Meet the Leadership
Bob Balian is the Founding Pastor of Bayside Midtown. Bob currently shares the Lead Pastor role with his partner in ministry, Efrem Smith. Bob also serves as the Chaplain for the NBA’s, Sacramento Kings. Bob graduated from UCLA, with a degree in Economics, and from Fuller Theological Seminary, with an M.A.T.
Bob grew up in Sacramento, and returned to Sacramento, from Los Angeles, to take over a family construction and engineering business. After becoming a bi-vocational Youth Pastor, he sold his business, and became a full-time, Executive Pastor at BOSS, with the late, great, Sherwood Carthen. He then planted Bayside Midtown in 2011, with his beautiful wife, Letty Balian. They intentionally planted in the heart of Sacramento, one of the most diverse cities in the country, and have been intentional about fostering and nurturing diversity and racial reconciliation in the church, since the very first day of its existence.
Bob and Letty have one daughter, Taylor Balian, who works and lives in Santa Monica, Ca.
Pastor Efrem Smith is an internationally recognized leader who uses motivational speaking and preaching to equip people for a life of transformation. He consults on issues of multi-ethnicity, leadership, and community development. Pastor Smith is the former- president and CEO of World Impact, an urban mission, church planting and leadership-development organization. He is the current co-lead Pastor of Bayside Church, Midtown. He’s the author of several books, including his latest, “Killing Us Softly.” Pastor Smith is a graduate of Saint John's University and Luther Theological Seminary. He received an honorary doctor of ministry degree from Ashland Theological Seminary. He’s currently a doctoral student in Church Leadership at Fuller Seminary.
Pastor Smith is married to Donecia and has two daughters. Pastor Smith is excited to be a part of all that God is doing in and through Bayside. He and Pastor Bob are encouraged by the rapid growth on the Midtown campus and are eager to work together and share the love of God throughout the Sacramento region.