Okay, let’s just be really honest here… without the HUNDREDS of Hope Church folks who give of their time, talent and treasure, this place would VERY quickly grind to a halt. The following folks are the ones who simply serve to help coordinate the efforts of others in various ministry areas:
Gary has served as senior pastor at Hope Church since 2002. Previously, he ministered at Colonial Woods Missionary Church in Port Huron, Michigan; and before that at Avalon Missionary Church in Ft. Wayne. Gary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fort Wayne Bible College, and a Master’s of Divinity degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Gary has also served as an adjunct professor at Taylor University Fort Wayne, where he taught a “Variety in Preaching” course. He and his wife Kay were married in 1974. They have three grown children: Jennifer (married to Tommy Lee Jones), Jeffry (married to Rachel), and Jill (married to Josh Lehman); they have also been blessed with 7 incredibly cute and unbelievably smart grandchildren! Gary enjoys working out, jogging and of course Detroit Tiger Baseball!
Steve began his ministry with Hope in January of 2017 and is a 1972 Taylor University English major who married ’73 music grad Donna in that year. They married in 1973 and have seen God’s blessing of two Taylor-grad daughters and their families: Ginny and husband Frank Yang live 1.5 miles away with grandson Levi and granddaughter Alixa; Anna and husband Josh Macke are 2.5 miles distant, with grandson Owen and granddaughter Norah. Steve was a career English teacher at Homestead High School, and also savored nine years of ministry with Fort Wayne Youth for Christ and as youth pastor of Wakarusa Missionary Church in Elkhart County. He has also taught at Huntington University and Taylor University, plays tennis, guitar, loves to travel and read, especially C.S. Lewis and Shakespeare. Donna is a veteran elementary music teacher, and both have master’s degrees in Education from Indiana University.
Geoff joined our staff in 2013. Geoff went to Bethel College and graduated in 2009. Geoff leads our high school student ministry, provides oversight to our college and young adult ministry, and you’ll also typically find him in the Ten31 worship venue. Geoff loves to talk about life change and loves most to see students “Own it.” Geoff often has a cup of coffee in one hand. He enjoys spending time at local high school events, or cheering on his beloved Chicago Bears or Detroit Tigers.
Megan and her husband, Drew, have attended Hope Church since they were in third grade. She attended Bethel College in Mishawaka and attained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Computer Applications and a minor in Music. After graduation, Megan spent one year as a Sales Assistant at Sweetwater Sound and then moved on to be an Office Liaison Assistant for Fort Wayne Community Schools for two more years. In 2008 she came on staff as our Office Assistant. Megan and Drew have been married since 2005 and have three awesome children – Evelyn (Eva), Stellen, and Malakai (Kai). On top of her staff responsibilities, Megan enjoys being a part of the Worship Team. In her spare time she enjoys being a mom and wife, reading, taking walks, and spending time with family and friends.
Janice and her family have attended Hope since 1993. In 2004 she joined the team as Director of Children’s Ministries. Some of Janice’s responsibilities include recruiting and training key leaders in Children’s Ministry in grades K- 4 as well as overseeing and directing various programs such as children’s worship (Powerhouse), Small Groups, Wednesday night Livewires, and our summer program called “Short Circuit”. She is a graduate of Taylor University with a degree in elementary education. Janice spent seven years as a fourth grade teacher at Ossian Elementary, then seven years as a stay-home mom when her children, Luke and Alex, were young. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Lex, and they are enjoying being “empty-nesters”! Running, biking, and being in the great outdoors are some of her favorite things to do!
Ross joined the Hope staff in 2011 after graduating from Huntington University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Youth Ministries and Family/Children’s Ministries. Ross leads Hope’s ministries to fifth graders and middle school students (grade 6-8). Ross is also responsible for providing vision and leadership to Hope’s youth worship team, The Background. In addition to his youth ministry responsibilities, Ross also serves as a worship leader for Hope’s services that meet in the Family Life Center. He and his high-school sweetheart Ashley have been married since June of 2011, and they’ve got just about the cutest daughter ever in Miss Naomi.
Kent joined the team in the summer of 2014 and brings with him an enthusiasm for helping facilitate high-quality ministry that assists folks in finding their full potential in Christ. Kent earned his undergraduate degree from Asbury College and a master’s degree from Huntington University, and he has aspirations of continuing his education further. Kent and Amy were married in 1994, and they’ve discovered that there’s NEVER a dull moment with four kids in the house! Geoff, Katie, Molly and Shelby keep their parents hopping! As a family, they enjoy camping, running, biking… just about anything in the great outdoors. Kent’s a pretty big NASCAR fan (there IS one driver whom Jesus loves more than all the others) and can polish off a cup of coffee awfully quickly… especially if there are donuts nearby.
Chris started his service on our staff in 2015 and leads our worship ministries in three different venues with excellence. Chris came to Hope Church after serving in a variety of worship leadership roles in churches of varying sizes over the course of his ministry. He has a passion for creating experiences in which others can easily and freely worship their Creator. Chris and his wife Lisa were married in 1996, and they have three amazing sons: Ethan, Aiden and Tyler. Outside of his ministry at Hope, Chris enjoys craftsmanship, hiking, riding his motorcycle (it’s not nearly as cool as Pastor Gary’s Harley…) and spending time with his family.
