Our Pastor

Pastor Neil Platon Bio

My full name is Antonio Neil G. Platon III. But you can call me Neil or Pastor Neil. I am 53 years old. I was born and raised in Quezon City (a suburb of Manila), Philippines. I am married to Joy. She is an operating room nurse at Marian Regional Hospital. We have two children, Jasmine (23) and Joshua (19). Jasmine is a BA English graduate from Cal State Los Angeles, and is pursuing a masteral degree (Library Science) at UCLA; while Joshua is a freshman at Cal State Fullerton taking on business.

I am a life-long United Methodist. I attended Good Samaritan United Methodist Church and United Methodist schools from elementary to high school, and was a pre-med (BS Botany) graduate in 1990 at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. In 1991, I accepted God’s call to ministry. I attended Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena where I finished with an MA Theology (1994) and a Master of Divinity (1996) degree. After finishing seminary I was appointed to the Iowa Annual Conference to serve 3 rural churches (Macksburg-Hebron-Lorimor United Methodist Churches). In 2002 I returned to Southern California to serve FUMC of Wilmington for 14 years. In 2016 my family and I were moved to the city of San Bernardino to serve Del Rosa UMC and Trinity UMC of the Inland Empire. These two churches, together with 5 other churches then merged to become New Beginnings United Methodist where I served as their Pastor of Discipleship from 2018 to 2022. On July 1, 2022 I was appointed to Santa Maria First United Methodist Church. I pursued a Doctor of Ministry degree at Claremont School of Theology in 2016. I graduated in May of 2019 with a Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Renewal, Contemplative Practice, and Strategic Leadership.