Steve Kiefer – Senior Pastor (email)
Steve was born in 1963 in Buffalo, NY to Klaus and Sandra Kiefer, the eldest of three children. His father was an immigrant from Germany who moved to the US with his family after WWII. In 1965 Steve’s family moved from Western New York to Tampa where he grew up, graduated from high school (Jefferson) and worked. He grew up loving and playing sports and excelled in school. Church attendance was very important to his parents and he eventually gave his heart to Christ at 14 after spending a week at Christian camp.
Shortly after graduating high school he attended Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX). Later he worked as a flight attendant with Eastern Airlines based in Atlanta, GA. He also worked in the fields of retail management and consumer banking. After a short, failed marriage, his life was in shambles. It was during this dark valley season that he began attending Westshore Christian Church – now New Beginnings. He was accepted and loved unconditionally, and he learned that Jesus died for a real relationship he was not fully living in. This truth rocked his life!
He immediately became a voracious Bible reader and got passionately engaged in the life & ministry of his home church as a lay leader and teacher. Not only did God give him a hope and a future, He also gave him the love of a gorgeous Tampa girl named Michelle Hartman, who grew up with a deep abiding love for the Lord. They were married in December 1993. As newlyweds they bought their little dream house and settled in for a long and happy marriage. Less than six months after marrying, God divinely called them into the full-time vocational ministry. They sold their house, left their family and hometown and relocated to the Smokey Mountains to attend Johnson Bible College (now Johnson University) in Knoxville, TN.
Steve graduated from JBC with his bachelors degree in preaching and later served as associate pastor of a mega-church in East Tampa. During his ministry tenure there he was diagnosed with cancer, but with God’s faithfulness survived. In 2000 Steve took his first senior pastor position at First Christian Church in Wauchula, FL, a rural citrus town near Tampa, where he served for four years. Afterward he and his family moved to Northern California where he faithfully served First Christian Church in Suisun City as lead pastor for fifteen years. In 2019 the Lord led him and his family back to their hometown of Tampa to be the senior pastor at New Beginnings Christian Church.
Steve and Michelle have nine children (eight adopted) and several grandchildren – all beautiful! They have been licensed foster parents for many years and have received numerous child advocacy awards.
The Kiefers enjoy traveling, camping, attending concerts & sporting events and making rich memories together. Likewise, they enjoy leading groups to the Holy Land regularly.
Steve’s ambition is to be a faithful child of God, to be the best husband and father he can be, to help countless people meet Jesus, to faithfully love and serve his congregation, and to help lead the most dynamic and dedicated church in Central Florida.
Associate Minister of Youth & Children