Brett is a longtime member of Hope Church who became a part of the staff in 2004 and enjoys her work serving as the Office Manager. She daily appreciates the wide variety and challenges associated with overseeing the “business side” of things for Hope Church. After graduating from International Business College in 1994, Brett spent several years as a travel consultant specializing in group and corporate travel and assisting with the agency’s bookkeeping and reporting, which she loved. In 1995 she married Mike and together they are enjoying the adventure of raising a son and two daughters (Reed, Tess, and Maryn). When not working, Brett loves to cook, spend time with her active family, and take road trips to visit extended family. In addition to her work at Hope, she is actively involved as a volunteer in Hope Student Ministries.
Dianna has been our nursery director since 2010. She has been involved with child care off and on for over 30 years. She and her husband Bob were married in June of 1976 and have a daughter (Kristi Searles) and a son (Mike), along with seven grandchildren. In addition to spending time with her grandchildren, Dianna enjoys scrapbooking and walking.
Dawn has been a part of the Hope Missionary Church staff since 2001. In her role on our team, Dawn schedules events outside of the normal activities of the church and cares for this awesome facility with which we have been blessed. In addition to her job she serves on the Prayer Ministry Team and in Connection Group leadership. Dawn and her husband, Rodney have been married since 1988 and have attended Hope for over 20 years. They have been blessed with three wonderful children (Saundra, Dustin and Logan) and one awesome grandson. Dawn’s favorite pastimes are enjoying friends, walking, biking, reading and the great outdoors.
Christi and her husband, Stu, have been attending Hope Church since they moved to Bluffton two years ago. Christi grew up in the Chicagoland area and later attended Taylor University where she met her husband, played soccer, and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in 3D Art. Christi came on board to the church part time in May 2016 as an Office Assistant and has a full time job as a wedding and portrait photographer. In her free time she enjoys going for runs with their dog, painting watercolor, and doing calligraphy.
Gloria has been a part of our North Campus since its launch, and she’s been on the staff at North since the beginning of 2014. In her work with the children at North Campus, Gloria most enjoys watching kids come to an understanding of the love of Christ at work in and through their young lives. Gloria and Andy married in in 2007 and have two amazing kids, Lily and Eli. In her free time, Gloria most enjoys spending time in creative ways with her family and their friends.
Todd began his journey on Staff in 2016 and is passionate about helping people find their place at Hope. Todd brings with him ten years of experience serving as a high school youth pastor and he also spent two years in the marketplace in various sales roles. Once you meet Todd, you will quickly learn that he does not sit still for very long and enjoys being involved in the church and community. Todd earned his undergraduate degree from Huntington College (yes, the last class to graduate as a College) and a master’s degree from Bethel College. Todd married his high school sweet heart Julie, in 2004 and they have two energetic and highly relational kids. Kahra is a leader at heart and Connley is the family jokester. If Todd is not meeting with people, you will most likely find him waterskiing, riding bikes, running, lifting weights, or doing anything active outdoors. If you need Todd to do anything, you can most likely be persuaded by offering him a cup of coffee— without sugar or cream of course.
Sam has led and coordinated worship at our North Campus since it began in 2012, and he’s been involved with local worship teams since 1997. He and his wife Janelle are longtime Wells county residents and have two sons at home that keep things interesting with home-schooling, air-soft battles, Lego collections and three dogs! Sam and Janelle’s daughter and granddaughter also live in our community, which provides for LOTS of grandparent-time! Sam’s resume includes residential construction and remodeling, weld shop steel fabrication and teaching guitar lessons. His educational experience is just as diverse… including engineering studies with IPFW, music courses at Taylor University Ft Wayne and masters-level leadership studies from University of Wales. Sam believes that, despite Christian clichés, the gospel is still good news, and his passion is sharing it with those who have never heard, and those who may have forgotten.
Rochelle joined our team in 2006 to oversee and develop programs that build and teach all preschool age children ages 2 to 5 years old. Rochelle studied Christian Education at World Witness Bible College in Bluffton, Indiana. She is happily married to her husband, Paul, and has two boys, Cody and Coy. She came to Hope after serving as children’s director for six years with her previous church family. “I am so glad the Lord has placed me here at Hope. I love working with all the wonderful children and co-directing with my best friend Janice Hunter.” In her spare time she enjoys running, spending time with her family and interior decorating.
Amy has been a team member here at Hope since 2013, but she’s attended Hope much longer than that. Amy helps keeps things running smoothly in our ever-growing children’s ministry, and she enjoys getting to know the parents of all these kids! Her big payoff comes in knowing that the kids are not just having a great time, but also learning about Him so they can grow in their faith. Amy and Todd were married in 1995 and enjoy parenting Alexa, Drew and Luke. Outside of her service at the church, Amy enjoys photography, reading, relaxing in the sun, and spending time with her family.