Meet Our Team

Here at New Beginnings, we’re passionate about helping people discover the transforming power of faith in Jesus Christ! We'd love for you to get to know the people who lead our church on the weekends and throughout the week. If you have any questions for any of our staff, feel free to reach out and email them. You can also contact the church office at

  • We're Looking for a Children's Ministry Director!

    This important position is responsible for providing leadership and direction to our children’s ministry to equip NBLC households to share faith where they live, work, and play. Check out a more detailed description of what we're looking for here. If you are interested in applying (or know someone who is!) please send your resume and references to

  • Joe Sullivan - Pastor    

    I’m just an average Joe, but I get to be the pastor of this amazing faith family. God grabbed hold of me while I served in the Marine Corps back in my early twenties. I’ve been in a doubter’s dialog ever since. In addition to faith conversations, I love to ride my bikes—both pedaling and motoring!

  • Lisa Copeland - Faith Journey Director 

    God’s call led me to New Beginnings to continue growing in His Word and to serve as a Stephen Minister and Leader. His continued leading has blessed me with a position that accentuates my passion to connect with people of all ages and for this I am especially grateful. I embrace every opportunity to share the hope I have and to encourage others on their walk with Christ. In my free time, I enjoy the great outdoors either cycling, hiking, walking or simply relaxing with friends and family. God has blessed me with my husband of 26 years, two beautiful children, and a passion to share the love of Christ.

  • Gabrielle Hines - Children’s Ministry Manager  

    I am thrilled to join the team in a way that lets me explore a new way of working in the field I am passionate about: education and childcare. I will soon graduate from the University of Missouri—St. Louis with a Bachelor's in Education, with an emphasis in Secondary English. When I'm not working with children or teaching high school students to write and analyze literature, I enjoy reading and spending time outdoors and on my family's hobby farm.

  • Norie Thornton - Care Team Lead & Bookkeeper 

    Hi, I'm Norie Thornton. I've been a member of New Beginnings for many, many moons. I've been known to have big shoulders to cry on and that's where it stays. I'm a wife, mother, and grandma. I'm lucky to have my family coming to this church. You might see me singing in one of the praise teams on Sunday. I am the bookkeeper for NBLC. Things I like to do are travel the USA, paint, and motorcycle. We also have an alpaca farm.

  • Travis Torblaa - Mission & Ministry Director 

    I am passionate about Jesus' commission to go and make disciples of all nations. My wife, Angela, and I served as missionaries in Japan for seven years. We love to travel outside the United States sampling authentic local cuisine, conversing with new people and gaining an appreciation for different cultures. We regularly gather with international students, helping them transition to student life in St. Louis. We participate in adult and children tutoring programs for immigrants and refugees. I coordinate a community service program "Serve Our Town" to assist low-income and elderly people. When I am not participating in international activities or serving the community, you can find me reading, playing chess or following my favorite sports team.

  • Dale Ward - Pastoral Intern of Caring Ministries 

    I’ve been fortunate to fashion my passion (filmmaking, music, writing) into vocational ministry for many years through Lutheran Hour Ministries and Concordia Seminary. I was also a worship leader for 12 years, and for many years served the Teens Encounter Christ retreat programs. I now find it exciting, yet daunting, to step out from behind the camera and guitar to talk about Christ with folks one-on-one. My life journey includes 30+ years of marriage to Suzanne, and two sons: Abraham who is living the life of a musician in Nashville, and Elijah, who is a Eureka High School student. My downtime (?) includes golf, reading novels, and watching classic films.

  • Laura Woldt - Communications Lead 

    I fell in love with New Beginnings the very first Sunday my family and I visited. I have never walked into a church and been met with such loving, open arms as I did at NBLC. Utilizing my background in Business Management and Marketing, I’ve had the opportunity to serve the church in a variety of ways, namely in the area of communications. I am incredibly thankful for technology as it has made it possible to continue serving New Beginnings, even after my husband completed his Pastoral Internship at NBLC and our family moved to Tennessee. I have two little kiddos who keep me on my toes, and I love hiking and exploring the Smoky Mountains.

Interested in joining our team?

We are blessed to have an amazing team and consider it a privilege to serve New Beginnings Lutheran Church as part-time and full-time staff. If you’re interested in helping us help others to know Christ and make Christ known, email us at!