“Dr. Dave” came to Austin after serving four years on the mission field in post-Soviet Russia. As the story goes, there just wasn’t enough guacamole and jalapenos to keep him there for long. While in Russia, Dave married his wife, Angela in 1993. They arrived at Austin Christian in 1996, one year after it began. The Hoopers have raised 3 beautiful daughters. Dave finished his Doctorate of Ministry from Abilene Christian University in 2018. Dave loves sports of all kinds and you are likely to hear a good sports analogy in his sermons.
“Ange,” as she is called by her friends, has worked in women’s ministry since 1992. She is one of the warmest people you’ll ever meet and makes a mean chicken pot pie. Some in the congregation have intentionally gotten sick or had a baby simply to have her bring them some! Ange loves doing things for others. Thoughtful gifts are her thing. In her free time, Ange loves crime shows and Jane Austen books – a rather curious combination.
Christian is Austin Christian’s very own “international man of mystery.” Half Chilean and half Russian, Christian has lived in Russia, Chile, Germany and Mozambique, speaks four languages and has a Master’s degree in Economics. To top it off, he had a successful music career in the 90’s in Russia and co-founded his company - Third Drive. Christian has worked in ministry around the globe in faraway locations such as Moscow and Kiev as well as more exotic places such as Los Angeles and Miami. Christian has a passion for film-making and absolutely loves Austin.
Deb studied Theater and left a thriving career in the entertainment industry in Hollywood to pursue her dream of missions. She was so passionate about missions that she moved to Russia and married Christian in 1999. The Flores have three beautiful daughters and Deb is redeeming her own education by homeschooling them. Deb speaks three languages has a passion for learning and loves new things. She is a Packer fan, but no one holds that against her.
Youth and Family Minister
John is a graduate of the University of Texas. At 6’8”, he is the tallest person on staff at Austin Christian. John began working in ministry as a campus minister and now runs his own company while serving the Youth and Family ministry. John loves backpacking, soccer, and craft beer, though not necessarily in that order. John may be the smartest guy on staff. On a math test in college, he actually derived a forgotten formula to get a correct answer on a test. That same semester he got a B in volleyball, but he doesn’t talk about that much.
Youth and Family Minister
Carol is a graduate of the University of Texas. Carol began working in ministry as a campus minister and now has her own Arbonne business while serving the Youth and Family ministry. Although her family hails from Mexico, she is the quickest to get sunburned. She is a fierce competitor and loves exercise. Carol is loads of fun and if you ever played a game at Youth & Family event, chances are, it was her idea!
JT is the staff jokester, which is appropriate since he is the teen minister. Before coming on staff at Austin Christian, JT worked as a paramedic – a fact that makes all the mothers in our teen ministry breathe a little easier. The excitement of an ambulance prepared him for teen ministry. JT loves competition of all kinds especially disc golf and football. JT married Lydia in 2016 and everyone agrees he married up!
Lydia is a graduate of the University of Kansas. Prior to coming to Austin Christian, Lydia worked giving in-home care to the elderly. Teen ministry is quite a career change but Lydia loves mentoring young women. A dancer from an early age, Lydia loves ballet and musical theater. She also loves scary movies, a source of contention with her husband!
Brian got his MBA from the California Institute of Advanced Management. Now Brian is about God’s business working with campus ministry at the University of Texas. Brian grew up on Guam and therefore enjoys Austin’s laid-back style. He married his wife, Erika in 2014. He loves music and food, all the more reason for him to love Austin. Brian plays guitar, drums and he sings.
Erika is so supportive of her husband that she also got her MBA from the California Institute of Advanced Management, just to make sure Brian would finish. Erika now utilizes her business acumen working with students at the University of Texas. Erika grew up in the Pacific Northwest and is super grateful for the Texas sunshine. Her passions include hiking, movies and the Beatles.