Church Staff

Pastoral Staff

The Rev. Joseph Wheat – Senior Pastor 

ajwheat@highlandspca.org

Joseph is a 1984 graduate of Auburn University, where he received a BS in Economics. He graduated in 1987 from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi with a Master of Divinity degree. Joseph also received a Doctor of Divinity degree (honorary) from New Geneva Theological seminary in 2006.  Joseph has been the Senior Pastor at Highlands since July, 2005. He was the Senior Pastor of Village Seven Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Prior to Village Seven he was the Founding Pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Joseph began his ordained pastoral career at First Presbyterian Church of Augusta, Georgia as an assistant pastor. While at First Presbyterian he met Gina Smith, and they were married in June of 1990. The Wheats have two daughters, Sarah Caitlin and Emily Grace.

FullSizeRenderThe Rev. Bradford Mercer  – Senior Associate Pastor

bmercer@highlandspca.org

Brad is a graduate of the University of Texas, Reformed Theological Seminary, and the University of Wales, UK, where he wrote his dissertation on C.S. Lewis. He is a contributor to the recently published book, Views from Wake Forest: Essays on C.S.Lewis. Brad has served as a Director at Pine Cove Christian Conference Center in Tyler, Texas, where his ministry focus was strategic planning for facilities and program ministry; creating and overseeing budgets; and teaching, mentoring, and training staff and guests. He has also served as a pastor at Tyler Presbyterian Church and Fifth Street Presbyterian Church, both in Tyler.  He was on the Executive Staff at First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, for eight years. His ministry emphasis there was teaching, discipling, and leading. Most recently, he was the Senior Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenwood, MS.  Brad and his wife, Cindy, have two children, Hannah and Harrison. Hannah, who is married to Scott Archer, and their sons Ethan, Levi, and Luke, live in Brandon, MS.  Harrison and his wife, Carissa, currently live in Colorado Springs with their sons Tyler and Ian.

Lee HutchingsThe Rev. Lee Hutchings – Pastor of Congregational Life

lee@highlandspca.org

Lee has been Pastor of Congregational Life since August 2012. Before ordination, he served on staff as Discipleship Coordinator and Young Adult Ministry Intern. Lee and his wife Diane are originally from Akron, Ohio and both share a passion for loving and serving the Lord Jesus and his people in relationships and community. Lee is an English Literature major from Concordia University and The University of Akron, and received his Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. He is also a collaborator for a Reformed blog, Whitefield’s Prayer. Lee, Diane, and their son Harper love Highlands and consider it a great privilege and joy to partner in ministry with such wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ!

The Rev. Devin Kahan – Assistant Pastor (Youth) 

devin@highlandspca.org

Devin has been leading the Jr. High Ministry at Highlands since July of 2007.  He grew up in the suburbs of Orlando (he could NOT see Disney World from his bedroom window).  He graduated from Furman University in 2005 with an Economics Degree.  However, God called him into youth ministry.  He moved to Mississippi in 2007 to do full-time middle school ministry at Highlands.  In 2008, he started classes at RTS (Reformed Theologicaly Seminary) part-time, and finally graduated in 2015.  After much blood, sweat, and tears, Devin finally found a wife!  Karin and Devin got married in 2013.  In 2015, God blessed them with a son named Macklin Jeffrey Kahan (“Son of God’s Peace”).  Devin loves to play all sports when he’s not injured, which is about 15 days out of the year.

Ministry Staff

Mr. Billy Meenan – Senior High Coordinator

billy@highlandspca.org

Billy became the Senior High Coordinator at Highlands in January of 2011.  He was born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado.  After briefly attending Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA, Billy transferred to Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, CO where he graduated with a degree in Psychology and was involved with Reformed University Fellowship.  He completed internships with churches in Colorado Springs, CO, Hattiesburg, MS, and Eugene, OR, before serving at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Brandon, FL as the Director of Youth and Family Ministries in 2008.  He is currently pursuing his Master of Divinity degree at Reformed Theological Seminary. Billy met his wife, Christina, during their time at Colorado State.  They have two children, Bear and Evelyn.

 

Mrs. Becky Brown – Director of Worship Music

bbrown@highlandspca.org

Becky serves as Director of Worship Music. She is responsible for selecting the music used in the Sunday morning worship service and assists in planning the worship service as well as directing the members of the Worship Team. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University. She and her husband, Tom, are the parents of two daughters: Katie, who is married to Timothy Doremus, and Hayley. They have two grandchildren, Olivia and Jack. Becky began playing for church worship at age 12, and feels that God has been preparing her all her life to serve the congregation at Highlands.

 

 

Mrs. Laurie Nordan – Women’s and Children’s Ministry Director

laurie@highlandspca.org

Laurie grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and graduated from Ole Miss with a B.A. in Home Economics. She and her husband, John, served in many churches throughout the Southeast until making their home in Madison.  She has served as Children’s Ministry Director at Highlands since 2004 and Women’s Ministry Coordinator since 2014. Her desire is to see women and children grow into a real relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior. She and John have four children: Trey, Natalie, Shelby, and Oliver.  They also have one son-in-law, Matthew Clark, one daughter-in-law, Emelia, and one granddaughter, Ginny-Pearl.

 

Mr. Will10904392_10102724259668651_1307709096217303660_oiam Bondurant – Young Adults Intern

 

 

 

 

 

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Mr. Josh Johnson – Young Adults Intern

 

 

 

 

 


12717180_924446407653430_3161061202369063373_n (1)Mrs. Julie Crosland – Nursery Coordinator

Julie is a charter member of Highlands since its beginning in 1994. She is originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She has been working with nursery at Highlands since the beginning. Her husband, Dr. Craig Crosland, is a Ruling Elder at Highlands.  They have two children, Pearce and Claire.

 

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Administrative Staff

Mr. Larnie Shinnick – Director of Administration

lshinnick@highlandspca.org

 

 

 

 

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Mrs. Gia Earnest – Executive Administrative Assistant

office@highlandspca.org

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Cherita Swanson – Administrative Assistant

cswanson@highlandspca.org

Cherita was born and raised in Mississippi. She and her husband, Michael, live in Madison with her two sons, Derek and Zach. Her oldest son, Bradley, and his wife, Kellie, live in Gluckstadt. Before coming to Highlands in January of 2008, Cherita worked for a dental office in Ridgeland. Prior to that, she worked for Vickers, Inc. for 14 years and then operated a child care business in her Madison home for several years.