Couple joins ministry at New Hope church

Jared and Laura Stefani

Gilroy’s New Hope Community Church (8886 Muraoka Drive)
announces two additions to the pastoral staff. In September, Jared
Stefani became the student ministries pastor, and his wife, Laura,
became the church’s worship pastor. They bring boundless enthusiasm
to these important ministries.
Gilroy’s New Hope Community Church (8886 Muraoka Drive) announces two additions to the pastoral staff. In September, Jared Stefani became the student ministries pastor, and his wife, Laura, became the church’s worship pastor. They bring boundless enthusiasm to these important ministries.

Jared is a native of San Jose and a fourth-generation member of that city’s Bethel Church, a large and active congregation on Winchester Avenue. He is the oldest of three siblings, and all of them have remained actively committed to their faith.

Jared remembers accepting Jesus as his Lord at the age of 5 and feeling the call to ministry while attending a summer camp during high school. After graduating from Valley Christian High School in 2000, he became a youth intern at his home church.

Later he attended Bethany University in Scotts Valley to study for the ministry while working part-time at South Bay Christian Center in Mountain View. Although the 92-year-old school closed in July, he continues his studies and hopes to complete a degree in January.

Jared has been serving at Bethel Church during the past few years as a junior high school pastor while attending college, and about 18 months ago he felt a new call, forming a multimedia ministry. He recruited a team, and they have presented video illustrations during the Sunday worship services as well as at special events produced by the church.

Laura Stefani is a native of Fremont and comes from an unchurched family. She has been involved in performing secular music since she was six: musicals, bands and concerts. She met her husband in 2007 and realized she could use her musical gifts to honor Jesus. Three years ago she attended a women’s conference where a speaker predicted that Laura would discover a ministry to serve God.

In May, Jared received a call from Malcolm MacPhail, senior pastor at New Hope, wanting to talk about the couple coming to Gilroy. At the time, Jared was too heavily involved in an annual Independence Day event the church sponsors at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, but after it was over they talked. The young couple saw God’s hand leading them and moved to Gilroy, beginning their new ministry Sept. 18.

As student ministries pastor, Jared is responsible for Overflow, a program for sixth- through 12th-graders that meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays. He describes it as a time to “expect the unexpected” with teaching, worship, video presentations, music, drama and even pyrotechnics. It is a “safe place to call home,” and all teenagers in are invited to attend.

On Sunday mornings, there are “growth groups” for junior high students where they can discuss topics important to them from a Christian perspective. There are also plans to form small groups meeting in homes, Christian clubs on secondary school campuses, mission trips, summer camps and community outreach projects.

Laura also supports the youth ministry and is forming age-based small groups for teen girls in addition to carrying on her worship ministry, which involves working with the congregation’s music teams as well as leading worship on Sundays.

The Stefanis are impressed with the love and enthusiasm they have discovered at New Hope. They feel Pastor Malcolm’s well-known dedication to the community is representative of the whole congregation. Excited to be in Gilroy, they both look forward to becoming involved in many community activities. For more information, call the church at (408) 842-4857.

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