What are your beliefs?

The statements of the 'Church of the Highlands' include the Inerrancy of Scripture, the Apostles Creed and the Statement of Faith. These statements are subordinated to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.


I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Christ Jesus, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into death. On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven, He is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.


1.   The Scriptures

We believe that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God and that men of God were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the very words of Scripture. The Bible is therefore without error in its original manuscripts. God has supernaturally preserved the Bible and it is the sole and final authority for faith and life providing encouragement, guidance, comfort and instruction for training in righteousness.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

2.   The Godhead (Trinity)

We believe in one true God eternally existing in three distinct persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) each of Whom is fully and equally God; possessing all of the divine nature and attributes, and totally worthy of our worship and service.
(Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 1:14, 10:30; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

3.   God the Father

We believe that God the Father is the first person of the Trinity and is the eternal, unchanging, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving, completely just and perfectly holy, sovereign Ruler and Sustainer of the universe. He is the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Father of all true believers.
(Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 40:21-28, 43:10-13; 46:8-11; John 1:12-13; 5:19-21; 17:1-5; Romans 8:14-16; Ephesians 4:6).

4.   God the Son

We believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Trinity and is the only begotten eternal Son of God Who became flesh to reveal God to man, to fulfill prophecy, and to become the Savior of the lost world. In becoming man Jesus did not cease in any way to be God so that He is fully God and fully man inseparably united in one person forever. Jesus was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; lived a sinless life; died on the cross as the all-sufficient atoning sacrifice for all of the sins of all men of all time; was buried; bodily rose from the dead; physically ascended into heaven in His glorified, resurrected body; is seated at the right hand of the Father performing His ministry of intercession; will return in the air to claim His bride - the church; and will come again to earth in bodily form, personally, visibly, to conclude human history and consummate God's eternal plan by executing judgment and ushering in the eternal state.
(Matthew 24:44; Mark 10:45; Luke 1:30-55; John 1:1, 14, 18, 29, 3:16, 20:20; Acts 1:11, 2:22-24; Romans 3:24-26, 8:34; Philippians 2:5-8, 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3, 9:28, 10:5-14; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18; 1 John 2:1; Revelation 19:11-21, 21:22). 

5.   God the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. On the day of Pentecost, He descended upon the gathered believers and evidenced His presence to the church with tongues of fire. He is the primary agent for the conviction of sin and the regeneration. Simultaneously with salvation, the Holy Spirit imparts new life, baptizes the believer into the body of Christ (His Church), and permanently indwells the believer. The Holy Spirit fills (directs and controls) those believers who are yielded to Him, enables believers to bear fruit and empowers believers to live a life free from sin's dominion. We also believe that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers for the purpose of edifying the church in accordance with the teachings of scripture.
(John 16:7-15; Romans 8:5-13, 15:28-29; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 12:13; Galatians 5:16-17, 22-23; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30).

6.   Man

We believe that man was created in the image of God by direct act of God and did not come into being as the result of evolution. Man was created to glorify God, worship and serve Him, and have fellowship with Him. Man fell through sin by disobeying God, thus incurring both physical and spiritual death, which alienated him from God. Man's nature was thus corrupted and he is utterly lost, dead in trespasses and sins, and totally incapable of saving himself and coming back into a right relationship with God by his own merit or effort.
(Genesis 1:26, 2:17, 3:17-24; Isaiah 59:1-2; Luke 18:26-27, Romans 3:9-19, 23, 5:6-8; Ephesians 2:1-3).

7.   Satan

We believe that Satan is the instigator of evil and a real spirit being, not simply the personification of evil. He is a fallen angel who, under the sovereign permission of God, has been given temporary rulership of the earth. He was utterly defeated at the cross, but the execution of his judgment has been postponed by God until the Day of Judgment when he will be cast into the eternal lake of fire. In the meantime, he deceives the world and seeks to establish his counterfeit kingdom on earth to discredit and blaspheme God and to tempt, accuse, attack and destroy believers. He can be resisted by the believer through faith and reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Genesis 3:1-5; Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Job 1:6-12; 1 John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 11:14; 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 Peter 5:8-9; James 4:7; Revelation 12:9, 20:1-3, 7-10).

