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. Aside from study, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports (especially football), history, and watching a good storm roll in across the Nebraska Plains. He and his wife Joy have three boys- Eli, Carter, and Brady.

Kevin Bennett

Pastor of Administration

Kevin graduated from Grace University in Omaha, NE with a double major in Christian Ministry and Bible. He provides oversight for much of the day-to-day operations of the church (facility, finances, and personnel) and serves closely alongside the staff of Pastors, Elders, and other leadership groups in the church. He fulfills the role of Missions Leadership Team Chairman. Kevin also serves as a Pastoral Chaplain with the local police department. Highland Park is where he came to faith and has been his home church for nearly 39 years. Kevin’s joy is found in serving the teams, pastors and body of Christ he is privileged to work with each day as well as seeking ways to be more faithful in that service. He and his wife of 34 years, Joan, have four grown children and nine grandchildren. Their free time is spent chasing after family and spending time with them.

Trevor Doles

Pastor of Student Ministries

Trevor attended Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana (BA) and received his Master of Divinity from The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles, CA in 2015. He joined the pastoral staff at Highland Park in 2015 as the Pastor of Student Ministries.  Trevor oversees the areas of student ministry, young adults and discipleship. He has a passion to see people grow in their love for their local church, to see them develop a hunger for the Word and to the see the body of Christ care for itself and others in their community and beyond. Trevor loves spending time with his family, being outside fishing, running, biking, playing soccer and basketball, working out at the YMCA and an occasional handful of candy. He and his wife Olivia are the parents of two boys, Xander (Alexander) and Riah (Zechariah).

Jonathan Niles

Director of Family Ministries

Jonathan graduated from Hastings College in Hastings, NE (BA) and joined the staff of Highland Park in 2016. Jon has oversight in the areas of Children’s Ministries (LAUNCH) and local outreach, which includes AWANA and Royal Family KIDS Camp and Club. Seeing the smile of a hurting child when they realize they are safe, loved, and can just be a kid, is what brings him the greatest joy in ministry. Jon loves spending time with his family and watching sports. He is an action/adventure/war/history movie buff, enjoys music, and particularly loves listening to movie scores. He and his wife Cristine have three daughters, Emily, Abigail and Sara.

Sue Christensen

Worship Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, Deacon

Sue serves as the Worship Coordinator, planning musical worship and coordinating the worship teams. She has been involved in the worship ministry for over 30 years, singing, writing and planning for gathered worship on Sunday. 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 membership. In her deacon role, Sue serves in Women’s Ministry and is involved in women’s discipleship. Encouraging women to grow in their faith and knowledge of God is something that brings her great joy. She is involved in care group ministry. Walking is one of her favorite things to do which balances nicely with her love of ice cream. 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. She prepares the bulletin each week, the weekly newsletter, provides website maintenance, calendar coordination and a myriad of other tasks that help the church to run smoothly. She also assists the body of Christ and lay leaders with any clerical support or information that they may need to serve more efficiently. She loves serving her brothers and sisters in Christ by connecting a need with a person who can meet that need or provide a solution. Outside of ministry, Cindy enjoys reading, crafts and has a desire to start quilting (and go square dancing!). Cindy is married to Matt and is busy with her three 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 Sunday Bible School (Launch), Awana, and Vacation Bible School. She loves sharing the gospel with little ones who have never heard it before as well as those who have been involved in the area of children’s ministry for years. House projects, spending time with family, being involved in school and in the community are a few of Joy’s passions. Joy is married to Mike and they have three boys, Eli, Carter and Brady.