The Story of Highlands

Highlands was planted by First Presbyterian Church of Jackson under the leadership of organizing pastor Rev. Edward Norton.

  • 1993 – Highlands Presbyterian Church was planted by First Presbyterian Church of Jackson under the leadership of The Rev. Edward Norton. Our first worship service took place on Easter Sunday (April 11).
  • 1994 – Highlands was formally recognized as a part of the Presbyterian Church in America on May 22. On that day, 47 families signed the church Charter. Our original vision statement was “Making the Invisible Kingdom of God Visible.” That same year, the congregation began to hold regular worship services at Parkway Pentecostal Church in Madison, Mississippi.
  • 1996 – The congregation began to hold worship services, Sunday school, and other activities at the Homebuilders’ Association facility in Ridgeland. Ground was broken at 1160 Highland Colony Parkway for our permanent home. The Rev. Ed Norton was called to Independent Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN.
  • 1998 – Construction was completed on phase I of our church building. The Rev. Darwin Jordan is called to Highlands as Senior Pastor. Our vision statement is amended to “Enjoying God and Treasuring People.”
  • 2003 – Our pastoral staff was expanded with the calling of The Rev. Ted Mattis as assistant pastor. A new vision statement was drafted: “… a passion for Christ in all of life…the hope of Christ for all the world.”
  • 2004 – Darwin Jordan was called to Fort Worth Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth Texas. Ted Mattis was called to Independent Presbyterian Church in Memphis.
  • 2005 – The Rev. Joseph Wheat was called from Village Seven Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado to the senior pastor position at Highlands. The Rev. Robert Brunson was called to Highlands as Associate Pastor. Our vision statement was changed to “Highlands: a redeemed community reaching out at the intersections of life and culture.”
  • 2010 – Bob Brunson was called as Senior Pastor to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers, FL.
  • 2011 – The Rev. Brad Mercer was called to Highlands from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenwood, Mississippi.
  • 2012 – The Rev. Wilson Shirley, our Youth Pastor, is called to plant Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, AL. Our Young Adult intern, The Rev. Lee Hutchings, began full-time service as Assistant Pastor of Discipleship at Highlands.
  • 2014 – Construction began on a new sanctuary building, including two new classrooms, a catering kitchen and an atrium gathering area.
  • 2015 – Our new building was dedicated to the glory of God on August 9. The original building was refurbished with an expanded and remodeled nursery and a central corridor. The old sanctuary became the Fellowship Hall.
  • 2016 – The Rev. Devin Kahan, our Jr. High Youth intern, came on staff full-time as Assistant Pastor of Youth Ministries.
  • 2017 – The Rev. Billy Meenan, our Sr. High intern, came on staff full-time as Assistant Pastor to Senior High.
  • 2018 – Lee Hutchings is called to Grace Presbyterian Church in Hudson, Ohio as Pastor of Church Planting. Mike Murphy was called to Highlands to serve as Director of Music Ministries.