Meet our Pastor

Dr. Irishea Hilliard

Senior Pastor

Dr. Irishea Hilliard, affectionately called Dr. I, is a trailblazer in ministry and prolific leadership strategist. She has the wisdom of leadership from her father, Apostle I.V. Hilliard and the poise and power of her mother, Pastor Bridget Hilliard. This “double grace” has been the firm foundation for her life and career in ministry spanning 20+ years.  
Born June 7th, 1977, Dr. I recognized her call at an early age and actively began the process by which she would be pruned for ministry and leadership. Throughout her life, she has held various ministry titles such as Overseer of the Children’s Ministry, Youth & Teen Ministry Pastor, and Chief Operating Officer of New Light Church.  
Her passion and conviction to affect the next generation gave birth to the premiere Youth Conference known as Spiritual Encounter in 2000. Throughout its existence, over 75,000 youth were changed by the power of God. Dr. I continues to cast vision for Spiritual Encounter which has now evolved into LOVE City USA, a unique campground experience for youth in the city of Houston.  Her lifelong pour into the next generation warranted her title of Dr. of Urban Youth Ministry.  
Ever evolving and open to the Lord’s plan for her life, Dr. I expanded her list of roles to include mother and gave birth to two sons, Ivan and Jonathan Sean-Michael. A believer in legacy, her son Ivan serves alongside her in ministry as Youth Pastor.  
In 2013, she added author to her list when she penned her testimony into one of her greatest works, Table for One. Her greatest ministerial transition came on January 1st, 2018 when her beloved father, passed the baton to her to become Senior Pastor of New Light Church. Installed on February 23rd, 2018, Dr. I has stood in this new office with a grace and resilience that only God could give.  
Dedicated to ministry, but also to fulfilling her God-given purpose, Dr. I returned to school full-time and finished her undergraduate degree in May 2019 from Sam Houston State University. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration which has aided in her career as community leader and senior pastor.  
A community servant and beacon of light, she has consistently assisted the Houston Fire Department with their Annual toy drive, that gifts thousands of families with toys for the holidays. During the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Dr. I jumped in and opened 5 distribution centers throughout the City of Houston and Beaumont, TX. From these efforts and partnering with Cheryl “Action” Jackson, she opened a Houston location for Minnie’s Pantry, a free food pantry for those in need. Throughout the pandemic she served on the Health Equity Response (H.E.R) Taskforce alongside the mayor and other prominent Houston leaders as part of the City of Houston’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery effort. 
One of her greatest evolutions to date came in Fall 2020, when she became a member of the esteemed Suburban Houston Fort Bend Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. She is one of 92 beautiful, bold and devastating divas who are REDefinin9 Hi2tory.  
Dr. Irishea V. Hilliard is truly “Graciously Graced” and her life is a testament of courage, faith, and assurance that God’s Sovereignty and Will may not always be easy but is always best. She is truly, as she defines herself, “A woman of purpose fulfilling God’s plan for her life.”