Staff

Staff

Profile image of Jeff Hinds

Jeff Hinds

Senior Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683
Contact

Jeff has served as Senior Pastor at Highland since 2002.  He is happily married to his college sweetheart, Betty Ann.  Together they are blessed with 4 adult children, a son-in-law, and 2 precious grandchildren.  Jeff loves spending time with family, golfing, and anything that includes his grandchildren!  He was educated at Houghton College (history/business), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (New Testament), and Dallas Theological Seminary where he earned a doctorate.

Wausau Campus

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Dave Mahler

Wausau Campus Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1106
Contact

Dave Mahler is the Campus Pastor at our Wausau Campus.  He joined our staff in May of 2006.  Dave works in areas of counseling, teaching, custodial staff management, and visitation.  He is married and has 5 children and 11 grandchildren.

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Isaiah DeMoss

Equipping Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1112
Contact

Isaiah came to Highland in 2017 from a small town in Northwest Indiana. He and his wife, Amy have been married for 15 years and have three energetic boys. Isaiah is a graduate of Newburgh Bible College with a Master's Degree in Theology.  He has a passion for leading people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus. His hobbies and passions include the Chicago Bears, anything Christmas, and collecting vinyl records.

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Janna Janke

Connections Director

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1109
Contact

Janna and her husband have lived in the Wausau area their entire married lives, and have a love for the community.  They enjoy spending as much time as possible with their adult children and their spouses, along with their six grandchildren.  Janna's hobbies include being active in the outdoors and anything family related.  

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Ryan Bare

Visitation and Traditions Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683
Contact

Ryan spent a decade in pastoral ministry in rural Illinois before coming to Highland in October, 2019. He is a graduate of Northland Baptist Bible College and Maranatha Baptist Seminary. He enjoys reading and being outdoors and is a longtime Packer fan. Ryan is married to Kirstin and is thankful for the opportunity they have to serve together here at Highland.

Weston Campus

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Dan MacDonald

Weston Campus Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1200
Contact

Dan and his wife, Sue, began attending Highland in 1994.  In 2003, Dan joined the Highland staff and serves as the Weston Campus Pastor.  He received his education at Covenant College, and Westminster Theological Seminary.  Dan and Sue have three adult sons.  His hobbies include spending time with family, camping, biking, and being a loyal member of Red Sox Nation!  

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Maggie Brayton

Weston Children's Director

Contact

Maggie and her husband, Rob, came to Highland in 2013. As a devoted mother of 4, she began volunteering in children's ministry shortly thereafter. Maggie's gifts in structure, planning, compassion, giving, and helping others were well suited to working with children. She joined the staff in mid 2019 helping to further strengthen the team at the Weston campus.

Marathon Campus

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Brian Whitaker

Marathon Campus Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1300
Contact

Pastor Brian served as Highland’s Worship Pastor 2003-2010, then returned to Highland’s staff to be the Marathon Campus Pastor in 2013. Brian earned his Master of Divinity from Trinity in 1996, and was ordained in the Evangelical Free Church of America in 2004. Brian is married to Kristin, and they have four teen and adult children.

Merrill Campus

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Dan Shields

Worship/Youth Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1400
Contact

Dan was born and raised in the Northwoods of Eagle River, Wisconsin and joined the Highland staff in 2019 where he serves as the Worship/Youth Pastor at our Merrill Campus.  He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College.  He and his wife, Laura, have two beautiful daughters; their favorite thing is spending time together making fun memories.  When Dan has free time, he enjoys playing soccer, disc golf, or ultimate frisbee.

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Adam DeBroux

Discipleship/Children's Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1401
Contact

Adam grew up in the Merrill community and started serving as the Discipleship/Children's Pastor at Highland's Merrill Campus in 2019.  He received his Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is passionate about discipling, teaching, and leading people into a deeper love for Jesus.  Adam enjoys spending time with family, camping, riding his ATV, and watching the Packers.

Children's Ministry

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Jessica Leptien

children's ministry Director

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1121
Contact

Jessica joined the staff at Highland as the Co-Director of Children's Ministry in 2019.  She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Bible.  In 2015, Jessica began attending Highland as a volunteer in Children's Ministry.  She and her husband, Ron, continue to serve in various ways at Highland. As the daughter of a pastor in the Wausau area, Jessica has been exposed to ministry her entire life, and has loved serving children while on mission trips to the Philippines and Bermuda. She has a heart for Highland and a passion for people.

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Kirstin Bare

children's ministry director

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1117
Contact

Kirstin grew up in Wausau, and joined Highland's staff in 2014 where she serves as the Co-Director of Children's Ministry.  She has a Bachelor's Degree in Bible and Elementary Education from Faith Baptist Bible College.  Kirstin also holds a Certificate of Christian Ministry with the EFCA.   Prior to joining Highland's staff, she taught elementary students for 13 years, both locally and abroad in South Korea and China.  Kirstin is married to Ryan, and enjoys spending time serving the Lord with him. 

Facility

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Ted Hahn

Facility Director

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1125
Contact

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Andy Blake

Wausau and Marathon Caretaker

Contact

Randy Schultz

Wausau Caretaker

Contact

Fred Veenstra

Caretaker

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Finance/Administration

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Jolene Fenwick

administrator

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1104
Contact

Jolene has worked in non-profit management, first in California and then in Wisconsin, since graduating from UW River Falls.  She has been on staff as the Administrator since the early years of Highland, where she oversees multiple areas including  communication, finance, and facility coordination of the campuses. Jolene and her husband have four grown children.  Volunteering in a variety of community groups, as well as running a local horse stable, are two of the things she enjoys most during her off time.

