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Future Generations

Highland recently celebrated her 100th year as a church! At that 100-year mark, we remembered together how faithful and sustaining the Lord has been to us. It was a time to reflect on all of those who had gone before us - - faithful Highlanders who paved the way and paid the way for us to have a church campus on which we gather and experience both the Lord and ministry across all ages each week.

It is time now, as we begin Highland’s next chapter, to consider what we can do to ensure that future generations of Highlanders have a fresh, secure, and resourced campus. The main considerations are our Preschoolers, Kids, Special Needs Ministry (Shine), Middle School and High School Students, and the unchurched and unsaved in greater Waco.

What if our resounding question is, “What will it take?” There is always a cost in considering others. That cost can be finances given, time spent, skills exercised, or laying down of preferences – and usually all of those! Would you prayerfully read through this campaign overview and ask the Lord what He may require of us as a church and require of you as we look to the future? God will be faithful to guide us through our giving! Our eyes are set on Jesus, but also set on the future generations. Let our hearts be set on all who will come behind us for years to come at Highland.

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Present Graces

We have seen so many faithful graces of the Lord this past year. Some of these graces are quantitative (we can count them) and some are qualitative (the intangibles).

  • Our Sunday Gathering attendances have grown 20% year over year from 2022 to 2023.

  • The Fall Semester of 2023 saw an average of 550 more people per Sunday over Fall Semester of 2022. Six of the largest Gatherings in Highland’s history took place in Fall of 2023.

  • We have seen growth in Preschool, Kids, Special Needs (Shine), and Students. Our very new Middle School Ministry has taken off with tremendous growth! Highland’s future generations are growing exponentially!

  • Giving has been healthy, and Highland has over-given the budget for four straight years now. We ended 2023 giving $700,000 more than was spent on ministry budget items.

  • There are also the blessings that are difficult to count, but easy to experience: unity in the church; a church family growing in spiritual maturity; generosity not only through giving but also grace and encouragement; a healthy staff; a treasuring of God’s Word; lingering fellowship after each Gathering; and a love for Waco and the world.

However, these present graces have caused many people to not find seats or parking spaces on Sunday mornings. Our Preschool, Kids, Special Needs (Shine), and Students are quickly growing out of their spaces!

How do we wisely address all of these situations?

Campaign projects

A New Student Building

We have a preliminary design on a two-story Student Building that would fit nicely between the Gold parking lot and the Green parking lot. This 13,000 square foot space would be for our Middle School Ministry, High School Ministry, and Student Ministry offices. Each floor of a new Student Building would hold 200 students, 400 students total, for large groups and small break-out groups. The main floor of the Student Building could also be used for other functions such as New Member Class, weekend events, and a gathering place for fellowships.

Our Student Ministry is growing! Our new Middle School Ministry had 90 middle schoolers and leaders on a big night this past semester. And our High School Ministry continues to see new students and continues to grow each semester!

The cost for the Student Building, the technology and media, and all the furnishings in it is $3.5 million.

A Redesigned Education Building

Our present 3-story Education Building is 35 years old and needs a refreshing update. We need to address space issues, security issues, and traffic flow issues in that building. We believe we can make strategic updates to the Education Building to hold more Preschoolers (birth – PK) and more Kids (K – 5th Grade), but also add some new Special Needs (Shine) rooms with all the specialized furnishings needed. Most of this will require taking out some walls, adding new walls, re-doing all the flooring, and adding some interior hallway doors to increase the security for our Preschool and Kids floors.

First Floor

The building of a new Student Building allows us to reimagine our Education Building. With Student Ministry in a new building, the entire first floor of the Education Building (as well as the large room under the Chapel) could all be converted to Adult Bible Fellowship Space and meeting spaces. These 5 updated spaces could be used 2 or 3 different times on Sunday morning and then during the week as well for Bible Studies, meeting spaces, and fellowships.

Second Floor

Our Preschool Ministry is running out of space. With all adult spaces moving to the first floor of the Education Building, we can recapture the Fellowship Hall on the second floor and create 6 very good-sized preschool rooms in that space. This would allow for 75% growth in our Preschool Ministry. We would move a new indoor playroom to a new space on the second floor and put in additional hallway doors to add to the security of our Preschool Wing. We would also take this opportunity to update flooring and the walls.

Third Floor

Our Kids Ministry and Special Needs Ministry (Shine) would have the third floor to themselves in a redesigned Education Building. Since all ABFs would move off the third floor, the Kids Ministry would have three new, large-sized classrooms. This would allow for 75% growth in our Kids Ministry. We would also increase the size of our Special Needs Ministry and completely update the furnishings in that space. We envision a new check-in station for kids and their families, as well as more doors in the hallways for increased security

Additional Parking

One of the biggest hindrances to sustained growth at Highland is our present parking situation. As we have grown by 20% the last year, we have not added to our parking. Because of that we have certainly frustrated some neighbors as well as potential attendees/members by parking in a 3-4 block radius around the church. In considering safety, future growth, and help for our present situation, we would like to purchase some adjacent properties. We would purchase the adjacent properties for the sole purpose of adding more parking spaces.

The cost to purchase some properties, raze them, pave, and stripe these new lots is $1.25 million.

Fourth Gathering

This is a big change and a big step of faith toward continued growth! Beginning in August 2024, Highland will begin a 4pm Gathering. Our hope is that we can encourage about 300 people to leave the 8:40 and 10am Gatherings and become pioneers for a new Gathering. Adding a fourth Gathering can help alleviate some of the parking problems and create space for more people to gather and hear the Gospel. A 4pm Gathering will have Preschool Ministry (birth – PK) attached to it, and it will be identical to the morning Gatherings. A 4pm Gathering might be a great place for Highlanders who are in a CG, a family with young children, empty nesters, newlyweds, young adults, and college students - and the presently unchurched to attend.

Purchasing Homes for Mission Waco

Because we will need to purchase and raze some homes adjacent to our property to create additional parking, Highland desires to purchase three new homes for Mission Waco’s new Creekside Community Village. This is a development to offer low-cost housing for people who have been homeless in Waco for at least a year. Highland has had a long-standing relationship with Mission Waco and this is a way to partner with them in caring for the marginalized in our city.

The cost for three homes in the Creekside Community Village is $145,000.

Future Generation Costs

STUDENT BUILDING/TECHNOLOGY/FURNISHINGS
This project would begin first when money is raised.
$3,500,000
REDESIGNED EDUCATION BUILDING/SHINE MINISTRY $1,250,000
ADDITIONAL PARKING
This would be spent as properties come available.
$1,250,000
MISSION WACO'S CREEKVIEW DEVELOPMENT $145,000
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN COST (PRINTING, MAILING, ETC.)
$30,000
TOTAL CAMPAIGN COST $6,175,000

Making Your Financial Gift

One-Time Gift
A one time-gift can be given through the website giving portal - just give to Future Generations on the drop down. You can also give by check.

Monthly Gift
A monthly gift can be set up through the website giving portal - just give to Future Generations on the drop down. You can also give by check each month.

Appreciated Investments
If you are interested in giving publicly traded stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or exchange trade funds (ETF) you can do so. Please email  or you can go to our online portal.

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Frequently Asked Questions
In what order will the projects be done?

The first project will be the Student Building because that will enable us to move all Adult Bible Fellowships to the first floor of the Ed. Building and then start the Ed. Building remodel for both the Preschool and Kids Ministry. However, during the entire campaign we will be looking to purchase adjacent homes to our campus if they come up for sale. If all funds are able to be raised, we hope to see all the campus projects completed by January 2026.

What if all the money does not come in or there are cost overages?

We will do three things: either come back to the church for a second round of asking, ask for monthly contributors to give beyond the 18 months, or have to cut a project. Pray with us that the Lord provides the full $6.1 million.

Why a capital campaign? Can we just borrow the money?

A capital campaign allows a church to focus their efforts financially on a vision that brings long-term impact. A capital campaign comes alongside the regular church budget with an infusion of money to get multiple things done in a short amount of time. Highland is a debt-free church and will not take any loans for any of these projects.

How much should I give?

Give as the Lord leads you, give faithfully, and give sacrificially. However, as you prayerfully consider your giving, please remember that your Future Generations giving can’t simply take the place of normal giving to the church budget because ministry continues on! We are asking for you to prayerfully consider giving over and above.

Are we helping the homeowners of the properties we will buy?

Are we helping the homeowners of the properties we will buy? The selling of adjacent homes to the church by the property owners would solely be their decision. We have no eminent domain rights or ability to move people out of their homes, nor would we want to without fair compensation. We are willing to pay fair market value, and the hope is that it would actually be a help to them. We have had, and will have, conversations with the home owners to confirm they have a place to live if they choose to sell their property.

Why a fourth Gathering at 4pm?

We considered several different times of a Gathering including 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm. Since there will be Preschool Ministry during the fourth Gathering, we needed to consider families with little ones. Since so many volunteers would be at the church all day we wanted to consider their meal times and family times as well. 4pm seemed to be the best with those variables. We also met with another church in our city (Harris Creek) which has a 4pm worship time and it was very favorable for them as well.

Why not just plant a new church?

Planting a new church has been a prayer and a considered vision for about 4 years now. Church planting is great for reaching new people in a new area, but has not been very successful for transference of a present church population. There have been about 15 new church plants in Waco in the past 36 months (Praise the Lord!), and Highland has been honored to financially give to Wellspring Church, Grace Hewitt, and Hope Church the past 24 months locally. And of course Highland gave $430,000 to three new church plants in Texas the past 8 months!

What if I still have some questions?