Pastor Grant Thigpen, Founding & Senior Pastor
Grant Thigpen is the founder and senior pastor of New Hope Ministries in Naples, Florida. He is a native Floridian, born in Fort Myers in 1949. He and Susan were married in 1972, and they have one son, Stephen. Grant joined the U.S. Army in 1969 and was honorably discharged in 1972. His tour of duty included one year in Vietnam.
Grant was raised in a Christian home and has two siblings. His father was the pastor of a non-denominational Pentecostal church. Grant graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center in 1980 and started a home Bible study in Naples in 1982, which was the beginning of New Hope Ministries. The church now has an average weekly attendance of 2,000.
Pastor Grant focuses on the development of the Christian in practical application of living by faith. His ministry has touched the lives of many through his many sound recordings and videos that are sent all across the world.
Pastor Grant also founded the New Hope School of Ministries (NHSM) in 1990. Through this avenue of teaching, many pastors, teachers, and ministries have emerged. His desire is to see the body of Christ develop into its full potential so that the world will see the glory of God manifested through a victorious church.
Pastor Steve McGraw, Pastoral Care Pastor
Steve McGraw was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1961. After his father’s death, his family relocated to Naples in 1970. He graduated from Edison Community College in 1981.
In 1983, a born-again Catholic priest led Steve to the Lord and he immediately felt a draw to the ministry. He attended St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami, where he completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and finished one year of a graduate program in Theology.
During his last year at the seminary, the Lord began to introduce him to evangelical Christians and the gifts of the Spirit. In 1990, Steve moved back to Naples where he began attending New Hope Ministries. In 1991 he married his wife, Lori. They have six children, three of which are in full time ministry.
In 2000, he became the Director of Adult Education and the New Hope School of Ministries. He was ordained in 2006 and in 2008 moved into the position of Children’s Pastor. After nine years in children’s ministry, he became the Pastoral Care Pastor at New Hope.
Jesse Barrett, Worship & Media Director
Jesse Barrett has attended New Hope Ministries since three weeks after his birth – with the exception of a few of his teen years spent in Oklahoma and Colorado. The son of Greg and Tica Barrett, worship pastors at New Hope from 1992 to 2006. Jesse knew at a very early age the calling God placed upon his life was to lead people in Praise & Worship. Jesse’s desire is to guide the congregation into a deeper understanding of worship and experience the life-changing presence of God.
Jesse is a graduate of the New Hope School of Ministries, first and second year. The New Hope School of Ministries has a special place in Jesse’s heart and he believes it’s the best thing anyone can do for themselves aside from salvation. Jesse’s desire is to continue growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Jesse has a beautiful wife, Abbigail, and an equally beautiful and talented daughter, Kaylee. He enjoys spending his free-time with his family and friends, watching movies, reading books, and eating good food.
The scripture verse that is most important to Jesse is Proverbs 19:21, “Man may make many plans, but the Lord’s will prevail.”
Ariza Reyes, Children's Director
Ariza Reyes has attended Edison Community College and the YoungLife School of Ministry. Her background and skill set include intensive Biblical Studies, Evangelism and Community Leadership, and Mission and Training Studies. Ariza accepted her first ministry call in 2006 as Mission Intern in the town of Immokalee for the youth ministry-organization YoungLife, an outreach mission for at risk youth. Through her experience she has developed community wide partnerships with local churches. She specializes in organizational leadership, has established extensive volunteer trainings, and has worked intensively with the Area Board of Development to share the mission of YoungLife.
In 2008 Ariza was promoted to be Associate Area Director. She continued to grow partnership with local teachers and Collier County Public Schools to create ministry programs on campuses in Immokalee where she established 3 ministries: YoungLife, which focused on high school students in rural towns, Wyldlife, designed for middle school students, and YoungLives, a mentor ministry for teenage mothers. All programs were based on mentor ship; Christian counseling, life skills, educational tutoring, community service and biblical education lead by staff and locally trained volunteers.
In 2010 Ariza was promoted to Area Director for the community of Immokalee. She later accepted the role of Multicultural Director for YoungLife Collier County which lead her to cross over to Naples, FL to develop new ministries on the South side of Naples. Ministry quickly developed in new school in Naples and Ariza was promoted in 2012-2018 and moved to Naples full time to be the Area Director for South Collier County & Immokalee.
Ministry has been a lifelong love for Ariza. Her husband Chris and her children Christopher (24 yrs old) and daughter Ashyia (17 yrs old) have stood by her side in ministry from the start. They believe in the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ and fully trust the Lord has paved the way for them to serve him and his people in ministry. Their hearts remain with youth and communities where they believe God has called them to support the next generation children and families.
Ariza’s favorite Bible Verse is Psalm 46:5 – “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”
Eddy Ramos, Youth Leader
Eddy Ramos has had nearly six years of previous combined Youth Ministry experience at the Center of International Worship Church as well as here at New Hope Ministries. He attended New Hope throughout Middle and High School and has continued to cultivate lasting relationships with NHM congregation members. Eddy began serving at New Hope in October 2018 through volunteering with the Middle School group for over half a year. He then came onto staff in May 2019 as Youth Leader, overseeing Middle School and High School Students. Eddy has a passion for developing relationships with the younger generations and strongly believes in preparing them with the right information and truth on how to deal with the challenges that this world poses. He is committed to building students’ confidence in the fact that God loves them and there’s nothing they need to prove to Him.
When he isn’t at Breakthrough, Eddy can usually be found spending time with his wife, Stephanie Ramos. They enjoy taking care of their only child and cat, Dusty.