Bishop John Schol of the United Methodist Church of Greater NJ has appointed a new pastor for the Hopewell United Methodist Church, starting in July.
Rev. Laura Steele will join us in Hopewell to lead the congregation in living out our mission of being “a home for people to be transformed by the love of God and grow in mind, body, and spirit.”
Rev. Kate Hillis has been appointed to lead the United Methodist Church in Madison, NJ, starting in July. The congregation deeply appreciates Pastor Kate’s ministry and gifts, and wishes her well. We are also excited to welcome and work with Pastor Laura in growing Hopewell UMC’s ministry.
Pastor Laura has served at Bridgewater UMC, East Millstone UMC and Mt. Zion UMC’s in New Jersey and Del Ray United Methodist Church in Alexandria, VA.
Laura has a B.A. in theater from Centenary University in Hackettstown and is currently finishing her M.Div. at Drew Theological Seminary. Laura has a passion for ministry with children, families, and young adults as well as a drive for participating in God’s transformational mission in the world through the love of Jesus Christ. Her family consists of her husband Louis, their wonderful children Juliet and Lucas, and their two, overfed cats Ruffino and Gizmo.
Rev. Laura is excited and overjoyed to begin this new chapter with Hopewell UMC!
Rev. Laura Steele Biography
Rev. Laura Steele grew up in South Plainfield, NJ; where she lived with her grandparents until the age of seven. Her family then moved to Colonia, NJ; where she graduated high-school. While living in Colonia, NJ; Laura and her family attended Cranford United Methodist Church where Laura was heavily involved in youth ministry both as a youth and as a leader. In high-school, Laura was a competitive wrestler (having been ranked 3rd in the nation for girl’s wrestling in 1998) as well as a state-ranked track and field athlete. In addition to athletics, Laura began participating in theater programs at the age of seven and performed in many productions growing up.
Laura graduated from Centenary College in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. After graduating, Laura moved to New York City where she performed in many off-Broadway shows and met her husband Lou Steele –also a performer and son of an Episcopalian Minister who attended Montclair State University. Lou and Laura lived in NYC for five years until they moved to Alexandria, Virginia; in 2013. While in Alexandria, Lou and Laura founded their own theater company “QuackenSteele Theatre Co.” and produced their first production to rave reviews. While living in Virginia, Laura worked as the Director of Christian Formation for Del Ray United Methodist Church where she oversaw the Christian Education Programs, Drama Club, Sports Ministry, Youth Programs, Prayground Worship Services, Family Programs, and Community Events. While serving at Del Ray UMC Laura realized her call from God to full-time ministry.
In 2014, Lou and Laura welcomed their first child- Juliet Marion Steele and prepared to move back to NJ so Laura could attend Drew Theological Seminary full-time. Lou and Laura returned to NJ in 2015 and since then, Laura has been attending Seminary and serving as Pastor at East Millstone and Mt. Zion United Methodist Churches, as well as Associate Pastor at Bridgewater United Methodist Church. In November of 2016, Lou and Laura welcomed their second child to the world – Lucas Steven Steele.
Rev. Laura has a passion for ministry with children, families, and youth; as well as a passion for leading congregations into transformational ministry that lives out God’s mission for the world.