Meet The Team

Our Elders

Hope Church is led by an Elder Board that serves in a 3-year rotation.

Our 2024 Elders are:

Scooter Noland, Jeff Franks, Austin Brooks, Rob Coats, Jim Chapman, Shan Easterling, Artis Griffin, Danny Sheffield, David Parker, Shannon Tucker

scooter noland

lead pastor

Scooter Noland is our lead pastor and has been with Hope Church since 2010. Born in Tampa, Florida, Scooter surrendered to the call of ministry at the age of 18 and attended the Baptist College of Florida and New Orleans Theological Baptist Seminary. Scooter served as a youth pastor for more than 20 years, including 2 1/2 years as the youth pastor at Hope before being called to serve as our lead pastor. Scooter is married to Allyson (Whitley) Noland, a native of Tupelo. They have two children, Whitley Noland Lawrence and Preston Noland. During his free time, Scooter enjoys rebuilding or fixing just about anything. He also enjoys classic cars, guitars, and spending time at the beach. He's also our only pastor with an extra set of permanent teeth!


Jim Nielsen

Administrative Pastor
Jim Nielsen is our administrative pastor. A longtime church member, Jim joined the staff in 2016 after serving two terms as an elder. Once a beekeeper, Jim now resides in Saltillo with his wife, Gloria, and enjoys antique cars. 

Tom Wilson

Associate Pastor
Originally from Memphis, TN, Tom Wilson first served at Hope Church from 1989 - 2004 and returned 12 years later to serve as our associate pastor. Tom was serving at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis when Hope called him to "fill in for one weekend" in 2016 and he's been serving here ever since. He resides in Myrtle, MS with his wife, Linda, and enjoys spending time with his four daughters and six grandchildren, as well as time spent fishing, reading, gardening, and painting. Before becoming a minister, Tom spent time as a rodeo bull rider. 

Lance Pickens

Student Pastor
Lance joined the staff at Hope in 2022.
Lance has served in student ministry since 2007 and currently serves as the youth lead pastor at Hope. He has a desire to lead and disciple students. Lance and his wife, Jessica, have two children, Josiah and Rebecca.

brittany o'rourke

Children's Minister
Brittany O'Rourke has served as our Children's Minister since 2016. Brittany first began being called to children's ministry during her time as a student at Blue Mountain College. Over the years, Brittany's role grew from volunteering to a leadership position. Brittany says her time at Hope is a testimony that God can use anyone who is willing to serve Him when they trust Him alone to guide their steps. Brittany is married to Sean O'Rourke and they currently live in Guntown, MS with their four children, Carter, Taylor, Jordan, and Lexi. Brittany enjoys hunting, cooking, and riding horses in her spare time. In addition to being a wife, mom, and our children's minister, Brittany is also a twin!

Deborah Winters

Preschool Minister
Deborah Winters has served as our Director of Preschool Ministries since 2003. She has lived in Tupelo since 1995 and came to Hope Church when it was still known as First Evangelical Church in 2000. Three years later, Deborah left a career in business to serve as our preschool director. She is married to Lee Winters and they have three daughters. Deborah spends her free time gardening, traveling, or reading a good book.