OXNARD, CA-Michael Darden, longtime chaplain and program manager at the Ventura County Rescue Mission, has been named its new director, effective immediately. Former Director Clayton Coates has been promoted to Chief Ministry Officer, overseeing all the ministries run by the Mission's umbrella organization, Rescue Mission Alliance.

Darden has served at the Mission for 14 years, starting as program chaplain in 2007. He became program manager a few years later, and then assistant director, and is proud to have contributed to the Mission in almost every aspect, including counseling, teaching, working with volunteers and mentors, event planning, and more.

"In my initial interview in 2007, I was asked why I wanted to work here, and my answer is still the same," Darden said. "Hope. I want hurting people to receive hope, healing, and health through the power of God's love and the support of a loving community."

Darden has more than 20 years' experience in pastoral ministry. He has his bachelor's from Portland Bible College and his masters in divinity from King's Seminary. He was born and raised in Ventura and has remained in the city aside from his time in college. Darden married his wife, Laura, in March of this year, and has three step-children. He enjoys travel, photography and being in the outdoors.

Feel free to reach out to Director Darden at