New Hope Staff

Meet Our Pastoral Team

Jeff Hill
Senior Pastor
Pastor Jeff and his wife, Jeanne, are both graduates of Evangel University in Springfield, MO. Jeff’s degree is in Biblical Studies; Jeanne’s is in Accounting. They have five children.
Hobbies: Spending time with family and grilling.

Favorite Music: My favorite genres are Worship and Smooth Jazz. My favorite artists are Elevation and Gateway Worship, Euge Groove, and Wayman Tisdale.

Favorite Restaurant: Agave Grill

Favorite Sports Teams: Chicago Bulls

Dream Vacation: European River Cruise
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James Weaver
Founding Pastor
James Weaver is the Founding Pastor of New Hope. He planted the church in October 1990. He and his wife, Susan, are both graduates of Baylor University in Waco, TX. Susan works as an editor for Hy-Vee Corporation. They have two grown children.
Favorite Music: 60’s pop music and classic-sounding country, but my very favorite is any style Christian with the exception of rap; which in my opinion is not music at all. I also love Christmas music all year long.

Hobbies: My hobby is spending as much time with people as I can. I love hanging out with people no matter what we are doing. Well, I will add as long as I am not cold or wet.

Favorite Restaurant: Bravo, Biaggi’s, or Agave, but my very favorite is Texas Roadhouse.

Favorite Sports Teams: I cheer for Baylor University in all college sports and I follow the Yankees, Lakers, and Packers.

Dream Vacation: My dream vacation is to travel from city to city to watch professional baseball visiting every Major League’s home stadium, eating hotdogs and drinking Coca-cola with peanuts.
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Brett Hendrickson
Music & Creative Arts Pastor
Brett and his wife Julie are both graduates of Evangel University in Springfield, MO, where they earned degrees in Music Education. Julie currently teaches middle school music for the Johnston School District. They have three children.
Hobbies: I enjoy hunting with my boys, golf, volleyball, family movie nights, singing with my wife, and playing guitar and piano.

Favorite Music: Gateway, Hillsong, Tenth Avenue North, Mercy Me, and Bing Crosby.

Favorite Restaurant: Iowa Machine Shed, Cheesecake Factory, Tasty Tacos, and Jethro’s BBQ.

Favorite Sports Teams: Nebraska Corn Huskers

Dream Vacation: Tuscany, Italy
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Carey Huffman
Discipleship Pastor
Carey and his wife Lorri helped start New Hope in 1990. Over the years he served as an evangelist, youth pastor, ministry consultant and resource developer for the A/G National Resource Center and other ministry organizations. Carey came back on staff in 2018. His wife Lorri is accounting director for Hamiltons Funeral Homes. They have one daughter.
Hobbies: Sports of all sorts (play rather than watch), outdoor adventures, collecting gemstones, painting and writing

Favorite Music: All kinds, particularly jazz, blues and instrumental worship

Favorite Restaurants: Jethro's and my wife's kitchen

Favorite Sports Teams: Gave up on the Vikings years ago, followed the Rams and Cardinals during the Kurt Warner era, and finally landed with the Chiefs.

Dream Vacation: A place where mountains and water meet.
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Brian Smith
Executive Pastor
Brian is a graduate of Rockford Masters Commission in Rockford, IL. His wife, Jamie, graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education. They both enjoy spending time with their family. They have three children.
Hobbies: Playing sports, being outside, spending time with my family.

Favorite Music: Mat Kearney, Needtobreathe, Hillsong, NF, and GAWVI.

Favorite Restaurant: Chick-Fil-A, Agave, and Tasty Tacos.

Favorite Sports Teams: Iowa Hawkeyes, Chicago Cubs, and Kansas City Chiefs.

Dream Vacation: It’s a three-way tie between an African Safari, the Bahamas, or a cruise to somewhere warm!
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Austin Weaver
College-Age Pastor
Austin graduated from North Central University in Minneapolis, MN with a degree in Pastoral Studies. He was born and raised in Urbandale and has a passion to see college-age students deepen their relationship with God and make their faith their own. Austin and his wife Elizabeth have three children.
Hobbies: Spending time with my wife and kids, playing/watching sports (particularly golf and baseball), hunting, fishing, camping, playing guitar, road trips, anything where I am out being active.

Favorite Music: Bethel, Jesus Culture, Hillsong Worship, Elevation, River Valley, Josh Baldwin, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, and John Mayer.

Favorite Restaurant: Fogo de Chao, Simons, or St. Kilda.

