Leadership Council

The Highlands Church Leadership Council is a selected group of 6-10 key volunteers who work alongside the Staff Team casting vision for the future of Highlands Church and giving oversight to the Budget, Fundraising, and leadership work of the co-pastors.

Vanessa grew up on a farm in eastern Colorado. After receiving a BS in Psychology from Colorado Christian University and an MA in Athletic Administration from University of Northern Colorado, she spent several years working in group homes for children and coaching high school basketball.  She then worked as assistant basketball coach at Regis University for 12 years. Vanessa and her partner Sumer have 2 kids (Kylan 11, Nikia 7), who fill their lives with love and lots of noise.  They enjoy boating and spending time with family and friends.

Vanessa was raised in various protestant churches but never really found a true spiritual home until Highlands Church.  As a family, she and Sumer struggled for many years to find a place that would love and accept them and their children.  After 5 years at Highlands — Vanessa says it’s pretty safe to say “we are home.” She can be reached at vbain911@gmail.com.


Brad grew up in South Carolina, but each year, his family drove cross-country in a van, sleeping in rest areas, so he and his brothers could ski in Colorado. In 2012, he and his wife, Amanda, left the Bible Belt to fulfill their dream of living close to the mountains. They discovered Highlands Church a year earlier, stumbling across Mark Tidd discussing inclusivity on CNN, and instantly felt connected to this community. Brad and Amanda live in the Baker neighborhood where they are raising two young daughters.

Brad has a master’s in business administration from the University of South Carolina and a master’s in urban and regional planning from the University of New Orleans. He works for the City and County of Denver as a Principal Project Manager, supporting the city’s major development and infrastructure projects.

Vernon has been involved at Highlands for about four years. He enjoys working with the children and youth and hopes to be instrumental  in developing a college campus ministry. He has been married for 34 years and has two children.

Jenny Morgan likes playing Tama drums and she’s an avid road cyclist. Jenny grew up a coal miner’s daughter, the oldest of four kids, in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She discovered a real and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ sometime early in the 70’s under the influence of the Roman Catholic Church, some Pentecostal friends, and reading the Bible voraciously.

She loves people, particularly her 13 nieces and nephews, most of whom live far too far away. She earned a bachelors degree in music from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. After serving happily for 23 years in Youth for Christ/Campus Life, along with doing a bunch of writing, speaking, and teaching, she finally became a pastor. Jenny enjoys wine and cheese with her life partner anywhere near Florence, Italy. She lives her life as though God really does adore her – and she believes God adores everyone else too. Some of her best memories are working alongside amazing people in Chicago, as well as Sri Lanka, The West Indies, Egypt, all over the continent of Africa, and in Denver, Colorado. She can be reached at jmorgan@highlandschurchdenver.org.

Adrienne is a 5th generation native to Colorado and the youngest of 4 children. While she was born at Mercy Hospital in Denver (which is now the parking garage at 17th & Filmore) she spent the first years of my life living like a gypsy traveling across the flat states of our fine country (Nevada, the Dakotas, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, California and so) living in a travel trailer with her 3 older brothers, her parents and their english bulldog named Romeo.  At about 5, her dad decided it was time to settle back down in Colorado and plant some roots. Her first memories are of KOA Campground playgrounds, oceans, mountains and taking bath in the large sinks in the laundry room.

She grew up in the Broomfield and even though they didn’t move again until she was 19, she attended 5 different elementary schools. Ultimately she graduated from Northglenn High School in 1984 and ran head first into adulthood. In 1987, her brother came home from the service and he invited her to join him one Sunday for church. So she met him at a little A-Frame building in Arvada called Hackberry Hill Grace Brethren Church right across from the Arvada Center on Hackberry Hill Drive. That church is long gone as are many of the friends she made, but it is where she became a Christian (whatever that means) and started her 20+ year wonderment (and some arguing) with God. Adrienne can be reached at adriennerensink@gmail.com.

Sean is an instructional superintendent with the Denver Public Schools, supporting secondary schools and students on their path to college and meaningful and rewarding careers. Prior to coming to Denver in 2013, he was a school leader in Washington DC and former managing director with Teach For America. He began his education journey as a middle school Math and Science teacher in Los Angeles.

Sean says he maintain a very unhealthy diet – he eats way too much fast food and loves desserts!

