Meet our Pastors


Photo Credit: Peter Hellberg

Co-Pastor Leroy Mitchell

Leroy Mitchell was born in White Plains, NY on June 28, 1946.   George and Cora Mitchell adopted him as a child and raised him along with his brother George, and sister Linda.  After High School Leroy attended Buffalo State University where he earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education.  While in Buffalo he met Veatrice Cummingham in a community choir they both sang in.  They married in 1971 and moved to DeKalb, IL in 1981 where Leroy became the Director of the CHANCE program at Northern Illinois University.  In this role Leroy touched and impacted the lives of 1000’s of students as he instilled the importance of education.   Once in DeKalb the family quickly expanded beyond their own four children: George Joseph, Maurice, Nyleesha, and Lavetta as they opened their home to foster children.  According to DCFS more than 50 children passed through their home while their parents got their lives back on track.  

His commitment to education shows through his engagement as a life-long-learner.  In 1990 he earned a Masters of Divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Then in 2006 graduating for The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University with a Doctorate in Ministry.     

During the early 80’s the Mitchell’s were members at Bethel Baptist Church in Rockford, IL.  It was there Leroy served as a deacon and announced his call to ministry.  Dr. Mitchell was licensed in December 1985 as minister by Rev. Andrew Latchison and ordained in October 1986 by Rev. Derwood Hunter. Shortly after accepting his call to ministry he was called to pastor the North Ave Baptist church in Sycamore in 1986.   In 1987 North Ave gave birth to New Hope Missionary Baptist Church were Pastor Mitchell would serve as its’ founding pastor.  It would be the first predominately African-American congregation established and sustained in DeKalb.  The first two years were spend worshipping in the Mitchell’s living room, University Village Rec Center, Judson Campus Ministry, and The Holiday Inn.  The following 11 years were spend at the Seventh Day Adventist church.  Under his faithful leadership New Hope purchased 10 acres of land and construction on their own place of worship began in 1998.   On the first Sunday in July 2000, New Hope gathered for the first time in its’ our house of worship.  

Dr. Mitchell has been a pillar and leader in the DeKalb community for over 30 years and after more than 25 years of faithful servant-leadership is preparing for retirement.


Photo Credit: Mitya Ku

Co-Pastor Joseph Mitchell

George Joseph “Joe” Mitchell was born on February 19, 1975 in Buffalo, NY to Leroy and Veatrice Mitchell.  The first five years of his life was spent in Buffalo until his family relocated to DeKalb, IL.  Once in DeKalb the family quickly expanded as his parents opened their home to foster children.  According to DCFS more than 50 children passed through their home while their parents got their lives back on track.  Three would be adopted; his brother Maurice and two sisters Nyleesha and Lavetta.

On October 6th 2001, Joseph married his high school “sweetheart” Andria; and God has blessed them with three beautiful children Nevaeh, Joseph, and Nadia. Joseph announced his calling to ministry in October of 2006.  March of the following year he would preach his trial sermon.  Finally, in March of 2009 his was ordained at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

For the last five years he has humbly serve as Co-Pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in DeKalb, IL; where he is affectionately known as “Pastor Joe”.  In 2010 after an earthquake struck Haiti he was part of a Disaster Relief Missionary team that spent time there rebuilding homes and a school. In November of 2012 after Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast; he was part of the American Baptist Men Disaster Relief Team that when to New Jersey at cut down trees.  

Pastor Joe received a BA in Business Management for Judson University in Elgin, IL and a Masters of Divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, IL. Currently he is a doctoral student at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.  UPS has been his employer for the last 20 years where he is a Senior Account Manager. He is also a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.  

Most of all Pastor Joe wants to be known as a humble servant of Jesus Christ, who dedicates himself to empowering others and advancing the Kingdom of God.