Jason Gore

Lead Pastor

He is a graduate of North Carolina State and was also a Captain on the Wolfpack’s Wrestling Team. Go Pack! Although he gave his life to Jesus at a tiny little church in Morrisville in 1987, it was during his time at NC State that his journey with Christ accelerated. Jason first attended and began serving as a volunteer at Hope back in 1997. Since then, he has been involved in the business world, various forms of full-time ministry, church planting, and has served as a Pastor since 2003. His passion is to allow God to use his strengths and gifting to see those who are far from God come to understand how they are loved by Him, how they were created to live… and to work hard at having fun along the way. Jason and his wife, Diana, have three children: twins Aidan and Addison and their youngest, Connor.

Dawn Stride

Executive Director | Ministry Strategy

Dawn committed her life to Christ and began actively serving in the church as a young adolescent. After university in Minneapolis, MN, she served as Music Director in a church near Toronto, Canada, her husband’s hometown. In 2005, they moved to Uganda, East Africa to work with Watoto Church before joining Hope in 2012. From her own personal experience, Dawn has seen worldwide how God uses ordinary people to do the extraordinary when He is involved. She is passionate to see believers not just attend church, but to actively be the church where they live, work, and play, living out the mission of Christ. Dawn, along with her husband Doug, are blessed with three teenagers, Brennan, Garrison, and Milaena.

Don Smith

Executive Director | Creative Ministries

Ministry has been in Don’s story since the beginning. His father was a pastor of a church plant in New York, and his mother grew up in another plant from the same organization. Don never intended to be in full-time ministry, but God had other plans for him. After spending 18 years in three large churches, he shifted his focus to the Macro Church by working on the leadership team of a church planting organization called Exponential. He has worked with them for the last five years. Don has a vision to help creatively communicate and illustrate what’s next for the Church. He is driven by the goal of finding unique ways of making the story of God attractive to those who aren’t likely to darken the doors of a typical church. Hope thrives off of the same vision. Don and his wife, Jenna, have been married since 1996 and have three boys – Brayden, Ian, and Gavin.

Derek Sisterhen

Executive Director | Finance & Operations

Derek grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and became a Christian in 1993. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and joined Hope’s staff in 2010 after a career in banking and financial consulting. Derek is passionate about the stewardship of God’s resources so the church is best positioned to impact lives with the Gospel. He and his wife, Elisa, have two children.

Jim Horton

Executive Director | Human Resources

Jim spent his young life in upstate New York before moving to Vermont. He was raised in the Catholic Church and came into a personal relationship with Jesus later in life. Jim is a graduate of Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree in Labor Relations and a graduate degree in Training and Development. He has over 35 years experience in retail operations and human resources and joined Hope’s staff in late 2013. His passion is servant leadership, serving God and His church. Jim and his wife, Pam, have been married since 1988 and have two sons and four grandchildren.

Jamie McDonald

Executive Director | Multisite & Campus Life

Not growing up in church, the last place Jamie thought life would lead him was into ministry. Prior to working in churches, Jamie spent 10 years in business development and expedited logistics.

Before joining Hope’s staff in 2018, he served as a creative arts director, adult ministries, and Executive Pastor at a church in Durham. He studied theology at Liberty University and enjoys equipping leaders for ministry and marketplace impact.

A Durham native, Jamie and his wife Lauren now reside in Holly Springs with their three sons, Mason, Jaxon and Finn.

Gary Vet

Executive Strategic Partnerships

Gary grew up outside of Cleveland, Ohio where, in 1980, he surrendered his life to Christ. Not long after that, he felt a strong desire to serve Christ in a full-time capacity. Gary pursued his education and, in that time, met his bride, Martha, who is a RN. Gary has served in areas of vision, discipleship and leadership development, as well as being a senior pastor in churches in the Chicagoland area. The Vet’s moved to NC in 2006 to plant a church in NW Cary. In 2009 that church plant and Hope began conversations about merging. During those conversations, Gary officially came on staff with Hope. Gary and Martha are blessed with two sons, a daughter-in-law and a grandson.

Julie Biggs

Executive Liaison and Administrator

Ministry Lead Team

Chase Gardner

Teaching Pastor +
Raleigh Campus Pastor

Chase Gardner, the Raleigh Campus Pastor, oversees both the campus and staff at the Raleigh location. After earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Liberty University, Chase began his ministry in 2007 and has continued to make it his life’s mission ever since. He served on staff at Hope for seven years before moving to Asheville with his family to plant a church. Now, Chase is back and excited to meet you! He is married, and he and his wife, Jenny, have two daughters.

Donnie Peters

Apex Campus Pastor

As the Apex Campus Pastor, Donnie Peters oversees the Apex campus and staff. Donnie grew up outside of Toronto, Ontario where he became a Christian as a child and furthered that commitment to Christ as a teenager. When Donnie was pursuing a career as a firefighter, he served at a camp for inner-city children and felt drawn to serve Jesus in full-time ministry. Donnie served in student ministry for more than 20 years and now loves to help people understand who God is and how to live out their relationship with Jesus. Donnie and his wife, Laura, have one son, Tyler.

Doug Stride

Morrisville Campus Pastor

Doug Stride, the Morrisville Campus Pastor, oversees both the campus and the staff at Morrisville.  Doug grew up just outside of Toronto, Canada where he came to know Christ at an early age.  After graduating from North Central Bible College in Minneapolis, MN, he served as a worship pastor back in Ontario for eight years before heading to Uganda, East Africa. There, he joined the leadership team of Watoto Church.  Since coming to Hope in 2012 and serving in a variety of capacities, he is now excited to be the Morrisville Campus Pastor. He loves getting a chance to ignite the church’s passion to “to reach the triangle and change the world.”  Doug and his wife, Dawn, have three children: Brennan, Garrison and Milaena.

Duane Calvin

Garner Campus Pastor

As the Garner Campus Pastor, Duane Calvin oversees the campus staff. He formerly served as a Global Hope Ministry leader at Hope and prior to that was the Family Ministry Pastor at a church in Okinawa, Japan. Pastor Duane is a retired United States Marine. He loves basketball, football and spending time with his family. He and his wife Tasha have two young adult children, a daughter named Tia and a son named Sam.

Banks Corl

Ministry Operations Director

Heather Sullivan

Family Ministry Director

Sam Kenoly

Worship Director

Brendle Rink

Communications Director

Corey Paxton

Adult Ministry Director


Jason Gore

Jason Collier

Jeff Eakes

Bill Fulton

Chris Chuang

Carl Wilkins

Mike Smith

Jay Jennings

Brian Ralph

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.

The qualifications are from 1 Timothy 3:1-12 and Titus 1:5-11.

Elders are confirmed for life, but may step aside from serving actively if needed.

The elder’s role is to ensure the church accomplishes its mission, protect the essential biblical doctrines (faith) and observe biblical standards (practice).

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.