Favorite Sports Teams: New York Yankees, Baylor, Hawkeyes

Dream Vacation: Moose hunting in Alaska or Skydiving over the Swiss Alps.
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Luke Spangrud
High School Youth Pastor
Luke is a graduate of North Central University in Minneapolis, MN with a degree in Youth Development. He was born and raised in Lakeville, MN with his two brothers and one sister. Luke loves the energy and passion of senior high students and wants to see that passion and energy being used to serve Christ. He married his best friend Jenna in 2015.
Hobbies: Hunting, sports, woodworking

Music:United Pursuit, Upperroom

Favorite Restaurant: Chipotle, any Chinese food

Sports Teams: Duke basketball, and all Minnesota sports teams (loyalty)

Dream Vacation: Space
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Zach Hill
Middle School Youth Pastor
Zach is a graduate of North Central University in Minneapolis, MN with a degree in Youth Development. His wife Meryn is studying secondary education and has a heart for inner city schools. Zach grew up in Urbandale as a pastor’s kid at New Hope. He sees middle school as a crucial time to reach students for the Kingdom.
Hobbies: Basketball, Softball, Disc Golf, Camping, Hunting, and anything outside.

Music: NEEDTOBREATHE, Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Trip Lee, Hillsong Young and Free, Jack Johnson

Favorite Restaurant: Tsing Tsao, Zombie Burger

Sports Teams: Chicago Bulls, New York Yankees, Detroit Lions, and Team USA.

Dream Vacation: US Virgin Islands
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Cortney Ostrander
Children's Pastor
Cortney graduated from North Central University in Minneapolis, MN with degrees in Children’s Ministry and Intercultural Studies. She is originally from Zion, IL. She has two children, Audra and Wyatt.
Hobbies: Coffee chats, adventures with my kiddos, upcycling, reading, and water balloon fights.

Favorite Music: Acoustic worship, NEEDTOBREATHE, Lecrae

Favorite Restaurant: Indian food is my jam. I love it. I'll also go anywhere with really good guacamole.

Dream Vacation: I would love to visit some of the missionaries that we support through Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge!
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Anna Flanders
Early Childhood Pastor
Anna graduated from North Central University in Minneapolis, MN with a degree in Children and Family Ministries. She and her husband Josh were married in December of 2017 and came to New Hope in January of 2018.
Hobbies: I enjoy crafting, thrift shopping, visiting new coffee shops, and gardening.

Favorite Music: Christian and Country Music.

Favorite Restaurant: I like the Waterfront Market, B-Bops drive thru and custard from Culvers.

Favorite Sports Team: I’m from Wisconsin, so I like the Green Bay Packers.

Dream Vacation: I would love traveling around Italy and Greece or spending time down in the Caribbean Islands.
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Don Hawkins
Associate Pastor
Don is a graduate of Central Bible College in Springfield, MO. Pastor Hawkins has been in ministry for over 40 years, serving as senior pastor in Iowa, Minnesota and West Virginia. He and His wife Carolyn have been married since 1968 and they have two grown children and one granddaughter.
Hobbies: I enjoy playing Golf, Biking, Lifting weights, Reading, and Traveling.

Favorite Music: Russell Watson, Ronnie McDowell, and the Gathers.

Favorite Restaurant: Bravo Cucina and any great steak house.

Favorite Sports Teams: Iowa Hawkeyes and West Virginia University.

Dream Vacation: Maui or Scotland.
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Gary Walter
Assistant Pastor
Gary is loved and admired for his prayer ministry, spiritual wisdom, and his gift of teaching. Gary is a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God and has recently retired as a full-time project manager for The Baker Group, a local mechanical contractor. He and his wife Rhonda have four grown children and three grandchildren.
Hobbies: In-depth Bible study, golf, camping, and relaxing in his travel trailer.

Favorite Music: Almost anything by Dallas Holm, Evie, Andre Crouch, Harvest, and the Imperials.

Favorite Restaurant: The Latin King (Chicken Spiedini), and any kind of Mexican food.

Favorite Sports Teams: I am a life-long Iowa Hawkeyes, Green Bay Packers, and Detroit Tigers fan.

Dream Vacation: A self-guided, month-long trip back to Israel, perhaps also leading a group there.
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Mathias Ruganza
Pastor of African Church
Pastor Mathias and his wife Josephine are from Congo. Pastor Mathias started early on in a choir in 1980, then became a deacon. He was given pastoral duties in Nairobi, Kenya at Jesus Great Harvest Ministry where he got his certificate in 2014. They have four grown children.
Hobbies: singing, reading the Bible, visiting with people

Favorite Music: Gospel and Kinyarwanda music

Favorite Food: Home-cooked, with lots of vegetables.

Favorite Sport: Soccer

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Meet Our Staff

Tammy Blaede
Office Manager
tammy@newhope.church
Mary Hays
Secretary
mary@newhope.church
Joel Pruitt
Marketing Director
joel@newhope.church

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