Keith Pate

Senior Pastor | 512-259-1590 ext 401

Keith started as the Senior Pastor of New Hope in April 2011 after serving in a variety of ministry roles such as Student Pastor, Single Adult Pastor, Young Married Adult Pastor, Interim Senior Pastor, and Adult Education Pastor, — in churches ranging in size from 200 to over 4,000. With over 25 years of experience serving in the local church, Keith is passionate about using his gifts of teaching and developing leaders.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Baylor University as well as both a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.Blessed with a loving wife, Julie who has been his companion approaching 30 years they have three children Emily, Jonathan and Allison. Keith enjoys traveling with his family, seeing a good movie or play, hanging out and attending Baylor Bears football games.

Leonard Prater

Discipleship Pastor | 512-259-1590 ext 403
Leonard comes to us from Spring, Texas, where he has been working with Champion Forest Baptist Church in the roles of Family Life Pastor and Associate Pastor of Adults since 2014. Leonard received his Master of Arts in Christian Education while attending Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. As an associate pastor at Champion Forest, he equipped the church to fulfill its commission of making disciples of all nations utilizing his passion for spiritual formation and family ministry.
At the age of 12, Leonard accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior at a youth camp, and has sought to submit his life to the Father’s will since that moment. After teaching 6th and 8th graders in public school for a year, he felt the call to full time ministry. He returned to school and started seminary in obedience to his call. Since graduating, Leonard has served for 20 years in churches in Georgia and Texas in associate pastor roles. Leonard and his wife Deena have been married for over 20 years. Their children, Allison, Nathan and Audrey, are high school and college ages. The Praters have also served as a foster family over the years.

Ryan Nelson

Ryan Nelson was born and raised in Florida where he came to know Christ as his personal Lord and Savior at the age of twenty, and shortly thereafter heard God’s call on his life to full time ministry. After graduating from the University of Florida, confident of his calling and passionate for music & worship, he moved to Texas to further study and prepare for ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he graduated with a Master of Arts in Church Music in 2010. He has served in ministry leading worship and developing worship leaders for the past fifteen years with the vision and mission to live out God’s love through worship, service and the sharing of His Word.

Cathy Smith

Prior to being called to full-time ministry, Cathy received her nursing degree, and served as a School Health Specialist and school nurse. Cathy has over 15 years of experience serving in full-time children’s ministry. She received a Masters of Arts in Childhood Ministry from Dallas Baptist University. She also obtained her Preschool/Children’s Certification from the Baptist General Convention of Texas where she has been a presenter of breakout sessions for children and preschool ministries. Cathy’s passion is to reach families for Christ, not only through a church setting but by also going out into the community proclaiming the Gospel. She has been married to her husband, Earl, for over 40 years. They have a four grown children and nine grandchildren.

Hunter Hanson

Hunter Hanson joined our staff in March of 2023. He is a graduate of Bethel University with his bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies. Before coming to New Hope, he served as an intern and a pastoral resident in St. Paul. In May of 2023, Hunter and his wife Rachael welcomed their first born son, Shepherd Allan, to their family. Hunter is excited for the opportunity to be used by God to reach families in our church and community with the love of Jesus.

Gary Brinkley

Senior Adults Pastor | 512-259-1590 ext 419

After almost 38 years as pastor in four Southern Baptist Churches, Gary comes to New Hope First Baptist Church to work part-time as minister to senior adults. Gary is a graduate of Sam Houston State University where he and his wife of over 40 years, Brenda, first met. Brenda is a retired speech –language pathologist and now enjoys life as “Mimi” to four grandchildren. Gary also graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree and from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry degree. Gary has a calling to pastoral ministries, teaching, and preaching. He pastored churches in Alabama, Missouri, and Texas. He and Brenda currently live in Round Rock where he served the First Baptist Church for over 21 years as senior pastor prior to retirement and accepting the invitation to serve on staff at New Hope First Baptist Church here in Cedar Park.

Associate Support

Amanda Anderson

Kids Ministry Assistant

Kristy Eden

Nursery Director

Lisa Haseloff

Ginger Jensen

Financial Administrator
512-259-1590 ext 421

Tammy Machart

Senior Pastor Ministry Assistant/First Impressions Coordinator
512-259-1590 ext 407

Kristin Pierce

Communications Director
512-259-1590 ext 415

Kim Stracener

Discipleship Ministry Assistant

Kendra Testone

Student Ministry Assistant
512-259-1590 ext 416

Marco Zambrana

Media & Creative Arts Director

Facilities/Property Team

Shelly Caperton

New Hope First Baptist Church