Our Staff


Email Pastor Pfeffer








Dean Pfeffer is Senior Pastor at Hope Lutheran Church and has served as pastor since June of 1996 after serving as Associate Pastor at Faith Lutheran in Sebring from 1994-1996. He received his Master of Divinity from Concorida Seminary in St. Louis MO in 1994. He earned his Bachelor's in Political Science in 1981 from Long Island University and a Master's in Public Administration in 1982. Prior to attending seminary, he as was Assistant to the late Rep. Norman F. Lent (4th CD, New York) and late State Senator John D. Caemmerer (NY). Currently, he serves as Circuit Visitor, Winter Haven Circuit and is a member of the following boards: United Food Bank of Plant City, Plant City YMCA where is is 1st Vice Chairman,and the Plant City Daybreak Rotary. 

He was born and raised in Westbury, New York. In April 1983, he married Elizabeth (Liz) and is blessed with 3 children: Kristin (Emad), Daniel (Jesilynn), and Jason, and 2 grandchildren.



Email Pastor Shea

















Shea Pennington is Associate Pastor at Hope Lutheran Church. Born and raised in Cedar Park, Texas, he is the proud son of Richard and Jamie Pennington, as well as, the proud older brother to Shelby Pennington. Baptized at the age of 3, he was rooted in the Word of God at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, from whence he’s been a life-long member and confirmed in 2003. Growing up he attended Good Shepard’s Early Childcare Center and after school Daycare. As a student of the LISD he was blessed to be part of the 2007 graduating Alpha-Class of Vista Ridge High School, upon which he left for the stomping grounds of Fort Worth attending TCU (#GoFrogs).

Graduating in 2011 with a BA in Religion, he went to Concordia Seminary (StL, MO), and in Aug. 2014, he began his Vicarage in the ‘Winter Strawberry Capital’ of the world, Plant City, FL, at Hope Lutheran Church. On April 26, 2016 by the grace of God and in His infinite wisdom, He called Shea to be the Associate Pastor of Hope, alongside his beloved friend and partner in ministry, Pastor Pfeffer! Certified and graduated with a MDiv (Masters of Divinity), he was Ordained into the Pastoral Office on June 25, 2016 at his home congregation of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Pastor Shea has returned to Hope Lutheran Church as Associate Pastor and has reunite with his Family of Hope as they together Connect People to Jesus!



Email Jessica



Jessica Griffin serves as Church Secretary at Hope Lutheran Church. She grew up in Chicago and attended a Lutheran grade school and a Christian high school. She attended Concordia University, River Forest (Chicago) and studied Elementary Education. Throughout college, she worked as draftsman and Graphics Specialist for engineering and environmental firms in both Illinois and Florida. She met Patrick at Concordia, they got married and moved to West Palm Beach. She studied Early Childhood Education at Palm Beach State College and Globial Information Systems at Palm Beach Atlantic University. She taught Pre-K & Kindergarten for several years. After daughter Keaira was born, they moved to Florida’s west coast where they became members of Hope and she joined the Hope staff shortly after.




Email Christine

Christine Mansell is Director of Music at Hope Lutheran Church. As such, she is organist and keyboardist at all three services: traditional, blended, and the Spanish worship services as well as coordinating all special music between the choir, bell choir, praise band, and special music. She was born in Wisconsin and grew up in central Florida. She studied at Univeristy of South Florida and the University of Tampa. She has served as organist at St. Paul Lutheran in Lakeland, Grace Lutheran in Woodbridge VA, and at Hope Lutheran Church for over 40 years.



Email Lyn


Lyn Senkarik serves as Deaconess at Hope Lutheran Church and is also a Registered Nurse (RN). Her first love is sharing our Savior Jesus the Christ—His endless love for us; how He tirelessly reaches out to each of us to know Him—and then invites us to live with Him in His Home. She attended Lutheran schools from elementary at St. Mark's Lutheran to Lutheran High School West. She attended Polk State College, Florida Southern College and was consecrated as a deaconess in 2005 by the Lutheran Deaconess Association in Valparaiso IN. She is married to Daniel Senkarik and they have three sons: Rob (Diane), Mark (Sherry), and Matt (Kelley), and five precious grandchildren.




Email Joyce








Joyce Van Matre is a Registered Nurse (RN) and has served as Parish Nurse at Hope Lutheran Church since 2002. She heads up Hope's Health Ministry Team. Her interest in parish nursing began in the 1980’s at St. Joseph’s Hospital where she enrolled in 2 semester classes for the “Spiritual Care of the Terminally Ill” and “Spiritual Care of the Chronically Ill” specifically for parish nurses. Biblical education was ongoing through Bible Study Fellowship for 8 years as well as through the LCMS, including an in-depth study of St. Luke’s gospel.

She graduated from St. John's Lutheran Academy, Winfield, KS and Gordon Keller School of Nursing on Davis Island, Tampa. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Arts from University of St Francis, and studied at University of South Florida and University of Tampa.

Through parish nursing, she is a Certified Facilitator for Project Grace in writing Advanced Directives, which she strongly encourages all people to have, regardless of age. She is a lifelong resident of the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, and she and her husband Richard, a retired pharmacist, live in Lithia, Florida, close to their 3 children and grandchildren.