New Life Church Staff & Leadership

New Life Church is blessed to have a number of men and women with loving hearts who give of their time and energy to serve God through providing leadership and direction for the ministries of the church. Shown below are some of the men and women who help make New Life Church a city on a hill in Calabash and beyond. To contact one of these leaders, click on this contact New Life Church link, complete and submit your inquiry, and we'll forward to the appropriate person.

New Life Staff

Our New Life staff is composed of a combination of full and part time employees who use their gifts to enhance the worship, fellowship, and outreach ministries of the church. These staff members work in partnership with one another and other leaders, ministry coordinators, and volunteers to help New Life Church flourish for the glory of God.



    Chris Gregory became the pastor of New Life Church in September 2021.    He and his bride of 22 years, Reba, are blessed with seven children (ages 7-18).  

    Chris received his Masters of Divinity at Reformed Theological Seminary.  Each Sunday he shares expositions from God's Word, verse by verse, and each message is filled with challenges and encouragement. In addition, Pastor Chris has  demonstrated his love and concern for the individuals in our congregation, and we are excited about what God is doing at New Life Church. 



    Michael Canino is an elder at NewLife Church and also serves as our Minister of Pastoral Care. Michael and hiswife, Robin, have lived in Carolina Shores since moving from New Jersey inDecember 2019.  where he was an assistant pastor for 12 years at FirstBaptist Church of Blackwood, New Jersey, where he taught Sunday School andassisted in pastoral care. His testimony of faith, ministry experience, andlove for the Scriptures make him a vital member of the session at New LifeChurch.  Click here to listen to Mike’s amazing testimony.

  • charlene schutte

    administrative assistant

    Charlene Schutte - after retirement and moving from Ohio to SC with her husband, Ed, she began attending New Life Church in 2018 and became a member in February 2020.  She recently accepted the position of Administrative Assistant bringing with her years of valuable experience in office management and technical skills.  In addition to carrying out the administrative duties of the church, Charlene serves on the Fellowship committee, coordinates the Mercy Meals Ministry and sings in the choir.  Charlene and her husband, Ed, live in Little River.

New Life Leadership: Elders & Deacons

Elders and deacons are elected officers who oversee the various ministries and operations of New Life Church. Elders provide spiritual and directional oversight for the church, shepherding and leading the church through God-centered, biblical, gospel-driven teaching, guidance, and nurture. Deacons (in partnership with the ministry coordinators below) oversee the mercy ministries of the church, coordinating the use of church resources, material and human, so that our church and our neighbors tangibly experience the love of God.



    Buff Andresen is an elder, leads our Praise Team, and served for over a year as our interim administrative assistant. He and his wife, Judy, lived in New Jersey where they helped plant a church in Milford and Buff served as an elder, praise team leader, and Bible study leader for almost 30 years before moving to this area in 2018. Buff's gifts in leadership, small groups, and music enrich the ministry of New Life Church. Buff and Judy live in Calabash. 

  • Cliff cleaver


    Cliff is a Deacon at New Life Church.  He and his wife Nancy have been married 54 years, have 2 children and 5 grandkids.  Having come from different denominations and moving from Pennsylvania to Calabash in 2019, they began attending New Life Church.  It wasn't long before they made it their home and became members. Both Cliff and Nancy are actively involved in the praise team and choir.



    Dave Crist is a new Deacon at New Life Church. Originally from Pittsburgh PA, Dave and his wife Carol relocated from South Jersey to Sunset Beach in 2022.  Dave’s 35-year career as a system engineer at Lockheed Martin and experience at churches in South Jersey has prepared him to team with his fellow Deacons to serve the brothers and sisters at NLC.  Dave hopes to make a difference at NLC and is grateful for this opportunity.

  • eric dunkelberger


    Eric Dunkelberger's life as a Christian began in 2019, when he converted from Judaism, accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord, Savior and King, and was baptized at New Life Church Calabash.  Eric now serves the church as a Deacon.  In addition, he and his wife Janet, are the representatives for New Life Church Calabash to the South Brunswick Interchurch Council (The Lord's Food Pantry) as well as the Christian Recovery Centers, Inc.



    Charlie Guido is serving his second term as a deacon.  It is very evident that Charlie is sensitive to the needs of others and loves to serve.  He also has a great sense of humor.  In previous churches in the Bristol, PA area, he has served on the church board, led worship, served as an usher and assisted the church treasurer. He and his wife, Janet, live in Carolina Shores.

