Rev. Daphne Marie Gascot Arias
Rev. Daphne Marie Gascot Arias is called to serve Downey Memorial Christian Church (Disiples of Christ) with the task of developing a multi-cultural, multi-lingual ministry that is capable of relating and reaching out to the surrounding community.
An ordained minister with the Disciples of Christ, Rev. Gascot Arias has served in various capacities throughout the wider Church. Most recently, she was a contributing author of this year’s Journey to Generosity, stewardship materials published by the Center for Faith and Giving. Most notably, she has given leadership, in various ways, to the Disciples’ anti-racism initiative.
Rev. Gascot Arias earned her bachelor of science from La Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico in Communications, and her master of divinity degree from Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. She has also completed substantial coursework in the field of Spirituality integrative Psychotherapy and Pastoral Counseling.
Rev. Gascot grew up in Puerto Rico, attending both Disciples congregations and Disciples schools (elementary, middle and high schools). She grew up surrounded by the Disciples way of “doing church,” which is one that valued education, ecumenism, and engagement with the community. With tons of multi-cultural experience and a love for learning languages (she speaks three fluently and is currently learning more),
Rev. Gascot Arias is mom to Daphne Magnolia, and is married to Rev. José F. Morales Jr., who is also an ordained Disciples minister.
Faungaofe “Tevita” Uesi
Minister for Worship & Spiritual Life
Hello and Mālō Ē Lēlēi! Tevita was born and in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tevita is a second generation Tongan American, meaning both of his parents (Heamoni and Silia) migrated to the states from the Islands of Tonga. Tevita is the eldest of seven children, the youngest Maeakafa, was adopted to a church family. Since, 2005 his father started a family gospel reggae band. The family holds a strong tradition of visiting and singing for the elderly, the sick, widows, families, and friends every Christmas since 1998.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Music Education from University of Utah. While at the U of U, he served as the drum major for the Marching Utes, the first person of color. They also had the honor of participating at President Barak Obama’s Inaugural parade in 2008 in Washington, D.C. In addition, he was part of the University Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Pep Band, and the rugby team.
He has served as the Choir Director for the Tongan Wesleyan Choir for six years in Salt Lake City before answering God’s call to move to Claremont, California. In addition, he and his brother, Siosifa Uesi co-led the Granger Christian Church, Doc praise team and adult choir. Further, Tevita was appointed as the Tongan United Methodist Church Wind Ensemble Director. This included preparing the band for the Queen of Tonga in 2011.
Prior to moving to California, Tevita taught at Providence Hall Jr. High/ High school for three years. Classes taught included, percussion, beginning band, concert band, bella voce, Tongan culture, jazz ensemble, and rugby.
Currently, Tevita is a graduate student at Claremont School of Theology working on his Master of Divinity (M. Div). In addition, he sits on the Young Adult Committee for the Pacific Southwest Region, Disciples of Christ. Recently, he was named one of the board of Directors for Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM), Disciples of Christ.
Tevita has a passion for his culture, working with youth and love for God. His spare time includes ‘jamming out’ on the piano, trumpet, guitar, etc. If not doing music, he loves spending time with family and friends.