Meet the Staff

  • Steve Blake
    Steve Blake Lead Pastor & Social Entrepreneur

    Steve is the founder and lead pastor of Catalyst of Austin. Born and raised in in Kingston, Jamaica, Steve came to the U.S and attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where he met his wife, Tori, and obtained a degree in Economics. The Blake’s now have two amazing kids, Saylen and P.K. Steve was a pastor in Washington, D.C. for 10 years and has a M.A, Ministry, with a concentration in Christian Leadership from Hope International University.

    Being multi-national and multi-ethnic, Steve is passionate about multicultural community in which people embrace and celebrate the image of God in each other. More than anything, Steve wants each person he interacts with to be all that God has made them to be. As a social entrepreneur, Steve is committed to collaborating with others for social good. Steve believes that the person and teachings of Jesus provide individual and collective fulfillment as Jesus is the one who allows us to be redeemed, reconciled and restored back to God and one another. Having lived in Kingston, London and Washington D.C, Steve loves Austin because he sees it as a model for emerging cities of the world.

  • Jeff Johnson Worship Pastor & Creative Director

    Born in Kerala, India, I came to the US at the age of 2. I’ve lived in Chicago, Detroit, South Bend, Queens NY, and Mineola NY. I’ve moved around quite a bit, and it’s shaped who I am. Growing up in a Pastor’s home I quickly observed and learned the importance of serving God in every aspect of my life. Whether it’s leading worship, teaching, or doing creative work, I always enjoy being an active part of the Church family and helping foster people’s spiritual growth.

    I love being creative. In 2010 I received my BFA in Design & Technology from Parson’s School of Design in New York City. After years of working for a global tech company in NYC, my band and I (THE UPAFTER) decided to move to Austin, TX. It was a risky move, but we felt God was calling us to pursue this. After moving to Austin, I met Pastor Steve. I heard his story and vision for the local and global church. I was sold. Ever since then I’ve been helping out in whatever ways I can.

    Random Facts: I’m married to a beautiful Honduran woman of God – Dana. I have a dog named Sparrow, and I love the L.A. Lakers and the N.Y. Giants. If you want me to do something, get me a pack of Lifesaver Gummies.

  • Gabe Tovar Associate Pastor

    Gabe Tovar is serving as an Associate Pastor. Gabe brings a decade of ministry experience with discipleship, missions, college ministry, youth ministry and operations. Gabe is a licensed minister, with a B.A. in Religion: Ministry & Leadership from Vanguard University. Gabe has also done further studies towards a M.A. in Theology. The Tovar’s currently serve with an urban Missions organization called Apartment Life. Apartment Life is a missional ministry that provides consistent outreach to the residents of apartment complexes. Gabe’s ethnic background is Mexican and his wife Holly is 100% Californian.

Our Team

  • Valerie Byrd
    Valerie Byrd Director of Children's Ministry
  • Jeff Johnson Worship Pastor & Creative Director
  • Gabe Tovar Associate Pastor
  • Chris Martin
    Chris Martin Catalyst Groups Leader
  • Tori Blake
    Tori Blake Strategic Advisor
  • Samantha Burdan
    Samantha Burdan Administrative Assistant