JUNE 2018

Dear Highlands Family,

We are thrilled to share some exciting news regarding our Lead Pastor search!

Following Pastor Jim’s announcement of retirement back in October of 2017, we prayerfully began the process of searching for the person God would bring, to serve as the next Lead Pastor of Highlands. We were blessed with a high level of interest in the Lead Pastor position, and a large number of candidates from across the country.

The process of reviewing candidates has been first and foremost, filled with prayer. We have sought God’s leading, each step of the way. The past several months we have likewise been guided by the wisdom and insight of the Search Team, Theological Review Team, the Christian search firm with whom we have been in partnership, and our Board of Elders.

We are now pleased to announce, that Jesse Campbell has been unanimously confirmed by our Board of Elders and has accepted the position of Lead Pastor of Highlands Community Church. Jesse comes to us from Nashville, Tennessee and has been married to Jessica (Jessi) since 2008. Their children are Austin Elijah (7), Aiden Isaiah (in heaven), Asher Noah (5), Asa Riley (3), and Autumn Grace (14 months).

Jesse is a passionate and gifted leader, disciple maker, and Bible teacher. He teaches the Bible from an expository approach that is infused with humorous personal stories, accessible intellectual demand, and deeply engaging challenge. He has taught at events in several countries, including The Moody Pastors Conference and the Northwest Ministry Conference. He currently preaches at Hermitage Hills Baptist Church and LiveBible.TV.

Jesse is the author of several books & devotionals including I’m A Christian - Now What?, 365 Devos for Guys: Man Up to Your Faith, and What it Means to be a Christian. His articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including Outreach, Boundless, and Today, Jesse oversees the Explore the Bible product line at LifeWay and is pursuing a doctorate from Southern Seminary.

Jesse will be with us next weekend June 23-24 to preach in the services, and will begin stepping into his role as Lead Pastor at the end of July. We can’t wait for you to meet Jesse and his family, and invite you to be praying even now as they begin the process of moving across the country!

Pastor Jim isn’t going anywhere just yet- we are grateful for his commitment to finish well, after nearly 30 years of faithful service and to be part of a smooth transition and on boarding process. We will have several opportunities to express our deep gratitude to Jim and Lauri, in the days ahead.

As we enter into this significant time of transition in the story of our church, we invite you now more than ever, to consider how God might be calling you to be part of the vision to help people find and follow Jesus. Thank you once again, for your faithful prayers, as we welcome our new Lead Pastor, and for our church family as we continue steadfast in bringing the hope and healing of the gospel to our broken world.

Ernie Antin
Chairman of the Elders






How can I learn more about the search process that led us to Jesse Campbell?
Following many months of planning and preparation by the Elder Board, in October 2017 Jim announced his upcoming retirement. Since then, we have engaged in a prayerful search process that has drawn from the wisdom and insight of a lay led Search Team, the Theological Review team, a Christian search firm, and our Board of Elders. We thank God for His provision of Jesse, a deeply gifted leader, Bible teacher, and disciple maker. Visit for more information and FAQ’s regarding the search process.

When will Jesse be joining us at HCC?
Jesse will be with us next weekend June 23-24 to preach in the services, and will begin stepping into his role as Lead Pastor at the end of July. We can’t wait for you to meet Jesse and his family! We are also excited that Jesse will be with us at our High School Camp this summer with his family, as our speaker and to meet with students and leaders.

How can I be part of supporting our church family through this time of transition?
Now more than ever your support of the mission and vision of HCC is so meaningful, as we look to transition well and continue the faithful work of helping people find and follow Jesus, for generations to come. We encourage you to consider how you might continue to engage through serving, giving, and being part of all that God is doing through our church family.

What will the transition look like for Pastor Jim?
Pastor Jim is committed to finishing well after nearly 30 years of faithful service. After Jesse assumes the role of Lead Pastor at the end of July, Pastor Jim will continue on staff for several months, in order to be part of a smooth transition and onboarding process, as Jesse takes time to build relationships and get to know our staff and church family. More info about what this looks like will be shared in the days ahead!

How can I say thank you to Pastor Jim and Lauri?
Along with our staff and elder celebration in June, we are planning an all church celebration for Jim and Lauri this fall! More details to come.

How can I be part of welcoming Jesse and his family?
We have an upcoming all church reception celebration in the works, to welcome Jesse and his family to our church! Again, stay tuned for more details.