Meet Our Staff

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God.”

Acts 20:28

CHRIS BLUE

Chris is NewLife’s Praise and Worship Director. You’ll often see him on stage leading our incredibly gifted team of musicians and singers. Sometimes he disciples us in the preaching of the Word, while other times, he is using his talents of teaching, relatability and encouragement within the church’s growing youth group. His enthusiasm and zest for living a purposeful, Christian life are infectious, and have led him to serve in several other capacities to help spread the Gospel.

He is currently producing new music, traveling nationwide with Bill and Gloria Gaither in their Homecoming Celebration series, and assisting the Christian Cultural Center in New York City with worship several times a year. Chris and his wife, Stephanie, share one daughter, Alina. Oh – and you may recognize him as the Season 12 Winner of The Voice!

Jacque Clowers

Jacque has been with NewLife gathering, along with Rev, from its start! You may remember her as the Event and Catering Manager from The Lighthouse (our first meeting space). Since that time, she has graciously stepped up to take on our Accounting and Financial management. You have likely spoken with her if you’ve ever had questions about your giving!

Jacque and her husband, Chef Tim, have also catered many special events for our NewLife family, and in 2018 launched their own church, Juniper Worldwide, serving the downtown community of Knoxville (see more information about this on our Missions page). Together, they have long served the homeless and forgotten population in our city, and this calling from the Lord brings other like-minded members of Juniper alongside them to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

MARIANNE HOYT

Marianne is the Children’s and Communications Director at NewLife. She was born in Mexico City, but has since lived in the Dominican Republic, England, Kansas, and Tennessee. She is a 2020 graduate of the University of Tennessee, with a degree in Marketing. During her time on campus, she actively served in Young Life as a Volunteer Leader at West High School, continuing after graduation for another 2 years, and now serving as a Quest Leader for the Freshmen College.

In addition to shepherding our younger members with her gracious and gentle demeanor, Marianne’s responsibilities include the NLG website, social and print media, photography, and graphics. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, playing pickleball, and coffee!

Pastor Scott Jackson

Scott has a passion for Christ that is truly contagious. Coming to know the Lord at an early age, he was called into ministry at the onset of his middle school years and given the nickname “Rev” which he bears to this day. He is an exhorting communicator with a passion for shepherding, and truly embodies the heart of a Pastor/Shepherd.

After graduating from seminary, Scott went on to Pastor churches in Colorado, Georgia and Tennessee. With the heart of a shepherd and a passion for evangelism, he was obedient to God’s call, while shepherding at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, to plant a church in Knoxville, Tennessee. NewLife Gathering was established in 2016 and has become a vibrant community of people with a passion for engaging the gospel through biblical preaching, worship and fellowship.

Rev has a passion for connecting and shepherding in his community as well while serving on various ministry boards and is currently the Character Coach for the University of Tennessee Men’s Basketball team.

Rev has been blessed and has a passion for his family. He has been married to his college sweetheart, Kim for over 38 years, and loves being a Dad to his two married children and Papa to his 5 grandchildren.

JC Neely

JC joined the staff of NewLife in May of 2024. JC serves as the Lead Associate Pastor. More info coming soon! 

TERESA LADAGE

Teresa serves as the Administrative Director for NewLife, and is often the first, cheerful face you see upon entering the building’s doors. A Knoxville native, she and her husband Bobby devoted over three decades of their lives as missionaries in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Germany. Their unwavering vision has always been to develop a deep and passionate relationship with the Lord and to spread His message across the world.

Their efforts have led to the establishment of hundreds of churches throughout the former Soviet Union; and, later, to the publication of a book sharing her story, “Was it Worth It? A Missionary’s Journey with God in the Former Soviet Union.” Teresa believes in blooming where you’re planted, quite literally sharing her passion for Christ wherever she is placed by the Lord. She is a dedicated wife and mother of 3 children, 11 grandchildren, and a nurturer to all!

DON NIDAY

Don is the Operations and Facilities Manager at NewLife, and a life-long follower of Christ. As a young man growing up in the state of Ohio, he pursued his passion for art and design in an apprenticeship program at the Columbus School of Art and Design. That experience catapulted his long career in the commercial construction industry, and later, in the production management industry with a focus in trade shows and special events.

These specific field gifts led to his connection with NLG’s operations, as a devoted member laser-focused on the needs of his congregation – and as the group looked to establish a more permanent home. Don’s talents have certainly been utilized as the church launched the reconstruction of the property at Rocky Hill in preparation for a grand opening in late 2023. Married to PJ for over 31 years, Don enjoys spending his free time with her, their 4 children, and 10 grandchildren, as well as refurbishing street rods and designing and building model trains.

Praise and Worship Team

Our Sunday mornings together wouldn’t be the same without this incredibly talented and service-oriented group of individuals, including:

  • Singers- Allison Balsley, Chris Blue, Hana Maples, Amy Ruby.
  • Band- David Becher, Julius Blue, Chris Havens, Phillip Sandifer.
  • Tech/Operations Team – Kevin Kowalewski, Gabriel Michael, Don Niday, Justin Wright,

Diving Deeper with Chris Blue: A Secret Safe Place

Chris, at the recent NLG Prayer Meeting, you mentioned your “secret safe place” – where in the Bible did you draw that from and why is it important to you?

Psalm 91 is one of my favorite scriptures. It says “he that dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, he is my refuge and my fortress, my God, and him will I trust.”

If you ever hear me mention my secret, safe place, this is the scripture that I’m referring to. I like to quote this every night before I go to bed, and every morning when I rise. It’s a scripture of divine protection and safety in the dark world we live in today.

What does your secret safe place look like?

My secret place is a closet at home. I take scriptures, notes, encouraging words, and other spiritual downloads that I received from God and post them all over the wall. It is a space that is free of all distractions so that I can escape from the world and really focus on communicating with the Father. However, it’s not limited to just this space. The good book says, “your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against thee,” so I take the Word of God with me to create a secret place in my car, at work, wherever I am. It’s any space I’m able to block out noise and take a few moments of stillness that becomes my secret place.

How does a secret safe place help a believer, or even someone searching to know God?

As a believer, having a secret place is essential to your Faith. It is refreshing for the soul, it rejuvenates you physically, and revives your heart for God in a way even Sunday mornings cannot do.

For someone who’s searching to know God, it‘s like a cheat code to get to know Him, as well as yourself, better. For in this secret place, things are revealed that aren’t typically heard – because you’ve blocked out all distractions and have inclined your ear to hear from God. He is always talking. The problem is our lives are too busy, the noise is just too loud, for us to take a moment and hear Him!