La Jolla Presbyterian Church Pastor Paul Cunningham gives thanks for his life in “amazing” La Jolla
Paul Cunningham is the senior pastor of La Jolla Presbyterian Church. Before moving to La Jolla, he pastored churches in Lubbock and Wichita Falls, Texas.
Cunningham grew up in Fresno and graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in finance. He earned his master’s degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry from Reformed Theological Seminary.
He currently serves on the board of directors for Urban Life (an inner city ministry focusing on City Heights and southeast San Diego), The Word at Work (a mission organization in Belize) and Whitworth University. He is married to Shannon, who is an artist, and they have two children, Morgan and Micah.
What brought you to La Jolla?
Our family moved here in August of 2006, so that I could become the senior pastor of La Jolla Presbyterian Church.
What might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
Honestly, we live in a pretty amazing place … maybe no more marine layer in May and June?
Who or what inspires you?
My parents taught me a lot about humility and integrity when I was a kid and I am grateful for their example. I tend to be inspired by people who are less famous and who live in such a way that they are making the world a better place one person at a time.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
My invitations would go to Abraham Lincoln, Ansel Adams, Bono, C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Jesus and Martin Luther.
What are you reading?
I just finished “Leonardo and The Last Supper,” by Ross King, and loved it. Currently, I am reading “Bonhoeffer – Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy,” by Eric Metaxas, “Bad Religion,” by Ross Douthot and “The Righteous Mind,” by Jonathan Haidt.
What is your most-prized possession?
I know that family is not a possession, but I would have to say my wife and kids. They are a great source of joy and encouragement to me.
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy walking along the beach, reading a book, watching the sunset. I always love to travel. Going to pretty much any kind of professional or college-sporting event is also a lot of fun for me.
What is your philosophy of life?
Live fully, love like God loved us, and serve others in your community and world.
What would be your dream vacation?
I had to ask my family about this one because I would want them to go with me. They chose Africa. We would visit the seminary, our church sponsors, and go on a safari.
What are your favorite spots in La Jolla?
There are too many to choose from — from the great coffee places, to restaurants, to an amazing coastline to walk along — I don’t think it gets much better than this!
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