Lead/Teaching Pastor and Founder
Mike Lee is the founding and lead pastor of Hope Community Church and is well known for his dynamic, relevant and insightful Bible-based teaching. Mike received his seminary degree from Talbot School of Theology and has been a pastor for over 30 years. He is married to Laura Lee and their family includes two grown sons, Aaron and Adam and Aaron’s wife Christy. They are also proud grandparents.
Senior Executive, Strategic Partnerships
Executive Director of Family Ministry
Senior Executive, Strategic Resources
Jason and his wife Nannette have been attending Hope since 2008. He spent seven years with Mercy Ships, at one time serving as personal assistant to the founder/president of the land-based operations in Texas. Because of Hope’s vision to combine faith and practical applications, Jason believes that our current growth strategy is the perfect place to utilize his gifts of exhortation and generosity.
Jeff and Nancy have been married since 2001 and have six children. They’ve attended Hope since September 1998. Jeff has served on the Hope Finance Committee since 2005, was a small group leader and is active in two mens’ groups and a couples group. Jeff also serves on the Boards of Directors for Cary Academy, The Miracle League of the Triangle and Global Hope India. Jeff is employed at SAS Institute as Senior Director of Corporate Treasury. Nancy serves on the Prayer Team at Hope and is active in the Restored workshops and individual prayer appointments. The Eakes live in Cary.
Having attended Hope for nearly 10 years, Kenton Gardinier has long been a champion for Hope’s mission and vision, and believes he’ll be well-suited to serve as an elder, particularly during our next phase of growth and transition. In addition to his experience as a leader and manager in the IT industry, where he led from his perspective as a Christian, he has been involved in numerous ministries at Hope including Live4Hope, First Impressions and Young Life.
Mike and Laura Lee have been married since 1978 and have two adult children and three grandchildren. Mike and Laura founded Hope Community Church in 1994 after moving to North Carolina from California. Both have served in nearly every ministry at Hope and have participated in mission trips to Haiti and Africa. Mike is the Lead/Teaching Pastor and Founder of Hope Community Church. Mike and Laura live in Apex.
Bill and Barb began attending Hope in 2004. They have been blessed with two married daughters and five grandchildren. Barb Volunteers in the nursery and they have enjoyed being in a small group for over 10 years. From 2007 to 2011, Bill volunteered as the first Director of Local Hope. Since then he has been active in the Ship of Zion ministries including the Galley Grocery store. After a 34 year career, Bill retired from IBM where he was a Business Development Executive.
Chris and Linda have been married since 2003 and are blessed with four wonderful children (Connor, Mason, Sophia, and Rosalie). They’ve attended Hope’s Raleigh campus for nearly a decade and have served in KidCity and as small group leaders. Chris has also been involved with Marketplace Matters and collaborated with Hope’s executive staff on a variety of strategy and organizational development topics. Chris is a graduate of Stanford University, loves coaching youth basketball, and currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Republic Wireless (a division of Bandwidth.com). Chris has long been inspired by Hope’s mission and feels called to “be available” for Jesus to use his gifts and experiences from the marketplace to help Hope achieve its vision to Reach the Triangle and Change the World.
Carl Wilkins has been married to Gale since 1977 and they have been members of Hope since 2008. They have two adult children, a daughter who is married and lives in Durham, and a son who is a senior at NC State. Both Carl and Gale prepare and serve communion monthly at Hope’s main campus, and they also host a small group in their home. Carl, a licensed professional electrical engineer, works at Quanta Technology as an international engineering consultant. Gale is the Executive Director for North Carolina’s Council for Women. Carl and Gale have lived in North Raleigh since the mid-70’s. They have dedicated themselves to volunteerism and public service, primarily working with families.
Mike Smith has been married to Marti since 1995. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Ryleigh and Alaina. The Smiths have been active members of Hope since 2004. Mike was raised in a Christian home, as the son of a pastor, and has seen church leadership up close throughout his life. In addition to his role as an elder, Mike has served at Hope as a small group leader, a member of the tech team and currently serves as a nursery volunteer. Marti has served as a small group leader, as a member of the medical team and currently serves as the Raleigh Campus Nursery Coordinator. Mike is employed by NetApp, Inc., as a Support Account Manager in the U.S. Public Sector.
Jay and his wife Debbie have been married since 1975. They have been part of the Hope family since 2009. Jay is a small group leader and has served as a volunteer in First Impressions for the past five years. He is a videographer/editor at WRAL-TV in the documentary unit. Jay is a graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and recently earned a Masters of Ministry from Shepherds Theological Seminary in Cary, North Carolina. He has a passion for teaching God’s Word creatively. Jay and Debbie have two adult children, son Jason and his wife Martha, daughter Amy and her husband Ryan. They are also proud grandparents.
How are elders chosen?
The process can begin by someone expressing interest in entering the elder process or the elders may invite some men into the process. Screening includes a training class, reading, personal interview with senior pastor, an application, and approval by the elders. The final step is a confirmation vote by the members. The entire process is handled slowly and with prayer.
What are the prerequisites for an elder candidate?
The qualifications are from 1 Timothy 3:1-12 and Titus 1:5-11.
How long is an elder appointed?
Elders are confirmed for life, but may step aside from serving actively if needed.
What are the elders’ responsibilities?
The elder’s role is to ensure the church accomplishes its mission, protect the essential biblical doctrines (faith) and observe biblical standards (practice).
Why do we need elders?
Elder is the highest biblical office given to the church to exercise oversight and shepherding (1 Peter 5:1-2) of the local body. Elders lead and govern the local church by teaching biblical truth, modeling Christ-like behavior, maintaining doctrinal purity, disciplining members, overseeing finances and praying for the sick.