Love God. Love others. Share hope.

Hope Church Staff


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Phil Arndt | Lead Pastor

Phil is originally from Wisconsin, where his family attended an Alliance Church after serving as missionaries in Honduras. When he was serving in the US Army in South Korea, Phil felt God’s call on his life for ministry. Phil met the love of his life, Melissa, at Crown College (St. Paul Bible College) and they were married in 1987. Melissa grew up in northern Indiana, where she also attended a local Alliance Church. Phil and Melissa have three grown children and 8 grandchildren. The Arndts have served as International Workers with the C&MA in Russia and Germany, and have also ministered in South Korea. Phil has pastored churches in Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Wyoming. He loves to read, fish, hunt and spend time with his family. Phil is excited to see the transforming work of God in action here in Westerville, and is believing God for great things that He will do! Beware when COVID has run its course, because Phil is a hugger, and loves being with the people God has called he and Melissa to serve!


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Grace Burton | HopeKids Director

Grace Burton LOVES kids- so it was no surprise when she joined the staff in 2021 as the part-time HopeKids Director. Grace has been working with children for much of her life and has been told that teaching is in her soul. She’s also a farm girl at heart and combined both passions when she taught kids how to ride horses. When Grace is not ministering to kids at Hope, she’s babysitting, tutoring, wood-working, fishing, hunting, hiking, reading, teaching her nieces and nephews how to use power tools and pancake flippers, and hanging out with friends. Being multi-talented, Grace also lends her beautiful voice to the worship team on occasion. Grace seriously loves her church and the chance to teach the children at Hope how to be disciples of Jesus who make disciples. She also knows how to be patient and understanding… being allergic to gluten, dairy and corn will teach you that…
If you would like to get to know Grace more, have questions about HopeKids, or you're interested in becoming a part of our HopeKids team, please contact Grace at grace@thisishope.org.


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Amee Kuch | Music Director

Amee has been a part of the Hope Church staff since 2016 as our part-time worship team director. Amee is married to Bill and they have three kids, Sam, Alyssa, and Isaac living in Westerville. She has been a Buckeye for life, attending OSU where she received her BSN, has worked as an RN at the James Cancer Hospital at OSU since 2006, and faithfully cheers the Buckeyes on in all avenues! Ministry began in college where she got involved as a freshman in Cru in witnessing, leading Bible studies, retreats, and becoming involved in the worship team. Ministry translated into church after college where Amee has served in a variety of ways. Music and the arts have always been a passion of hers.
Never an athlete, Amee’s main accolade is Grand Champion Barrow (pig) at her county fair where she received her only trophy! Amee loves Eric Liddell’s quote, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure, “ and adapts it personally, feeling the same pleasure when she (and everyone together) worships. Amee’s life verse is Hosea 6:3 which says,
“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”


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David Long | Director of Communications

David and his wife Becca started attending Hope Church in 2017, and knew right away this is where God wanted them to plant roots. David LOVES the sound of his own voice... probably how he ended up working in Christian radio in Columbus after graduating from Cedarville University. Don't worry, God is doing the work to teach him humility. He's been blessed to experience a wide range of ministry in a short time- from church-planting operations in Paris, France to radio ministry in Columbus, God has given him a heart for community. Joining a Life Group at Hope Church was one of the best things that happened to him, and he loves connecting new people to Life Groups. One day David started giving announcements and calls to worship during service on Sundays, and before too long that led to David joining the staff and leadership team at Hope. When he's not working in radio, he's doing something at Hope... prayer night, volleyball with his Life Group, or fretting over every line of the weekly church email. David manages the communication channels, so if you would like to get in touch with Hope Church, he's your guy! You can contact David at office@thisishope.org.


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Yogi Durbin - Founding Pastor

Pastor Yogi Durbin was instrumental in founding Hope Church. Following the call of God on his life, Pastor Yogi attended Moody Bible Institute, and joined the Christian and Missionary Alliance for 37 years of ministry. His last assignment was to shepherd Hope Church and prepare leaders for ministry in Westerville and beyond. Passionate about people and church planting, he was an amazing friend. His sermons were riddled with stories and heart-felt pleas to engage with God and what he’s doing in hearts around the world.
Tragically, Pastor Yogi suffered a heart attack and passed away on May 4, 2019. His faith in Jesus is a legacy we admire, and a challenge to be intentional about serving others every chance we have. We are grateful for the lessons he taught that pushed us to love God, love other others and share hope!

You can read his obituary here. Remembering Yogi