pacific Theological Seminary and serves committees of the Presbytery of San Diego. His hobbies are photography, gardening, hiking and music.

Rev. Dr. Robert W. Mentze

Church Ministries Coordinator

Rebecca Piffard

Office Administrator

Assistant Organist (Contract)

Steve Parker

Audio/Visual Technician

Erina Mesquita

Nursery Supervisor

Annalisa Sands


Domingo Carpio


Flor Rivera


To love God and love our neighbors, as we seek to be the heart, hands, and feet of Jesus Christ.


Through faith in God, a united heart, and reliance upon the leading of the Holy Spirit, we continually strive to create a diverse community that exemplifies love, connection, service, and the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Session Commissions

Christian Education


ad hoc committees:




DEACONS – The Heart of the Church

Mission Statement

The Board of Deacons at Palisades Presbyterian Church in Allied Gardens exists as the hands and heart of the Lord to serve our congregation and community. We shall, as instruments of God’s grace and healing, minister to their spiritual, physical and emotional needs by presence, praying, listening, acting and rejoicing. We strive to fulfill our calling by caring for one another as Jesus Christ cares for us.

The Deacons fulfill this mandate with practical ministries of Communion preparation, serving for Weddings and Memorials, sending cards for special occasions and tender outreach, supporting Prayer Chain & Quilt ministries, organizing the Flowers for Sunday worship, encouraging shut-in members through hands-on care and bulletin mail-ministry, and approving generous year-end giving to major church needs such a new sanctuary doors and local Christian ministry organizations.

The Future of Palisades

Church in Transition

In the Presbyterian Church (USA), when a church has a change of pastoral leadership, the church goes through several steps to prepare for a Called Pastor. This process takes time, because significant change is spiritual work and transitions are pivotal seasons for allowing members to process the disruption and examine God’s leading for the future. The whole process is bathed in prayer for God’s wisdom and mercy.

The first step is to bring a transitional pastor (or in Palisades’ case, a Co-Pastor team) to guide the on-going church functions as well as ensure the transitional work is being done. The Nominating Committee calls a group to undertake a process of self-discovery through a Mission Study to examine the community inside the church and the community where the church is positioned. Some questions are data-driven and others ask spiritual questions that probe who would be well-suited to offer pastoral guidance for the next season of life at Palisades.

When the Mission Study is completed and reviewed by the Presbytery of San Diego Committee on Ministry, a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is elected. They will write a Ministry Information Form (MIF) describing the church, then review matched Pastoral Information Forms (PIF), hear sermons and interview candidates. For final candidates, the PNC will worship with and hear a sermon “in person” in a neutral pulpit.

When the PNC has found the candidate of choice, they are invited to preach at Palisades and a Congregational Meeting is called for a vote. Once a congregation has chosen and established a starting date, the incoming pastor will be vetted by the Presbytery and a date for installation is set. Great rejoicing will be heard throughout the valley.

Mission Study – Progress Bar

Mission Study Team Formed
Mission Study Parameters set
Mission Study Completed
Mission Study Published

Pastor Nominating – Progress Bar

Ministry Information Form Written
Personal Information Forms Received
Candidates Interviewed
Neutral Pulpit
Candidate Preach/Congregational Meeting

The History Of Palisades

Our Story

The history of Palisades dates to 1887, when the first services were held in the courtroom of the then-San Diego Courthouse at Broadway and 2nd Street, the intersection that now includes the Westgate Hotel.

On April 10, 1888, 29 charter members petitioned the Presbytery in Santa Ana to form the First United Presbyterian Church in San Diego. With approval, that date is recognized as the founding of what is now Palisades Presbyterian Church.
San Diego saw dramatic change between 1888 and the turn of the century.

Palisades moved from worshiping in the Holt House (near what is now Market and 14th Street) to their first church at the corner of 19th and G Street (which is now in the middle of the Highway 94/Interstate 5 interchange). The 20 x 30 structure was built with the volunteer labor of their hardy 38 members. Within nine years, the congregation outgrew this humble building and moved to the corner of 22nd and Market Street, where it served for more than 50 years.

As the city continued to change, the church moved to its current location in the neighborhood where most of the members lived. Purchasing 5.7 acres for $15,000 in 1956, the worshiping community held its first services on the Sunday before Christmas in 1956, well before the sanctuary was completed in 1964.

The lovely stained-glass windows that anchor the spire are themselves an example of the mercy of God depicted in them. During World War II, Allied planes accidentally bombed the Dutch factory where the panes were crafted, jeopardizing the business. In a gesture of apology, the U.S. government shipped, free of charge, the stained-glass orders made by Americans. These windows were transported aboard a Navy ship from Holland to Portland, Oregon then trucked to the church. More than merely beautiful or illustrative, they are practical reminders of the divine virtues of forgiveness and grace.

With its storied legacy and service to Christ, and, by God’s grace, Palisades continues to shine the light in the 21st century as a beacon of Christ’s love on the bluff.

The Point

Members and friends of Palisades Presbyterian Church gathered on November 13, 2005 to dedicate The Point, an outdoor worship center to honor beloved pastor Harvey G. Throop after 25 years of faithful service.

What We Believe

We believe first and foremost in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who came to this world and gave his life on the cross to redeem us, save us and give us abundant and eternal life.

The words of “A Brief Statement of Faith” affirm the following:
“In life and in death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve. With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

We at Palisades Presbyterian Church seek to live out these words with our worship, our care and nurture of one another, our ongoing educational efforts for all ages, and our outreach and service in the world.

With our roots in the Protestant Reformation, we are grounded in the following:

  • The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament through which we affirm God’s abiding love, God’s covenant, God’s Emmanuel in Jesus Christ, and God’s purposes and plans through Christ’s life and death and resurrection.
  • The grace of God which is freely offered to all humanity: through Jesus Christ we are saved from sin, selfishness, and despair, and by the power of the Spirit we are inspired to lives of grace, love, and generosity in all things.
  • Our election to service as well as salvation. We believe that we have been richly blessed in order to be a blessing to the world. God sends us out to do God’s work near and far.

We are guided first by the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God as well as the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives as we seek to follow our Lord Jesus Christ. We are further guided by the Constitution of the PCUSA – the Book of Order and the Book of Confessions. The Book of Order frames our church life and practice. The Book of Confessions states our faith and bear witness to God’s grace in Jesus Christ. There are 12 statements from across the ages that affirm who the church is and what the church

How to Spell Presbyterian

Presbyterians are creedal, liturgical and sacramental, representative, connectional, and responsive. This is all to say that we take our commitment to Christ seriously in worship and action in the local church which is connected to larger bodies, all of which are governed by elected officials. Find out more about us and the broader church through these links:

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