Meet The Team

Here at Restoration Church, we have a dedicated team of pastors and staff who love God and love the people of Restoration Church. Here is a brief introduction to these people for you:

  • dan Trippie

    Pastor/Elder

    Primary Responsibilities: Vision, Leadership Development, Church Planting


    After ministering in the Southern US, Pastor Dan Trippie returned to his hometown of Buffalo, NY in 2008 to plant Restoration Church. Dan has traveled to seven countries for mission and church saturation endeavors, as his desire is to see gospel-centered churches planted throughout the world, especially in Western New York. He received his Bachelor of Biblical Studies from Moody Bible Institute and Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dan is currently a PhD student in Public Theology at Southeastern Seminary.


    In addition to church planting, Dan has a passion for marriage and family ministry. Dan and his wife, Gina, recently published their first book, He Said, She Said, God Said: Biblical Answers to Marriage Questions. Dan and Gina, high school sweethearts, were married in 1995.They have twin teenage sons, Samuel and Dominick.

  • dr. Ed Kuffel

    Pastor/Elder

    Primary Responsibilities: Teaching, Counseling, Community Groups


    It is the thrill of a lifetime of ministry to be serving as a pastor/elder at Restoration Church. Ministry has been a part of my life from its very beginning, with my dad being a pastor and then me beginning my ministry as a teenager, preaching my first sermon on the same weekend I turned 16. I have had the joy of serving 4 churches prior to my arrival in Buffalo, NY... in Arizona, California, Florida, and Connecticut. Carla is my wife of 28 years, having met her while I was a senior at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. We share the awesome joy of being proud parents of amazing twins, Jackson and Katy. I received my Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1989), a Doctorate from Golden Gate Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, CA (1994), in addition to some continual theological education at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. The most profound experience of my life is my grace-story through the shed blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ... a grace story of Him through His incomparable redemptive power and grace. I love being a part of Restoration Church, a church that truly lives up to its name.


  • Jim Murphy

    Pastor/Elder

    Primary Responsibilities: Mobilization, Missional Living, Corporate Worship


    By His grace, Jesus saved Jim at the age of 20. Since that time, it has been his passion to help others understand and grow in Jesus' Gospel of grace. Jim and his family have a love for upstate New York and the Northeast, though they are not originally from here. The majority of his ministry involvement has been helping start new churches in Southwest Florida and Syracuse, NY.  He feels sincerely priveleged to be a part of Restoration Church and the great things God is doing in and through His people here for His glory.


    Education has come in many forms in Jim's life. He has a wonderful mixture of formal education (Grand Valley State University; Trinity International University), ministry experience, and personal mentoring by godly men. He is grateful to Jesus for each of those formative experiences.


    By God’s grace Jim is married to his best friend, Tara, and together they have three wonderful children, Evan, Aidan, and Ashlyn. Also not to be forgotten are their dog Piper, cat Maddie, and fish Aidan named Dude.

  • Dani Girdlestone

    Ministry Director

    Contact: info@restorationbuffalo.com


    Dani spent the early years of her life in the Canadian Prairies where she learned that “family” can be more than blood relations. Growing up as a pastor's daughter, Dani began learning the “behind the scenes” of church functioning from a young age, and that the people in your church can sometimes be the strongest “family” you have. When her family moved to Western New York in 2000 to continue ministry at a local church, they began the nearly eight year process of gaining citizenship. During this time, Dani completed high school and began attending college in Georgia to pursue a degree in youth ministry. After graduation, she returned to the region, falling back in love with the area and spending a season working in the mortgage industry before joining the team at Restoration Church. Married in 2014, she enjoys spending time with friends, playing board games, and watching science-fiction movies, working with animals, adventuring, and most of all hanging out with her nephew who was born in the fall of 2013.


  • Jen Jackson

    Children's Director

    Contact: jen@restorationbuffalo.com


    Jen has always had a heart and inclination for working with children.  From an early age she looked for opportunities to care for and be creative with kids.  She found enjoyment in teaching children and helping others and decided to pursue a career in Speech and Language Pathology at The College of Wooster in Ohio.   In College, God reached Jen on a personal level through Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  While attending the University at Buffalo (UB) for Graduate school, Jen coached high school soccer and served middle school age students at The Chapel at Crosspoint.  It was at the Chapel where Jen met Craig and they were married in 2006.  Upon graduation, Jen became a nationally certified and licensed Speech Language Pathologist and NYS licensed Teacher.  Over the next six years Jen worked in various settings helping children overcome their communication challenges. 

    Jen and Craig were part of the launch team for The Chapel at Elmwood, where Jen worked with a team of volunteers to develop the children’s ministry.  Soon after, Jen and Craig found themselves at Restoration Church in 2009 when Jen regularly served with the children.  In 2012, God blessed Jen the opportunity to stay home with her two young girls and left her job as a Speech Pathologist.  Jen and Craig now have three children; Callie, Ellery, and Brody.  Combining her passions in helping children communicate, being creative, and sharing God with others, Jen is thrilled to take on the role of Children’s Ministry Director.  Her hope is to make an impact on the children of Restoration Church and to equip them to go into the world sharing the love of Christ.

  • Chris Hammond

    Chris came to Buffalo from New York’s Capital District (Albany, Schenectady, Troy) in 2004 to attend business school at the University at Buffalo (UB). Upon graduating in 2008 he decided to return to UB for a degree in communication design.


    Having been raised in a local church and baptized at the age of 15, Chris’s relationship with God existed from a young age. But a challenging season of life in late high school and college had him looking elsewhere for comfort, love, joy and hope. By the immense grace and providence of God, Chris ended up back in a community of Christ followers at Restoration Church. His shame, guilt and hopelessness were met with God’s forgiveness and mercy communicated in the preaching, singing, and sacraments of the Gospel. And the love of Christ was ever present in a new local church.


    A couple years later Chris and his wife, Aubrey, were engaged. Their wedding followed the first worship service at Restoration Church’s 504 Frankhauser campus. Since 2011 Chris and Aubrey have been ministering to young men on the East Side of Buffalo where they currently live. They envision a new local church that will one day help restore young men and their families on the East Side of Buffalo, just like Restoration Church helped restore them.


    Chris considers it a privilege and honor to serve on Restoration Church’s team, equipping people to love their family members, friends, coworkers, and neighbors for the glory of God and the joy of seeing others restored by the Gospel.