Leaders bring vision.
Circle of Hope has numerous leaders and staff members who work together to bring about our vision of sharing and being Jesus in our region. Read more about them below.
We are one church with over 60 locations in the Philly region. Our cells join together in congregations led by pastors and served by site supervisors. Our congregations join together as one church that bridges what divides us: neighborhoods, rivers, backgrounds and ages.
Pastor, 1125 S. Broad St.
Rachel has been church planting with Circle of Hope for the past 13 years in many capacities, including serving as our Administrative Pastor for from 2012-2015. She is also an experienced counselor in the HIV/AIDS community in Philadelphia. Rachel earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology & Philosophy, her Masters in Social Work at Temple. She recently received her ministerial license with the Brethren in Christ. She loves leading cells and advocates for community redevelopment of vacant land in the city through our compassion team, Development without Displacement. She lives in South Philly with her husband Jeff and their children, Zach and Cori. Check out her blog
Pastor, 2007 Frankford Ave.
Joshua was 18 when he first connected to us during the early days of Circle of Hope. He began serving as pastor in 2004 when we launched our first successful “hiving” of a congregation. Joshua studied music at Drexel then African American Studies at Temple. He is now a seminary student seeking a MA in Intercultural Studies with the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies (NAIITS). Joshua leads the Debt Annihilation Team and Circle of Hope Audio Art as well as regularly leads us in justice actions and worship. Martha married him in 2002. They live in Kensington with their two daughters. You can find his blog here
Pastor, 3800 Marlton Pike
Ben grew up in Circle of Hope, taking part in the “family business” and soaking his roots in the fertile soil of our growing community. In 2015 he was called to lead as pastor of Circle of Hope 3800 Marlton Pike. Before that he served as Development Pastor for Circle of Hope 1125 S. Broad St. and as a hospital chaplain. Ben received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Eastern University in 2005 and a Masters of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2010. He also married his wife, Gwyneth, in 2005. They have two sons named Oliver and Theodore. He chronicles his adventures meeting new people in his efforts to find new partners in Jesus’ redemption project on his blog
Pastor, 2309 N. Broad St.
Jonny began serving as pastor in September 2010 when we launched our first successful “hive” of a “hived” congregation. Before pastoring, Jonny was a social studies teacher for the School District of Philadelphia in Kensington. He got his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Temple University. He is an MDiv student at Palmer Theological Seminary. Jonny leads the Development Without Displacement team, and North Broad’s Next Site team. He married Kristen in 2010. They have two daughters. The Rashids live in North Philadelphia. Find his blog here
Affiliated Pastor, Northwest Church Plant
Julie has been a part of the leadership team of Circle of Hope for many years—leading cells and cell leaders and this year serving as the lead cell leader coordinator for the whole church. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, most recently working in hospice. She received a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. She has lived in Germantown for 13 years. She and her husband Steve have two children. They can often be found with their neighbors enjoying the many green spaces in the Northwest Philly.
Local Site Supervisor, 1125 S. Broad St.
Jimmy grew up in Philadelphia and has lived here his whole life. He loves getting to meet new people and to talk about Jesus with them. He also loves reading books by a dimming fire, 75-mile walks on the beach, and a good, solid cry.
Local Site Supervisor, 2007 Frankford Ave.
Pilar is a Florida native seeking adventure, community, and opportunity in Philadelphia. In addition to Local Site Supervisor, she is the Museum Galleries Educator at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Pilar loves to quilt, craft, hike, sing, and spend time with her husband and their two cats, Frank and Beans.
Local Site Supervisor, 3800 Marlton Pike
Kim Hewlett is the Local Site Supervisor of 3800 Marlton Pike. She is a Jesus-follower, learner, runner, wanna-be chef, wife, former teacher turned stay-at-home mom of Noa, Jude, and Dex, and a lover of life and adventure.
Local Site Supervisor, 2309 N. Broad St.
Krissy is the Local Site Supervisor of 2309 N. Broad St. She has a passion for Philly and can be found biking any time, in any weather. In May 2015, she graduated Messiah College with a Bachelors in Marketing and minor in Studio Art.
Some of our staff serve the church as a whole while being active participants in cells, teams and congregations.
Rod moved to Philadelphia in 1995 to plant Circle of Hope from scratch. Now he is charged with developing individuals, especially our leaders and developing our overall strategies and systems for the next church. He married Gwen in 1975; they have four married sons and nine grandchildren (all in Philadelphia). Rod earned a BA in History from UC Riverside, his MDiv from Fuller Seminary, and his PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern University. Rod serves with the Circle of Peacemakers, and the Circle Counseling support team. He is the editor for Circle of Hope Daily Prayer. He offers spiritual direction and psychotherapy. The Whites live in West Philly. He wrote the book
. He writes a blog
Gwen has been teaching and serving since the beginning of Circle of Hope, which she helped plant with her husband Rod. Since 2010 she has officially been deployed as our teaching pastor. Gwen earned a PsyD from Immaculata University and is a professor and program director at Eastern University. She is the Director of Circle Counseling and lives in West Philly.
Church Planting Pastor
Jerome moved to Philadelphia in 2014 for seminary and was immediately enveloped into Circle of Hope’s community. He served as a Cell Leader Coordinator before becoming an apprentice pastor in 2015. From that process, he was called to serve as Church Planting Pastor focusing on growth of congregations across the network. Jerome earned a BA in English Literature from Penn State and is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity from Palmer Theological Seminary at Eastern University. He married Darcy in March 2015. Their son, Ellison, was born May 2016. The Staffords reside in Southwest Philadelphia.
Director of Operations
Nate began serving as pastor in October 2008 when 1125 S. Broad St. sent a core group to plant our first congregation in New Jersey. Before church planting, he worked for the Mental Health Association of Southeastern PA and before that spent nearly ten years in youth ministry. In 2015 he began to serve in his present role. He received a Bachelor’s Degrees in Christian Education and Biblical Literature from Taylor University (Upland, IN). He is currently working on an MBA at Eastern Mennonite University. Nate married Jen in 2002 and they have one daughter and one son. The Hulfishes live in Gloucester City, NJ.
When Luke’s not working on websites and other design stuff, he is usually working on more websites and other design stuff, and also writing, camping, biking, reading, among many other things.
Bethany is working on renovating the house that she and her husband bought in the neighborhood in Summer 2014, and has come to loathe wallpaper in a whole new way. She has knack for organizing and planning that is put to good use both at work and at home. You are most likely to see her around the neighborhood either riding her bike, hanging out with a baby whom she is babysitting, or eating food with friends at one of her favorite bars. When she is feeling like being a homebody, she’ll most likely be baking something delicious or watching a TV show based on a comic book. You really want to try her chocolate chip cookies. The End.
Other Teams that Lead Us
Cell Leader Coordinators
This team oversees and nurtures our main leaders: the Cell Leaders. They also deploy and supervise our pastors.
Bryce Hewlett, Lead Cell Leader Coordinator
Church Planting Core Team
This team maintains and stokes our apostolic momentum. They work to ensure that we are making deep people who make disciples and increase our awareness of how best to connect with those we seek to influence.
Paul Kohl, Team Leader
Compassion Core Team
This team generates and serves the needs of our compassion teams. The call the church together for concerted acts of service and advocacy. They monitor the compassion fund, directed at needs among us.
Dani Vasquez, Team leader
Capacity Core Team
This team oversees the staff and team leaders who manage the systems that enable our mission to function: buildings, funding, technology, personnel and law.
Joel White, Team Leader
Children’s Teams Core Team
This team maintains communication and mutual practices and support between our various children’s teams.
Kim Crognale, Team Leader