Brad Hoefs is a pastor, teacher, international speaker, hope coach, author and mental health advocate. He is passionate about coaching, inspiring, and encouraging others with hope no matter what circumstance they might be facing in their lives. He is best known as the founder and president of Fresh Hope for Mental Health, an international network of peer-to-peer Christian mental health support groups.
Brad’s life took a dramatic turn in the spring of 1995 in the midst of a manic episode, which became public and ended his role as the senior pastor of one of the nation’s fastest-growing churches. After this, the people of Community of Grace came around the entire Hoefs family and provided a safe place for them to heal and find hope in a way forward. Brad continues to serve as the senior pastor of Community of Grace.
Brad is the author of Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis. He is also the host of the Fresh Hope for Mental Health podcast, one of the most downloaded to Christian mental health podcasts in the U.S.
Fresh Hope and Brad’s story have been featured in numerous publications such as Leadership Journal and Outreach Magazine. Brad was a speaker and workshop leader at Saddleback Church’s first mental health conference, The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church, in 2014. He’s a blogger for bphope.com and has also been on Faith Radio Network.
Brad has serves on the Nebraska Governor’s Mental Health Advisory Committee. He also serves as a guest lecturer for Creighton Medical School and University of Nebraska Medical School’s psychiatric residence of psychiatry.
Recently, Brad has participated in the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s “Dark Horse Project”. He was interviewed to participate in their research of individuals whose journey to achievement did not conform to the standard path.
Brad is a certified Peer Support Specialist and enjoys encouraging and coaching others in learning how to live well in spite of having a mental illness.
Brad earned his BA in communications from Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, and his Masters of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Brad has been a pastor since 1985. He’s married to his college sweetheart, Donna. They are blessed with two grown married children, Noah and Noelle, and four grandchildren: Jayden, Ava Malachi, and Zion.
In addition to spending as much time as possible with his grandchildren, Brad enjoys creative ventures in art, reading, exploring Facebook, and his dog Gracie.