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 8 incredibly cute and unbelievably smart grandchildren! Gary enjoys working out, jogging and of course Detroit Tiger Baseball!
Beth and her husband Craig have been attending Hope since 2010. After graduating from Adams Central High School she married her high school sweetheart. Together they have 3 pretty amazing kids, 1 lovely daughter-in-law, and 2 awesome grandchildren. In their spare time (when they find some) they love to be with their family, entertain, get out on the Harley or just relax at home.
Carissa came aboard our staff in the summer of 2018, but she and her awesome family have been here at Hope for years! Carissa is uniquely qualified to lead our excellent nursery team—she’s a registered nurse, having earned her undergraduate degree from Wright State University. AND she’s a veteran of the US Army! Carissa and her outstanding husband Jake were married in 1999 and they’re the proud parents of four incredible kids—Mason, Garrett, Elise and Morgan who keep their parents on the move! As a family, they enjoy all outdoor/camping activities, adventuring and traveling to new places. Carissa’s favorite verse is Isaiah 40:31.
Randy’s been a part of the staff team here at Hope since 2016, and his contribution is invaluable! It doesn’t take long to realize that Randy’s got a servant’s heart that longs to help people. Randy and his wife Kelli have been married for 35 years (they were high school sweethearts!) and have two adult children: Ryan and Nicole. Outside of his work here at Hope, Randy owns and operates Chain Reaction Bike Center in Decatur where he sells and services some amazing rides! He and Kelli enjoy riding their super-cool tandem bike together as well as long walks. On his own time, Randy enjoys… bike rides. “My life kinda revolves around bikes.”
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 live 1.5 miles away with grandson Levi and granddaughter Alixa; Anna and husband Josh 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 attended Bethel College and graduated in 2009. The Rev. Cocanower leads our high school student ministry and provides oversight to our college and young adult ministry. Geoff loves to talk about life change and loves most to see students “own it.” Geoff and his lovely wife Tara were married in the spring of 2018. You’ll often find him with 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.
Lora and her husband Dave have attended Hope Church since shortly after their marriage in 1990. Lora is a licensed cosmetologist and worked in an area salon until she became a mom and chose to stay home to raise their family. Lora and Dave now have three adult children, Ben, Kale and Sara. Lora has served in a variety of ministry roles while at Hope such as women’s ministry, Upward sports, Sew from the Heart and HopeKids Ministry. Lora joined the staff in 2017 as an administrative assistant for HopeKids. She loves the behind-the-scenes work that enable others to use their gifts to minister to Hope’s younger attenders. In her spare time, Lora enjoys spending time with family, baking, sewing, quilting, and making baskets.
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 two incredible kids.
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.
Jerroll jumped on the Hope team in the spring of 2018, and he brought with him a deep history in music production and worship leadership. He and his wife Janis are longtime residents of northeast Indiana and have three kids who are married and living in the area with their families. Jerroll has a heart to lead others in worship and develop others to lead others in worship. He completed his undergraduate degree in music at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago back in the day. Jerroll has led worship in a vast array of contexts, and through his business (Lehman Productions) he’s produced music for an equally vast array of artists… though we’re still waiting for him to produce Pastor Gary’s first solo release. Jerroll and Janis thoroughly enjoy pouring time into their six grandkids.
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.
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.
Tim’s been a part of Hope Church for a long time— 28 years! He and his wife Debbie have two adult daughters, Leah and Kara. The Rockwells are also “parents” to a beautiful dog named Hannah. Tim is one of those guys who you’ll likely never see at work because he likes working behind the scenes to make sure that Hope’s campus stays in tip-top shape. With a knack for fixing stuff, Tim is an invaluable part of our team! Outside of his work here at Hope, Tim also owns and operates Rockwell Woodworking where he builds cabinets, furniture and just about anything beautiful and fabulous. In his free time, Tim enjoys “fixing things, designing stuff and creating odds and ends.”
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.
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.