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Pastor Gunnar Hanson served in the US Navy from July 5, 1993 to March 5, 2005.  During his time in the Navy he served at SEAL Team 3 and Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California.  The SEAL teams played a large role in shaping Gunnar early adulthood.  His path of accomplishments isn’t free of bumpy patches that God used to lead Gunnar to Christ in 1996, ultimately transforming him into the man he is today.

After becoming a Christian, Gunnar developed a deep desire to know what the Bible taught about what it meant to be a Christian and how this new life in Christ fit with his life as a US Navy SEAL.  This desire led him to distance learning courses through Moody Bible Institute and ultimately to Southern California Seminary where he earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Biblical Studies and a Masters of Divinity.  He continued his education through Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is all but dissertation with a Doctor of Ministry.

Following his service in the Navy, Gunnar moved to Valley Center, California to restart Valley Baptist Church during the summer of 2007.  Under his leadership the church has come back to life and is making an impact in their community.  In addition to his pastoral duties, Gunnar is the head chaplain with the Escondido Police Department and really loves spending time with their SWAT team.

Gunnar met his wife his wife in 2000 prior to his last deployment as a Navy SEAL.  They fell in love quickly, often joking that the only things they have in common are love for Jesus and Mexican food.  Anna grew up as a missionary’s kid in Southern Spain and is a huge support in Gunnar’s calling as a pastor.  God has blessed them with four beautiful children.

His story was featured on KFMB-TV Channel 8 and ABC's Channel 10 News.  His life story was also recorded on "Unshackled!" and is available to listen to here if you would like to learn more about Pastor Gunnar's testimony:

Gunnar Hanson-Part 1

Gunnar Hanson-Part 2