Highland Park United Methodist Church believes that our deepest problems can only be addressed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A purpose statement for our church comes from Ephesians 4:12: “to equip the saints for the work of ministry.”
We want to intentionally equip people for ministry both inside and outside the church.
A critical part of that purpose is to train pastors and laity to be effective gospel leaders in the 21st century
Leadership is about influence.
Our church is blessed with a significant amount of potential influence, and our goal is to leverage it to the best of our abilities.
By enabling leaders, we best spread the Gospel and we best live as a growing community of deeply devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
And how better to achieve our goals than by intentionally focusing on forming and shaping leaders to help us influence our city and our world for Christ.
We choose to focus our efforts on training pastors, forming leaders, and planting churches through models of faithful leadership in a secular world.
We want to train Christian leaders for excellence in the business and professional worlds, in education, in philanthropy and non-profit work, and in all arenas in which people work.
We want to plant new churches to carry leadership beyond our existing circles of influence.
By focusing on leaders, we focus on empowering all those in our congregation to witness and work in an increasingly post-Christian culture, on empowering those in our congregation, as deeply devoted followers of Jesus Christ, to be a part of transforming the world.
Developing Leaders Timeline Events
1950: Women are first elected to the Administrative Board
1960: Capital Funds Campaign "Building for Youth - Tomorrow's Christian Leaders"
1967: Reverend Barbara Hart of the HPUMC staff is the first female elder ordained by the North Texas Conference
Newly created staff positions in 1958-1959 added ministers whose excellence and dedication to the church helped fill the areas of need outlined by the pledge committee in 1958. Dr. Fred Edgar and the Reverend Don Benton joined the staff in June 1958. Dr. James Hares' appointment to the church as director of children's work came in 1959, as did Barbara Hart, who joined the staff as Dr. Hares' assistant. Barbara Hart' s ordination later as a Methodist Minister and her eventual appointment as associate pastor at Highland Park in 1965, made her the first woman ordained minister on the staff. Each of these people was influential in shaping the church's future in the decade ahead. (The Living Vine, page 48)