Pastor Jay Catanus

Lead Pastor

Pastor Jay became NFBC's Lead Pastor in 2012. He previously served at NFBC as Interim Pastor and Pastoral Intern. Pastor Jay is a graduate of DePaul University and received his M.Div from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Get to know Pastor Jay below.

1. How might people describe you to someone visiting the church?

People would probably say that I'm the guy wearing jeans who's always got a cup of coffee in his hand. Either that, or they'd say to look for the guy who usually gets up and walks to the front of the church during the service to speak.

2. How did you end up in this role at NFBC?

I actually grew up in this church, and my father was the pastor who planted the church and led it for 22 years. I was a punk kid and troublemaker who never understood who Jesus was until I went away to college and found out I needed him. From then on, I was involved in campus ministry for several years, worked for a while and went to seminary, then interned at NFBC until I felt the call to stay here.

3. How long have you been serving in this kind of ministry?

Informally, this will be my tenth year in this kind of work. Officially, I've been doing this for two years and I'm still learning every day.

4. What do you love most about being a pastor right now?

Right now, it's a great privilege to walk into such a firmly rooted and grounded community where the elders and families of the church have such rich and fruitful experiences in serving. It's humbling to be a pastor here when you see three or four generations of one family on any given Sunday. And at the same time, I'm excited about the changes and growth in our church: we're 24 years old, expanding quickly in number, diversity, age range, and geographical reach. I'm looking forward to participating in God's work to bring good news to more people from different backgrounds.

5. What's something interesting that people might not know or expect about you?

I'm an undercover nerd when it comes to foreign languages, the Simpsons, and old episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And I used to be a hiphop DJ...

6. If there were a movie made about your life, which famous actor would play you?

Most people say Will Smith. I wish.

7. What's your favorite verse, chapter, or book of the Bible?

Romans 8 would definitely be the nearest to my heart right now.