Pastor Michael Madaris is passionate about God’s Word and the life it calls each person to live. His desire is to cast a vision of the Christian life that moves people, the lost and the Church, to respond to the gracious invitation of God to a new life in Christ Jesus. He loves spending time with people helping and encouraging them to passionately pursue a life long learning (disciple) relationship with Jesus, becoming like Christ in every area of life. He loves Highland and the fact that we are Real People, a Real Church, loving and living for the Real Jesus. His desire for Highland is that she be a world-visionary, world-impacting, multiplying people for Christ Jesus.
Pastor Michael (Mike) grew up in a Christian home, the only son of a preacher, and accepted Jesus as his personal Savior when he was five years old. He was called into the ministry at 16 years old, but struggled with God’s call until he was 24 years old when he finally, fully surrendered to God’s plan and purpose for his life. He served two churches in South Carolina and North Carolina as youth pastor before beginning his pastoral ministry in 2001. He served churches in North Carolina and Florida before coming to Highland in 2011. One of his great joys in ministry has been to travel on 11 overseas mission trips preaching the gospel and helping people come to know and serve Christ Jesus. He’s always ready for the next adventure on his journey with Jesus.
He is married to Melissa. They were married in 2000. They have two children: Morgan and Mya. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from North Greenville University, a Master of Divinity degree and Doctor of Ministry degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He enjoys golf, hunting and fishing, and he loves spending time with his family more than anything else.
Dusty Laney was born and raised in a Christian home in Stanly County. He is the grandson of two Baptist Preaching Grandfathers. He was saved at age 10, while attending a local revival. But it wasn't until the age of 23 that he realized and accepted the call to ministry. This occurred while volunteering to take a group of youth to a summer retreat at Fort Caswell. While he thought he was taking them to be ministered too, it was actually he that received the ministering the most. Dusty graduated from North Stanly High School and received a BS degree in Computer Information Systems from Pfeiffer University. He married his best friend and soulmate, Stacey Smith of Norwood, NC. They have three wonderful boys Mykel, Nash, and Tate. When asked “don’t you need a girl?" You will hear him say “Thank you Lord for my boys”.
Pastor Dusty is all about trying to live out Jesus Christ’s will for his life. His passion is to serve Jesus while being around youth, but more importantly, he is willing to invest his love for God into anyone that the Lord places in his path. He believes that “the youth are the "present" church of today. We have to disciple them now, as they become our next generation of leaders and ministers of the Gospel”. His goal is to help prepare the youth to step into roles of leadership, become comfortable with sharing their faith and testimonies at school while living out the love of Christ and sharing it with others, all while following the plan that God has for their life.
He has a outgoing personality and really enjoys helping others while staying active. You can be assured that whatever he does he will have fun doing it, all while putting Jesus Christ at the center of it all. When asked about his life verse Dusty responds with Galatians 1:10 “I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be a Christ Servant.”
And his second favorite verse, Galatians 2:20 “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Patty Vincent was born in South Bend, Indiana on Easter Sunday. She did not grow up in a Christian home even though we went to church occasionally. They moved to North Carolina when she was 12. No one ever asked if she knew Jesus Christ as my Savior until she met my future husband, who led her to the Lord following a revival at Highland.
Patty graduated from Salisbury Business College and it has been a joy and privilege to serve as church secretary since March 1975. She has enjoyed working with many pastors, staff members, and the congregation of Highland Baptist Church through the years. She desires to reflect her love of God in all her work and appreciate the many talents of the members at Highland. We have a truly unique and loving church.
Bill and Patty were married at Highland in September 1972 and they have two daughters. Jennifer (husband, Chad and son, Levi) is a 3rd grade teacher at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School and Kelly is an art teacher who currently resides in Dubai. A new joy was added to their life on July 21, 2016 when the Lord blessed us with a grandson, Levi.
Patty loves animals, especially cats and dogs. She also enjoys flowers, plants, decorating for holidays, sewing when there is time, writing letters, and sending cards.
Life verse is “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me”. Philippians 4:13