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 Bethel Leaders Network (BLN).   He is a graduate of Vanguard University holding BA degrees in Ministry and a degree 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.  

  • DANIEL WILLIS, Family Pastor

    Daniel is a gifted administrator and speaker.  Daniel functions in an executive role providing leadership and administrative support to the ministries at Newsong Church. He began his ministry at the age of 14 in kids ministry!  Since then he has led student ministries, and has been called on to assist various pastors over the years.  Daniel's spiritual heritage is in the Assemblies of God and holds credentials with the AG.  He holds Bible Certificates from Berean School of the Bible. He earned a BS degree in Public Administration from Liberty University and is currently working towards a Masters in Theology from Liberty. Daniel bleeds Crimson Tide football; loves soccer, hockey, baseball, and loves to read. His favorite thing is spending time with his wife Tara and their two kids Jackson and Jacie.

  • TARA WILLIS, Family Pastor

    Tara 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 has served in kids ministries for 8 years.  Her experience is in serving and leading ministries in the USA and Europe (VCC Kids at the International Church of Vienna, Austria). 

    She loves sports as a player and as spectator.  One of her favorite places to be is outdoors with her husband Daniel, and 2 wonderfully energetic children Jackson and Jacie.    

  • 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 different venues in the area. 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.

  • GRAHAM MARTIN, Students / Young Adult Leader

    Graham is an amazing communicator, pastor, and mentor.  He is often seen meeting with young people in small gatherings, pouring the word and the ways of God into his generation. He served as an intern for Newsong Students, then went on to be part of the leadership team at Inter Varsity at UNCC.

    He recently graduated from UNCC with a Business Degree.

    Graham loves the classical theologians, but has a big crush on Eric Gilmour's ministry (Sonship International). 

  • JEFFREY and KATIE SMITH, Newsong Associate Student Leaders

    Jeffrey and Katie are  passionate about serving the Lord and bringing this next generation to Jesus.  Both of them love the Newsong family and are so happy to be a part of the church, serving in the youth ministry. They love the Newsong students and are so eager for them to grow in their faith and community. Katie and Jeffrey met at a Christian organization called Intervarsity while they were in college and served on the leadership team for 3 years. They both attended UNCC and Jeffrey graduated with a Business Management Degree while Katie graduated with a Psychology Degree as well as a Biology Minor. 


    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 team has equal voting authority.

    Our current Senior Leader Board Members include Jeffrey Watson, Julie Watson, Jeff Gribble, Chris Burris, Anthony Rosas, Charlie Splain, Ryan Werner, and Casey Eige.