About Highland Hills Baptist Church

The Staff

John Mark Simmons
Pastor John Mark came to Highland Hills in 1990 joining a core group of about 15. He is a native of Oklahoma and has degrees from Oklahoma Baptist University (Bachelors), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Masters) and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (Doctorate of Ministry). Pastor John Mark enjoys tennis, golf, swimming and biking. John Mark and Debbie have been married 26 years. Debbie is an MK (misssionary’s kid) from South Korea and claims North Carolina as her home state. Debbie spent two years as a missionary to Japan and met John Mark at seminary. They have three kids– Davis, Reese and Brooke; son-in-law Cody and a crazy dog, Zak. The Simmons enjoy eating all things Mexican and homemade burgers, as well as watching sports.
Sambi Katano
Worship Pastor
Sambi joined Highland Hills in 2014. He is a lifetime musician and has led Worship in various churches since 1992. He is fluent in guitars and vocals, and comes with many years of leading teams successfully with a strong emphasis on growth. He is also a certified Christian Counselor with a focus on Marriage and Family. Originally from Japan, he has lived in Southern California and the Las Vegas valley for most of his life. His wife Helen, born and raised in England, came to the states to marry Sambi through a prophetic word from the Lord. They have a daughter and son together.
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Melissa Winders
Children Ministry Director
Melissa and her family moved here in 2001 and have been attending Highland Hills since 2002. She is a native of Missouri but now loves the beautiful weather here in Southern Nevada. She started serving in the Awana Ministry as a Cubby Leader. After 3 years in that ministry went on to serve as a Preschool Sunday School teacher before taking the role of Children’s Ministry Director. Melissa loves the outdoors, taking photos, hiking and watching her children play sports. Melissa and husband, Steve have been married since 1994 and have 3 beautiful children, Rylie, Jakob and Elise.
Diana Lucas
Connect Groups Director
Diana has been a member of Highland Hills since 1997. She was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but moved to the Las Vegas valley in 1964 and considers herself a native. Diana has a degree in Workforce Education from UNLV and owns Train & Retain, Inc. She and her husband John have been married for 26 years. They have two daughters, Crystal and Alicia, two son-in-laws, Jeremy and Keith, and three grandchildren, Vanessa, Jasper, and Jaxson. John and Diana love to spend time with their family, are avid foodies, and love to travel.
Caroline Morrison
Financial Secretary
Caroline and her family started attending Highland Hills in 2012 and she was baptized a Believer’s Baptism in September 2012. Caroline grew up in a military family and moved to Las Vegas, NV in 1988. Caroline is a graduate of Faith Lutheran High School in Las Vegas and has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from University of Phoenix. She has worked as a Bookkeeper and Accounting Administrative Assistant for over 12 years. Caroline love loves doing digital scrapbooking and creating memory books for her children, she also creates original scrapbooking kits. Caroline and her husband, Chris have been married since 1997 and have two beautiful children, McKenna and James.

What We Believe

About God
God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2; 1 Corinthians 13:14

About Man
Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like him in character. He is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates man from God.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2

About Eternity
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; John 2:25; John 5:11-13; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; 1 John 5:11-12; Matthew 25:31-46

About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:3, 4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13

About Salvation
Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works – only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1

About Eternal Security
Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.
John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10, 14; 1 Peter 1:3-5

About The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under his control daily.
2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16, 17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1

About The Bible
The Bible is God’s word to all men. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105,160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5

About Baptism
Baptism by immersion symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and is your public declaration that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Baptism does not save you, but shows the world that you have already been saved. And while baptism is not required for salvation, it is a biblical command and demonstrates your love and obedience to Christ.  
Colossians 2:12; Acts 2:41; Ephesians 2: 8-9; Matthew 28:19-20

About Communion
Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is an ordinance given to all believers by Jesus Christ to remember his sacrifice for us and to symbolize the new covenant. The elements of bread and wine or juice are symbols of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Communion is not a means of salvation. Rather, it is a testament of a believer’s faith in the atoning work of the cross.