It was shared at the most recent New City Family Meeting that we would be hiring a new Associate Pastor in the near future. On Sunday, it was shared that the new pastor is Chris Townley! We asked Chris to share a little about himself so everyone could get to know him better. Of course, feel free to connect with Chris and his wife, Kate, to get to know them in person.
Tell us about you and your family.
I have been married to my wife, Kate, for almost 8 years (on July 21… I didn’t have to look that up). We were best friends (still are, actually!) in high school, started dating long distance in college, and got married after we graduated. I was born and raised in Bozeman, MT and Kate grew up in Choteau, MT before moving to Bozeman when she was 12. Kate is currently attending the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, you know, to be a Doctor.
We are the proud parents of two adopted adventure pups. We’ve never had human children but it’s hard to believe they’ll be better than theses dogs (kidding!).
Before joining the New City team, what were you doing?
Before joining the New City team I was the Student Ministries Pastor, then the Teaching Pastor, for 7 years at Journey Church in Bozeman, MT. Along with pastoring, I was also High School Boys Basketball coach at the public high school.
I graduated from Rocky Mountain College (Billings, MT), where I played basketball, with a degree in Elementary Education. I spent a year substitute teaching before I stepped into my a ministry role as an intern, which led to spending the next 6 years working with middle and high school students. I recently completed my Masters in Ministry Leadership from George Fox Evangelical Seminary.
What drew you to New City?
My wife and I have been attending New City since July 2014. We were initially drawn by the authentic energy and leadership. We loved the diversity we were surrounded by at New City and found ourselves connecting with the genuine heart for the city of Phoenix. We loved that taking the message of Jesus to the places we live, work, study, and play was not some pithy saying, but a way of life.
What drew you to Phoenix?
The originality and southwestern artistic flair is what drew us to urban Phoenix. Whether it was grabbing coffee, going on bike rides to gawk at the countless murals, trying a different restaurant or driving a few minutes to hike in the Phoenix Mountains, it seemed that everything we experienced exceeded our expectations.
Beyond all that, we were drawn to the blend of cultures, pace of life and styles of living that came together into a surprisingly beautiful, always sunny, city. In all of this we saw a city becoming something new, and we wanted to be a small part of Phoenix’s continual renewal.
Describe your new role at New City Church. What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
My official title at New City is “Associate Pastor: Generations and Spiritual Formation.” This means I will be providing vision, direction, and overall leadership of students (5th-12th grade) as well as working with college students. The other component of my role will involve teaching and preaching, which will include leading/teaching New City University, on Sundays and with students.
I am most looking forward to the people! I can’t wait to get to know students and adults around New City and Phoenix, hear their stories, witness how God is already moving, and do my best to partner with people as we learn to hear and respond to God together.
When you aren’t working for New City, what can you be found doing?
When I am not working for New City, you can find me on a basketball court; exploring the wilderness with my wife, dogs and iPhone camera; planning our next big adventure; or just relaxing at home (or a local coffee shop) with a good non-fiction book.
If you see you Chris or Kate around New City, be sure to say hello and introduce yourself!