Leadership

Get to Know Our Staff

Nick Panico

Senior Pastor

Pastor Nick was raised in Roman Catholic traditions in suburban Chicago and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1976. After moving to Clearwater, Florida in 1983 he began serving on staff of a growing church where he met his wife Elly. After nearly fourteen years of service as an Associate Pastor, Nick and Elly launched out to plant a church in the Dunedin area. Global Family Fellowship served the community for seventeen years touching thousands with the gospel through various outreaches, both locally and overseas.

Nick’s love for people and his ability to communicate the timeless truths of the Bible in a practical way are hallmarks of his ministry. In 2014 God led the leadership of Global Family Fellowship to move further north in the county. After purchasing the beautiful property on Riviere Road in Palm Harbor, New Hope Church was born.

Karen Hanson

Executive and Women's Pastor

Pastor Karen surrendered her life to Jesus on December 25, 1995 after the unexpected death of her husband. For the sake of her own life and the life of her daughter, she set her eyes on the Lord as she was so lost and alone at that time. Now, she marvels at the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord! She has a passion to see people connect with Jesus and to grasp How much He loves them and that He truly is a good God.

Pastor Karen has a sales and marketing background, received her Master's in Theology, has served as Pastor with children, singles, women, missions, outreach, and small groups. She led short term mission trips to Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Russia, New York, California, and Brazil. She also ministered in Kenya and Panama. She currently lives in Oldsmar with her daughter, 2 dogs, 2 cats and is a Therapeutic Foster Parent and the Senior Chaplain at the Pinellas County jail. All for Him and because of Him.

As well as overseeing the administration of the church, Pastor Karen also directs the Women's ministries and Connect Groups.

Barry Sullivan

Youth, Missions & Creatives Pastor

Pastors Barry & Tracy have ministered in the Tampa Bay area for more than 25 years. After spending time on the mission field, then serving as youth and associate ministers in area churches, they planted a church in Oldsmar in 2002. While pastoring that church, the Lord began speaking to them about establishing a House of Prayer in the city. Not knowing what that would look like or how it would function, they put the idea on hold and pursued other things God laid before them, until 2013 when they went to serve on staff at the IHOP Tallahassee mission base.

In the fall of 2015 the Sullivans moved back to Tampa Bay and established Oldsmar House of Prayer. Their part on the ministry team at New Hope enhances this, allowing them to express their love and heart for the Body of Christ in a personal and specific way -- whether it be through youth ministry, missions, or the worship & prayer life of the church.  It is their love for young people that compels them to do all they can to help raise up a generation of passionate lovers of Jesus!

Paul Ferrara

Children's Pastor

Paul and Brandy Ferrara met at Zion Bible Institute in Barrington, Rhode Island in 2001 and were married February 2003 in Brandy's home church. They have 4 children: Ethan: 15, Isabella: 14, Madison: 12, and 11 year old Paige!  

Paul and Brandy each oversaw Children's Ministry Departments in their home churches before getting married. Together they have over 50 years of experience leading churches, in every area, in both Massachusetts and Florida. They share a passion for leading youth and children, showing them how to grow in God's word and how to love Jesus Christ. They truly adhere to the belief that every child has been made in the Image of God!  

In their spare time, they enjoy cookouts with friends and family, hanging out poolside, having family movie nights with popcorn & s'mores, caring for their 5 chickens, their husky named Brady, and watching their favorite football team play!! GO PATS! They anticipate God doing great things as they move towards the next chapter in their lives

Jon Courtney

Sunday Worship Pastor

Jon has been involved with worship for more than 30 years. For 20 of those years he has been in full time ministry. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States, ministering to thousands with his music ministry, sharing the stage with former presidents, famous sports figures, celebrities and dignitaries.

Jon previously helped pioneer another church in Pinellas County for three and half years, and was on staff for more than ten years at Countryside Christian Church as the Music Director/Worship Leader and an Associate Pastor. He is an ordained Pastor with the heart of a shepherd, and Jon & Regina's passion is to lead people in a true, transparent worship, experiencing the tangible presence of the living God.

Stephan Joseph

Young Adults Pastor

Stephan is happily married to his wife Feli and father to four children: Hannah, Ezekiel, Chloe and one on the way! He has spent many years in the world of finance, real estate and entrepreneurship. But all this time, he felt the call to ministry. While he enjoyed setting up his clients and trainees for success, his heart was really beating for raising up people in Christ. Encouraging others in their faith, wrestling with them through the not-so-simple questions of doctrine and Christian living, interceding on their behalf – that has long been his passion and priority.
 
Stephan himself was saved at age 17, when Jesus appeared to him in a vision in his bedroom. Up until that point, he had had next to no guidance in matters of faith. From there, the Lord put mentors into his path; people who took the time to answer tough questions, share not only their wisdom but their lives with him, exemplifying to him the love of Christ. This invaluable investment is something Stephan is eager to pass on to the younger generations.
 
At the moment, he is quickly moving towards his degree in Christian Ministry at Trinity College of Florida. Together with Feli, they are excited to see young adults set on fire for Christ and to equip them for a fruitful future in the Kingdom of God.

Tom Mitchell

Midweek Teaching Pastor

Pastor Tom Mitchell first gave his life to Christ in 1974. Since then, he has been involved in various ministries and outreaches including the Gideons (he was the North Pinellas Chaplain), Pastoring, Eldership, Teaching, Deliverance and Administrative. Tom was first Ordained by the Christian Church of North America (now International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies) in 1995. Most recently, Tom received his Ordination credentials through the Global Harvest Ministerial Association.

Currently Tom is the midweek teaching Pastor at New Hope. His love is for expository teaching and has been involved in such teaching for several years. He is a voracious reader, normally reading 1 to 3 books each and every week (his library has thousands of volumes). Laurie also spends a tremendous amount of time reading and the study of God’s Word. She is very involved in Children’s Ministry (30+ years) and truly loves the call on her life to minister to them. Tom and Laurie have been married since 1987 and have two adult children. Samantha has her Nuclear Engineering degree, and Jacob is Warrant Office in the U.S. Army where he flies the Apache AH64E helicopter.

The Mitchells own Countryside Hearing Aid Services in Clearwater, Florida. Tom is bi-vocational and has been in the hearing industry since 1983. He has also competed in strength athletics for a number of years (Strongman, Powerlifting and Arm Wrestling) and won the 2007 North American Strongman Championships (Master Heavyweight Division). He was also the North American Strongman Florida State Chairman from 2003 to 2013. His hobbies include Christian entrepreneurship, heavy reading, lifting even heavier weights and computer gaming.

Noah Sullivan

Technical Director

Noah grew up in a ministry family where he and his four brothers all learned to play multiple instruments. He also learned at a young age what it meant to set-up and tear down a mobile church each week, where he was taught the nuances of sound and production. Noah is an avid online gamer and streamer, and has been a huge contributor to the format and quality of New Hope's livestream. One of the things we love most about him, is how Noah brings "young" ears and eyes in how we present the church to the community.

If you have the talent or desire to work with Noah in the area of production (sound, cameras, words/slides, lighting, or livestream control), he'd love to have you as part of his team! Email him or stop by the sound-booth after service (he's usually very busy before service).