Pastoral Staff

PTomSalter-02.99130750Arbuckle Community Church has been blessed with Pastor Tom Salter as our Senior Pastor.  Tom and Barbara Salter reside in Antelope, CA.  Tom has recently conducted interim ministries for churches that are “in-between” pastors. Prior to their move to the Sacramento area, Tom and Barbara had a productive eight and a half year ministry with Tahoe Christian Center. Previously, he pastored three other churches altogether since 1970, and is also a co-founder of Christian Encounter Ministries, in Grass Valley, California. The call to Tahoe Christian Center included a call to form “Barnabas Factor”, a ministry of support and encouragement for pastors. Tom has a B.A. in Pastoral Ministries from San Jose Christian College, and an M.A. in New Testament from Lincoln Christian Seminary in Illinois. The Salters have been married over thirty years, and have two grown daughters, Amy and Elissa, and a Toy Fox Terrier named Bogey. 

Pastor Tom is also a missionary for his calling to form a Barnabas Africa team in 2008 working to training pastors overseas. To date, many pastors have been trained and the team visited Africa in May 2014.

View his complete bio on his website


Joel Family

Pastor Don Joel has been serving as our Youth and Family Pastor since August of 2015.  He leads a group of amazing volunteers to oversee all ages of kids and their families!

Don Joel has served in several ministry settings. As Associate Pastor for All Tribes Baptist Chapel, he planned, designed and taught curriculum for children and youth. Then for over seven years he served as the “Youth and Media Pastor” for Pathway Community Church. During this time he planned and implemented programs for up to 150 teenagers and their families. Finally, Don has served as College Ministry Director at Green Hills Baptist Church for the past year.

Educationally, Don has a B.A in Bible and Theology from William Jessup University. He also has a B.A. in Communication Design from Chico State, and a M.A. in Christian Education from Talbot Seminary.
Don is married to Amy. They have three children: Kelli (12), Alyce (9) and Micah (7). Don spent nearly five years in Chico, and spent time growing up in northern CA. Amy spent time growing up in a small Nebraska town, and much time also in Africa as a missionary kid. Both of them love serving in a small town where they can live out their faith with the people of the church on more than just Sunday.

Get to know our pastors. Click below to see their answers to an entertaining questionnaire.

20 Questions

If you had to come up with a fortune cooking thought or message, what would it be?

Tom: I would quote Oral Roberts, whose favorite line is: “Something good is going to happen to you!” (and it’s scriptural – for Christians – see Ps. 23:6)

Don: Help, I’m trapped inside a Fortune Cookie Factory!

If you had to give up your favorite food/meal, what would be the most difficult? Why?

Tom: Lately, it has been Eggs! For years, I had the same ‘ol regular: granola, yogurt, berries. And then I got into making myself an omelet – and that would be tough to give up, entirely.

Don: Bacon, because it makes everything better.

If you could choose a food item to never taste again, what would it be?

Tom: Simple: Meatloaf. It’s a childhood thing – and it involves ONIONS – yuck! Seriously, I need therapy – thanks a lot for asking me this question!! (NOT)

Don: Dark Chocolate…Yuck!

If you could only have ONE superhero power, what would it be? Why?

Tom: Well, because I’m not really up on the superhero genre, I’m going to say “Ironman.” I really like Robert Downey Jr. in these movies and I like how his iron “skin” lets him go right through bullets, not to mention, he can fly!

Don: Telekinesis (the word “lazy” comes to mind).

If you could receive any award or achievement, what would it be?

Tom: Because I’ve composed several songs (three of them copyrighted) in my younger years, I guess I’d like to get a Grammy (or Academy Award for best song in a movie).

Don: Father of the Year…I try at least.

What item do you keep even though you should probably throw it away or donate it?

Tom: I’m a pack-rat, so I have a LOT OF THINGS I should throw away! Hmmm. I have three large file cabinets. Inside are many folders I should ditch.

Don: My minivan, or as I call it “The Great Dust Collector”, but it does come in handy at times.

What was your favorite childhood toy?

Tom: I can’t remember much of my childhood. No – just kidding (therapy helps!). I’m going to say my baseball mitt.

Don: Hot Wheels – especially with the track.

What article of clothing best describes you? Why?

Tom: I’m going to say XXL T-shirts. And I DO need to lost weight, but I have tons of T-shirts.

Don: Shorts and a T-shirt. Yes even when it is 10 below I would rather wear shorts than pants.

If you had to eat a handful of worms, how would you cook them?

Tom: I WOULDN’T eat them. I’d fix them in an omelet, invite Don Joel over, and serve them to him (and then watch).

Don: Grind them up and mix with ground bacon and beef to make a wonderful burger topped with chipotle mayo and sweet pickles.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Tom: In Africa, I’ve eaten a lot of things. But when I pastured up in Klamath Falls, we had a “Wild Game Night” – we had stuff like “Black Bear Stew”, Caribou steaks, Rattlesnake (gulp). The church stunk for weeks after that event, but it did draw a lot of men.

Don: Chocolate Covered Cricket.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Tom: I don’t know. I know that I am an impatient driver, so I pray that I don’t get behind church members who drive slow! (I don’t want them to see me passing them, going fast).

Don: Questionnaires

What is your least favorite “chore”?

Tom: I guess it’s putting the garbage out every Sunday night. Honestly, I don’t mind that, but – if some food got thrown away several days earlier, the smell makes me gag.

Don: Dishes – paper plates are my friend.

If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be? Why?

Tom: Well, I do have a very cute dog, Bogey, a Toy Fox Terrier. But I think if I had one of those midget pigs – what do you call them? My luck, I’d make a mistake, and get a regular pig – a cute piglet, then grow up to be a sloppy hog. What do I do then?

Don: Wolf, because they are awesome!

If you could instantly know one skill, that you don’t already know, what would it be?

Tom: I think I’d like to write “code” for computers, so I could put up websites, and do stuff like that.

Don: The ability to speak every language.

What is your favorite TV show of all time?

Tom: I’d have to say – ESPN’s Sports Center. I watch it pretty much every night I’m home. I watch a lot of news as well. I do like “Big Bang Theory.”

Don: Alias

If you could read one person’s mind (past or present), who would it be? Why?

Tom: Well, this fall (2015), I’m preaching through Phillippians, and it says to have the “mind of Christ” among you (Phil. 2:5). I would like to know all the thoughts in the mind of the Lord Jesus.

Don: No one, I have a hard enough time knowing my own thoughts.

If you could add any word to the dictionary what would it be? What does it mean?

Tom: I would add “Indahazi!” That’s Kinyarwandan for “I’m really full!” – I know how to say it in three languages.

Don: Arbucklian – Caring, Compassionate and Friendly.

If you could spend 48 hours living the life of a historical figure, who would it be? Why?

Tom: Maybe Abraham Lincoln. I know his presidency was filled with great turmoil (Civil War), but I find that time period fascinating and I want to check some of the historical sites of the Civil War.

Don: John the Baptist, when he baptized Jesus.

What is your favorite activity outside of work?

Tom: I’m going to say golf. That’s not an honest answer, because I hardly ever play, but I want it to be golf. I’ve played Arbuckle Golf Course one time now, and I want to play it often!

Don: Hanging with my family going on adventures.

Which would you rather give up for an entire year, your computer, or your TV?

Tom: Who thinks up these questions? Some kind of masochist! Is that my choice? That’s a tough choice. I need the computer for my work, so I guess (sniff, sniff) I’d give up the TV.

Don: I would love to give up watching TV. Not having the internet or my computer would be like asking me to not eat bacon.