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 four congregations and dozens of cell locations in the Philly region. Our cells join together in congregations led by pastors and served by our staff. Our congregations join together as one church that bridges what divides us: neighborhoods, rivers, backgrounds and ages. Our pastors lead the whole church, but are generally stationed specifically at a congregation for a strategy.

Rachel Sensenig
Pastor, 2212 S. Broad St.
[email protected]

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. Read her thoughts and meditations at her blog here.

Jonny Rashid
Pastor, 2007 Frankford Ave.
[email protected]

Jonny began serving as pastor in September 2010 when we launched our first successful “hive” of a “hived” congregation on North Broad. In September of 2018, that congregation consolidated with the one on Frankford Ave., and Jonny began serving there primarily. 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 was a MDiv student at Palmer Theological Seminary. He married Kristen in 2010. They have two daughters. The Rashids live in North Philadelphia. He writes on discipleship, theology, pop culture, reconciliation and liberation, and leadership on his blog more than self-expression.

Ben White
Pastor, 3800 Marlton Pike
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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.

Julie Hoke
Pastor, 29 West Tulpehocken St.
[email protected]

Julie has been a part of the leadership team of Circle of Hope for many years—leading cells and cell leaders and 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.


Some of our staff serve the church as a whole while being active participants in cells, teams and congregations.

Holly Meneses
Hub Team Leader/Sites Manager
[email protected]

Holly has been a part of Circle of Hope since 2014. She is passionate about making connections with people and helping all feel included and cared for. Holly grew up in the Mennonite church, and traveled worldwide throughout her childhood. She attended Eastern University from 2005-2009, where she majored in philosophy and minored in theology. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in philosophy from West Chester University, with a concentration on free will. During her ten years of adjunct teaching, she was able to turn her attention to women’s and gender studies, and designed a course on women and philosophy. Now she is thrilled to make a career shift into ministry, and to devote her time and energy into growing and supporting the church in her role as Hub Team Leader.

Luke Bartolomeo
Communications Manager
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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.

Jimmy Weitzel
Building Manager
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Jimmy grew up here in Philadelphia and lives in South Philly. When he isn’t managing Circle Thrift you can usually catch him leading worship at 2212 South Broad, or helping coordinate cells as a Cell Leader Coordinator. He has been connected with Circle of Hope for three years, and has felt called to lead and bring people closer to Jesus. He is also open about his struggles with addiction and has been sober close to five years. He is always willing to help out whoever is in need.

Circle Thrift

Circle Thrift proceeds go to our allies Mennonite Central Committee and relief disaster work. We have a store in Fishtown and one in South Philly.

Martha Grace

Martha moved to Philadelphia in 1996 from New Jersey to earn her BS from Drexel University in Film and Video Production and was 3 credits shy of a minor in Philosophy. She has been a part of Circle of Hope since 2000 and served on the original team that birthed Circle Thrift in 2004. Circle Thrift embodies all her passions like living simply, bucking the corporate giants, generating community, caring for the earth, and being a good neighbor locally and globally. She doesn’t play the piano but is an enthusiastic pastor’s wife, and mother to two of the best teenage girls in the world. Jesus plucked her out of obscurity and gave her life deep meaning. She is blessed to be part of the team, and she totally knows it. Martha is also our Good Business Oversite Manager, which means she works to create and manage all of our business endeavors.

Jess Shoffner
Manager – Circle Thrift on Frankford

Jessica Shoffner moved from Kansas to Philadelphia in 2008, after studying Horticultural Therapy at Kansas State University. Her work in urban gardening began with The Simple Way, an organization that does community building work in the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia. She currently hosts a gardening club in the Hart Lane Neighborhood Garden (also in Kensington) through Pathways to Housing, teaching participants who were formerly homeless both practical gardening skills and providing opportunities for connection. As a Circle of Hope leader, Jess has served on the Leadership, Urban Farm, and The Watershed Discipleship Teams. She helps lead our cell movement and is the Manager at Circle Thrift. In her spare time, Jess loves sharing fresh food with neighbors, bicycling, and the experiments of simple living.

Jimmy Weitzel
Manager – Circle Thrift on South Broad

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.

Tricia Fussaro, Lead Cell Leader Coordinator

Contact: [email protected]

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.

Marguerite McDonald, Team Leader

Contact: [email protected]

Compassion Core Team

This team generates and serves the needs of our compassion teams. They call the church together for concerted acts of service and advocacy. They monitor the compassion fund, directed at needs among us.

Donovan Hayes, Team leader

Contact: [email protected]

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.

Rebekah McLendon, Team Leader

Contact: [email protected]

Children’s Team Core Team

This team maintains communication and mutual practices and support between our various children’s teams.

Becca Puchalsky, Team Leader

Contact: [email protected]