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

  • 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.

  • Laetitia Nappier - Children’s Ministry Director 

    Don’t let the spelling fool you, my name is easy to pronounce: leh—TI—see—ah. It is actually a common name in France where I was born and raised. I was an exchange student at Union High School when I met Nic. We have been married for 16 years now and have two amazing daughters, Claire and Renée. When I am not chauffeuring the girls to Tae Kwon Do, band, or girl scouts, I can be found walking our two rambunctious dogs or channeling my inner chef. My incredibly supportive family usually tries my Pinterest inspired dishes without too much complaining. I have been greatly influenced in my faith journey by the outpouring of love I have witnessed from church, my faith family, friends, and mentors. I am looking forward to serving families and helping them grow in their own faith journey as I strive to let all that I do be done in love.

  • Trey Sansom - Music Ministry Manager 

    I was almost famous twice! My God-given abilities and personal investment have yielded some amazing riffs and God called me to share those gifts to see more people meet Jesus. I am all about putting the "Why" before the "What". What we want to do is sing or play drums, but I see music as a means. Why do we sing or play an instrument? Because music is the most powerful way to lead people to Christ, second only to the Word of God. Therefore, I am not only the Music Ministry Manager at NBLC, but I want to cultivate a "School of Rock" that will help those who have a passion for music to lead others in response to God's call. That is my story: instead of pursuing musical fame, I am responding to God's call to lead others to know Christ... and make Christ known!

  • 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!