This guy. I have had the pleasure of being in ministry at Highland Lakes with him now for almost 10 years. 10 years! (This is our 10th summer). That’s longer than some marriages last; definitely longer than some pastors stay at one church!

We both started our ministry work at Highland Lakes within one month of each other; me in December 2013 and him in January 2014. I remember well one of the first questions then State Executive Director Dr. Cecil Seagle asked of me after he hired me as Team Leader for HLBC. He asked if I thought I could work with this man; Doc said he thought he could talk him into being the Director of Operations. I didn’t hesitate; what I knew of this man made me smile and say, “Yes, sir!”  I was right. Through this past decade, we have seen growth, improvement, challenges, doubt, encouragement, ups, downs, and thousands of lives touched by the Father.

I have had the pleasure of watching this man minister to the physical needs of Highland Lakes; minister to the needs of the staff; and minister to the needs of students. I have seen him crawl into places that no one should have to crawl into; climb to places he didn’t want to; work on anything and everything that needed work done. He has always done what is expected of him and gone beyond that on every occasion.

I tell you this because you may not be aware of it. If you know him, you know it. But if you don’t know him, you don’t know how he puts everything he has into serving others as he serves the Lord. As we begin our 10th summer of running camp together, I thought you ought to know a little about a man who answered God’s call when it came. And yes, I am aware that he has had opportunities to go elsewhere and serve as a full-time pastor to churches across the state; yet he remains here. Why? Because God still calls him here. And until God calls him elsewhere, we all benefit from his obedience.

You know him as Reverend Rick Porter: Director of Operations at Highland Lakes; interim pastor of several churches; former associate pastor and lead pastor at various churches; pulpit supply preacher; youth pastor; mentor; Sumo wrangler; Jeep aficionado.

I know him as a teammate; co-laborer; confidante; encourager; soundboard; brother; friend.

Here’s to the next decade.


Dr. Jim Shields

Highland Lakes Team Leader