ABOUT

OUR STAFF

CHRIS+JENNIFER HELMS

LEAD PASTORS

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!
Pastor Chris
Pastor Jennifer

CORY + KRISTI BUTLER

STUDENT PASTORS

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 Student Pastors 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, their passion is to create an environment where students can connect with others and strengthen their relationships with Christ. Cory + Kristi desire to help students navigate their God-given purposes and futures!

CARLY JOHNSON

HOPE KIDS DIRECTOR / ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Carly is the Hope Kids Director and 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.

TRENT JAYROE

CHIEF FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Trent + Heather have been involved in various ministry roles together since they were married in December 2001.  Trent serves as Chief Financial Advisor; overseeing finance, budgeting and tax compliance. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Regent University.  He and Heather 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.

DANNY VISE

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

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!) since 2010! 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. They have two pretty legit and awesome kids, Jaxon and Addley, who are much cooler than they are! If you ever need to learn a fact that you NEVER needed to know, Danny 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.

KATE KALVACH

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Kate grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and relocated to Oklahoma City in 2013. In 2019, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Business & Technology from Southwestern Christian University. There, she met her husband, Matt, & they were married in December 2018. In their free time, you'll find them songwriting or hosting game nights.

Kate's passion is empowering other 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 gifts!

JENNIFER HELMS

WORSHIP PASTOR

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) adventures that would ensue!  She loves serving Hope Connection Church with her husband of 27+ years, Christopher, and their 3 beautiful children—Kate, 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.

KRISTI BUTLER

MISSIONS DIRECTOR

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 projects during her time there, including in the Miami communities of Little Haiti, South Beach, and downtown. Kristi also serves as the Co-Chair to the Community Action Board at Adams Elementary School. She has her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and works at a local hospital in OKC.

DAN + DEANA GARY

CONNECT GROUP DIRECTORs

Dan + Deana Gary have been attending Hope for many years and have a huge heart for Connect Groups. They desire to see people grow personally and spiritually as they dive into the life-giving community Connect Groups bring!

MATT KALVACH

AUDIO TEAM LEADER

Matt, originally from the Czech Republic, has lived in Oklahoma City since 2015. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Business + Technology from Southwestern Christian University in 2018. Matt & Kate met in the music department during their time in college and were married in December 2018.

Matt has a passion for music, production, and serving with excellence! In his free time, he loves to skateboard, write music, and learn the ins-and-outs of production/music industry. Matt & Kate spend the majority of their free time in their home studio; listening to good music and writing their own! 

CODY + CAMDEN ODELL

PRODUCTION TEAM LEADERS

Cody + Camden are both recent graduates of Mid-America Christian University where they met and were married in October of 2020. Together, Cody + Camden have attended Hope since 2016. They are both passionate about connecting with new guests and engaging with church members. They are the ones you can also find behind the scenes helping to make sure everything is running smoothly. In their free time, you can find them either spending time with their rescue dog, Richie, or finding all of the new local shops and restaurants in OKC.

KEVIN + BENITA WEST

PASTORAL STAFF

Pastors Kevin & Benita have served at Hope for many years in multiple capacities. From Connect Group leaders, Discover Hope Class teachers, and many facets of the Campus Experience team, they have done a little bit of everything. 

GREG TAYLOR

PASTORAL STAFF

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OUR STORY

HOPE CONNECTION CHURCH

Hope Connection Church has a lengthy history, dating back to 1935 when the church met in a building at 1235 SW 25th in Oklahoma City. As you can imagine, the congregation has undergone many transitions, including several brand changes and venue relocations. While many changes have come and gone over the years, Hope has remained a strong, constant force in the OKC metro area; seeking & saving “the lost” and strengthening “the found” through its life-giving message.

Weaved throughout its history, Hope Connection Church has a legacy of strong, Godly leadership. Among these prominent leaders is Pastor Dale Smith. He and his wife, Billie, served the congregation as Lead Pastors for twenty-eight years. Among their many accomplishments was purchasing and building on Hope’s current property, 8309 South Santa Fe Avenue. They retired from senior leadership in 1998, and they are highly honored by Hope Connection Church! From 1999-2012, Pastors Ken & Angie Senchal served as Lead Pastors. During their tenure, the church experienced growth & health – both numerically & architecturally – as they guided the church’s trek “across the parking lot” where our current worship facility now stands
In January 2013, Pastors Chris & Jennifer Helms were divinely appointed as Lead Pastors at Hope Connection Church.  Through God’s grace, the usual ‘speed bumps’ of major transitions have been avoided and the steady pace of growth & unified leadership has continued! Hope Connection Church is charging into the future with great strength!  Today, hundreds of people attend Hope’s weekly gatherings and lives are being transformed by the power of the Gospel.

