Mike and his wife Julie have been involved in a wide range of ministries for over 20 years in the US and overseas with two main focuses: helping remove obstacles for those outside the church so they can get a clearer picture of Jesus, and helping those inside the church understand the gospel in a fuller, richer way that changes them and the way they see the world around them. Mike and Julie have two teen boys, Caleb and Noah. Mike loves to play music, hike, and travel with his family. You can usually find him lost in a good conversation or endlessly tinkering with guitars if he's not absorbed in a book or out on a long walk. One of these days he wants to learn to sail. Connect with Mike 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.
The Leadership Team consists of current New Heart ministry staff, volunteer leaders and members of the congregation chosen by the lead pastor and affirmed by the other members of the Leadership Team. This team is intentionally diverse to allow room for the gifts God has given New Heart to be used most effectively (1 Corinthians 12) while maintaining unity of purpose.
The Leadership Team has two primary areas of responsibility: to help guide our congregation to become more like Jesus in their own lives, and to equip our congregation to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God in our community. This is accomplished by creating a strategic vision for the church, making decisions to implement the vision and providing spiritual and material care for our people.
Our current Leadership Team is comprised of:
Jim Bent, Dan Ely, Kathleen Ely, Debbie Freeman, Mike Freeman, David Holper, Hannah Josang, Daniel LaBelle, Jon Luken, Julie Luken, Marissa McCay, Julie Robinson, Mike Robinson, Nathaniel Steen, David Thorwaldson
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, Jim Harper, Mark McGowan, Mike Robinson, Nathaniel Steen