Get To Know Our Leaders!

Phil Thomas

Worship Pastor

Meet Phil! Phil leads our worship team here at Nickel City Church. He loves playing instruments and creating music!

He was born in Los Angeles, CA and later grew up in Toronto Canada where his dad pastors a church, and where he later met and married the love of his life, Christina (see below).

God became most real to Phil when he undoubtedly experienced His presence during a church service. It was something so real he couldn’t ignore it- that is a huge reason why Phil is now passionate about leading others into that same powerful presence!

Phil is a full time History teacher. He has a heart to help others learn truth, and implements that desire into his leadership style at NCC. He’s excitedly pursuing God and all He has in store for NCC and the Kenmore community! Phil leads with vigor, commitment, and a desire for excellence. 

When he isn’t pouring himself out at church, you might find him eating Mexican food, working on a music album, cooking a new recipe, or being a great dad to their son, Judah!

Phil’s favorite Scripture Verse: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

Christina Abraham-Thomas

Leadership Team

Say hi to Christina! Christina is one of our leaders here at Nickel City Church. She loves planning activities that are fun and full of life. She is passionate about connecting people to God, and meeting practical needs in the community.

Christina was born in Dubai, but grew up in Toronto, Canada where she later met, fell in love with, and married her husband Phil (see above).

Christina first experienced God in a real way when she hit rock bottom at 19 years old. In the midst of suffering addictions and other lows, God sent two women to her door who supernaturally revealed the love of God in her life. She was instantly healed and immediately began pursuing God whole-heartedly!

After Phil and Christina moved here to Buffalo, NY they were compelled to join the NCC community after experiencing the vision, and the people. Christina now leads here with truth, wisdom, and a sense of humor!

When Christina isn’t at church or preaching a Sunday morning sermon, you might find her eating (probably lobster or cake), fighting social justice issues, hunting for bargains, scrapbooking, or being a mom to her son, Judah.

Christina’s Favorite Scripture Verse: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9

Ian Ivancic

Sound and Media Director

Meet Ian! He’s our Sound and Media Director here at Nickel City Church. He and his wife Chelsea (see below) grew up in Niagara Falls, NY and met at NFHS where they became high school sweethearts (awww).

Ian works full time as an engineer. He’s detail oriented, down to earth, and enjoys  playing and watching sports. 

Ian experienced God in a real and genuine way for the first time at 13 years old during a youth retreat. Even though he grew up in church, his journey with God became most alive and active to him after he started attending NCC and dove all in. He is not only passionate about leading his Sound and Media team at the church, but leading people to know the goodness of God!

When he’s not at the church serving or leading projects, you might find him riding his motorcycle, watching The Office with his wife, being a dad, or cheering on the Buffalo Bills (and booing Tom Brady).

Ian’s Favorite Scripture Verse: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” —Jeremiah 19:11

Chelsea Ivancic

Kid's Ministry Coordinator

Say hi to Chelsea! She’s one of our leaders here at NCC and is married to Ian (see above). With a passion for discipling kids to know and love Jesus, she is also our Kid's Ministry Coordinator!

Chelsea is fun and full of creativity. She is passionate about pursuing God and the fullness of who He is and all He has in store for us.

God first became real to her when she started attending church with Ian and his family during high school. Since then, she has placed Him at the center of her life and fully embraced Him. For that reason, Chelsea leads with humility, grace, and a strong confidence of who God is!

When she isn’t at church, you might find her crafting, thrifting, pranking Ian, or being a mom to their new baby, Carter. 

Chelsea’s favorite Scripture Verse: “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God, my God.” Ruth 1:16 (because Ruth’s commitment to her mother in law in this passage is a beautiful example of what our faithfulness to God should look like, no matter how hard life gets).

Zack Wise

Leadership Team

Meet Zack! Zack is one of our leaders here at NCC and serves often on our worship team.

He grew up in Central PA where his dad pastored a church, and met the love of his life Jada (see below) while they were attending the same high school!

God became most real to Zack after having a near death experience (ask him about it!) and since then deeply desires to know God intimately, and inspires others to do the same. Zack leads with personality, depth, and a heart for outreach.

Zack and Jada moved their lives here the day after getting married, solely out of a passion to be fully invested in what God is doing at Nickel City Church! They have since realized how much they love pizza and wings and the neighborly culture of Buffalo.

When Zack isn’t at church, you might find him playing hockey, repenting of road rage, being a goof, enjoying video games, or embracing his new role as a dad.

Zack’s Favorite Scripture Verse:
“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Jada Wise

Leadership Team/Admin

Say hi to Jada! Jada is one of our leaders here at NCC, serves often on the hospitality team, and does a lot of valuable behind the scenes administrative work for the church! 

Jada was born in Cape May, New Jersey but later moved to central PA where she eventually met and married her husband Zack (see above). 

Jada didn’t grow up in church, but discovered who God was on her own later on when she branched off on her own attending Liberty University. Feeling lost and confused, she found herself when she found God, and committed to living a life that honors Him. One of her favorite things about NCC is an environment that cultivates meaningful relationships that challenge her to grow.

Jada may come across a little quiet and introverted, but don’t let that fool you! She is fun, down to earth, and easy to talk to. She leads with dedication, excellence, and a desire for godliness.

When she isn’t at church or taking care of business behind the scenes, you might find her playing sports or lifting weights, eating fudge-y brownies, watching Parks and Rec, or enjoying motherhood as she raises their new baby, Roman.

Jada’s Favorite Scripture Verse: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12