8.   Salvation

We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross provides the sole basis for forgiveness of sins and salvation, which is the free gift of God's grace. Salvation is effected by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and cannot be secured by man's works or personal merit. Salvation is only appropriated by a person placing his faith in the finished work of Christ. Repentance is a turning toward God and away from sin and is a part of but not separate from believing faith. The gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes and those who receive Jesus Christ by faith are born again, have their sins forgiven, become children of God, are a new creation in Christ, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption, being kept by the power of God.
(John 1:12-13, 3:1-7, 14-16, 10:27-29, 14:6; Acts 26:20; Romans 1:16, 8:14-17, 31-39, 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:7, 13-14, 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:3-5).

9.   The Church

We believe that the church is the body of Christ of which Jesus is the Head and whose members are those who have truly received Christ by faith. The local church is a tangible expression of the body of Christ in a particular location. Since all members of the body of Christ are united in Christ by the same Spirit, they should live in love, harmony and unity, striving to protect the unity of the faith. The purpose of the church is to make Christ known to lost men, to make disciples and glorify God on earth.
(Matthew 28:18-20; John 17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:20-23, 4:1-6, 12-16; Colossians 1:24-29).

10.  Ordinances of the Church

We believe there are three ordinances of the church: Baptism in Water, Holy Communion and Holy Matrimony.

Baptism in Water
Baptism by immersion is commanded in the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life.
(Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:4).

Holy Communion
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements — bread and the fruit of the vine — is a memorial of His suffering and death; His inauguration of the New Covenant; and a prophecy of His Second Coming; and is enjoined on all believers until His return.
(I Corinthians 11:26, Luke 22:20, I Corinthians 15:22-26).

Holy Matrimony
Marriage is a union ordained by God. It was instituted by God in the early chapters of Genesis, designed as a union between one man (male at birth) and one woman (female at birth) to become one flesh and remain in that union until death. The Old Testament prophets compared marriage to a relationship between God and His people, examples of this relationship are in the historical narratives and the wisdom literature. Each of these books discusses the unique unity of this relationship. Jesus explained the original intention and core elements of marriage, and several New Testament Epistles give explicit instruction on this union. Marriage is a typology of Christ and His church. As such, Church of the Highlands views marriage as a profound spiritual institution established by God.
(Genesis 2:8-24, Matthew 19:3-9, Ephesians 5:31-33).

11. The Christian Life

We believe that every Christian should live for Christ and not for himself and should, by the power of the indwelling Spirit, allow Christ to manifest His life through him to God's glory. By ever increasing obedience to the Word of God, each believer should mature and progressively become more like Jesus. In the power of the Spirit, each believer should live a holy life; not fulfill the lusts of the flesh; exercise his spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ; witness for Christ; be personally involved in making disciples to fulfill the great commission; perform good works and bear fruit to the glory of God.
(Matthew 28:18-20; John 15:8, 16; Acts 1:8; Romans 6:11-13; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:10, 4:11-12, 4:22-24; Colossians 1:10; 1 Peter 1:15-16, 2:11, 4:10-11).

12.  The Final Judgment

We believe there will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their deeds. Whoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake of fire which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.(Matthew 24:42-46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

13. The Blessed Hope

We believe the resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ, and their translation together with those who are alive and remain at the coming of Lord, is the imminent and blessed hope of the Church.
(1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:11-13; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

How do I receive Eternal Life?

Jesus said, "And this is Eternal Life: (it means) to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with and understand) You, the only true and real God and likewise to know Him, Jesus (as the) Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, whom You have sent."   John 17:3

How Do I Receive Eternal Life?

Eternal Life is a promise from God for those who trust in His Son, Jesus Christ. In the Bible, Jesus said, “Whosoever puts his trust in the Son has Eternal Life. But, whosoever rejects the Son will not see life” (John 3:36). Eternal Life is received by committing yourself in loving trust to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Salvation is received by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone!

Because of God’s grace, Heaven is a free gift—not earned or deserved. 
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

Man is a sinner and cannot save himself. 
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)

God is loving and merciful and does not want to punish us, but God is also just and must punish sin. 
"...Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." (Jeremiah 31:3), "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." (Psalms, 136:1), "Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die." (Ezekiel 18:4)

The Lord Jesus Christ is God in human form, and He purchased a place in heaven for us, which He offers as a free gift. 
"In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God....And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1 & 14), "Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect." (1 Peter 2:22), "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, 'Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'" (John 1:29), "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)

Eternal Life is received through Saving Faith. 
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God," (Ephesians 2:8), "So they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.'" (Acts 16:31)

When you sincerely commit yourself in loving trust to Jesus as Lord, as Savior, and as the resurrected living Christ, you receive the gift of Eternal Life and become a member of God’s family.

