Momentum Ministry Partners has been a longtime advocate for recognizing people who follow God’s call on their life into ministry, especially when it comes to discipling the next generation. For decades they have honored youth pastors who are investing in the lives of students. Each year at youth conference a recipient of their Youth Pastor of the Year Award is announced.
Momentum uses certain criteria to determine award recipients:
- Partner of Momentum Ministry Partners
- Makes Jesus make sense
- Passionate about the rising generation
- Strong community outreach
- Developing & implementing innovative ideas
- Specialized ministries that promote leadership development, discipleship, and spiritual disciplines
This year at Momentum Youth Conference, it was announced that Nick Mazza, student ministries pastor at Bellefontaine Grace Church (BGC) in Central Ohio, is the recipient of their Youth Pastor of the Year Award.
“I was overwhelmed with gratitude when I was given the award. I was so thankful and appreciative of the team around me at BGC — from the elders to the staff to the student ministry leaders. They have been so supportive and loving since my wife, Erin, and I arrived at BGC,” Nick said. “My leaders for student ministries are honestly the best leaders. They care so deeply for the students and are always pushing for ways to reach students in new and fresh ways! We want our students to grow to have faith of their own, and to learn, live, and give the Gospel!”
Kohltin Hoeppner, who interned under Nick at BGC, said: “Nick is an awesome pastor at BGC! I have loved working, learning, and following Jesus alongside him. The best thing about Nick is that he absolutely loves Jesus with a humble heart and is passionate to introduce people to His love. The second best thing about Nick is that he has a genuine love for working in a team. He is a strong leader because he realizes the essential nature of creating healthy ecosystems for his leaders to lead in. He allows complete input, creativity, teaching, and leadership from his team. This makes Nick the best youth pastor in the game!”
Nick has served at Bellefontaine Grace church for the past three years. Prior to entering into ministry, he had plans to be a high school math teacher and football coach. “My passion has always been to help and serve others, and God has really given me a heart to shepherd and love students in their walks with God.”
Nick encountered the Lord when he was a student himself. “The summer before my sophomore year of high school, the Lord moved in my life and I realized my sin, my need for a Savior, and the call to give my life to God with whatever He wanted me to do,” he said. Later in high school he spent three weeks serving with kids and students at his home church, Marysville Grace Church. “Through that journey God was really working in my heart and calling me to ministry.”
While attending Marysville Grace as a high school student, Nick met Pastor of Student Ministries Tyler Kramer. “I’ve known Nick for eight years,” Tyler said. “Over the years I have seen his love for Jesus grow, and out of that love his love for students. His passion for ministry and to see students fall in love with Jesus drives him and is the heartbeat of his ministry.”
Nick went on to study at Bowling Green University, where he met his wife, Erin. While there he was involved in a local church and led a small group. During the summers he returned to Marysville Grace as an intern and later a resident. He spent the latter part of his residency at BGC, working with students. Nick and Erin got married in June 2019, and in July 2020 he finished his residency at BGC and felt called by God to continue to serve there. He said, “We love the people, the church, and the area! We have found many great relationships, and we praise God for how He has worked in our lives here in Bellefontaine.”