When Highlight Church moved to Maryland, there was a small band of high-capacity leaders available and ready to reach the innumerable for Jesus. These superheroes helped bring the presence of God into whatever space we found ourselves in.
Our first interest meetings were in the Gaithersburg Community Center. We transitioned to having meetings such as Super Steps and Prayer Nights at the Gaithersburg Youth Center, right up the road from where we are currently. Our first Sunday, we launched in Shady Grove Middle School, and spent our summers in Redland Middle School.
As a church, we have met in community centers, people’s homes, school buildings, and in 2020, God saw it fit for us to move. This move was made to our first permanent location, Granary Row, in the heart of Downtown Gaithersburg.
Worship Experiences have changed over time – from fog machines to face masks, our look has changed, but the vision of this house has stayed the same. We exist to shine the light of Jesus, so that people find true life!
Our first official message series was called “Wild Goose Chase“. It’s tagline was “a hopeless pursuit of something unattainable.” Our Pastor, Joshua Redding, broke down how on earth, we will never find fulfillment from anything here in the physical, but we can find true fulfillment from a relationship with Christ. It can be found all the way back at the start of our podcasts from 2016!
Pastor Joshua has always listened to the directions of the Holy Spirit to determine what God has for His people in any given season. While the content of the messages have changed, from season to season, the heart and soul behind this house has not, and the dedicated time to prepare and discern have not!
A few fun facts:
1. As of today, there are 202 total messages recorded
on our podcast that you can enjoy!
2. There are currently 31 messages that you can watch
here on our “Messages” tab, or on our YouTube channel!
3. Our messages throughout our podcast have been listened to
over 60,000 times and our top listened message
is entitled “Clean Vision”.
As a church, we partner with organizations who have established an outreach platform. We don’t believe in creating outreach, but instead, believe in supporting and fulfilling the vision for what is already established here.
In our first year, we strived to put in the work and build rapport with outreach organizations in the area, and aimed to serve as much as they would allow. We knew in order for us to get close to serving people, this is what we had to do.
As the years progressed, we continued to build and show up, and this year has shown us just what happens when you don’t give up… During our first “Highlight the City Week” we served collectively, 588 hours with our outreach partners! Over the course of 4 years, we have served over 1800 hours in outreach!
Over time, we have partnered with some of the largest organizations in our county, and have seen thousands of lives touched in the process. We have had the honor of partnering with Family Services Inc., Manna Food, Comfort Cases, Gaithersburg Parks & Recs with our Easter Egg Drops, Shady Grove Middle School, and the list goes on, but most importantly, we partnered with you. Our community, and our Superheroes. Alongside you, we have truly made an impact.
Thank you to all who have partnered with us in this way, and we know that God is just getting started!
One of the biggest milestones for Highlight Church in our development was to be prepared for the next generation to come into God’s presence on a Sunday by providing a safe and loving environment.
Since our first week, we continue to ensure that we create an environment where children can grow to become kids who shine the light of Jesus, while their parents are close by in their own experience.
Through the years, our kid experiences have changed drastically. From the bare minimum when we launched, to having rooms designed specifically for and around them, our kids have also experienced God’s hand on our church and the growth He has brought us!
Highlight has now grown to include opportunities for children of all ages: from Nursery, to Pre-K, to K-5, and including HL Youth and HL Buddies. We even grow with our Superhero Kids from start to finish to ensure parents who take the time to serve our community have the support and care they need. Our goal is for each and every family to be met where they are!
Baptism is a public announcement of one‘s faith in Jesus and we also see this as a critical milestone in the life of a Christian.
Over the years, our baptisms have looked similar, even though the location has changed. Our first official Highlight Church Baptism Sunday was on April 23, 2017. We purchased our baptism tank, found a water hookup on the side of the school we were currently meeting in, and filled it up.
As of right now, 68 people have publicly declared their faith in Jesus and gotten baptized here at Highlight Church, and we know that God is only just getting started!
1. It takes 250 gallons to fill up our baptism tank for Baptism Sunday.
2. We no longer use a water hook–up to fill our tank, we actually purchase 50 5–gallon water jugs to ensure clean water is used every time!
3. Those who choose to get baptized receive a care kit! It includes a baptism t-Shirt, a pair of shorts, flip flops, a towel, and even a pair of underwear!
From HL Kids to Parking and Worship, our Superheros are truly the backbone of our experiences. In case you didn’t know, around here we call our volunteers “Superheroes”, because that’s truly what they are!
When we started out, we had a team of 25 Superheroes, ready to make a difference in their city and community. As of last count, we have over 120 superheroes!
Superheroes sign up to serve through our Sunday Worship Experiences, and throughout the week across our 15 teams.
1. To become a Superhero at Highlight, we encourage you to sit in on Super Steps. Here is where you can learn the vision of this house, where God is taking us, and how you can become a participant here!
2. Before we had a permanent location, our Superheroes would have to load and unload all of our equipment to set everything up, and then take it all back down at the end of the day. Without them, we literally could not have our experiences!
3. When you become a Superhero, you get a Superhero T-Shirt with our vision statement on the back. Over the years, we have had 5 different SH T-Shirt designs, with 4 different colors!