If you would like to speak with a pastor, or have someone pray with you about a new life in Jesus Christ, please contact us at 650.873.4095.

Do you practice Communion?

We partake of Communion each week during the Saturday night and Sunday morning services. It is our way of honoring Jesus by doing what He commanded.

"...Do this in remembrance of Me." Luke 22:19
During His last supper with His disciples, Jesus asked us to remember His body and blood that were given for us.

During Communion, we take time to reflect on what our Savior has done for us - He paid the ultimate price for our salvation. In order to restore fellowship between God and man, Jesus gave His very life. We take time to acknowledge that we are sinners in need of a savior, and we give Him thanks for His great love, mercy and grace.

Everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is invited to share Communion with us.

"For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes." 1 Corinthians 11:26

What are your guidelines for Membership?

Membership at Church of the Highlands requires: a personal declaration of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, following Christ in water baptism, a willingness to participate in the life of the church and completion of the Membership class taught by Senior Pastor Leighton Sheley. 

To start the membership process, call the church office for information about the next class. This class (1 Saturday or 5 weeknights) covers an introduction to the staff, history of the church, Statement of Faith, structure, and the biblical basis of our vision and mission. 

New members are to be involved in a ministry as a member of the church family. Members are committed to giving their time and talents to God's work.

For more information, please contact the church office at 650.873.4095. 

What are your guidelines for Baptism?

Water baptism should follow salvation. Baptism is an act of obedience, signifying one's dying to sin and rising to a new life in Jesus Christ. Baptism is a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ and identification with the church - the Body of Christ.

Is there an age requirement for baptism? We do not have a set age for children’s baptisms. Children must, however, desire to be baptized and have a full understanding of what they are doing and why. For this reason, we do not baptize or christen infants. We do offer Baby Dedication which is the dedication of the parents to raising their child to know Jesus Christ and the introduction of the infant to our church family. See Baby Dedication.

Baptisms are scheduled in advance and generally take place during any of the sanctuary worship services on the 3rd Sunday of the month. This schedule may change during Easter and if the baptistery is unavailable due to special holiday productions. We offer baptism preparation for candidates in advance of their special day. Baptism requests are handled through the church office.

For further details, call Mildred at 650.266.4450.

What are your guidelines for Baby Dedications?

At the heart of a baby dedication is the dedication of Dad and Mom, because God has given them a marvelous gift and an awesome responsibility for a new life. Parents can affect the life of their little one in so many ways to love Jesus Christ. During the dedication, we pray that God will give Dad and Mom great wisdom and that their home will be filled with the love of Jesus, so that when their little one grows up, loving Jesus just like Dad and Mom will come naturally.

Baby dedication is also a commitment on the part of the church family to pray for and support Dad and Mom in their commitment to raise their little one to know Jesus.

Baby dedications are usually scheduled on the 4th Sunday of the month, following completion of a baby dedication application form and a meeting with a pastor.

Additional information is available by calling Mildred at 650.266.4450.

"You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:7

What are your guidelines for Weddings?

We hold marriage to be a sacred and lasting commitment, and we believe that our pastors are accountable before God for the marriages they conduct. God the Father instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden. In His public ministry, Jesus reminded us of the Father's original purpose - to join together one man and one woman in a "cleaving" relationship to create a new family.

This church defines "marriage" as the exclusive covenantal union of one man and one woman in which such union is a lifetime commitment. A civil government's sanction of a union will be recognized as a legitimate marriage by the church only to the extent that it is consistent with the definition of "marriage" found in the Bible.

For a wedding here, we require at least one year's active attendance at Church of the Highlands, completion of the Membership process, a signed statement of agreement with our Statement of Faith, completion of a 12-session Premarital Class (with Couples Counseling sessions), and approval from the pastor teaching the class.

We put great emphasis on preparation for marriage. Premarital classes are held twice a year on Sunday afternoons. Completion is required not only for those planning to be married here at Highlands, but also for those wishing to have one of our pastors officiate their off-site wedding. There is a small fee to cover the cost of materials. Each couple must meet with Pastor Dave Smith for an interview prior to being admitted to the class.

For more information regarding weddings, or to begin the class registration process, call Pastor Dave Smith at 650.266.4318.