We invite you to see for yourself – how exciting an authentic, life-giving Christian community can be. Let’s go after God with passion together!

WHAT WE BELIEVE

Humanity has been given an exclusive Savior with an inclusive message, “Whoever calls on Jesus will be saved” (Romans 10:9-13; Romans 3:22-23).  Humanity’s basic need is to be redeemed from the penalty of sin and restored to “right relationship” with their Creator.  Belief in Jesus’ identity, acceptance of his atonement, faith in his resurrection, and reliance upon his teachings are the core principles of both salvation and living an “abundant life” with Christ.  Given this basis--and out of desire to expand understanding and reflect Scriptural accuracy--Hope Connection Church has developed several “we believe” statements designed to bring further clarity to the core doctrines of Scripture:  

GOdHEAD

 We believe in one eternal God manifesting Himself in three roles:  as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ( Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 John 5:7; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-2, 14).

JESUS

We believe that Jesus Christ is Savior of the world, He was sent to earth to die for our sins and deliver an all-inclusive message, “Whoever calls on Jesus will be saved.” (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13; Romans 3:22-23; Acts 4:12)

REPENTANCE

We believe that repentance is acknowledging and turning away from our sin (Acts 3:19; 2 Corinthians 7:10).

BAPTISM

We believe water baptism to be an expression of both obedience and allegiance to Christ.  It is an outward declaration of an inward faith!  The Scripture presents baptism by immersion as akin to “washing away” the blemishes of sin and “rising” to new life in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12; ).  Baptism is a line of demarcation that powerfully separates our old, “dead life” in sin from our NEW LIFE of freedom in Christ!  Believers in Christ’s time were immediately baptized upon conversion, lifting the banner of Jesus’ authority, redemptive sacrifice, and teaching principles over their own lives (Acts 2:37-39; Acts 8:12-13; Acts 10:47-48; Acts 16:31-34; Acts 19:4-5).  Christians are baptized “into Christ” (Galatians 3:27).  The idea of an unbaptized believer is not found in the Holy Scriptures. Sign up to be baptized here.

HOLY SPIRIT

We believe the Holy Spirit (or “spirit of Christ”/Romans 8:9-11) serves multiple purposes:  it regenerates our dead spirits (we are “reborn”/John 3:1-7), supplies strength for faithful adherence to Christian living, and also empowers us for ministry utilizing its various gifts.  Christ instructed his disciples to WAIT for the Holy Spirit to come before launching their Gospel ministries.  They followed his instructions by descending upon Jerusalem and seeking the Holy Spirit’s special anointing for ministry.  Several days later, in an “upper room”, the Holy Spirit “fell upon” Christ’s disciples and “filled” them with more than just salvational assurance--they received unique ministry empowerment.  From that point forward, the disciples evangelized the world by declaring the truth of Jesus Christ’s salvation AND the importance of “walking out” the believer’s life with an awareness of the Holy Spirit’s abiding presence.  Believers are encouraged to be continually “filled with the Spirit” and expect the various “gifts of the Spirit” to operate through them (Acts 1:4-5, 8; Acts 2:1-4; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 4:8, 23-31; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; John 14:18, 25-26; Acts 8:14-17; Acts 10:38-48; Acts 19:1-7).  It is exceedingly biblical to ask the Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit to be present in your life (Luke 11:9-13).  

DISCIPLESHIP

We believe spiritual maturity and growth is developed through a lifetime of active discipleship. This process takes place by engaging in personal study of God’s Word, honoring spiritual leadership, attending gatherings with other believers, loving & serving others, and having faith in God in all circumstances (John 8:31; John 13:34-35; Ephesians 4:11-15, Hebrews 10:24-25)

HEAVEN

We believe Heaven is “paradise” or the “dwelling place of God” and is the anticipated privilege for those in Christ.  Hell is real but those who have found their identity in Christ have no need to fear it (Luke 23:42-43; Revelation 21:2-8; John 14:1-4).

Want to Get Connected?

Learn more about us, find your next steps, and get connected with our Discover Hope Class. This class is available every SECOND Sunday of the month during our Sunday service. Sign up for our next class, TODAY!