Mario & Leigh


Mario Gonzalez is the senior pastor of Hope Center Tabernacle since 1996 and is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hope Center Arts since 2000. Before settling into full-time ministry, Mario worked in both the defense industry and in retail as a consultant and technical specialist. He served as vice president of a multimillion-dollar defense contractor, then praised by the President of the United States as a premiere minority run corporation. Mario is also managing attorney of his own law firm, Gonzalez Law Group, LLC ( and an adjunct professor of law at New Jersey City University.  He is a graduate of both Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Fordham University in New York City. He is a coffee aficionado, an accomplished musician (guitar and bass), and has a passion to see people live their dreams for Christ. His greatest pleasure is to see people grow in their leadership positions within the body of Christ and to do great things for the Lord. Mario is a champion of the cause of Christ in everything he does, both inside and outside the church walls and is passionate in his defense of the defenseless in society and in the courtroom.

Mario is married to Leigh Piatt-Gonzalez, who is also a Senior Pastor at Hope Center Tabernacle. Leigh is an accomplished pianist and clarinetist who also founded and is the president of Hope Center Arts. Leigh directs the world-renowned and critically acclaimed Arts Ministry Team that is impacting both the metropolitan New York / New Jersey area and the world at large for Christ. Through her exemplary leadership, Hope Center Arts has reached a level of quality unsurpassed by other arts ministries in the United States. Mario and Leigh have two beautiful daughters, Stephanie and Sarah, and reside in Jersey City Heights, New Jersey – an artistic enclave. Sarah is actively involved in many facets of ministerial leadership at the Hope Center alongside her parents.

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