New Year, New Staff Members.

Happy New Year, Heights Family! We’re one week into 2016 and I’m over here still messing up the date every time I write it down.

I don’t know about you guys, but the first week back after the holidays is long and tiring. So here is a fresh blog post to help you make that last little push to the weekend.

Last semester held lots of transition for us as a Heights Students Staff. This is not a bad thing at all, just very bittersweet for everyone!

Here’s a brief glimpse at the transition–

  • In August we sent out Lauren Brewer, our Admin and High School Girl Resident, to go and finish up her counseling degree and get hands on experience with counseling.
  • In August Thomas Seith transitioned from Junior High Resident to High School Resident.
  • In September Cory Butler, our Lead Student Minister, announced his family’s decision to walk in obedience to God’s call on their lives to move to England.
  • In October we commissioned out Sarah Renfro, our Junior High Girl Resident, to go on as the full time Girls Minister at Germantown Baptist in Tennessee.

Just writing that all down makes my heart rejoice in God’s faithfulness to us as a staff and a ministry. He has been SO GOOD to walk alongside us and pour His grace out on us during the midst of this crazy season.

This summer, as I began to anticipate the transitional semester ahead, I started praying fervently for the Lord to lead and guide us through the days ahead. As I was praying, the Lord led me to this verse: “‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these…you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship…'” Acts 1:24-25. And immediately that became my daily prayer. I can confidently say that God has heard all of our many prayer and answered them beyond what I could’ve hoped for.

Keep reading to hear the stories and hearts of the two specific people that the Lord chose to take the place in this ministry. We are so grateful to have Anna Sikes and Pierce Vanderslice our on our Heights Students team.

anna

Anna Sikes, our new Junior High Minister-in-Residence

Hello, I am excited to be starting with Heights Students as the Junior High Girl’s Resident. My heart is for students to follow Christ as a way of life. We are able to be in relationship with a living God who loves us and desires to know us. It’s an exciting journey!

A little about my story, I am originally from Conway, AR. I moved to Arkadelphia to attend Ouachita Baptist University  to study Biblical Studies. While in college, it became clear that God was leading me to further my studies through seminary. It was hard to decide between school and some different job offers, but God kept leading me back to seminary so I stepped out in faith.

In August, I moved to Dallas to go to Dallas Theological Seminary. It’s been crazy moving to this big city, but I can see how God prepared wonderful things for me here.

Once I started school, I had no idea what the details of my life would look like.In my first weeks in Dallas, I got connected with Mollie, Bo, and Cory through a student and DTS. After meeting with the Heights Students Staff, we decided that it would be a good fit for me to begin working with the Heights Girls. I couldn’t believe that I get to go to school and do ministry at the same time!

Throughout times of change in life, I cling to the promise found in Eph. 3:20-21,“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!” I would never have met the Heights Students Staff without a coffee meeting with a student at DTS who knew the Heights church heart for discipleship.

I was encouraged by the Heights staff because they shared with me they had been praying over hiring a new girl to join their team. The prayers matched some of my own prayers of desiring to work with students. I look forward to the ways I will grow at my time at the Heights and be able to serve the girls.

pierce

Pierce Vanderslice, our new Associate Student Minister, Junior High

Hello, friends! I am so excited to be a part of the Heights Student Ministry! I am incredibly grateful that God has led me back to serve in a student ministry, and church, that has been so formative in my own spiritual journey.

I spent the first eighteen years of my life in the North Dallas/Richardson area, all while attending The Heights from birth to high school graduation. I’ve been around this community for a very long time. I am so honored and excited to be back amongst this body of believers. The Heights is a very special place to me and my family and I am so excited to be back home.

For the last seven years I lived in Waco, attending Baylor University. While at Baylor, I received my Bachelors of Arts in Communication, as well as my Masters in Divinity from George. W Truett Theological Seminary.

My heart for ministry began to grow during my time in The Heights Student Ministry and was further fleshed out during my years at Baylor. Prior to starting work at The Heights, I served as the student minister at First Baptist Elm Mott. My time with the people of FBC Elm Mott was incredibly rich and formative to my ministry and own spiritual formation.

I am passionate about being at The Heights because I truly believe our mission statement, taking personal risks to bring the Gospel to every relationship, is the call of the Church and the heartbeat of Christ. I believe that The Heights is full of people who are earnestly seeking to deepen their knowledge of Christ, while also urgently proclaiming the gospel in our communities.

One of my greatest joys in ministry is getting to walk alongside students through the challenging stages of adolescences; and help them continue to return to Christ as the cornerstone of their life. I believe ministry happens in the trenches of life and in the midst of brokenness and hurt. I am passionate about journeying with students throughout the ‘trenches.’ As my own testimony would suggest, the teenage years are full of excitement, and yet also dark corners. My prayer is that by the grace of God and the leading of the Spirit I would be able to help students become aware of the gospel in all circumstances.


If you would like to know more about Pierce, Anna, or our transitions–click here to get in contact with us. When you see Anna and Pierce around, introduce yourself and get to know them! They are great and have become an integral part of this ministry already. Thanks be to God!


Author: Mollie Tyler, Associate Student Minister, Girls Ministry