Stephen & Karen Blandino
Stephen Blandino is the Lead Pastor at 7 City Church. He holds a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Regent University and a Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Prior to starting 7 City Church, Stephen served as an executive pastor, associate pastor, and vice-president of a leadership development organization.
Stephen has over 20 years of experience in non-profit leadership, coaching, and organizational development. Stephen blogs regularly and is the author of several books including Do Good Works, GO! Starting a Personal Growth Revolution, Creating Your Church’s Culture, and co-author with Karen Blandino of Unexpected: What to Do When Life Disrupts Your Plans. Stephen also serves as an adjunct professor at SAGU.
Karen holds a Master’s in Counseling from TCU and a Bachelor of Arts in History from UTA. Karen has served seven years as a teacher and is currently a Counselor in the Fort Worth I.S.D. Karen is also a Licensed Professional Counselor, and she is a blogger and author.
Stephen was born in Lakenheath, England, lived in Florida and Alaska, and grew up in Texas (His parents were in the Air Force). Karen was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Stephen and Karen have been married since 1991 and have one daughter, Ashley, son-in-law, Dylan, and grandson, Elijah. Stephen & Karen enjoy reading, movies, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Associate & Online Pastor
Joe Garza graduated from Alvin Community College with an associate in Music. He leads ministries involving four different teams. 7 City’s Creative team consists of their worship team, creative team, media team, and tech team which cover a variety ministries. Joe has always had a passion for music and using his gifts to praise God. In 2017 Joe had the honor of being invited on two music tours to share the music God had gifted him with to believers and non believers. Joe and his wife Kalena enjoy writing original music together that glorifies God. Joe and Kalena have a huge heart for pastoring and building a community of creatives at 7 City Church. They are excited for what God has in store for 7 City Church and their role in this process.
Joe and his wife Kalena were born and raised in Texas. They’ve been married since October of 2018. They have one fur baby (dog) named Chaco. They love camping and spending time with family.
As the Children’s Pastor at 7 City Church, Ashley Richardson oversees Uptown Kids (1st - 6th grade). Ashley strives to see children know who God is, discover His plan for their lives, grow their relationship with God, and show His love to others. Ashley also serves as the Administrative Assistant, providing support to staff and ministries at 7 City.
Ashley is a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God, and she graduated with an AA in Bible and a BA in Church Ministry from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Ashley and her husband, Dylan were born and raised in Texas. They’ve been married since August 18, 2017. They have one son, Elijah. They love spending time with family and friends and finding and relaxing at the perfect coffee shop.
Youth & Young Adult Pastor
EJ Brown graduated from Kennesaw State University with a BS in Exercise Sciences and Leadership with a Minor in Coaching. He is pursuing his Master’s of Theology degree at Dallas Theological Seminary. EJ is the author of the book, Unlocking Your Potential In Singleness: How to Maximize Your Single Life, where he gives singles useful tools to thrive, not just survive, during their single season of life.
EJ co-hosts a podcast with his wife Rachel, called “Love, Grace and Truth,” and they discuss many topics that Christian Millennials face in today’s society. He desires to see those who identify themselves as Christians, live in the grace, authority, and power given to us by Jesus through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
EJ and Rachel have been married five years and have a son named Apollos. They are excited for what God has done, is doing, and will do in 7 City Church. They moved to Fort Worth from Memphis, TN (though they are not Memphis natives). Rachel was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, and EJ, the son of an Army veteran, has lived in Tennessee, Alaska, Missouri, Georgia and now Texas.
Connection's Pastor & Finance Director
Kelly Fjestad (pronounced Fee-es-ted) is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. She graduated from Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, ND with a BA in Biblical Studies and a Church Ministries Minor. Kelly is the author of the Bible Study, Paused: Protecting Your Faith When God Says Wait.
In 2011, God called Kelly and her family to move from Minnesota to Texas. After much prayer, they sold half of their belongings (so they could fit in the moving truck), packed up their five kids, and moved across the country. Although it’s hard to be away from family, God has been faithful every step of the way.
Kelly loves connecting with people and helping them apply the truths of Scripture to their daily lives. Her favorite part of ministry is baptism. She will never get tired of watching the beautiful transformation of people who are raised to life.
Kelly and her husband, Brad, have five children: Jesse, Asher, Maverick, Remington, and Cabella. They love NASCAR, football, and road trips.