Description: Chris Hodges is founding and senior pastor of Church of the Highlands with campuses all across the state of Alabama. Since it began in 2001, Church of the Highlands has grown to average more than 38,000 people attending each weekend and is known for its life-giving culture and focus on leading people to an intimate relationship with God.
Since it began in 2001, Church of the Highlands has grown to average more than 38,000 people attending each weekend and is known for its life-giving culture and focus on leading people to an intimate relationship with God.
Chris has a deep passion for developing leaders and planting life-giving churches. He co-founded ARC (Association of Related Churches) in 2001, which has launched hundreds of churches all across the USA. He also founded GROW, a one-of-a-kind experience specializing in training and resourcing pastors and churches to help them break barriers and reach their growth potential. Chris is also the founder and President of the Highlands College, a ministry training school that trains and launches students into full-time ministry careers.
He was born on June 21, 1964 and entered the ministry in 1984 as a youth pastor at Bethany World Prayer Center outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hodges married the former Tammy Hornsby in 1986. A year later the couple moved to Colorado Springs where Chris served as youth pastor and senior associate pastor for the New Life Church. He returned to the Bethany World Prayer Center in 1994 as associate pastor. While there he hosted a daily televison program called “Lifeline”.
Hodges relocated to Birmingham in 2000 with the express purpose of founding a new church. He organized the Association of Related Churches, a non-profit involved in church development and began recruiting leaders for the new Church of the Highlands. The first service was held in February 2001 at Mountain Brook High School’s auditorium. The church became one of the fastest-growing congregations in the country and constructed its own campus in 2007.
Description: Dr. Charles A. Montgomery, Jr serves as a Teaching Pastor at Vineyard Church of Columbus, an 8,000 member multiethnic, multicultural and multigenerational congregation with over 125 countries represented. A Spirit-filled, gifted preacher and lecturer, he is nationally and globally recognized as a critical thinker and advocate for racial reconciliation.
In 2012, Dr. Montgomery took on the additional responsibility of becoming the Campus Pastor of Vineyard Columbus East Campus [VCEC], which he founded in Berwick Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio. In recent years, Dr. Montgomery has led in the securing of a permanent building for VCEC in Pickerington, Ohio, joining parishioners in need of a pastor to encourage their efforts to strive to reflect what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr referred to as "Beloved Community". He also is an Affiliated Professor of Leadership Studies at Ohio Christian University and a Martin Luther King scholar.
Dr. Montgomery was invited by the Cousins Foundation to participate in a special commission of Ministers studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Jerusalem and the West Bank. He also has preached and lectured on Critical Race Theory, Transformational Leadership, and African/African-American Spirituality at several universities and both in the U.K. And South Africa in 2017.
Dr. Montgomery earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Morehouse College (cum laude); a Master of Divinity from Emory University with certificates in Black Church studies and Christian Education (magna cum laude) ; and a PhD in Ethical and Creative Leadership from Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio(highest honors).
He has also written several articles on Leadership and Spirituality, and is the author of the forthcoming book, In Search of Race Transcending Prophets: A Post-modern Model of Ministry for Black Men.
Throughout his career Dr. Montgomery has received numerous academic, civic, literary, and ecclesiastical awards. Concerning these and other accomplishments, Dr. Montgomery believes his greatest accomplishment is being married to the love of his life, the former Kimberly Pryor. He considers her the consummate “help-meet” who helps him to model servant- leadership, which focuses on not acclaiming or amassing honors, but doing justice, loving mercy, and to walking humbly with God. (Micah 4:6)