Bishop Carl Buffington, Rector
My ministry at New Covenant began in 1993. Barbara, my wife, and our 3 children moved here from Evergreen, CO, high and dry to low and wet, quite a change. I was brought up in the northeast, a suburb of New York, and Barbara grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia.
We met while I was attending The Philadelphia Divinity School in West Philadelphia where I received an M.Div. degree in 1972, and I was ordained a deacon and priest in the same year. I went to seminary directly from college. I earned an A.B. degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. For 5 years of my ministry I was a traveling evangelist, sharing the story of our Lord and his presence and power in a different church every weekend.
What I have always loved about New Covenant is the blending of the charismatic, the evangelical, and the sacramental aspects of the Faith. And what still gets me up in the morning is seeing people change, seeing people encounter the living Lord. I just love to see hearts changed by the Holy Spirit.
Christopher Caudle, Associate Rector
Christopher is someone I hasten to describe as one in whom there is no guile. While he has an authentic sense of humor, loving bad jokes as well good ones, he'll not be heard using it inappropriately. He is for sure, a man after our Lord's own heart. He has an acute sense of propriety as well, what needs to be done and when and how, most of the time anyway.
Anyone who has sat at his feet knows him to be a learned student and studied teacher. Most folks into books as he is, are not so much into people, not so with Fr. Christopher, he has a pastor's heart. While doing and being all of this he somehow manages to keep his family as a keen priority. And well he should as precious as they are.
He keeps things in very good order with his Lord, his family, and his ministry. Of course one look into his inner sanctum and his sins are right before your eyes, his addiction to Coca-Cola and books are there for all to see. Nothing is hidden, as I said, one without guile.
Sheryl Shaw, Missions Pastor
I have been on staff at New Covenant for nineteen years and I am a graduate of Evangel University. I am married to Thom Shaw who is also a vital part of the ministry.
I have worked in Missions and Youth for over twenty years and still love it! As a church, our desire is to know Christ and to make Him known. All that we do centers around this commitment.
My first Missions experience was when I was twenty years old and God gave me a passion for missions that has continued to grow. Since I have a heart for outreach and discipleship, my work with missions and youth flows together well.
I have had the privilege of seeing God do miracles both in and through our mission teams from the church. It is my desire that we would learn to live a missionary lifestyle so that we do not miss out on opportunities in our own backyards. I do teaching and training in both youth ministry and missions on the local, national, and international levels.
Erica Stephenson, Youth and Family Life Minister
Erica grew up in a small Ohio town, and spent a lot of time playing sports and creating things to do with friends. She attributes much of her creativity to those years. There just wasn't a lot to do in her small town. She graduated from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky with a degree in Psychology, and two weeks after graduation, she was on her way to Florida.
Since then, Erica spent about six years working with students and families at a local church, five years coaching both middle and high school girls’ basketball teams at local schools, and volunteering with YoungLife at the University of Central Florida. She is passionate about seeing students and their families love Christ and each other. Erica is so excited to journey with so many in this way at New Covenant.
Erica has been married for almost three years to Mike, currently calling Winter Springs’ home. She enjoys traveling, crocheting, yoga, reading, and watching movies with Mike.
Sara Buffington, Worship and Music Leader
I have been a member of New Covenant since 2007, when my husband Peter and I and our two children moved here to Florida. I like to say I married into this church, since Father Carl is my father-in-law, but truth be told I would have come here anyway!
I graduated from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia where I majored in English, but I spent all my spare time in the music building. I have taught eighth grade, written curricula for homeschoolers, and currently I educate my (now three) children at home. All the while I have been a member of the worship team.
In April 2013 I started leading worship at New Covenant. I love music. I always have, but worshiping the Lord in song is my calling and my passion. I never thought I would be a lead worshiper, but now I see how God has been preparing me for this my whole life. I am very thankful. It's a joy and a privilege!
Karen Staton, Administrator
I have been attending New Covenant Church for about 11 years. I taught the 5 and 6th grade Sunday School for 2 years, and was the Acolyte Warden for 8 years. I have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls, who are all grown with their own families with the exception of the youngest daughter who graduated from University of Florida in Gainesville April 2010.
I am married to a wonderful husband, Jay, who has 2 children. I enjoy working as the Administrator more than any other job I have ever had. I feel there are many ministry opportunities, and I pray daily for instances to share the love of Jesus with others.
Susan Horton, Preschool Director
I have always known that I would be working with children one way or another throughout my life. Babysitting and Sunday school teacher in the 1970’s, Pediatric Nurse in Orlando during the early 1980’s, Parenting and Girl Scouts in the 1990’s.
Then in 1995 the Lord brought me to New Covenant as a part time 2-day a week fill-in teacher. He opened doors that I was not looking for and experiences that ignited a passion for teaching. At the end of that first half year I was asked to comeback and teach full time. I spent 9 years teaching in the three-year-old program before the Lord provided me with another opportunity for growth as the Educational Director.
Then in 2006 I took over as director of the preschool. The Lord has walked with me each step of my journey here at New Covenant, through patience and strength to overcome difficult situations, wisdom to guide young parents and mentor new teachers, making it a joy to come to work each day.
In 2014 my husband Mike and I will celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. We have 2 grown children both graduates of UCF. Our son Adam is a Computer Engineer at LMCO, and daughter Christina (married to son-in-law Dusty) is in banking. Both Mike and I cannot wait for the next opportunity that the Lord may bring into our lives, “Grandchildren.”
Whitney Neubecker, Data Analyst
I grew up attending New Covenant and left in 2000 to attend College of Charleston. I graduated in 2004 with a degree in Media Communications. I worked for more than a decade in finance, but always loved photography, telling stories and my heart was always drawn to nonprofits. After my daughter was born, I worked with Global Teams before taking a break to pursue my MBA. I completed my MBA in 2017 from Liberty University. Throughout college, I volunteered with a few different start up churches, helping in outreach, service coordination and small group facilitating. I returned to Winter Springs in 2012, and began working on staff in 2017.
I am married to Joe, and have one daughter, Pippa. We love being part of this amazing community.