About Us

Tim ShawTim Shaw

Tim Shaw joined the staff of our church in June 2013, after serving the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley for 28 years in a wide variety of capacities.  Tim is originally from Southern California, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where he received a BA in Biological Sciences.  After graduating from UCSB, he began working on his masters degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA where he received his Masters of Divinity with an emphasis in Christian Formation and Discipleship.  He then joined the staff of the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. Under the leadership of two outstanding Senior Pastors (Earl Palmer and Mark Labberton) he had an incredible ministry experience here in Berkeley that included a wide variety of responsibilities, including youth ministries, young adult ministries, adult discipleship, the launching of a new worship service, mentoring and leadership development, creating new approaches to short-term mission through a partnership with a dynamic Congolese hospital in Goma in Eastern Congo, to name just a few of his ministry experiences. While on the staff of First Pres. Berkeley, he also served as the Acting Head of Staff (between Earl and Mark) and finally as the Intern Senior Pastor after Mark Labberton received a call to serve on the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary in 2009.  He served as the Interim Senior Pastor for three years. 

Tim loves being outside. He enjoys backpacking, hiking, swimming, cycling (road and mountain), alpine skiing, and backcountry skiing. He has some experience rock-climbing, has traveled extensively around the world, enjoys reading non-fiction, loves a good movie and great conversation with family and friends. He’s a sailor, with a bareboat charter certification and is an instrument rated private pilot.


What do you think you’ll like most about your job? 

Well, I think I need to first tell you about my work or at least the way my job is configured here at the start of my work at First Prez!  My ministry will focus on both international mission and local missional engagement and will include lots of teaching, preaching, personal discipling and leader development.  That is the perfect job description for me.  I love to do all of those things so I could not be more excited to be here and to work alongside the staff and people of this amazing church.  If I had to pick the one thing that I love most about my job it is the opportunity to invest my life in the lives of others so that they might gain a clearer understanding of who God is making them to be and what he is calling them to do.  Sharing God’s excitement for what he is doing in and through another person’s life has been some of the greatest experiences of my life.


Tell us about your family (siblings, pets, kids, etc.) 

I am the great-grandson of one of the men who started the Assemblies of God denomination (Archibald Collins), which is a little odd for a Presbyterian pastor to admit.  I’m also the grandson of a traveling evangelist and pastor (Hardy Mitchell) and the son of two remarkable people who met and fell in love at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, CA, the church I grew up in.  As a young woman, my mom (Dottie Shaw) was an accompanist for a ventriloquist who was the first television personality to win an Emmy Award.  I have three siblings:  my older brother Dana (who manages a warehouse for a school district in Arizona) and my two younger sisters Cindy (who oversees a vast adult and youth ice hockey league in Orange County, CA) and Debbie (who is a marriage and family therapist in Arizona).  I also have nine amazing nieces and nephews (Jennifer, Stephanie, Jamie, Jimmy, Matthew, Christian, Bryce, Brittany and Brandon), the oldest is a physician, one is a drummer in a band called Local Natives that just appeared on David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon, another, like his uncle, is a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, and that’s just three of the nine. I could go on and on. I love every single one of them.


What is your favorite comfort food?

There’s something about the whole notion of comfort food that I’m not completely comfortable with. But if I have to pick, it would probably be anything that has chocolate ice cream in it. Fearing that I’m going to receive lots of ice cream gifts by saying that, the only caveat that I need to make is that I think I’m a little lactose intolerant which makes this a curious choice for me (that may be TMI – too much information).

What is one of your pet peeves?
I’m concerned about admitting that this is one of my pet peeves because it’s so odd and I fear it will just encourage people to do this around me. For some inexplicable reason it drives me nuts to listen to someone over stir the milk or half and half into their coffee. Let me say this to all of you who are guilty of this, please consider the wisdom of the British. Pour the milk in first, then add the coffee.  The “tink, tink, tink, tink, tink, tink…” of a spoon against the side of the coffee cup makes me crazy. I have no idea what that is about.

What’s the last book you read? 

Erik Metaxas’ biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I found the first part of the book a little slow but it ended up being a fascinating, inspiring and exceedingly challenging story of a life lived with love and courage.


What is your favorite Hawaii Restaurant you would recommend? 

I’m new here but here are a couple of restaurants I’ve enjoyed.  Mama’s Fish House just off the Road to Hana on Maui, Morimotos in Waikiki and Kalapawai Café and Deli in Kailua.

What is your favorite movie?
I have a lot of favorite films so it’s hard to choose.  My favorite holiday movie is Elf!  I have a very low entertainment threshold.  I am easily entertained. 

What is your favorite song?

There are too many to name and since I’m horrible at remembering the names of songs and the artists who perform them, this is a tough question for me.  I’ve always been uncool in this way.  I love almost anything by James Taylor.  I’m a huge fan of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto #2 In C Minor and many other pieces of classical music, especially if a great pianist is playing with an outstanding symphony orchestra.  I love jazz and I’m also a sucker for Christmas music.


If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? 

I’d want to be Captain America. He’s just a humble, yet gutsy guy with no special powers.  It probably helps that he works out a lot.


Which Hollywood film actor would play you in a movie of your life?

I guess it would need to be Chris Evans (the latest Captain America) or Tom Hanks since people regularly tell me that my voice sounds like his.

Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 how weird you are.
I’m proudly a 7.5 on the weird scale.  See the above questions.

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