Man praying on microphone at church

WHAT WE VALUE

Ultimately, our goal is that we would be a church with heart and eyes for Jesus only and that that nothing and no one would be celebrated and delighted in more than Him. Our focus is that every heart would thoroughly hallow Him and that Jesus would be rightly treasured and fully honored in all things.

One of our tenets is that we'd be a place where real, "covenant community" is flourishing. We're not interested in subsisting from Sunday to Sunday; we want to see Christ magnified in all areas of life within this church body! To that end, we intentionally facilitate weekly opportunities for believers to come together for fellowship and growth.

OUR STANCE ON LEADERSHIP

When Heart of the Father Ministry was planted in 2010, one of our foundational beliefs was that a plurality of elders should lead and govern our body of believers, not one singular man. A true biblical eldership is a qualified council of men that jointly shepherd the local church together. Our elders Barry Nichols, David Vespa, and Brandon Jenkins all lead and govern the body together under Jesus' lordship. The elders act jointly as a council and share equal authority and responsibility for the leadership of the church, all the while understanding that they are not equal in their giftedness, biblical knowledge, leadership ability, experience, etc.

 

Therefore, those among the elders who are particularly gifted to teach and preach will naturally stand out among the other elders. However, this does not mean that the other elders who are more skilled in other areas such as counseling, leading small groups, etc., have any less authority or responsibility. Barry, David, and Brandon all have different giftings and graces upon their lives and will shepherd the church together according to their calling and the needs of the people.

Additionally, we feel it's important that those with ministry callings and giftings within the church body would not compete with the Lord for the affections of the Church. The leaders and ministries within Heart of the Father exist to point others toward Christ, not to magnify themselves or their gifts.

WANT TO READ MORE?

For a fuller picture on what we believe and our hope for this church body, this city, and our nation, please click the button below. There you will find our vision, values, and heart spelled out in full.

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MEET THE ELDERS

Church elder

BARRY NICHOLS - ELDER

Barry serves on the eldership team of Heart of the Father. He is passionate about teaching the truth and has become known around HOTFM for leading people to “wrestle” with the Word of God. Along with teaching the Word, Barry and his wife Diane desire to see healthy families and marriages thrive in our community. When not counseling or teaching, Barry loves walking on the beach with his wife, relaxing on the porch with his guitar, reading in his study, and spending time with his many grandkids. Barry and Diane have 7 children and 12 grandchildren.

Church elder

BRANDON JENKINS - ELDER

Brandon serves on the Heart of the Father eldership team. His desire is to shepherd the church body to be emotionally healthy and mature, that they might rightly relate to God and one another. He has a heart for young families and young adult leaders. When not counseling church members, Brandon may be found on the golf course, introverting with a book, or spending time with family and friends. Brandon and his wife, Allyson, enjoy raising their two young children, Josie and Ezekiel.

Church elder

DAVID VESPA - ELDER

David serves on the Heart of the Father eldership team. Having grown in up Ghana, Africa as the son of missionaries, David is passionate about missions work all around the world. He also desires to see the Lord glorified in the local church, and spends much time counseling with church members and helping oversee HOTFM’s married couples group. When not in his office, Dave might be found walking with his wife, taking a hard-earned nap, shopping, or washing his vehicles. Dave and his wife, Julie, have 2 grown children and several grandchildren.

MEET THE STAFF

Church worship leader

ALLYSON JENKINS - WORSHIP LEADER

Allyson serves as the leader of Heart of the Father Worship. She is driven to see Jesus’ worthiness exalted and magnified through corporate worship while discipling her team of musicians in a way that develops both their personal character and musical skills. In her free time, Allyson may be found shopping at a local Target, searching Pinterest for recipes and decor, and spending time with her family. She is married to Brandon Jenkins and together they are raising their daughter Josie and their son Ezekiel.

Church office administrator

CARISSA NICHOLS - OFFICE ADMIN

Carissa serves as Heart of the Father’s Office Administrator. She loves keeping things running smoothly and solving problems. Along with her day to day administrative work, she loves hosting HOTFM events and being a connecting point for members. She has a passion for the performing arts and desires to help people worship God through the creativity He has put in each of us.  

When not at the church, Carissa enjoys drinking a good smoothie, shopping at her local Marshall’s, conquering an escape room, or exploring the great outdoors with her friends. 

Church children's pastor

LEAH AX - CHILDREN'S PASTOR

Leah serves the families of Heart of the Father as the Children’s Pastor. Together with her husband, Jon, she is passionate about hearing the Holy Spirit and cultivating a lifestyle of obedience to His voice and Word. Leah and Jon have a history of church ministry, and she also received training through Circuit Riders. Inspired by this training, Leah has written a curriculum for children called, “Young Circuit Riders”. When not herding an army of children, Leah loves to go on outdoor adventures, spend time with her family, take care of her chickens, and relax by the pool. Together Leah and Jon have 5 beautiful children.

Church youth pastor

MICK ZUBILLER - YOUTH PASTOR

Mick serves as Heart of the Father’s Youth Pastor. He and his wife, Sonya, are hungry for a move of God in the HOTFM teenagers. As they disciple their students, they are dedicated to creating a family atmosphere filled with an authentic love for Jesus and His Word. Their hearts burn to bring hope and to see breakthrough not just in the youth that they lead but also in their families. When not rallying his students, Mick can be found looking for new food joints to try, catching the newest Marvel movie premiere or spending time with his son, Judah.

Church media director

RICHARD EVANS - MEDIA DIRECTOR

Richard is Heart of The Father’s Media Director. He has a great passion to see every area of media magnify and make much of The Lord. Along with taking careful attention to the livestream, cameras, website, and stage lighting at Heart of the Father, he enjoys making creative graphics and trying to take photos that communicate something. When not working to juggle the digital world at HOTFM, you might find him gathering inspiration through nature and art, reading, creating music, and spending quality time with his friends.