Meet the Staff

Leadership at 180 Life Church, West HartfoRd

Josh Poteet

Lead Pastor

Born in Ohio, Josh grew up in Florida. He and Jennie tied the knot in 2015 and they now have two kids, Lilla and Ezra. Prior to ministry, Josh worked in the Army National Guard Infantry and as an EMT. Since then, he completed his Masters in Theological Studies and has been serving within the local church. More recently, Josh and his family felt called to move to Connecticut so that he could be the Lead Pastor of 180 Life. Josh is a deep believer in relational discipleship. He personally experienced tremendous life change through discipleship and it is now his passion to create and multiply that culture wherever he goes. As much as he enjoys preaching the Word with an emphasis on biblical truth, he believes that life change occurs more often in the context of relationship than it does from the stage. Josh loves playing sports (although his joints don’t love that anymore), enjoys a good cup of coffee, and spending time with family.

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Pastor Josh Poteet, 180 Life Church in West Hartford, CT
Nicholas Leadbeater, Pastor at 180 Life Church in West Hartford, CT

Nicholas Leadbeater

Pastor for Ministry Development

While now living in New England, Nicholas is a native of old England. His family is from Birmingham which is in the center of the UK. After working at a University in London for five years as a Chemistry Professor, he had the opportunity to move over the Atlantic to join the faculty at the University of Connecticut. Nicholas and his wife Susan, a Tennessee native, live in Southington with their numerous squirrels and chipmunks. They have been a part of the church since 2006. Nicholas is involved in a number of leadership roles, including being the Serving Director, coordinating the teams of people who serve on a Sunday morning. He was ordained in 2019, and often gets to put his teaching hat on; giving some Sunday morning messages.

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Crystal Hall

Women’s Ministry Director

A Texan at heart, Crystal is excited to call the northeast home! Prior to joining staff in 2016 she was a reporter for the local FOX station before she felt God calling her into ministry. In her spare time, you can find her curled up reading a good book, packing a picnic, dancing to the tune of good music or checking out a local coffee spot or vineyard. Crystal serves as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin (hook ’em!) with a degree in broadcast journalism. San Antonio will always hold a sweet spot in her heart. Say “hi” if you see her at church or around town!

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Crystal Hall, Communications Director at 180 Life Church in West Hartford, CT
Dave Swanson, Worship Director at 180 Life Church in West Hartford, CT

Chip Anthony

Operations and Youth Ministry

Born and raised in Connecticut, Chip attended college right down the road from 180 Life at CCSU. With a Bachelors Degree in Communication and a minor in Journalism, he had always been striving to find his “calling” in life. Enter 180 Life! Chip found the church in January 2006 and felt that it was a place he could truly feel God moving. He joined staff in June 2009. Some of his duties include service oversight/operations, membership, youth and special events Chip is married to the love of his life Amanda and they currently reside in Farmington, CT with their two sons Christian and Thomas. In his spare time he serves as a Lieutenant with the Farmington Fire Department and plays slow pitch softball and old man Basketball as often as he can.

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Jennifer Byrne

Children’s Ministry Director

Jen joined the team as the Children’s Ministry Director in May 2022 but has been attending 180 Life Church since 2008. Originally from a small farm town in Illinois, Jen is passionate about serving the local community, hosting kids and families in her home and supporting moms and families in this parenting journey. Jen is excited to partner with families in this role. Jen has her Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University and spent 15 years in the health and fitness industry. She lives in West Hartford with her husband, Jeremy, and three young daughters, Johanna, Julianne and Jade (yes, all J’s!). Jen’s hobbies are exercising and volunteering with the Junior League of Hartford and Community Bible Study. She also loves the outdoors…running, hiking, skiing and her family also has a goal to visit all the 63 National Parks in the U.S. (so far they’ve been to 23 of them).

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Jennifer Byrne, Children's Ministry Director at 180 Life Church in West Hartford, CT
180 Life Church Staff

Ben Valentine

Director of Worship & Young Adults

Born and raised in the Natural State, Ben recently moved to Connecticut with his wife Grace. He has a passion for leading Christ centered worship that ushers people into the presence of God, and to see Young Adults emboldened and equipped to be the hands and feet of Jesus making and sending disciples. When Ben is not cooking or working on music, he enjoys hiking, fishing, pickleball, card games and his new favorite restaurant in West Hartford, Mecha.

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protected BY OVERSEERS


The Elders provide intentional shepherding within the church body in an effort to facilitate alignment towards our mission of making disciples. Contact at


From left:

Jeff Doot – Optometrist

Sam Kim – Engineer

Jim Richert – Business Leader

Howard Liles – Engineer

Jeremy Byrne – Commercial Real Estate

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors provide accountability and counsel to the Lead Pastor regarding major financial and strategic decisions of the church.

The Board of Directors of 180 Life Church are:

Pastor Chris Goeppner – Riverbank Church (NH)

Pastor Dan Plourde – Calvary Church (FL)

Dr. Tim Ponzani – Converge Northeast (CT)

Pastor Bill LaMorey – Founding Pastor of 180 Life Church (FL)

Pastor Josh Poteet – 180 Life Church (CT)

Howard Liles – 180 Life Church (CT)