Lincoln News Messenger (May 14, 2012): Al Soto A Minister for 33 Years


Al Soto a minister for 33 years

_Name: Al Soto Age: 51 City: Lincoln Job: Co-lead pastor of Bayside Lincoln. The second co-lead pastor is David Harris, Ph.D. Family: Wife, Valerie; and five sons, David, 23; Matt, 22; Michael, 20; John, 18; and Aaron, 15. To learn more about Soto and Bayside Lincoln, visit Describe what your job is like. I get to work with David (Harris, Ph.D.) and we share preaching responsibilities. My responsibilities are over our teach-wide so I oversee the small groups, like the men’s/women’s ministries, youth and children, and David oversees reach-deep. What do you mean by “teach-wide?” Our mission is to reach wide, teach deep and unleash compassion. We are a part of the Granite Bay Bayside campus. Originally Bayside of Lincoln was not connected to Bayside of Granite Bay. We are 45 days old and a completely different church. We’re a new church that has a new mission. How long have you been a pastor? I’ve been a minister for 33 years. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and moved to Lincoln in 2008. What do you like about your job as a pastor? I enjoy making a difference and seeing people transformed. Especially with young people, having the impact on them to pursue excellence. Seeing them enjoy not just mediocrity but believing they can do something with their lives. What do you hope to accomplish with the new Bayside? To serve the city and to partner with schools and organizations in Lincoln to meet the needs of our people. We will start to raise money for the high school so we can get equipment for the athletic room and raising money for the Police Activities League to get food for kids at the youth center. What are some of the programs you’ll be offering at Bayside? Some of the things we’ll be doing we already have at the Granite Bay site. One is a care program for families in crisis and in need. We’ll be doing a breakaway camp for kids that wouldn’t normally be able to go away to camp. Why is Bayside focusing on service to the community? It’s unleashing compassion. If you want to grow in Christ, you serve your city and people. It’s who we are and it’s our mission. We have a vested interest, and our people love Lincoln. What do you when you’re not working? I’m a voracious reader and I like to scuba dive and golf. My wife and I work out and we just like taking long drives, like to the ocean. You also coach junior varsity football for Lincoln High School. How did you get into that? My father was a football coach and I grew up with football. I was 21 when I started coaching and it’s in my blood. It’s a means to an end. If I get to the heart of a player when I’m coaching, I succeed. My goal is to get them to succeed in life. What do you like about football? I like the game and the strategy of the X’s and O’s. I like the collegial atmosphere of coaching. What’s it like having five sons? I have a great wife, I married way above my pay grade. My wife is an incredible woman; she’s one of a kind. Our boys are very loyal to one another. There’s never a dull moment. They’ve always been very active and are very close with one another. The Lincoln News Messenger profiles a nonprofit organization every week. If you would like to see an organization featured, please call 774-7967 or e-mail


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