Ministry Staff

Mike Escen

Senior Pastor

Mike studied at Master’s University (BA) and The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles, CA where he received his Master of Divinity in 2010. That same year, he began his tenure at Highland Park serving for 3 years as Pastor of Student Ministries. He has been in the role of Senior Pastor since 2013. As Senior Pastor, he has oversight for the mission and vision of the church as a whole and is responsible for the preaching of the Word each week. He delights in seeing the Spirit of God work through the proclamation of His Word. He and his wife Joy have three boys- Eli, Carter, and Brady.

Jonathan Niles

Associate Pastor

Jonathan graduated from Hastings College in Hastings, NE (BA) in 2001 and has received his master’s degree in Theology and Biblical Counseling from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jonathan joined the staff of Highland Park in 2016. Jonathan has oversight of Highland Park Children’s Ministries, the church facility,  and he and his wife direct the Royal Family KIDS ministry. Jonathan also works closely with the other pastors and the elders in the counseling ministry. He and his wife Cristine have three daughters, Emily, Abigail and Sara.

Adrian Owen

Associate Pastor

Adrian attended Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Spurgeon College where he earned his BA in Biblical Studies and Master of Divinity in 2022. Adrian joined Highland Park in 2023 and serves on staff as an Associate Pastor. His specific areas of oversight include student ministries, equipping ministries, and member care. He and his wife Melody have been married since 2019. Together they enjoy reading, watching movies, and going on coffee dates. They look forward to welcoming their first baby into the world in 2024.

Kevin Bennett

Associate Pastor

Kevin graduated from Grace University in Omaha, NE with a double major in Christian Ministry and Bible. Along with general shepherding of the church, he fulfills the role of Missions Leadership Team Chairman and caring for our seniors within the congregation. He and his wife Joan, have four grown children and nine grandchildren.

Sue Christensen

Worship Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, Deacon

Sue serves as the Worship Coordinator and deacon, planning musical worship with our Senior Pastor and organizing the worship teams. She loves to hear the body of Christ praising God and proclaiming truth through song. Sue also serves as an administrative assistant for finance and is involved in women’s discipleship. Sue is married to Brian and has three children, Kyle and wife, Jerica, Anne and Grace and is a happy grandma to Margot Ruth and Nels Iver.

Cindy Stoeckle

Administrative Assistant

Cindy works closely with the pastors of church as an administrative assistant providing support for them in their areas of ministry. Cindy is married to Matt and they have three adult children, Callie and twins, Noah and Nick.

Joy Escen

Children’s Ministry Assistant

Joy works alongside the Children’s Ministry Director and provides support and assistance in the areas of Children’s Equipping Classes, Awana, and Vacation Bible School.  Joy is married to Mike and they have three boys, Eli, Carter and Brady.