Rev. Dr. Clyde W. Oden, Jr., is Pastor of Bethel Oxnard African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E. Church). Bethel engages the spiritual, social, and health concerns of Ventura County and the greater Southern Los Angeles community. The Church has an active congregation of approximately 150 persons. Bethel Oxnard is a very active Church in the Oxnard and Ventura County communities.

Beyond his church based activities, Dr. Oden was recently awarded the 2015 Trailblazer Award by The Miller-Lawrence Medical and Dental Society for being a pioneer in the medical community and a founder of UHP Healthcare, a pioneering managed care plan that set the template for minority managed care entities in Southern California and the United States. Pastor Oden also serves on the Board of Directors of Community Build, Inc. and he serves as co-chair to several advisory committees at the RAND Corporation which is examined varies health problems and the roles that faith communities can play in reducing health disparities. As a prostate cancer survivor, Dr. Oden vigorously advocates for prostate cancer screening and education.

Pastor Oden at Bethel Oxnard
Rev. Dr. Clyde W. Oden, Jr.

Pastor Oden & First Lady Velma Oden


Prior to Bethel Oxnard, Pastor Oden served for 13 years as Senior Pastor at Bryant Temple AME Church in Los Angeles. From 1995 – 2002, Rev. Oden was Senior Pastor at Holy Trinity A.M.E. Church in North Long Beach. where he served for seven (7) years. During his tenure at Holy Trinity, Dr. Oden was bi-vocational, having served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Family Savings Bank, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Watts Health Systems, Inc.

Pastor Oden at Bethel Oxnard AME Church

He served at the Watts Health System’s CEO from 1979 to 2002. He also served as a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Health from 1999-2000 and he has been enshrined in the Promenade of Prominence in Watts, California.The Reverend Dr. Oden has four earned degrees from the University of California, at Berkeley including a Doctor of Optometry, a Masters in Optometry, and a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH). He also has earned Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Pepperdine University and a Masters in Divinity (M. Div.), from Claremont School of Theology.He is married to Velma, a retired R.N., and they have three adult children, five grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.