our Team

The Newsong staff is composed of passionate servants that go the extra mile to help every member fulfill their purpose and destiny in Christ. Our leadership structure and Senior Leader Board is detailed below our staff bios.

  • JEFFREY WATSON, Lead Pastor

    Pastor Jeff is a true pastor.  He loves caring for the people at Newsong, instilling in them a love for God's presence, God's word, and God's conversation which is prayer. His vision is to see people fully transformed, increasingly walking in their God-given purposes - that they might go and change the world. Pastor Jeff has served churches in many leadership roles: music, college, prayer, men's, and outreach ministries. His spiritual roots are in the Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard Churches of America fellowships, and currently he is a part of Global Legacy.  He is a graduate of Vanguard University holding BA degrees in Ministry and also in Music. He has hosted leadership and worship conferences/workshops in the USA, Europe and Asia. Pastor Jeff is married to Julie.  They have a daughter Michaela and a son-in-law, Caleb Hindes, a grandson, Declan, and a granddaughter, Ivy.  

  • MIKALA HOOPER, Worship Pastor

    Mikala's giftedness as a musician combined with her deep love for Jesus become a vehicle for Newsong worshippers to enter into an encounter with God. Her energy and passion are simply infectious! Mikala is a Creative Arts Instructor at Lake Norman Christian School and on the leadership team of the Collected Women's events. She studied Music Education at Vanguard University and continued her training as a worship leader at DIVE Creative and Bethel School of Worship. As the founder of The Creative Space, a place for kids to freely connect with their creativity, Mikala is able to exercise her passion for evoking every soul's creative nature.

  • NICOLE MARTINEZ, Kids' Pastor

    Nicole has a deep desire to see Children’s Ministry implemented in a way that keeps God’s Word and Jesus Christ at the center and seeks real heart change in a child’s life that goes beyond just “head knowledge.” She has a passion to see kids come alive and flourish in their God given identities.

    She holds a B.S. degree in Psychology and Christian Counseling from Southeastern University. She also holds a M.A. in Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling from Webster University. She has 9 years of experience in education. Three of those years spent as an Exceptional Children's teacher and 6 years as a School Counselor in both Elementary and Middle school. 

    Nicole enjoys baking and going on adventures with her husband Paul and 4 wonderfully energetic children Jonas, Audrey, Julian and Ava.


    Newsong’s leadership structure consists of a Lead Pastor, a volunteer Senior Leader Board, and a staff team of ministers. All of our leaders have demonstrated a high level of integrity and giftedness. 

    The Lead Pastor continually serves on our Senior Leader Board, but all others serve in three year terms. Some serve two consecutive terms. Our leaders meet the leadership requirements outlined in Titus 1:5-9, 1 Timothy 3:1-7, and 1 Peter 5:1-4. 

    Our Senior Leader Board fulfills its purpose by assisting, guiding, evaluating and monitoring the progress of the Church in the fulfillment of its mission and vision. Our Senior Leader Board meets monthly to provide leadership, protection, spiritual insight, financial advice, and accountability for Pastor Jeff and the staff team of ministers. Every person on the nine member team has equal voting authority.

    Our current Senior Leader Board Members include Jeffrey Watson, Julie Watson, Anthony Rosas, Chris Burris, Mike Witt, Janecia Stevens, Ryan Werner, Casey Eige, and Thomas Finney.