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Cheryl Hopson

Administrative Associate

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1102
Contact

Cheryl joined the Highland staff in 2019 as an Administrative Associate.  She is married to her high school sweetheart, Gary  “the trumpet guy”.  After many moves, in seven different states, they have happily settled in Wausau. She enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren, doing projects, and reading, and looks forward to seeing what God has planned for her at Highland.

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Amy DeMoss

Accountant II

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1124
Contact

Amy relocated to Wausau from Indiana with her husband, Isaiah, and their three boys in 2017. She is a graduate of Newburgh Bible College, with a degree in Marketing, and serves in finance and as a Young Adults Administrative Associate. She enjoys biking, hiking, kayaking, and spending time with her family.

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Kathleen Duffert

Contact

After moving multiple times through their 45 years together, Kathleen and her husband Charles started attending Highland Community Church 17 years ago.  Kathleen attended four universities but eventually graduated from UWSP after moving to Wausau.  Kathleen is an avid thrifter and re-seller and loves spending time with her adult children and six grandchildren.  As a Nebraska native, Kathleen will always be cheering for Big Red, but not the same one you are!

Women's Ministry

Profile image of Sue MacDonald

Sue MacDonald

women's director

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1115
Contact

 Sue joined the staff as the Women's Ministry Director in June of 2017, after attending Highland with her husband, Dan, since 1994.  Together, they have three grown sons. Sue received her education at Hope College.   She grew up in Waupun, Wisconsin, and now, as an adult, enjoys time camping, riding bike, and going for walks with her family.

Worship Ministry

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Jeff Weiss

Worship Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1107
Contact

Pastor Jeff Weiss has been serving as the Worship Pastor at Highland since 2010, where he oversees the areas of worship, music, and creative arts.  Jeff holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from UW Oshkosh.  He is married to Billie and they have three young children.  He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, visiting state parks (especially Door County), and is an avid Green Bay Packers fan.  

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Rachael Franck

Multi-media Coordinator

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1120
Contact

Rachael joined the Highland staff in 2016.  She grew up in the Wausau area and graduated from UW Stevens Point with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication emphasizing in Media Studies and Video Production.  Rachael has a desire to glorify God by helping to make videos that show how He changes lives.  In her spare time, Rachael enjoys spending time with her nephews, playing games with friends, and enjoying the outdoors.

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Bryan Niemeyer

Worship and Young Adults Director

Contact

Bryan has been serving in the Worship and Youth Ministry at Highland since 1998 and joined the staff part-time in 2013.  He is currently serving full time in the worship and young adult ministries. Bryan has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s Degree of Education from Marion College. He loves worship and is passionate about wanting the body of Christ to understand and engage in a true life of worship.  Music, coffee, the smell of a good book (and reading it as well), skiing, and cooking the most amazing food from all over the world are a few of his hobbies. 

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Brennan OConnell

Technical Arts Director

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1122
Contact

Brennan has attended Highland for most of his life and has volunteered and worked part time in Worship and Facilities since his early teen years.  He came on staff full time in 2018 as the Facility Director, and in the fall of 2019 transferred into his new role as Technical Arts Director.  Brennan married his wife, Nicole, in 2017 and they enjoy their dogs, Luna and Ivy. Brennan and Nicole enjoy music, board games, and walking their dogs.

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Joe Aldrich

Worship Ministries Coordinator

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1123
Contact

Joe began serving at Highland as the Worship Ministry Coordinator in 2019. He has an IT Programmer/Analyst Associate Degree from Northcentral Technical College as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (with a Business Administration minor) from UW Green Bay. Joe likes learning new technologies and leveraging them to solve problems and optimize solutions. He has a passion for music and worship, and enjoys golfing.

Young Adult's Ministry

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Sam DeLoye

Young Adults Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1119
Contact

Sam joined the team at Highland in 2017 and serves as the Young Adults Pastor.  He graduated from Cedarville University and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Sam married his wife, Hannah, in 2018 and they have two boys. They enjoy skiing, board games, and spending time with family.

Youth Ministry

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Jarrod Stichter

Pastor of Junior High Ministries

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1108
Contact

Jarrod has been serving at Highland since September, 2016 and is currently the Pastor of Junior High Ministries.  Jarrod received his Bachelors Degree in Biblical Studies from Trinity International University, as well as a Masters of Arts in Christian Ministry from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.  He married his high school sweetheart in February, 2011, has a beautiful daughter, and two spunky miniature dachshunds.  Jarrod loves the Chicago Cubs, backyard BBQ's, hunting/fishing, and spending quality time with his family.  He is passionate about pouring into teens and helping them become life long disciples of Jesus that make disciples. 

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Andrew Gutberlet

Discipleship/Equipping Pastor

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1113
Contact

Andrew joined the Highland family in 2017 and serves as the Discipleship/Equipping Pastor. He provides oversight to the Missions Team, serves as the G180 High School pastor, and regularly preaches and teaches. He received his undergraduate degree from Cedarville University and is currently furthering his education in Christian Apologetics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Andrew and his wife, Megan, have a precious little boy, and they love to travel and experience new cultures, play a good board game, and converse with friends over a cup of coffee.

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Sarah Names

Youth Ministries Assistant (part-time)

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1103
Contact

Sarah has served at Highland in Student Ministries since 2013 and joined the staff as the Youth Ministries Assistant in 2016.  She grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin where she married her high school sweetheart, Scott.  They have been blessed with 4 children.  Sarah's hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, baking and cooking, and taking walks.  

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Vianca McSwain

Student Ministries Director

Office: 715-842-5683 ext. 1110
Contact

Vianca grew up in California and joined the Highland staff in 2021 where she serves as the student ministries director. She loves spending time with students and has been involved in student ministries since 2012. In her free time she enjoys time with her nephew, playing board games, enjoying a cup of coffee, and traveling.