GET TO KNOW OUR TEAM
 
Ronnie Stewart
Lead Pastor
 
“I am honored to be the pastor of such an awesome church serving alongside the greatest team in this world. I realize every day that I don’t HAVE to do this, I GET to do this, and it is a great privilege.”
 
Krystal Stewart
Lead Pastor
 
“I am a dreamer and my hearts desire is to awaken the forgotten or broken dreams that God has placed inside each of us. This world has lulled the purposes of His people into living ordinary boring lives, but God created us to live COURAGEOUSLY and with PURPOSE.”
 
Lonnie Thompson
Executive Pastor
 
Pastor Lonnie was born & raised in New Port Richey, FL and knew by the age of 13 that God had called him into Ministry. He has played drums since the age of 3 in church, and this is what would open his first door into ministry. At age 15, he would become an intern for Bay Area Youth for Christ.
 
After a 4-year run in the Christian Music Industry, Lonnie felt called back home where he could serve in his home church as Youth Leader then eventually Youth Pastor, and held that position for 7 yrs. In 2008 Lonnie met Pastor Ronnie & Krystal. A little over 1 year later, he joined Ronnie & Krystal in planting Refuge Church. Their hearts are for the lost & hurting and, through the vision of Refuge, are fulfilling the call of God on their lives.
 
Brooklyn Holbrook
Worship Arts & College Pastor
 
Brooklyn was born & raised in Detroit, MI. She grew up leading worship at her church, which cultivated and grew her heart of worship. After graduating high school, Brooklyn felt the pull of God to leave the state and attend Lee University in Cleveland, TN. There she traveled with a worship choir called Lee University Campus Choir for 4 years. She studied and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intercultural Studies, feeling called into Missions. 
 
After graduating, Brooklyn became a part of a Non-profit called Far Flung Tin Can, a missions organization which funds and aids missionaries from all over the world as well as lead worship. After serving in Africa, Guatemala, Nepal, and Ecuador, Brooklyn obtained a deep passion to reach the uttermost parts of the earth with the gospel of Jesus Christ more than ever before. In May of 2017, Brooklyn coincidentally reunited with childhood pastors Ronnie and Krystal Stewart at a worship event in FL, and the Lord brought them together in August of 2017 when Brooklyn moved down from TN and joined the Refuge team. Her desire is to see the broken restored and the hurting healed with the incomparable love of God.
 
Bryan Deese
Youth Pastor & Dream Teams Director

Born and raised in Lakeland, FL, Bryan was saved at the age of 17. He felt called into full-time ministry and decided to attend Lead Institute Ministry School,  a discipleship program that trains young leaders to be equipped when stepping into full-time ministry. Here, Bryan attended ministry classes for 4 years and graduated with a certificate of Church Leadership and Youth Ministry.
 
After graduating and stepping into a role of a youth intern, Bryan received a phone call from Pastor Ronnie and Krystal Stewart to join the Refuge team to be the full-time youth pastor. No matter where God leads Bryan, he believes that his passion for ministering to youth is God-breathed. His desire is to lead with boldness, selflessness, and love. He also strives to not just be influential, but impactful.
 
 
 
Angela Christiano-Cruz
Church Secretary
 
Angela was born in Brooklyn, New York. She moved to Florida and has now lived here for a total of 30 years, currently residing in Tarpon Springs, FL. She has been married to Israel Cruz for 25 years and is a blessed mother of two beautiful children, Mycala and Chandler.
 
After working administrative and financial roles in church for 7+ years, Angela joined the Refuge team. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family. She also loves to go to her “happy place”, Disney World. 
 
 
Ginny Shinn
Outreach Director
 
Ginny was born in Michigan, but raised in Clearwater, FL. She was brought up Catholic, and was saved as a teen after being invited to a youth event. Although she was saved, her faith was not encouraged, so she continued to live as if she wasn’t. At an early age she had two sons, Sean and Christopher, and was a single parent for many years. After 15 years she reconnected with her high school sweetheart, Wendell. He had 4 children from his previous marriage. They married, and after 7 years they had a daughter together, Reba.  For a while she struggled with drugs and alcohol. She has been homeless and lived in poverty. After seeking the Lord again, the Lord delivered Ginny. 
 
She now uses her experience in the hospitality industry to help others that are walking through what she walked through. In July 2014, Ginny lost her husband to a two year battle with cancer. She and her family find comfort in knowing that he loved Jesus and that if he was still here, he would be right alongside her serving God and others.
 Jeff & Stephanie Guerra
Life Group Directors
 
Jeff & Stephanie met while attending Evangel University in Springfield, Mo. After graduating, they married on July 13, 1991. Jeff began his career as a teacher in Hillsborough county. For the past 14 + years he has been working as an Account Executive with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co, an educational content and services provider. Stephanie’s career began as a Corporate Account Executive with AT&T. She took several years off to be a full-time mom, and currently has her own fitness training business, Transformed Fitness.
 
Jeff & Stephanie are raising two teenagers and learning to balance church, family, work and their kids crazy soccer schedules. Over the years they have worked in children’s ministry, youth ministry, and couples and singles ministry. Currently they are the Couples Ministry Directors at Refuge church. Their involvement entails mentoring and facilitating small group classes, and coordinating “Couples Night Out” events. Their desire is to bring couples together to establish life-long relationships encouraging Christ as the center.
Julie White
Communications Director
 
Julie was born in Zephyrhills, FL. She came to Refuge Church for the first time in 2013 and quickly got plugged in.  Julie has been attending Church since a very young age, stayed involved through a singing ministry, teaching children’s church and youth. In high school, Julie maintained her boldness to share her faith and also became a member of the ‘Fellowship of Christian Athletes.’
 
Shortly after graduating, she got married to her husband Byron Richards in 1996. Julie and her husband went on developing professions in healthcare, but in 2005 they were called to lead a youth group in Holiday, Florida. In 2009, they relocated to Julie’s home town of Zephyrhills to be mentored and spend time with the church family she grew up with. Julie and her husband now reside in Tarpon Springs, where they operate their healthcare businesses while staying active at Refuge Church. Julie has a passion for discovering new ways to communicate the Gospel to different generations.
 
Ernest & Roseline Bennerman
Evangelism Ministry Directors
 
Dave and Roz are an on-fire couple from New Jersey who now reside in the Pasco county area with their one son, Terrell. They have been in leadership for over 15 years, serving in different capacities within church ministries. They are currently serving as Evangelist Directors as well as leading the New Partners/Believers class held on Sunday mornings.
 
Dave was ordained as an Evangelist in 2012 and Roz earned her Certificate of Christian Psychology in 2013. Their profession is life coaching and book publishing. Dave published his first book, ‘Get Fired UP!’, to inspire and encourage others to live on PURPOSE. They are fools for Christ and will stop at nothing to win more souls for the Kingdom!