Announcing the Birth of “The Heights Church” – by Kenny Stokes

I want to invite you to praise GOD with me for our newest Treasuring Christ Together Network church (, “The Heights Church” in East St. Paul, led by Pastor Weyland Leach. This is the 12th TCT church born of our TCT vision and strategy and added to our TCT Network of churches.

Two years ago, leaders from Hayden Heights Baptist Church came to Cleon Engel and I requesting our help. We agreed to what we called a ‘restart’ (or ‘jump start’) approach.  We sought to find a church planter who would build on the decades of ministry that the church already had and lead them in a new vision that accords with our TCT vision, values, and doctrine.

Through an application process, God called Weyland as our 2012-2013 Church Planting Resident to work with the current church people and, not unlike the typical church planter, cast a vision for a new church.

Last Sunday, the congregation of the existing church, Hayden Heights Baptist, approved Weyland’s TCT vision for the church and a new name, “The Heights Church.” Then, on Sunday afternoon, almost 50 people from Bethlehem who are seriously considering joining The Heights Church met together to pray and discuss being part of the restart effort.

Please join me in giving thanks to God for his blessing on our TCT efforts, for Cleon Engel’s two year investment of labor in this restart, for Weyland and Katie Leach’s calling and labors, and for the grace shown by this aging church to take a risk on a young pastor with a new TCT vision for an old church.

Here is a word of thanks from Weyland Leach:

“On behalf of The Heights Church, I want to thank Bethlehem and the council of elders for their encouragement, oversight, counsel and prayers for this restart work.  I further want to thank Cleon Engel and also the deacons at Hayden Heights Baptist Church for their labors.  We praise God for 89 years of His faithfulness to this congregation in Eastside Saint Paul.  In partnership with TCTN we are eagerly looking ahead to more of God’s faithfulness to us as we seek to make much of Jesus Christ. To God alone be the glory through Christ in our local congregation.”

May God bless The Heights Church with fruitful ministry in East St. Paul for the next 100 years or more, until the Lord returns.

Kenny Stokes
Lead Pastor, Downtown Campus