STAFF PROFILES: BILL HEPLER
We're thankful for our awesome staff team members who are serving in ministry at Highlands! Staff Profiles is an opportunity for you to get to know each of them a bit better, and maybe even learn something about them you didn't know.
Tell us a bit about your background in a paragraph:
I have family roots in the Northwest on my mother's side that go back to the 1880s with a school (Broadview Thomson Middle School) and a mountain just east of Snoqualmie Pass (Mt. Thomson) named after my great grandfather who was Seattle City Engineer a hundred years ago. I attended middle school and graduated high school in Victoria, BC - and still have many close Canadian friends. I studied biology at SPU and worked in academic research labs at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, and two area biotechnology companies before heading back to school in my forties and obtaining a degree in Ministry Leadership at Northwest University. I have been on staff at Highlands for almost six years.
Tell us about your role on staff at Highlands:
I have a unique role at Highlands where I feel privileged to serve all the various ministries behind the scenes. No day is like any other and I particularly enjoy working with the supporting staff of all the ministries who all work so hard behind the scenes to make ministry possible here at Highlands.
Share a verse or passage of scripture that has impacted your life:
"For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." - 2 Corinthians 4: 5-6
What is something you enjoy about living in the Seattle area?
I love the proximity of the mountains and the variety of beautiful places within easy reach. I can leave work and be out on the trails of the Issaquah Alps within 20 minutes. And I actually like the mild climate here that lacks the extremes of other locales.
What is something you love to do outside of serving in ministry?
I love to read and enjoy continuing to learn. Over the past few years, I have taken graduate courses from Reformed Theological Seminary more out of interest than the pursuit of another degree. I also love to get out in the mountains with my wife or hiking locally, and we have done numerous self-led, week-long sea kayaking trips in remote areas of the BC Inside Passage.
Share a fun fact about yourself or something that most people don’t know about you:
I have been a life-long climber - my father introduced me to mountaineering at a young age. I climbed Mt. Rainier at age 14 and made my 51st successful climb of Mt. Rainier with my wife a few years ago. I also climbed Denali, the highest mountain in North America, and thousands of technical climbs including El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite.