About Us

What We Believe

God, who created us, longs for us to know Him. Creation declares God to us, the Bible informs us of God’s works, Christ shows God to us, and the Holy Spirit empowers us to know God relationally. We affirm the totality of the Bible as God’s authoritative word to us and His Spirit as the teacher of His word.  Our doctrinal statement is briefly declared in the Baptist Faith and Message.

Our Story

Our heritage begins in the heart of God.

In 1956, God moved Rev. Earl Stallings to envision a new work in the Highlands area of Ocala. Then God called a group of members from First Baptist Church to make that vision a reality. When Highlands Baptist Church held its first Sunday service, eighty-eight members committed to join together with God and each other to form a new local body of believers.

Today, members at Highlands are excited to see God at work through the church as a whole and in individual lives. Through God’s continued provision, they are coming together to renovate and repair the facilities, even as God is working to bring freedom and healing to people’s hearts through relationship with Himself.

Our Mission

Our Lord gave us a simple mandate – Make Disciples.  We express our mission as Investing the transforming love of Christ. We do that by loving God enough to invest ourselves in growing in relationship with Him and investing this love in others.

We value the following:

Praise – Because God matters to us.

Doctrine – Because God matters to us. 

Compassion – Because People matter to us.

Prayer – Because Relationship matters to us.

Synergy – Because Love matters to us.

Discipleship – Because Life matters to us.

Discovery – Because Joy matters to us.

Service Times

Meet Our Team

Lead Pastor

Chris Gilliam

Chris responded to God’s leadership and became the pastor at Highlands Baptist Church in May, 2012 and he loves helping people grow in their relationship with Jesus. Chris is married to Alicia, who assists him in his ministry and disciples others as well. They have three children, Bennett, Meredith, and Micah, who are growing in their own walks with Christ.

Student Pastor

Curtis Garrison

Curtis was called to Highlands Baptist Church in August of 2015 and his passion is teaching students how to live a life that is dedicated to the Lord. Curtis is married to Selena and they have four children, Emmett, Ava Grace, Keegan and Victoria. In his free time, Curtis enjoys reading, playing bass guitar and watching any sports that involve the Florida Gators.

Worship Leader

Matt Tripp

Matt was called to lead worship at Highlands in August of 2017. He is passionate about music and serving the Lord using his musical talent and creativity. He is married to Lindsey and they have two children, Levi and Eden.

Children’s Ministry Director

Alicia Gilliam

Wife and sanity assistant to Pastor Chris. Mom to three homeschooled geniuses. Zookeeper to an adorable herd of Highland’s toddlers. Battle Strategy Consultant to some fabulous children’s teachers.

Spanish Pastor

Robert Lopez

Pastor Robert is the leader of the Highlands Spanish speaking members that meet at 12PM upstairs in the Sanctuary.

Haitian Pastor

Jude Revange

Pastor Jude is the leader of our Haitian members that meet upstairs in Building 3. He was called to ministry at Highlands in 2015 and has been serving faithfully ever since.

Learning Center Director

Lisa Dickins

Lisa has been in the field of early education since August 1990.   After moving to the Ocala area she began her service in this ministry in January 1999 as a teacher and then became the Director of our Learning Center in January 2008. She is married with three children that she loves dearly.

Children and Students at Highlands

Student Ministry

AGAPE Student Ministry is for students in Middle School through College.

We meet on Sunday Nights 5:30PM – 7:00PM in the AGAPE Student Room which is located upstairs in Building 3.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Pastor Curtis at c_garrison@hbcocala.org


Learning Center

Highlands has a long history of exceptional early childhood education that started in 1962. We are happy that the Learning Center can meet an important need in our community by providing loving, Christ-centered care and teaching for young children through kindergarten. For more information, please call 352-694-2194 or check out their website at hbclearningcenterocala.org

Children’s Ministry

At Highlands, we know that our children are the future and we want to invest in them. We have Sunday Groups for infants through fifth grade and Children’s Church during the sermon portion of the Worship Service for K-4th grade.

Right now, due to COVID-19, we are only having nursery with no other scheduled programs.

Events at Highlands

Men’s Fellowship

We believe that iron sharpens iron at Highlands, and so we strive to give men opportunities to connect with and help each other grow.

Once a month we meet for dinner and fellowship followed by a devotional to encourage one another and we would love to have you meet with us!

The cost is $6 at the door and you can sign up by contacting the church office or signing up in the office foyer before/after worship.