Brian Zdrojowy - Lead Pastor

Brian is the founder and lead pastor of Awaken Church in North Port, FL.  He has experienced God's Grace throughout his life and ministry, and is passionate about helping others discover God's best for their lives.  Brian loves communicating the truth of God's word and does so every chance he gets.  One of his favorite quotes is "Preach the gospel always, use words when necessary"! Brian's desire is to see Southwest FL and specifically North Port, Awakened to God's Grace.


When Brian is not speaking, writing or engaged in other ministry, he stays busy keeping up with his beautiful wife Jacqueline and four energetic kids, Selina, Wyatt, Lacie-Rae and Charis.  Brian considers being a dad his highest calling, knowing that his kids are watching his every move and always checking to see where they fit.  Brian enjoys fishing, especially with his kids!  Brian is an avid Miami Hurricanes fan and loves old cars.  To find out more about Brian check out the links below or stop by Awaken Church... He'd be glad to meet you!

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Jacqueline Zdrojowy - Experience Director

Jacqueline, affectionately known as JZ, grew up in Birmingham, AL. If you happen to run in to her on an autumn Saturday, she will more than likely be wearing a crimson colored t-shirt and will probably input Roll Tide into your conversation at some point! Jacqueline loves doing ministry side-by-side with her husband Brian and keeps busy being the mommy to four little miracles, Selina, Wyatt, Lacie-Rae and Charis.

Jacqueline is very passionate about helping people discover their purpose and loves to encourage women over cups of coffee and through her blog. She always dreamed of being an Olympian in any and well every sport or activity that she ventured to do as a child and young adult. This sums up her personality... not afraid to reach for the stars and very sure that if you dream it, it is possible!  Jacqueline stays busy as Awaken's Experience Director and as our current Kid's ministry director.  Although, you might still find her occasionally doing a handstand or attempting a spin on the ice, as those are some of her favorite things to do.

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 Alexandra Scarsella - Worship Experience Director

  Alexandra Scarsella, (afffectionately known as Alex) serves as Awaken's Worship Experience Director.  Alex has served on our worship team since we launched in 2013.  Alex brings a fresh vibe to our church's worship experience and loves to worship! Alex, not only leads our worship team, but also oversees all creative elements for our services.  Alex has an amazing testimony and worships from a heart of freedom in Christ that personifies God's love to our Awaken family.  We are so thankful for the joy and excitement she brings every week.  Alex is mom to three amazing kids, Christianna, Adrianna and Brayden.  She is passionate about her family, singing, dancing and all things Disney.

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Shawn Leaverton - Student Ministry Director

Shawn Leaverton serves alongside his wife Valerie as our Student Minister.  Shawn is a gifted leader, who is excited to see Awaken's vision flourish.  Shawn brings to Awaken years of business experience as well as a lot of life-experience!  Shawn is a friend to the friendless (just ask Brian), and likes making people feel welcome.

Shawn Leaverton would say he is the epitome of “God made you special.” Still stuck in the 90’s, Shawn enjoys watching "In Living Color" reruns, while doing the running man to Ice Ice Baby. He also enjoys crocheting, ballet and long walks in the park (not really). In his down time, more then anything, he enjoys spending time with his wife Valerie, and their three children Olivia, Gabbi and Jake (really). Shawn looks forward to seeing what God has in store for him, his family and North Port!

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Valerie Leaverton - Student Ministry Director

Valerie Leaverton brings many things to the Awaken team, for instance, her extensive knowledge of all things Disney, Goonies, and NKOTB (New Kids On The Block...duh). But on a serious note... Valerie tag teams student ministry with her husband Shawn.  Valerie enjoys all things embarrassing to her children (Olivia, Gabbi, and Jake)  such as jamming out to rad 80s music in the car, and breaking out her amazing Elaine like dance moves in the grocery store.  When she is not causing her children trauma, Valerie enjoys reading , and spending time with her husband Shawn of 13 years. Valerie also, brings a back ground in early education, event planning, and drug counseling to the Awaken team.

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Jean Pedraza - Awaken Kids Director

Jean Pedraza currently serves as our Kids Hospitality Coordinator.  In his role he oversees assimilating new families and their children into Awaken's kids ministries.  Jean has been with Awaken from day 1 and has served in other capacities!  He brings a youthful energy to our team.  Jean is a father to three beautiful kids, Isabella, Adalia and Ethan.  Jean enjoys music, both writing it as well as performing it.  Ocasionally we convince him to share his talents in our services!

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April Pedraza - Embrace Grace Coordinator

April Pedraza currently serves as our Embrace Grace Coordinator.  Embrace Grace is a National ministry that was started to love on and assist women with unplanned pregnancies.  To learn more about the ministry (click here) Embrace Grace.  April has been with Awaken from day 1 and has served in other capacities!  April has such a passion for young women and girls. She is truly a Proverbs 31 women.  April's three beautiful kids, Isabella, Adalia and Ethan keep her constantly on her toes.  April enjoys time with her family and all things Disney!

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Stephanie Upchurch - Assitant to Pastor Brian

Stephanie currently serves as Pastor Brian's assistant.  She and her husband Josh have been apart of Awaken since the beginning.  Stephanie has brought peace to the chaos of Pastor's schedule and she is credited with the Z family dinners now being devoid of work conversation.  Stephanie and Josh have two beautiful daughters Lilly and Madelyn.

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