Steve is a pastor at Hope Community Church. Born and raised in in Kingston, Jamaica, Steve came to the U.S and attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where he met his wife, Tori, and obtained a degree in Economics. The Blake’s now have two amazing kids, Saylen and P.K. Steve was a pastor in Washington, D.C. for 10 years and has a M.A, Ministry, with a concentration in Christian Leadership from Hope International University. Being multi-national and multi-ethnic, Steve is passionate about multicultural community in which people embrace and celebrate the image of God in each other. More than anything, Steve wants each person he interacts with to be all that God has made them to be. As a social entrepreneur, Steve is committed to collaborating with others for social good. Steve believes that the person and teachings of Jesus provide individual and collective fulfillment as Jesus is the one who allows us to be redeemed, reconciled and restored back to God and one another. Having lived in Kingston, London and Washington D.C, Steve loves Austin because he sees it as a model for emerging cities of the world.
Hola! I was born and raised in Texas, but left the Lone Star State for a brief interim period for college. I have a B.A. from Wheaton College and an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.In the following year after seminary, I then completed a one-year pastoral residency in Chicago before moving back to Texas to start this church. I currently live in East Austin with my wife, Michelle, and our two kids. My wife and I have been married for over eight years. Michelle has a Ph.D in 18th-Century German literature and you can find her writings on faith, family and diversity with Christianity Today Women, Think Christian, (in)courage and iBelieve, among other places. We are both passionate about reaching all the peoples here in East Austin. Having grown up in multicultural homes and environments, we value diversity and long to see peoples across ethnicities be restored to God and to each other. We do this through life-on-life relationships – both ourselves and members of our church live, work, and serve within the community that we do ministry. I am also passionate about teaching people the beauty of color and seek to empower our people to do the same. In addition, we seek the peace of our city by calling out injustices, advocating racial solidarity, and pursuing holistic restoration for community. Beyond our church, I speak regularly at other churches, ministries, and non-profits on the topics of inter-cultural ministry, racial solidarity and holistic restoration. If you would like me to speak at your upcoming event, you can contact me here. A few more things about Michelle and I: we created a devotional blog called “The Art of Taleh” (theartoftaleh.com), which provides a new teaching model accessible for anyone for studying the Bible. And, in our free time, we enjoy cooking together, gardening, and watching soccer.
Hello! My name is Tommy Cleaves and I work with Unite: Youth Group here at HCC! I live in central Austin and I work for Young Life in East Austin running the ministry at LBJ and LASA High Schools. I got certified to teach through my major at UT (hook ’em) but ended up deciding to go into full-time ministry after graduation.
Needless to say, God has given me a pretty big passion for students! I know how big of a role godly men and women played in my life growing up, so I am incredibly grateful that God has given me opportunities to have the same impact in other students’ lives and to help them know Jesus better.
On top of that I have a huge desire to know and teach the Word of God. Combine that with a passion for students and you have what Unite is all about! We do life together in Christian community, study the Bible, and grow in our faith.
When I’m not with students, I love to spend time with friends and family, to read, exercise, and play drums. And occasionally I like to make a trip up to my hometown just outside of Dallas to visit my family.
children’s ministry director
¡Mucho gusto! I grew up in Eagle Pass, a small town on the Southwest Texas border with Mexico. Spending much of my time outside in the garden with my family or cooling off in the river, I cultivated a curious and adventurous mind. My wonder and enthusiasm for learning led me to study Biology at UT Austin (hook ‘em), which is how I got connected to the people at Hope a few years back!
As the Hope Kids director, my desire is to convey the glorious wonder of God and His Creation to young minds so that they may grown in love for Him. The scriptures abound in promises for our children and we also have a lot to learn through their lives (Matthew 18:3). Kids make up an integral component of our church family today.
Beyond serving in children’s ministry, I enjoy reading, playing tennis, and making my friends and family laugh! You’re most likely to run into me at a coffee shop or at your neighborhood taco stand.
Director for Young Adult Ministry
Frank Espinoza serves as the Director for Young Adult Ministry which includes college and college-aged individuals. Born and raised in San Antonio, TX, he is a proud Tejano (Mexican-American Texan) who loves the Spurs, his family, and playing sports. After graduating from the University of Texas with a B.S. in Political Communication, Frank has served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a college campus ministry, for the last 4 years. Specifically, he’s worked with their LaFe (Latino Fellowship) department to serve and create contextualized outreach and discipleship tools for Latino students. He is passionate about helping all young people discover and become the women and men God is creating them to be—given their unique backgrounds, experiences, and ethnic identities.
creative arts & music director
Born in Kerala, India, I came to the US at the age of 2. I’ve lived in Chicago, Detroit, South Bend, Queens NY, and Mineola NY. I’ve moved around quite a bit, and it’s shaped who I am. Growing up in a Pastor’s home I quickly observed and learned the importance of serving God in every aspect of my life. Whether it’s leading worship, or doing creative work, I always enjoy being an active part of the Church family and pointing people to Jesus.
I love being creative. In 2010 I received my BFA in Design & Technology from Parson’s School of Design in NYC. After years of working for a global tech company in NYC, I decided to move to Austin, TX in 2015.
I’m married to a beautiful Honduran – Dana Johnson. I have two dogs – Sparrow & Autumn and I love the L.A. Lakers and the N.Y. Giants. If you want me to do something, get me a pack of Lifesaver Gummies.
Josh Posada is the Music Director at Hope Community Church. He is from McAllen, Texas but has lived in Austin since 2011 to pursue his love for music. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Music in 2015, Josh became the Music Director of a local east Austin church where he developed in how he lead people in worship of Jesus.
He has been married to his amazing wife, Crystal since July 2018. Josh is passionate about encouraging the congregation to join him in singing praises to the Lord on Sundays, to worship however they feel led and to submit their entire lives to God as an act of worship.
Josh loves to watch The Office with his wife, play basketball on the weekends and watch anime when he has some free time.