371 Glasgow Road, Bella Vista, AR 72715
A United Methodist Congregation
Julie Chernota was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She met her husband while studying at LSU, and moved to beautiful Bella Vista in 2009. Their four children keep them busy and very entertained. Julie and her family enjoy hiking, fishing, reading, traveling, and really anything outdoors.
Julie has always had a call to teach, and is especially excited to share God's love and Word with children.
In addition to her church duties, Dru and her husband John owned an antique mall in Shreveport, did estate sales and were licensed auctioneers and personal property appraisers. In 2014, they sold their business and decided to retire. They moved to Bella Vista in January 2015 after having spent a couple years visiting and researching the area. Dru’s interests include supporting her husband’s musical interests, loving three very special cats, traveling, cooking, gardening and learning more about stained glass construction and bridge (the card game.) She is very happy to be part of the Highlands Church staff.
Music was always an advocation for Joyce Sheldon, beginning with singing and playing the piano at the age of 5. She has been playing handbells for more than 30 years and plays in the Village Ringers, an ecumenical choir. In 1999, she organized the handbell choir at the Highlands Church. She later organized the hand chime choir at Concordia Retirement Center. She directs both choirs.
Joyce has attended many local, state and national handbell seminars and is a member of Handbell Musicians of America. Her work is featured on the CD "A Musical Legacy".
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Pam Meyer began developing her keyboard skills as a young girl. She has a bachelor's degree in family relations and child development from Oklahoma State University. She has served as a pianist in a number of churches; however, she has been at Highlands Church since 2006. Pam also serves as the Saturday Celebration worship leader and the praise band director.
Her artistic focus centers on finding ways to use music to enhance everyone's worship experience. Pam is also a talented music and lyrics arranger. Her work is featured on the CD "A Musical Legacy".
She was a professor of music at Carleton College in Minnesota and Hofstra University in New York, where she was in charge of orchestral conducting programs. Additionally, she served as music director/conductor of the North Arkansas Symphony for nine years (1999-2008), conducted internationally and worked with many international orchestras, solo artists, ballet companies and opera singers.
Most recently, Jeannine performed on and produced the CD "A Musical Legacy."
Jeannine Wagar, who serves as the organist at Highlands Church, has a masters degree in organ performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a doctorate in orchestra conducting from Stanford University.
Her professional career includes organ performance, symphonic orchestra conducting and university teaching.
Dru (Drucilla) Matthews comes to Highlands Church by way of Northwest Louisiana; growing up in Springhill then moving to Shreveport. Dru spent 35 years as Business Administrator for Noel United Methodist Church, with additional duties in supervising maintenance, office staff and programming.
As a conductor, John is currently the Music Director of the Bella Vista Men's Chorus, a position he has held since March 2015. John was Music Director of the Shreveport Choral Ensemble for 26 years, the Artistic Director/Conductor of the Shreveport Gilbert and Sullivan Society for 15 years, the Director of the River Cities Jubilee Barbershop Chorus for 14 years and Director of Music for Presbyterian and Methodist churches in the greater Shreveport area from 1990-2014. John was also the music director/conductor for many of Shreveport’s Centenary College theatrical music productions from 1995-2010. He also had a voice studio for 25 years.
In his spare time, John loves to play bridge, golf and dabble in antiques and collectibles.
Michael and his wife, Rita, live in Bella Vista. The couple have two daughters and one granddaughter.
Lori and her husband, Tom, have two amazing sons, Zak and Spencer, who also live in NWA. Lori has also been blessed with the willingness of her parents to follow the family on their last two moves, which has landed them most recently in the beautiful walk-out apartment in the lower level of Lori and Tom’s home. Lori enjoys traveling, being on the lake in the summer and spending time with her family.
When asked what some of his personal dreams were he mentioned several. He said he would love to be able to take a sabbatical to Israel for several months of study and pilgrimage and to be there during the great Christian holy days of Christmas through Easter. He would also enjoy pulling his travel trailer across America visiting all the different camp meetings that started during the great revivals and which are still meeting. And last, one of his great dreams would be to own a Harley Davidson Road King motorcycle and travel coast to coast on it.
Bryan and his wife, Lucretia, live in Bella Vista and have four grown children: Elizabeth who works as an assistant program manager for the Grow and Climb program for Branches a non-profit in Miami, FL; BJ, who works for the Admissions Department at Greenville University and is an adjunct professor; Teddy, who is pursuing a degree as a missionary aviator at Moody Bible Institute in Spokane, WA and Alex, who is a freshman at Greenville University in Greenville, IL.
When he asked the Lord what He wanted him to do with his life, he heard, “Tell others about me and promote vital Christianity.” So he has given his life to helping others experience new life in Christ and to pursue a life of intentional discipleship.
Bryan grew up in Colorado, where he developed a love for hiking, camping and fishing. Bryan also enjoys traveling, reading, riding motorcycles (especially when he has one) and watching movies. Some of his favorite are: The Blues Brothers, Caddy Shack, Christmas Vacation, Cool Runnings, Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang!, Wild Hogs and Cars.
Lori and her family came to Bella Vista in 2009 from Spring Hill, KS. She was born in upstate NY and lived in Lake Jackson, TX for 18 years before relocating to Kansas. She obtained an associate degree in computer information systems and a certificate in computer technology/mainframe, which led her to an IT career while in Texas. Upon moving to Kansas, she became a stay at home mom for 16 years until God led her to Highlands Church.
John Matthews, originally from California, retired to Bella Vista from Shreveport, Louisiana, in January of 2015 with his wife Dru (short for Drucilla.) He holds a B.A. in Vocal Performance and an M.M. in Conducting. As a baritone soloist, John performed over 130 roles in opera, symphony and theater companies all over the United States, Europe and Asia.
Bryan considers himself the luckiest and most blessed guy in the world. With a wonderful wife and family, he gets to serve Christ, who transformed his life. Bryan has gone on six pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and each time he goes, Christ meets him as if he were walking on the Emmaus Road for the first time again.
8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Michael Callahan has served as the part-time associate pastor at Highlands Church since 2003.
Prior to his work at the church, he served as a golf professional with the PGA of America, owned a restaurant in Tulsa, Okla., and taught secondary school. He has a bachelor's degree in education from Oklahoma State University.
A United Methodist Congregation