Dwayne Petty - Pastor

After serving as the Associate and Executive Pastor of Crossroads Church in Fremont, CA for 23 years, Dwayne felt called to partner with New Heart Church.  Dwayne was born in South Carolina and grew up in VA where he received a business degree from the College of William and Mary.  After serving 2 years as an associate Christian missionary in South Korea Dwayne sensed God leading him outside of the Bible belt.  So, Dwayne moved to Mill Valley, CA to attend Golden Gate Seminary where he earned his master’s degree.  His lead gift is shepherding. 

Dwayne and his wife Jennifer have 3 sons, one daughter-in-law, and 2 black cats.  Dwayne enjoys golf, the 49ers, Warriors, hiking, reading, fantasy football, and eating all kinds of food.  The Petty’s prefer small towns, nature, and parks to the big city.  At the end of the day the two can be found watching a TV show and discussing the ongoing storyline.  

Dwayne and Jennifer are excited to be a part of the New Heart community!  Their desire is to love Christ, love others, and live life on purpose.  Connect with Dwayne Patty


Kathleen Ely - Administrative Assistant

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. In her free time, you might find her practicing music, reading, or baking. Connect with Kathleen Ely 






Kari Steen - Children's Director

Kari and her husband Nathaniel have been a part of the New Heart family for over 10 years.

 In 2009 Kari graduated from Sacramento State with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Her primary focus has been as a mom to her and Nathaniel’s 4 children, Isaac (2011), Jeremiah (2013), Alyson (2017), and Lindsay (2022). Some of her interests include going to the beach, hikes with the kids, camping, and playing games.

Kari worked in HS youth ministry for 4 years in Sacramento and has been an part of Adventureland for over 5 years.  Connect with Kari Steen.






Dan Ely - Elder

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 New Heart Early and has participated in a variety of special projects. 

 A Humboldt County native Dan operates a small business in Eureka.









Nathaniel Steen - Elder

Nathaniel and his wife, Kari, are Humboldt transplants and have called this their home since December 2012. Nathaniel graduated from California State University Sacramento with a double major in Civil Engineering and Psychology. 

 The Steen’s found New Heart in the Spring of 2013 and have enjoyed getting to fellowship with the New Heart family.  He has served as Youth Ministry Staff, Greeting Team Coordinator, Community Group Leader/Host, Financial Peace University Coordinator, Director Team Member, and Elder Team Member. 

Nathaniel and Kari have four kids Isaac (2011), Jeremiah (2013), Alyson (2017), and Lindsay (2022), all of whom keep Mom and Dad very busy!  Nathaniel works for Caltrans as a Resident Engineer and on his free time loves to camp, fish, BBQ with friends, woodworking, and metal working.





David Thorwaldson - Elder

David Thorwaldson grew up in Humboldt County and was thrilled to return, with his wife and 7 kids in tow (Logan, Alexander, David, Isabella, Noah, Simon and Willow).  In their 20+ years of being followers of Christ, David and Michelle have been involved in many ministries, usually focusing on youth ministries that their children were involved in as well.  David has also had the privilege of filling in for Sunday sermons at New Heart from time to time, as a member of the New Heart Speakers Team.  Outside of church activities and work, you will find David either writing a song or jumping off of a rock into some beautiful North Coast swimming hole!  Connect with Dave [email protected]




Director Team

The Director Team is comprised of active members of New Heart who have business, finance or human resources experience.  The Director Team is entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing legal, financial, and human resource related matters, as well as providing for the care and maintenance of all properties owned or used by the church.

Our current Director Team is comprised of:

Mark Davis, Kathleen Ely, Anne Daly, Don Harling, Cheryl Gunderson Turner, Mark McGowan