Lead Pastor – Jeff Suhr
Jeff has lived in Southern California all his life. After graduating from U.C. San Diego for his undergraduate studies (B.A. in History), he attended Westminster Seminary California where he earned his seminary degree (M. Div) in 2002. He has been involved in pastoral ministry for over ten years, serving in various churches in San Diego, Burbank, and Fullerton. In June 2011, Jeff was commissioned to plant a new church in the city of Irvine. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America.
Jeff and his wife Helen are busy raising three children (Megan, Noah, and Seth). He is an avid soccer player who enjoys playing the piano, spending time with friends, and getting to know people over a good cup of coffee. You can follow Jeff on and read his blog.
Pastoral Assistant – Matt Esswein
Matt grew up in Cypress, CA before heading up to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to study Business Administration. After graduating and living four years on the Central Coast he decided he wanted to stick around. He continued in ministry to college students at Grace Church. In those years he felt a strong calling to ministry and realized his need for further training. He moved to St. Louis, MO to attend Covenant Theological Seminary where he met great friends and received his Masters in Divinity. Through the hot, humid summers and icy, windy winters, Matt felt California calling and moved back to Orange County in the summer of 2012 and started working at New Life Irvine.
Matt enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee, disc golf, running, hiking, camping, backpacking, climbing mountains, the beach, traveling, watching sports (cheering the Angels, Cardinals, and Stanford), playing games, reading good books, and connecting with people through those activities.
Sprouts Director – Mike Carpenter
Mike grew up in Columbus, Ohio but has lived in Orange County, CA for nearly 20 years, with his wife Anne. Mike and Anne met at Taylor University, a Christian liberal arts school located in Indiana, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Christian Education. They have 3 children (Eve, Gwen and Isaac) who are their favorite people in the whole world. In addition to managing a small computer company in Irvine, Mike is currently attending Westminster Seminary in Escondido, California where he is working towards his Masters of Divinity. As you will discover spending any time with Mike, he is passionate about God in his life; he enjoys seeking Him, talking about Him and understanding Him through His word and cares about the same for you. In his own words, he aims ‘to move God’s people to enjoy Him, trust Him, depend on Him, praise Him and live in such a way that all of who we are demonstrates God to be the most valuable treasure, as He is indeed.’ “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8).