Our Church Staff

Leadership Team:

At Highlands, we are blessed to have a very experienced team of pastors, ministry directors, and lay volunteers to provide effective and anointed leadership to our church family.  These are our awesome team members:  


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Pastor Mark Reese, Senior Pastor

Pastor Mark is our Lead Pastor at Highlands. He has a deep love for people, a passion for worship, and the preaching and teaching God’s Word. He grew up in the Columbus, Ohio area and began ministry as a youth pastor in inner city Columbus. While attending Boyce Bible College, he began ministering as an Evangelist, spending a decade traveling and recording as the Lead Singer for nationally known recording artists like The Mercy River Boys, Nashville, TN, The Kindlers, Nashville, TN. and a solo recording stint with Music City Gospel and Cedar Hill Records, Nashville. Pastor Mark still has a great love for music and ministers in our Highlands Praise Team ministries. His pastoral life developed as the Senior Pastor at the Goshen Run Church of God Chillicothe, Ohio, and Associate Pastor of Evangelism & Outreach at the Brookside Church in Chillicothe. He also served as a church planter and Lead Pastor with the Southern Hills Community Church in Kingston, Ohio before coming to Highlands. He has a special relationship with our church congregation and loves to develop these relationships. Pastor Mark and his wife Sally have two grown children, Emma Reese Baker who is married and lives in the Lancaster area, and Mark Anthony Reese, who attends Carson Newman Baptist University in Jefferson City, TN. You will enjoy the ministry, experience, vision, and passion of Pastor Mark.   

Pastor Roger Dempsey, Associate Pastor of Congregational Care

Pastor Roger is our Congregational Care Pastor at Highlands.  He comes from the great state of West Virginia originally, and you will know this when you meet him. Everyone loves Pastor Roger, and for good reason. He began ministry in the Association of Free Will Baptists, serving as an interim pastor for several churches, then as a church planter in the central Ohio area. He served more than 30 years as the Senior Pastor at the Harvest Time Free Will Baptist Church in Sunbury, Ohio before coming to join us in ministry at Highlands. Pastor Roger is a passionate preacher of the Word and helps in the care and development of our congregational life and spiritual drive at Highlands. He has a special relationship with our congregation and church family. He is bold for the kingdom of God. Our young people say, “Nobody tells a story like Pastor Roger.” He recently lost his wonderful wife Barbara as she went to be with our Lord. He has two grown children: Glenn Dempsey, and Christina Dempsey Madden, and five grandchildren.  You are going to love the care, experience, drive, and passion of Pastor Roger Dempsey.
Pastor Joe

Pastor Joe Duncan, Teaching & Young Adults Pastor

The Bible has a lot to say about teaching. Pastor Joe is the newest member of our pastoral team and is charged with growing our young adults area of ministry. He has a great love for God’s Word and an enhanced ability to convey its depth in the life of everyday people. He loves to teach. He grew up right here in the Lancaster community and has made his living on their local family cattle and dairy farm. He began ministry life here in Lancaster, and has been preaching and teaching for nearly two decades. Pastor Joe teaches our mainstream adults in our various gatherings and our college and career areas. This is a new area of ministry development at Highlands. Pastor Joe is married to his wife Laura and has two children: Elly, who is a Freshman at Kent State University, and Cal, who is a Freshman at Amanda Clearcreek High School. You will enjoy the ministry of Pastor Joe.