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". 

Administrative Assistant, Amey Burkett

Chimes/Bells Director, Joyce Sheldon

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Amey and her husband, Robert, live in Jane, MO. She was born in Joplin, MO and has lived in SW Missouri her whole life. Previously, she worked as the Deputy Recorder for the McDonald County Recorder of Deeds and as a Branch Manager at Arvest Bank. She currently works for the McDonald County Collector's office one day a week and enjoys her job at Highlands Church four days a week. Amey's hobbies include biking the Bella Vista trails, gardening, singing at her church, selling on e-Bay, and playing with her grandchildren. The Burketts have 2 beautiful daughters, 2 wonderful son-in-laws, and 2 of the sweetest grandchildren God ever made.

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. 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.                                                        

Bookkeeper, Dru Matthews

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.                                                             

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.

Lori's Favorite Scripture:  Isaiah 41:13  For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
John's Favorite Scripture:  Psalm 100   Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.  Come before His presence with a song!                         

Office Administrator, Lori Heald 

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. Lori and her husband, Tom, have two amazing sons, Zak and Spencer, who also live in NWA.

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. As a conductor, John is currently the Music Director of the Bella Vista Men's Chorus, a position he has held since March 2015.   

Office Hours:

  8:30 a.m.  to 4:00 p.m. 


Contemporary Worship Leader, James Hendrix

Celebration Worship Leader/Pianist, Pam Meyer

Organist, Jeannine Wagar 

Minister of Music, John Matthews

Senior Pastor, Rev. Robert Cloninger



Highlands Church

Children & Youth Ministries Coordinator, Sarah Catherine Davis

Sarah Catherine's Favorite Scripture:  
Robert's Favorite Scripture:

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.                                         

Jeannine's Favorite Scripture:  Psalm 23  The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

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. 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. 

371 Glasgow Road, Bella Vista, AR 72715

(479) 855-2277​​

A United Methodist Congregation


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Amey's Favorite Scripture:  Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.   
James' Favorite Scripture:  

Robert graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith with a B.A. in History. He attended Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he received his Masters in Divinity while also serving churches as a Student Local Pastor. He has served 6 churches over the past 10 years. Robert enjoys reading/listening to books and hunting. Robert and his wife, Betsy,  were married in 2013 and have two children, Caroline and Bobby and one Boxer, Gyda. 

Dru's Favorite Scripture:  Psalm 23   The Lord is my Sheperd; I shall not want.                          
Pam's Favorite Scripture: Job 23:8-10  But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
Joyce's Favorite Scripture:  Psalm 46:10   Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

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".