Pastors & Staff
Cory grew up in Southwest Mississippi, where he benefited from enjoying the beauty of Cajun cooking. After getting a BS in Sports Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi, Cory served two and a half years in West Africa as a researcher and church planter. In West Africa he not only developed a passion for reaching the unreached there, but also met his wife, Jasmine, who was a fellow missionary. Following his mission service in West Africa, Cory received his MDiv from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. from Reformed Theological Seminary. While in seminary Cory developed a passion for comprehensive theological training in the context of the local church and among under-served peoples.
Cory is passionate about seeing the church display the coming Kingdom of God to the nations through right thinking and right living. In addition to serving as a pastor at Heights Church, he also serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at John Carroll University and as a Fellow of the Center for Pastor Theologians. Cory and Jasmine have four children: Chi, Karis, Asher, and Liam.
Jake grew up in Mount Vernon, Indiana. While not from Cleveland, Jake is passionate about Cleveland sports, largely due to his father’s Ohio roots. Jake has spent his entire career of 10+ years working in various sales roles. He is particularly passionate about what it means to love Jesus within corporate America.
Jake met his wife Megan in High School. Both share a great passion for adoption. In God’s grace, the Lord provided them with four children – two biology and two via adoption. Their sons are Lucas, Dane, Cameron (Cam) and Jack. When he’s not working, Jake is rooting for Cleveland sports, playing outdoors with the family, writing music, and making new friends!
Originally from Chicago, Joel and his wife Allison decided to stay in Cleveland upon his graduation from the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2012, Joel started a business called Negus Music, a company focused on bringing the beauty of music to its local community through performance and education. It later became a nonprofit called the Cleveland Music Collaborative, as it is known today.
Joel is specifically passionate about his city Cleveland and seeing its physical and spiritual renewal by the power of the gospel. You will typically find him and Allison leading our singing most weeks. He and Allison live in Cleveland Heights with their daughters Daisy and Gwendolyn.
Ken is a native Clevelander—and proud of it! He earned his undergraduate degree from Ohio University and his law degree from the University of Notre Dame. While at OU, Ken met his now-wife Jamie, whom he married in 2008.
In addition to being a pastor at Heights Church, Ken is also a practicing attorney. As such, he is particularly passionate about helping students and young professionals live out their faith in the classroom and the workplace. In his spare time, Ken enjoys fishing, playing and writing music, traveling with Jamie, and—often against his better judgment—supporting Cleveland’s sports teams.
Nate grew up in Akron and came to faith in Christ as a sophomore in high school. After graduating from Kent State, he and his wife, Aimee, spent seven years in Chicago. Nate earned an M.A. in Biblical Exegesis and an M.A. in Historical and Systematic Theology from Wheaton College Graduate School. Nate then served as Pastor of Community Engagement at a church in Chicago.
Out of a growing burden to see a gospel-preaching church in every neighborhood in Cleveland, Nate moved back to Northeast Ohio to become a Church Planting Resident at Heights Church. He is now leading a group of members from Heights Church to plant City Church on the Near West Side of Cleveland. He loves the Browns, designing good websites, drinking good coffee and listening to good music. Nate and Aimee have two boys.
Zach grew up outside of Evansville, Indiana. He grew up a Cleveland sports fan that lived and (mostly) died with the Cleveland area teams especially the Browns. After getting a BS in Political Science from the University of Southern Indiana, Zach attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.While at Southeastern, Zach developed a passion for expositional preaching (preaching through books of the Bible) and for intersecting the gospel message with culture and modern philosophy.
After graduating with his MDiv, Zach took a job as a youth and college pastor in central Illinois and served there for three years prior to coming to Cleveland to plant Heights Church. Zach’s passionate about returning the church to a clear, simple, and intelligent focus on the gospel message of Jesus Christ and impacting the city for good to the glory of God. Zach is married to Amy and they have four children: Deacon, Ava, Sofie, and Graham.
Director of Communications
Born and raised in the greater Cleveland area, Cass did not always love the city. It was not until he started traveling as a musician that he realized the vibrant life Cleveland has to offer. Cass studied Audio Engineering at The Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, OH, where he graduated with honors. He also enjoys photography and video work as time allows.
Cass now lives in Cleveland Heights and brings a diverse set of skills to Heights Church. He loves the food and music scene in Cleveland and can often be found enjoying the two together around our beautiful city.
Assistant Director of Heights Kids
Emily moved from Los Angeles to Cleveland in 2012 with the intent to stay only a few years. Instead, she found Heights Church, met and married her husband Jon, and realized Cleveland was home. Emily has a degree in Liberal Studies – Teacher Education. Emily taught in the greater Los Angeles area public schools and the Breakthrough Charter Schools in Cleveland. She also taught English at the Refugee Reception Centre in Debrecen, Hungary. In all these experiences, God has proven faithful and the gospel has proven true, and because of this, Emily is passionate about viewing every aspect of education as a means of sharing with students God’s story of redemption.
Emily and Jon live on the Cleveland Heights/East Cleveland border with their daughter Emiliana, and can often be found enjoying a home full of friends and neighbors.
Born in the tropics, but raised in Muncie, Indiana, Heather moved to Cleveland in 2010 after winning a position with the Erie Philharmonic. A classically-trained oboist, Heather has developed a love for the city, its people, its food and its ways. Heather received her B.Mus. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. She then spent one year in Boston, Massachusetts beginning her Masters work at the Longy School of Music before finishing her studies at Ball State University in her hometown of Muncie.
Heather joins the office staff after spending over 11 years with Starbucks Coffee Company, culminating in two years as a store manager in the Cedar-Fairmount neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. She loves being helpful in the most efficient, but personable manner possible. The child of two educators, she continually seeks knowledge – usually through podcasts and book groups. She also has a passion for baking tasty treats and believes that even the smallest things in life have the capacity to make a big difference. She still plays second oboe with the Erie Philharmonic. Heather and her husband, Evan, have been married since 2013 and currently live in South Euclid.
Director of Heights Kids
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Jamie moved to Cleveland with her husband, Ken, in July of 2010. Through her work with the Cleveland Public Schools and several east side neighborhoods, Jamie has become a supporter of all things Cleveland. She worked in education for the past 10 years, specifically focusing on curriculum design, teacher effectiveness and data-driven instruction. Jamie taught both middle school and high school English in urban schools and trained first year teachers and paraprofessional staff.
Jamie has a passion for project-based and expeditionary learning, and for bringing meaningful, rigorous instruction into a church context. In addition to her experience as an educator, Jamie has worked in non-profit program evaluation, community organizing, and journalism. She has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University and an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.