  • John Heider


    John Heider is a deacon at New Life Church.  His friendly smile and constant willingness to help others makes him a valuable part of our leadership team.  John and his wife, Ellen, live in Ocean Isle Beach.

  • Rod Hughes


    Rod Hughes is an elder at New Life Church. Before becoming an elder, Rod served as a deacon for three years.  His gifts for mercy ministry are evident in the sensitivity he has to the needs of others and the numerous ways that he offers himself in service to people in the congregation and in our community. His background in finance makes him a valuable steward in the area of finances for NLC. Rod and his wife, Dianne, live in Sunset Beach.

  • stEve kerns


    Steve Kerns is an elder at New Life Church.  Since coming to NLC, Steve has demonstrated his gift of mercy.  His desire is that we continue to preach the Word in all its power and truth. In previous churches, Steve has served as pianist/organist, music director, building chairman, and as an elder.  Steve plays and sings on the Praise Team as well as the choir.  He and his wife, Julie, live in Calabash.



    Paul Nye is a deacon at New Life Church.  Since coming to know the Lord in 2001, he has worked in previous churches assisting with food donations, home repairs, transportation, meals and by simply listening and praying with those who needed a friend. Paul continues to use these gifts of mercy at NLC.  He and his wife, Lora, live in Carolina Shores. 

  • Dennis Yurcisin


    Dennis Yurcisin is a deacon at New Life Church.  Dennis is another individual who is always there to lend a helping hand.  A former law enforcement officer, Dennis heads up our security team as well as our  first-aid team.  He and his wife, Sammie, live in Carolina Shores.

New Life Leadership: Ministry Coordinators & Leaders

Ministry Coordinators join with the Deacons to encourage, develop, and harness the resources of the church in the service of the needs of others. Ministry Coordinators are point persons who help lead, facilitate, and coordinate various worship, fellowship, outreach, and hospitality ministries of the church and provide tangible compassion in our church, in our communities, and in our world.

  • robin canino

    Welcome Center coordinator

    Robin Canino coordinates our Welcome Center at New Life Church.  Robin is a great prayer warrior, and she can usually be found near our entrance door each Sunday morning as she warmly greets people as they arrive.  She has a gift for making newcomers feel welcome.  Before retiring, Robin worked as a scheduler for a dental practice for 23 years.  She and her husband Michael were married on January 1, 2005, and they now reside in Calabash.

  • Eric & Janet Dunkelberger

    Food Pantry Ministry Coordinators

    Eric and Janet Dunkelberger coordinate our partnership with the South Brunswick Interchurch Council sponsored food pantry. As a couple, they have served in this role for several years. The Dunkelbergers lead New Life Church's participation in the ministry of packaging food during the week and then its dispensing on select Saturdays throughout the year.  Eric and Janet live in Shallotte.

  • Dianne Hughes

    fellowship Meals coordinator

    Dianne Hughes coordinates our Sunday semi-monthly fellowship meals and special dinners at New Life Church. Dianne's demonstrated passion for welcoming and connecting with others flows into this ministry of hospitality at NLC. Eating together is a practice we emphasize, and Dianne and her committee facilitate hospitality and fellowship. Dianne is married to Rod and they reside in Sunset Beach.


    Mercy Meals Ministry Coordinator

    In addition to acting as the Church Administrative Assistant, Charlene Schutte oversees our Mercy Meals Ministry.  These meals are prepared or purchased by members of the congregation to help others going through an illness or other difficult time.  Charlene is a real "go-getter'", has lots of experience in planning and coordinating, and always gets the job done. Charlene and her husband, Ed, live in Little River.


    Choir Director

    Elaine serves as the choir director for New Life Church.  Elaine loves music and enjoys helping groups of people blend their voices together to praise God.  She has served in this role for a number of years, going back to the Sunset Beach Community Church days.  Elaine and her husband, Bill, live in Calabash. 



    Sarah serves as church pianist for the praise team and for the choir. She has played keyboards, sang, and composed Christian music for the past 54 years in varied denominational churches and Christian outreach groups. Sarah and her husband, Jed, moved to the Farm at Brunswick in Carolina Shores in 2019.