Brad Hoefs is a pastor/Bible-teacher, an international speaker, and a mental health advocate who is passionate about coaching, inspiring, encouraging, and empowering others with hope no matter what circumstance they might be facing in their lives.
He is best know as the founder and executive director of Fresh Hope, 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. The people of Community of Grace then came around the entire Hoefs family and provided a safe place for them to heal and find hope in a way forward. Providing a safe place to heal and find hope has been the core of the DNA of Community of Grace since its conception. Brad continues to serve as their pastor.
Brad is the author of Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis. His is also the host of the Fresh Hope for Mental Health podcast, one of the most downloaded/listened 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 worship 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 featured in articles in Outreach Magazine and Leadership Journal. Brad’s been interviewed numerous times on local and national radio programs.
Brad has serves on the Nebraska Governor’s Mental Health Advisory Committee. He also serves as a guest class lecturer for Creighton Medical School and University of Nebraska Medical School’s residences of psychiatry.
Brad has been accepted by Harvard University as a participant in “The Dark Horse Project”. A Harvard research study that examines the lives of people who rose to success despite overwhelming challenges.
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 loving his dog, Gracie.