Pastors & Staff

Jason Hatley

Lead Pastor

Hi, I'm Jason Hatley and I serve as the Lead Pastor of The Journey Church. I am primarily responsible for the overall leadership of the church and serve as one of the teaching pastors.  My wife Karen and I were married in 2000 and we are proud parents to our awesome kids: Abigail (born 2005), and Charlie (born 2009).

I’ve been in ministry since 1995 and prior to moving to Boca Raton, I pastored at The Journey Church of the City on the Upper West side of Manhattan for nearly a decade. I am also the author of two books, “Engage” and “Revolve”.

Birthday: March 1, 1978
Education: BM in Music Performance with a concentration in Sacred Music from Appalachian State University

Dr. Nelson Searcy

Founding Pastor  |  Teaching Pastor

Hi, I’m Nelson and I’m the Founding Pastor of The Journey. I give leadership to our many locations from Manhattan to Boca Raton, FL and serve as a teaching pastor.
I have a passion to see people become all that God created them to be. I am also a writer and trainer for Church Leaders in the US and around the World.

My wife Kelley and I moved to the Upper West Side of New York City in late 2001 to start The Journey. We were married in 1994 and have lived in North Carolina, Southern California, Florida and the Upper West Side. We were set-up on a blind date (once you see her picture, you’ll know she must have been blind to marry me!) in college. We have one son, Alexander, born in June of 2006 and we are long time bulldog owners.

My love for New York City began in 1993 when I visited there to speak to a group of young entrepreneurs. Little did I know that a few years later God would call me to start a church there! I’m the least likely guy I know to have ‘pastor’ after his name as I didn’t become a Christian until college and I certainly don’t have it all together!

Birthday: October 3, 1971
Education: B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Religious Studies from Gardner Webb University; Masters of Divinity with Philosophy focus (M.Div.) from Duke University; D.Litt from Louisiana Baptist University & Theological Seminary. Additional study at North Carolina State University, Southeastern Theological Seminary, Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, Fuller Theological Seminary and Southern Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY).

Daphne Henderson

Office manager

Hi, I’m Daphne Henderson and I serve as the Office Manager at The Journey Church. I am responsible for all of the administrative tasks at The Journey like leading our Super Service Thursday team, as well as assisting the Pastors in all ministry related events.  

My husband and best friend Jim and I have been married for 35 years . We have two beautiful daughters Ashley (husband-Luis) and Megan. We also have a precious grandson Kailan who is 6.

Esther Wong

Director of Kids and Students

Hi, I’m Esther Wong and I serve as the Director of Children & Students at the Journey Church. I am responsible for the overall spiritual development of our children and students as well as the training of our volunteers.

My husband and I have lived in the East, Midwest, West, and now in the sunny South Florida. We have three great kids, Hannah and twin boys, Nicholas and Micah.  Since they are close in age, all three were in college for three years.