The most important lesson he’s learned is The importance of building authentic relationships with a lot of different types of people. You’re not leading if no one is following you! Sean can be reached at sean.precious@gmail.com.

Angela was born in Colorado, and grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas. After graduating from the University of Texas San Antonio, Angela moved back to Colorado to attend graduate school. It was during graduate school, that she worked at a crisis center for homeless families and then a residential treatment center for adolescent girls that she found a passion for working with children who had experienced trauma in their short lives. Social work was not in her life plan, but ultimately God’s plan led her to it.  She has been in child welfare for 17 years, and is currently supervising the Adams County Foster Care Program.

Angela is the very proud mommy to her three daughters, Anderson (6), Quinn (4), and Elliott (4). She and the girls live in SE Aurora. Angela and her family enjoy spending time with family and friends, hiking, game night, and exploring Colorado. Anyone that knows Angela knows that she loves to entertain and cook for others. She has an eye for everything beautiful, and can see the beauty in everything.

Angela came to Highlands in 2014 as a guest, and her first experience outside of a Catholic Church. Highlands Church has become a home away from home for Angela and her family, and she looks forward to watching her children grow with God at Highlands Church for many years to come. She can be reached at aromont@adcogov.org.

Bart is a Southern California native by birth, but a Colorado resident in spirit.  Bart’s first real foray into spirituality was at a rather conservative Christian mega-church where he spent nine years learning a very specific brand of Christianity. Bart credits this experience with introducing him to what it means to be a devoted follower of Christ, but it also restricted his ability to be the person who God created him to be. The break with that church and their fellowship was painful, but set the stage for a much deeper spiritual life to come.

Bart and Patrick started dating 24 years ago while living in Laguna Beach. (Yes, that makes them both very old!) Once their relationship developed into a full-fledged committed partnership they realized their need to become spiritually grounded as well. After some great experiences at a few fledgling independent congregations, they became active members at All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills. 

They moved to CO six years ago along with their then 9-year old son (now at East High) Brandt, and German Shepherd Zilla. After some church shopping, it wasn’t long before they stumbled upon Highlands Church and quickly realized it was home. Bart can be reached at bart.story@yahoo.com.

Dale graduated from Michigan State, and completed a Masters in Psychology and a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  Professionally, he’s been a psycho therapist, a pastor on a large staff, and co-pastored a new church plant.  He was also a missionary with Campus Crusade for Christ on the college campus and overseas for six years.  For the last 28 years though he’s worked for The Salvation Army and currently oversees the social services for the Intermountain Division.

Very early Dale felt drawn to nature and God in very private and deep ways.  He always believed that He was there, but not always that He cared.  As we get older we hope we will have learned some important life lessons.  Here’s a few of Dale’s:
· God loves and accepts me as I am…more than I can comprehend
· I don’t have to prove anything to anyone…it’s OK to enjoy life
· God wants to do more in and through me than I believe…so take a risk, go for it

Most importantly to Dale, he’s a father of three grown children and the grandfather of two. They have been and are such a blessing to he and his wife, Sylvia. They even followed them to Denver from Michigan a little over a year ago. Before they left Michigan, Dale searched the web for churches in Denver and discovered Highland’s existence and ethos. He told Sylvia, that they had to check that one out! They did, and never left. Dale can be reached at dale.wanty@gmail.com.

Naomi grew up in a suburb of Buffalo, NY and has been moving around the states since college. She is still very happy she moved to CO from TN 4 years ago with her favorite human being, Danny, and her favorite kitties, Charlie and Amos. She likes to do puzzles, ride bikes, read, play board games, speak in public, see live theater, plan for the future, and sing. Just before college, she decided to follow Christ at a  Young Life camp and that decision changed everything: how she thought about the world, how she interacted with the Church, and how she viewed herself. Naomi believes God is blessed when we choose to wrestle with hard questions and seek what is good and just for all people. She is thankful that Highlands Church is a community that makes space for questions and doubt and is immensely grateful to the many that have sought out Christ with her and on her behalf.

Naomi has been a babysitter, grocery store cashier, Naval Officer, banquet server, manager at a Marriott resort, intern at a Young Life camp. But most importantly, she loves being Mom to Zoey Emilee, the joy of her and Danny’s life! Currently Naomi also works as an administrator for a small technical training company. She can be reached at naomiyencich@gmail.com