Outside of walking with the living God, my greatest joy has been to share this grace of life with my beautiful bride, Katie. She has given me 5 wonderful arrows to put in our quiver. Though I am a Pastor, my full-time job is trying to sharpen and polish these arrows so that they will launch well in this world to the glory of the King.
I did not grow up attending church. One day I broke into a church to play basketball. In His amazing providence, God used this misdemeanor to break into my heart with the glorious news of His Son. Since then the prayer of my life has been that God would take the wet wood, that I call the sacrifice of my life, light it on fire with a passion for this Son, and let all around me watch me burn for His glory!
INTERIM ASSOCIATE PASTOR
Since coming to a personal relationship with Christ in 1979, I celebrate the opportunities He has given me through the years to live and serve in the areas of missions, music, evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. In all these areas, I have followed the vision and mission of Jesus by assisting the unchurched to connect to the local church through relational discipleship and reproducing themselves.
This experience has led me toward a passion for making disciples and equipping church leaders to implement a process of relational discipleship and leadership development in current church systems. Laura and I are excited to assist in this season working with the leadership and discipleship ministries at New Heights.
Music has “been in my blood” from a young age, from plinking on my grandmother’s piano to school concert bands, marching band, jazz bands, garage bands, country music bands, to being a rock star in my own little world. I grew up in an Episcopal church and visited various Baptist and other denomination churches, and played the part, but never really took any of it too seriously. Then I realized my NEED for Christ and accepted Him as Savior on February 15th of 2000. He opened my eyes to an existence not focused on me, but Him. What a relief that was! That “music in my blood” began pumping through a heart that was owned by Him, and my purpose was redefined.
Galatians 2:20 says it best, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
One of the greatest joys of my life is my family. My husband, Calvin, and three children: Claire, Will, and Ben, are undeserved blessings that the Lord has graciously given me. The majority of my time is spent with my children as a stay-at-home mom, and I am grateful for the opportunity to also work with and for my church family as well. When I have leisure time, I love reading, visiting Hobby Lobby, and going to the zoo with my family. We often designate Saturdays as “family days” and they are a favorite part of my week. I am most passionate about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I especially love to study the Old Testament to learn more of the Lord’s love and character, and I love sharing that with my children and the children of New Heights. I am blessed to be able to work with a loving group of volunteers and parents who share the passion of reaching our younger generation with the love of Jesus.
YOUTH MINISTRY COORDINATOR
I am currently studying at Columbia International University where I am enrolled in the five year B.A./ M. Div program. Coming from a large family of nine, I have always been involved in serving and ministering to kids and youth. I firmly believe that because of this, God has instilled in me a passion to minister to His children, especially at a young age. After all, you can never go wrong with having fun, playing games, and praising the Lord!
Growing up in the church, I was exposed to the message of Christ from a very early age. However, I did not know Christ until I was twelve years old. Through many insecurities, weaknesses, and five surgeries (most of which were due to my lungs collapsing on themselves), God continued to point me back to Him. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 had an impact me in so many ways during this time and His Word continues to give me strength and guidance every day that I continue to walk with Him!
Student Ministry is such a joy and it is my goal for each and every student to not only feel welcomed here at New Heights but to provide as many opportunities as possible to worship and to know Christ. Ultimately I hope that God uses me in as many ways as possible to lead His children back to Him.
Dean Rish has been a staff member at New Heights for sixteen years. Dean and his wife of twenty-three years, Angie, have been lifelong members and were united in marriage at the church’s original location, Colonial Heights. He has four wonderful children who are also involved in the ministries at the church. We are thankful for Dean's gifts of service and life-long commitment to New Heights.
Waletha Rish started as part-time secretary at Colonial Heights in 1997. She moved with us in the relocation to New Heights in 1999, and became full-time in January 2000. If you really want to know what’s going on or need information about New Heights, call the office Monday through Thursday, from 9 AM - 4 PM to talk to her.