Johnathan Illsley, Pastor
Pastor Illsley is a native of North Phoenix. After graduating from Bible College, he worked on the pastoral staff of a church in Rio Rancho, NM for 5 and 1/2 years where he was responsible for the music ministry and taught various children's and adult classes. Moving back to the valley in 2015, he assisted Pastor Scott Naill to start Pleasant Valley Baptist Church and gained some experience for planting Hope Baptist. In August of 2017, Pastor Naill and the rest of PVBC merged with First Baptist Bible Church in Glendale and Johnathan became the Music Director shortly thereafter.
During the time in PVBC and FBBC, he worked in the Sunnyslope neighborhood and began to become burdened for the community's need for the gospel. In March of 2018, God burdened his heart to begin preparing to start a new work in this area. On March 26, 2019 he was ordained and sent by FBBC to begin this new work with his family.
Erica grew up in Midland, Texas and lived in a Christian home. At the age of four she accepted Christ as her Saviour. At church camp, at the age of twelve she felt the Lord was impressing upon her heart to become a missionary to Africa. After high school graduation she attended Heartland Baptist Bible College. She majored in missions and graduated in 2009. During college God worked in her heart to be surrendered and available to any way God would lead her. Although she has never been to Africa she is happy to now work with her children as a homeschooling mother. Her favorite things to do are writing, birding, and photography.
Johnathan and Erica initially met on the college shuttle that took students back and forth to work. We were married in September of 2004. We have six children: Andrew, EJ, Aurora, Elise, Everly, and Alexis. All our children, except for our youngest two, have made their own professions of faith to accept Christ as their personal Saviour. In our family time we love going to the zoo, geo-caching, singing, watching Oklahoma Sooners football games, and playing board and card games.
Our Goals | What we plan to do in Sunnyslope
Our goal is to establish Hope Baptist Church to be a self-supporting Body of Christ by:
- Reaching people with the Gospel of Christ
- Baptizing people that have trusted in Christ
- Discipling people to become like Christ