Church of the highlands exposed: History, Beliefs, and Controversies

church of the highlands exposed

Church of the Highlands began with Chris Hodges as the pastor and a starting number of forty people; it has since grown to become one of America’s largest churches with over 20 campuses. This particular open worship church which has young energetic worshippers and an engaging presence in society has subjected to grave accusations such as embezzlement and leadership issues. This article has the objective of explaining how the church of the highlands exposed? Its background of the church together with its doctrines and some of the problems it has faced.  

Overview of Church of the highlands exposed

Church of  Highlands was started in 2001, in Birmingham, AL in the living room of Pastor Chris Hodges with a small group of people. The church falls under the Association of Related Churches (ARC) which groups common churches. These are; modern worship and style, practical and insightful doctrines, stress on the use of several small groups, and nice fellowship and charitable activities. 

Controversies reported on the church of the highlands exposed

However, the Church of the Highlands has not been immune to controversy despite its status. Since 2011 the organization has accused of fraud, misusing funds, and leaders’ misconduct. One important issue is the Lodge at Grants Mill, a building designed for pastors’ rest, but which has become the subject of lawful controversies and embezzlements. 

Beliefs of the Church of the highlands exposed

Beliefs of the Church of the highlands exposed

The Church of the Highlands uses teachings from the bible as a foundation and centers its values on a person’s relationship with Jesus Christ. Key beliefs include: 

1) Biblical Authority: It holds the belief that the Bible is suppose to be the final word as far as doctrine and practice are concern. 

2) Community and Small Groups: Group fellowship is very important for an individual as well as for group development. 

3) Prayer: Prayer is consider a crucial activity where the church goes to God in supplication for various things by prayers.

4) Personal Transformation: Stress is laid on holiness and the spread of the gospel through missions and evangelism. 

Sophisticated Accusations and Top Officials Examination 

By investigating various articles, it was determine that improper management of funds and corruption exist and are a problem in the present day. 

Church of the highlands exposed

  • Different types of abuse have been allege against the Church of the Highlands; Abuse of authority and embezzlement of funds. People have demanded that the leadership of the church should become more open about their decisions. 
  • The Lodge at Grants Mill, initially intended as a retreat center for pastors, has become the center of legal controversies due to alleged financial mismanagement.
  • First of all, The Lodge at Grants Mill was mainly design as the place for pastors’ retreats, however, it soon became the centre of passionate discussions. This and other charges, such as massive embezzlement of funds, threats to control the Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida, and slanderous letters, were/are being level against Cope. 

Allegations That Can Be Specifically Made Against The Lodge at Grants Mill 

The Weemses labeled the Lodge at Grants Mill as copied from Honey Lake Farms Lodge and claimed that they were part of an unsavory plot to usurp Celebration Church’s management as well as its properties. Stovall and Kerri Weems have filed a lawsuit against the Association of Related Churches and Chris Hodges alleging they wanted to ruin their reputation for their benefit. 

ARC’s Response to Allegations 

 To these allegations, ARC has offered a denial of any wrongdoing, dismissing all the claims as baseless and false. They have assured the Nation that they are willing and able to stick to the legal procedures and be truthful. 

The Position of the Church of Highlands as its Formal View 

1) Senior Pastor Chris Hodges – A number of the accusations have been answer by the Director of Communications and Pastor of the church, Chris Hodges personally, with an apology to the injured party. He has also taken time to provide a clear stand of the church as an organization that does not tolerate immoral behaviors. 

2) Internal Investigations – The concerned matter entails the Church of the Highlands has declared internal investigations to handle the allegations. It is assume that these inquiries will include financial operations, leaders’ behavior, and theological issues. Church has promised to apply the required changes based on the results as per the findings of the study. 

3) Defending Practices -However, there is criticism of what has carried out by the church in explaining its commitment to community duties as well as the evangelism of the word of God. Church directors have sought to project themselves as Christians with humane deeds. 


The situation in the Church of the Highlands is rather significant and a kind of challenge, which is critical and profound in terms of being severe and multifaceted. But at the same time, this position also opens the door to development. With this as the premise, the church should squarely meet these challenges and strive to be more open and truthful to come out of this phase of its development stronger. This is a clear indication that with an unwavering focus on the doctrinal aspects of the church and its adaptability, then the Church of the Highlands can go on fulfilling its purpose in the development of the community. 

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