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your 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.  

  • DAVID BROWN, Family Pastor

    Pastor David loves equipping and coaching people to be all they were created to be. He has 16 years of full-time ministry experience in Associate Pastor or Student Pastor roles in Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. David has grown and multiplied many leadership teams and ministries, led mission teams to Nicaragua and Belize, and directed numerous youth camps and retreats. He has been an ordained minister since 2004. David adores his wife Tracy and cherishes spending time with his daughters Sarah Beth (12) and Laura Kate (10). 

  • 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.

  • NIKKI HITCHCOCK, Communications & Graphics

    Nikki graduated from the Art Institute with a BA in Graphic Design and she and her husband, Chad, moved from California to North Carolina shortly after. She owns her own graphic design company working mostly with Christian Ministries over the last couple of years. She loves that, at Newsong, she is able to pair her love of design with her love for the Father and use her gifts to serve Him and minister to her community. Her passion is to present information in an attractive way that draws in the audience without distracting away from the message. In her spare time, Nikki loves to read, lift weights, cook and spend time with her husband and two children, Reveille and Capri.

  • BRANDI BLACKBURN, Finance Administrator

    Brandi has a deep love of God and a passion for Newsong Church.  After spending the past 20 years working in the banking industry she has taken on the role of Finance Administrator at Newsong.  Throughout her career she has worked in Senior Management for one of the largest banks in the country and has extensive experience with Bank Security and Compliance Regulations.  She loves being able to use her skills and talents to contribute to the furthering of the Kingdom of God.  She is able to leverage her years of financial experience to help support the values and mission of the church.  Her greatest joy in life is raising her 1 year old son Isaiah.


    Newsong’s leadership structure consists of a Lead Pastor, 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 eight member team has equal voting authority.

    Our current Senior Leader Board Members include Jeffrey Watson, Julie Watson, Van Sikes, Anj Shutt, Anthony Rosas, Joel McNelly, Chris Burris, and Mike Witt.