CHRIS + JENNIFER HELMS
Pastor Chris weaves passion and humor into his weekly messages, presenting the Gospel in a way that appeals to the young & old alike. His love for the local church has been evidenced throughout his ministry, including planting a church in Pittsburgh, PA (2000-2012) and assuming the pastorate of Hope Connection Church in 2013. Chris loves pro football (Dallas Cowboys/Pittsburgh Steelers) and is glad that Jennifer—his high school sweetheart & wife of nearly 30yrs—shares that passion! He “digs” Jennifer, their three children (Kaytlyn, Emily, Nathaniel), his new son-in-law (Matt), and living in OKC! His goal is to leave a legacy similar to King David’s, having “…served his own generation by the will of God…” (Acts 13:36).
Jennifer loves to laugh and strives to “live in the moment!” Her mantra is, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened!” She married her high school sweetheart and takes pride in her three children (Kaytlyn, Emily, and Nathaniel). She’s a lifetime follower of Christ and has a psalmist’s heart. Since college, she’s partnered with Chris in full-time ministry and has no intentions of changing that! Her greatest desire is to see people’s lives changed by the power of the Gospel--the ONLY way to discover true satisfaction in life!
CORY + KRISTI BUTLER
Cory + Kristi currently reside in OKC with their golden retriever, Daisy. Prior to settling in OKC, they served at the Miami Dream Center in Miami, Florida for four years. Cory + Kristi now serve as the young adult leaders at Hope Connection Church. Cory, full time law student, and Kristi, Registered Nurse, understand the struggles of trying to balance relationships, careers, school, and church!
As student pastors and leaders of "Hope Hotspots, their passion is to create an environment where young adults and students can connect with others and strengthen their relationships with Chris. Within Hope Young Adults is Hope Hotspots: various “popup” events at different locations each month. Hotspots have gone to Turner Falls, Main Event, Top Golf and more! The mission is simple: come together, have fun, and make lasting friendships! Also within Hope Young Adults is “Future Hope”: a ministry targeted toward seniors in High School up to 21 year olds. Cory + Kristi desire to help students/young adults navigate their God-given purposes and futures! For more details, contact them!
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS / CAMPUS EXPERIENCE TEAM LEADER
Danny’s role at Hope Connection Church can’t really be defined in one “box”...suffice it to say, he has faithfully served @ Hope in various capacities (sometimes changing roles in real-time!) for the last ten years! His diverse roles have included student pastor, service producer, worship team member...and just about everything else! He and his wife Jena are both born and raised in OKC and have been married for what seems like forever - in a good way - (a whole decade). They have two pretty legit and awesome kids, Jaxon and Addley, who really are much cooler than they are! If you ever need to learn a fact that you NEVER needed to know, he is your guy. You can find him running around each Sunday with a cup of coffee in one hand and probably a mic or cable in the other.
HOPE KIDS DIRECTOR / ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Carly is the Administrative Assistant at Hope. Originally from Ohio, she moved to Oklahoma in 2010, which is where she met her husband, Dereck Johnson. They have a 2 year old little girl named Eleanor. Carly helps her husband run a local guitar school, serves in Hope Kids and on the worship team. When they aren't working, Carly and Dereck can typically be found pretending to eat plastic food prepared by Eleanor or playing a family game of Uno. They also enjoy going to local events.
CREATIVE TEAM DIRECTOR
Kate grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and relocated to Oklahoma City in 2013. Since then, she has served at Hope on the worship and creative teams. Her passion is empowering creatives to honor God in their talents. She believes the Church should be the most creative place on the planet, because God is THE Creator; creative by His very nature. Whether it’s lighting, photography, social media, graphics... we have the opportunity to bring HIM glory through our talents!
Kate is a 2019 graduate of Southwestern Christian University, where she met her husband, Matt. Matt + Kate were married in December 2018 and have happily settled down in OKC. On the weekends, Kate spends her time shooting weddings & family portraits - OR - eating WAY too much Mexican food with Matt!
Jennifer’s desire to pursue Christ and worship Him through music began early. At the age of 15, she pledged to follow the Lord wherever He would lead—having no idea the amazing (and sometimes daunting) adventure that would ensue! She loves serving Hope Connection Church with her husband of 27+ years, Christopher, and their 3 beautiful children—Kaytlyn, Emily, and Nathaniel. She leads Hope Connection Church into the presence of the Lord every week through passionate, heart-felt worship—and longs to see people’s lives changed through a dynamic encounter and ongoing relationship with Christ! Her “life-verses”, which she strives daily to emulate, are found in Psalm 119:29-40:
“29 Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. 30 I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. 31 I cling to your laws. Lord, don’t let me be put to shame! 32 I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding. 33 Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. 34 Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. 35 Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. 36 Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money! 37 Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word 38 Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. 39 Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. 40 I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness."
Chief financial officer
Trent and Heather have been involved in various ministry roles together since they were married in December 2001. Trent serves as Executive Pastor, overseeing areas of Administration including finance, budgeting and tax compliance. He also leads the Campus Experience team. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Regent University. Heather, a registered Dental Hygienist and proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, currently serves as the Director of Hope Kids, leading all aspects of the kid’s ministry team. She also serves as a member of the Worship Team.
Together they have two amazing kids, Maggie and Ian, and two fur babies, Chance and Lolli. In their free time you’ll find them hopelessly cheering on the Arkansas Razorbacks football team, playing board games with their children, taking the dogs on a walk, and finding the best brunch spots around. Individually, you’ll most likely find Trent at a movie theater with popcorn and m&ms or at a local sporting event. Heather loves to read and is newly addicted to Caramel Macchiatos.
Kristi currently resides in OKC with her husband, Cory, and their golden retriever, Daisy. Prior to living in OKC, Kristi and Cory served at the Miami Dream Center in Miami, Florida for 4 years. Kristi led numerous mission trips during her time there, including the communities of Little Haiti, South Beach, and downtown Miami. These trips included a wide variety of serve projects such as painting homes, clothing/food drives, homeless outreach, and prayer + connection with the community of Miami. Kristi has also served on six mission teams around the world, including an internship with a local church in El Salvador for several months. Apart from being Missions Coordinator at Hope, she also serves as the Co-Chair to the Community Action Board at John Adams Elementary School. She also has her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and works at a local hospital in OKC.
A message from Kristi: Jesus’s heartbeat on missions is stated clearly in Mark 16:15: Go into ALL the world and preach the gospel to ALL creation. I am one person, but the body of Christ is massive, and, although everyday missions may not come to mind, it is in all of us to go and spread the Gospel. My job is to serve as a reminder to the body of Hope that we are more than four walls, we are a living testimony with the truth of Christ that should be shared to all people, of all nationalities, far and wide.