My name is Andrew and I serve Hope Community Church as the area pastor lead. This shouldn’t come as a shock, but my number one job at Hope is to lead a team of area pastors. As a church, we’re convinced the best way to love people where they are and encourage them to grow in their relationship with Christ is through small groups unified around that mission and sharing the vision of “reaching the Triangle and changing the world.”
So what does an area pastor do exactly?
Area pastors are tasked with shepherding (the word ‘pastor’ is a synonym for ‘shepherd’) a specific area of the Triangle. Our first goal is to imitate Christ who is the Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20-21) so we might be an encouragement to the Church (1 Corinthians 11:1) and, alongside other leaders of Hope, equip the Church for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). Naturally, the day-to-day activities of an area pastor serving Knightdale might look quite different from those of the Cary area pastor, but we fulfill the mission and vision of Hope primarily through small groups located throughout our respective areas. We are passionate about training leaders who can lead others (2 Timothy 2:2; Sometimes called the “Jethro Principle” based on Exodus 18) and connecting the many needs of this church to the many hands and feet of Christ (1 Corinthians 12; Philippians 2:4; Matthew 25:35-40).
Every small group at Hope is in an area pastor’s span of care. This blog is an introduction to the men who have committed themselves (and their families!) to serving you.
Hope — meet your area pastors!
Family: My wife (Kelli) and I just had our first child, Hannah, who will be 6 months old on the 21st. Kelli was an aerospace engineer with Bell Helicopter while I was at seminary in Dallas. Hannah has her mother’s blue eyes and her father’s curious nature.
Span of Care: Ultimately, I’m responsible for connecting every mission partner (our word for members) at Hope to a healthy small group while supporting current small groups. This is (obviously) impossible for one man so I lead a small group comprised of area pastors committed to serving their respective area.
How did you become a Christian? My parents raised me in a Christian home and as a result of AWANAS I heard the gospel message every week and around 7 or 8 years old I trusted Jesus to save me from the brokenness in the world and in myself.
Favorite Quote: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.
-Wind in the Willows
What is something most people don’t know about you? I’m brown/green colorblind and can’t do anything athletic other than swim (doctor’s orders).
What are some of the ways you paid the bills before you came to Hope? I have been a Starbucks barista, a civil engineer, and a professional Boy Scout.
What hobbies do you enjoy? Disk golf, sailing, shooting, home brewing, camping, really anything on a boat.
Why are you a pastor? Because I love people and a relationship with God through faith in Christ is the only ‘secret sauce’ to a meaningful, successful life. I want as many people as possible to enjoy a life of purpose and to share the hope that I have!
What is your favorite thing about your job? God is doing things here that are way bigger than anything I could do myself. If I was hit by a truck today, I could be proud of the influence my life has had for permanent good. God has chosen to work through this church and I am so honored to be able to share in what He is doing.
Cat or Dog person? Definitely dog.
Family: Wife Kristy, son – Steve (21), son – Luke (13), son – Joseph Samuel (waiting for us in heaven)
Span of Care: Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina
How did you become a Christian? God used my awesome mom, Barbara, to share with me how He was pursuing me and wanted a Father/son relationship with me. I ran from this “talk” for months. God brought me to my knees on July 4, 1987. I trusted Him alone to forgive me and I asked Him into my heart/life. God completely changed my life and has led me to follow Him.
Favorite Quote: My favorite quote is from John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Something most people don’t know about you? Most people do not know I met my awesome wife in England, UK while I was stationed there. I used to tell people we met while I was doing prison ministry in England. The truth is we met at a church picnic and she couldn’t keep her hands off me!
What are some of the ways you paid the bills before you came to Hope? The previous employment before coming to Hope is pretty long, but Kristy and I served as church planting missionaries and various other opportunities God brought our way.
What hobbies do you enjoy? I love going to the beach with the family, playing golf, honing my sharp shooting skills and fishing.
Why are you a pastor? Nothing in the world compares to helping people connect to God through Christ and seeing them follow His will for their life. I did not choose to become a pastor; I yielded to what I understood was God’s calling me into this ministry. He used passages like Isaiah 43:10 and John 15:16 to help me understand what He wanted me to do.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Being on the “front lines” when people connect to God and others is what absolutely brings me the most joy about my calling. Kristy and I want to be there for people when they are most ready to reach out to Christ. Sometimes navigating through the muddy waters is hard, but the end is worth it all.
Cat or Dog person? Dogs belong outside and cats think they own the place. I have both, but I do not think I could live without a dog in my life. “Titan” is my dog and I wish I could take him everywhere!
Family: Wife – Christy, daughter – Olivia (7), son – Brennan (6), daughter – Embry (1)
Span of Care: Cary Small Groups
How did you become a Christian? Not exactly sure “when it happened” but I prayed to accept Jesus when I was a little boy during a “hell scare talk.” In my teens, I began to understand what a relationship with Jesus was. Trusting Jesus seems like an event in scripture but it plays out your whole life. Tough to say. Look at the disciples.
Favorite Quote: No quotes really.
What is something most people don’t know about you? Hmmm. I’ve never broken a bone, or had chicken pox and seem to be immune to most poison ivy. Pretty cool huh?
What are some of the ways you paid the bills before you came to Hope? I became a real estate agent in 2006, own my company and continue to sell homes, but on a part-time basis now.
What hobbies do you enjoy? Hardcore video game player (Gaming PC, Xbox One), going to the movies, watching movies, games, soccer.
Why are you a pastor? I never thought I’d be a pastor. Looking back, it has something to do with caring about underdogs in life, connecting people with ideas and building communities. When I meet someone I think “what can I do to help this person in what they’re trying to do or become?”
What is your favorite thing about your job? I enjoy analyzing people and systems and creating things that don’t exist or improving things that do.
Cat or Dog person? My favorite pet was Molly the Puggle (Mollbear) -what an incredible “poochador” (Mexican for dog)!
Family: Wife – Heather, sons – Seth (9) and Brady (6)
Span of Care: Garner/Clayton and inside the Beltline/South Raleigh
How did you become a Christian? I was 17 years old when I heard a Campbell college student share his story at a weekend retreat on Oak Island. He told how he was a good kid and believed in God but growing up did not understand how much God cared about him and wanted to have a personal relationship with him. Through a friend, he came to understand those things and also learned how, through prayer, he could talk to God and pray to Him directly and that God would listen with great interest. I knew as he was sharing he was describing me and what was missing from my life. He said he prayed that Jesus would not be far away, but that he would accept him as a follower. I was completely broken and gave my life to Christ as a thankful follower.
Favorite Quote: “What gets written down gets done.”
Something most people don’t know about you? I love music and play guitar.
What are some of the ways you paid the bills before you came to Hope? 10 years in youth ministry followed by seven years in sales and management with a local coffee distribution company in Apex.
What hobbies do you enjoy? Playing sports, reading in a quiet place, board games and video games.
Why are you a pastor? Encouraging and including others brings a lot of joy to my life. Jesus often had compassion on others and I am inspired every day by his love for people. Leading everyone I can to the green grass of Psalm 23 is the best way I know how to imitate him.
What is your favorite thing about your job? In the office, working with Andrew Yates. In the community, developing coaches and leaders.
Cat or Dog person? “Dogs are man’s best friend.” What positive quote does anyone know about cats?