Our Staff

Andrew Circle-01.png

Lead Pastor

Andrew McCleese


I was born and raised in the city of Newark.  I found myself in a single parent home like many of my friends, getting involved in less than positive activity out of curiosity and frustration. But my father returned almost a year later after surrendering his heart and life to God. It took me a while to forgive him.  I gave my life to Jesus at 16, thanks to my father praying for me despite the hardness of my heart.

I wanted to leave the city of Newark because I didn’t see anyone like me moving forward in life, and thought that joining the Air Force--a disciplined and structured environment that would allow me to see vibrant cities and find more opportunities--was the answer.  One day, a church visit compelled me to return to my hometown and make an impact for the kingdom of God or die trying!  I completed my degree at Rutgers University-Newark and served at a small community named The Life Christian Church, now a thriving church of over 2000 people where I was Director of Pastoral Ministries. There, I met my wife Beatrice and we have three beautiful children, Carina, Amber, and Richard.

I’ve always had this dream to see the city experience a renaissance. A city-wide renewal--where fathers come home and education is a priority.  A renewal that restores families, generations, and communities.  A renewal that doesn’t just bring about economic strength, but strengthens morality, love, and generosity.

My heart is to start a Christian church in the heart of downtown Newark, reflecting all nationalities, cultures, and the glory and grace of God.

Contact: Andrew@renewchurchnj.com

Jazmin Circle-01.png

Children's Ministry Director

Jazmine Burton


Jazmine joined the Renew Team in August 2017. She graduated from Kean University with a degree in Early Childhood Education and has a passion for working with children. A Newark native, Jazmine has been happily married to her husband, David, for almost 15 years and they share four beautiful children named Daniel, Naylani, Joshua, and Emani. As the Children’s Ministry Director, she looks forward to building relationships with children and their families and helping them to grow closer to God and each other. 

Contact: renewkids@renewchurchnj.com