Mike's kind of a weird guy, but we like him anyway. Mike and his wife Julie have been in ministry for over 15 years doing a lot of offbeat stuff. They have been houseparents at a children's home; served as missionaries in India and New Zealand; been part of an intentional Christian community sharing Jesus with travelers from around the world in New Age communities and music festivals; and Mike has served as the director of college ministries for a local church and as a teacher helping to equip churches to understand the culture and effectively live out the love of Jesus in their daily lives.
Mike loves theology and philosophy, but he loves people a lot more, and he loves Jesus even more than that. His favorite thing to do is to sit and talk with people for hours about whatever is on their minds, especially if it's about Jesus. He likes kids (Mike and Julie have two teen boys of their own- Caleb and Noah) and for some obscure reason they seem to like him too. When he's not doing church stuff Mike loves to spend time with his family, play music (Mike and Julie are pretty active musicians), hike, read, think about arcane stuff and tinker with his never-ending classic motorcycle project. He's also a cat person and thinks sailboats are realy cool. Mike has never played Ultimate Frisbee and is pretty sure the Giants are a baseball team. Or a football team. He also thinks he's funny (and he wrote this bio himself). Want to connect with Mike? Email him here.
As Children's Director, Julie oversees and works alongside a team of volunteers who run the nursery, preschool and elementary age ministries on Sunday mornings. Julie's passion is to share the love of Christ with children and encourage them in their relationship with him through the accurate teaching of the Bible, authentic relationship building and lots of fun games that illustrate God's Word in a way that kids will understand.
Julie has been married to her husband, Jon, since 1992 and they have five children. For fifteen years, Julie homeschooled her children, teaching them in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade. Julie has a heart for serving and loves opportunities to serve through childcare, preparing a meal or just being a listening ear. In her spare time, Julie loves spending time with her family outdoors, working out, and playing electric bass. Want to connect with Julie? Email her here.
Kathleen works in the church office lending her administrative and organizational skills to support the people who run New Heart’s ministries.
In 1982 Kathleen graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in Acting. She also toured with Covenant Players from 1982 – 1986 where she met her husband Dan. Over the years she has put those acting skills to use by performing in local community theater and at New Heart.
Kathleen and her family were part of the team who started New Heart in 1995. Dan and Kathleen have two beautiful daughters and three grandsons; Sydney and her husband live in Boise, and Kelsey and her husband live in Arcata. In her free time you might find her practicing music, reading, baking or playing with those three little energetic grandsons! Want to connect with Kathleen? Email her here.
Jon Luken moved to Arcata in 1986 from sunny southern California. Although he initially did not care for the cool, rainy climate of Humboldt County, he quickly adjusted when he met the love of his life, Julie, while attending Arcata High School. Jon and Julie have been married since 1992 and have five children. In 1995 Jon received his degree in music from Humboldt State University and was ordained in 2002. Through the years Jon has served in a variety of ways including musician, community group leader, worship leader, and elder. Jon and Julie love spending time with their kids, playing music, watching Angel's baseball and exploring the beautiful north coast.
Dan Ely and his wife, Kathleen, have been part of the New Heart family from the beginning. He has served at New Heart in many ways including Sunday AM Program Director, Worship Leader, Elder Team Member, Producer of NewHeart Early and has participated in a variety of special projects. A Humboldt County native, Dan operates a small business in Eureka.
Jim Bent moved to Humboldt County in 1977 and met Melanie while the two were attending Humboldt State University. Jim and Melanie were married in 1983. When the Bent’s started a family (Claire and Conor), Jim started following Melanie to church and shortly thereafter he committed his life to Christ.
The Bent’s started attending New Heart in 2002. Jim was involved in the set-up tear-down team for a couple of years until a need for a drummer arose on the worship team. Jim and Melanie have been hosting a community group for over ten years at their home in Arcata. Jim started serving on the Elder Team in 2008.