John is the founding pastor of Church for the Highlands, a church that began in 2010. Prior to serving at Church for the Highlands, John started two churches in Texas. He served as Associate Pastor of Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, TX and at First Baptist Church, Shreveport. He has been Pastor of Whitehall Baptist Church of Gatesville, TX, Oak Hills Community Church in Floresville, TX, First Baptist Church, Brownwood, TX and Highland Community Church in Trophy Club, TX. In addition to serving as Pastor of Church for the Highlands, John serves as Chaplain of Volunteers of America of North Louisiana and has served on various boards and committees in Shreveport (Junior League Community Advisory Board, Cherish the Children of God Board for Volunteers of America, Interfaith, Coordinating Council of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Louisiana, World Religion Board, Bank On Shreveport Steering Committee, Highland Center Ministries Board, and Church for the Highland’s Board of Elders).
John received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, a Master of Divinity in Biblical Languages from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, TX, and his Doctor of Ministry in Community Development at McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University in Atlanta, GA.
John and his wife, Jinny, have been married since 1995, since then having two children--Maggie Lee and Jack. After Maggie Lee’s death at age 12, they continue to celebrate her life through Maggie Lee for Good (a movement of doing good for others on and beyond October 29 each year) and in a book they co-authored about the movement, Maggie Lee for Good. John is a tribal member of Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
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BILL ALLEN was born in New Orleans but lived and grew up in Shreveport most of his life, attending Captain Shreve High School, Centenary College, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He taught band, orchestra, and guitar in the Caddo parish school system for twenty years, retired, worked two years in a pathology lab, and returned to Caddo parish to teach biology and physical science for two more years. He is retired again from Caddo parish and teaches private music lessons and also maintains an aquarium maintenance business. He has performed with the Shreveport symphony, Marshall Symphony and numerous pop and jazz groups in the Shreveport area. He has also arranged music performed by Broadmoor Baptist and First United Methodist churches. He is married to Bonnie Allen, who is gifted with the ability to perform sacred dance, and has two daughters; Elizabeth Jones, a labor and delivery nurse at LSU/Ochsner, and Rachel, who is a teacher at Montessori.
J. S. Bach signed “Soli Gloria Deo” (Only to the Glory of God) to all of his music – not just his sacred music, ALL of his music. Bill believes that his job as a music minister is enabling worshipers to return their musical gifts to God, whether it be singing or performing in a group or singing the hymns and songs of the Church in worship. And because the music of the Church comes in many different forms, congregants should feel free to worship God in their own unique and individual ways. To this end Bill believes that because the music of the Church takes many different forms it should not be limited to one form, and many different styles – spirituals, the great old “traditional” hymns, and contemporary songs – are all valid expressions of faith and should be incorporated into worship.
Bill has led worship at Parkview Baptist Church, Central Christian Church, Fellowship United Methodist Church, and Summer Grove United Methodist Church. He comes to The Church For The Highlands with the conviction that his talents will glorify God at this location and that the people of the church and the Highlands will be lifted up and drawn closer to God through his ministry.
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Sabra has been a member of Church for the Highlands since 2010 and began her service as Church Administrator in 2012. She is from Shreveport and is married to Nate Hicks and has two children Lake and Wesley. Sabra has a bachelors degree from the University of Alabama in English and a Masters Degree from Plymouth State University in Adventure Based Education. Prior to serving at CFTH, she worked in the outdoor education industry and with children with learning differences.
At CFTH Sabra also serves as team leader for our Outreach Ministry, oversees our baby closet, The Little Clothesline, and volunteers her time leading physical activity with the VOA Visions of Hope program.