Pastor Gary is a devout believer that “a great church seeks to live out the Great Commandments and the Great Commission.” Thus Jesus’ charges to “love God with all your heart,” “love your neighbor as yourself,” and “go and make disciples of all peoples” form the foundation for his pastoral ministry.
Dr. Olsen is an Equipper for the ChristCare small-group ministry system, having trained in St. Louis with Stephen Ministry. Along with the rest of the Rolling Hills Equipper team, Gary has outfitted over 60 church members for Christian ministry leadership. Utilizing ChristCare for the first time ever in the design of a research project, Pastor Gary earned his Doctor of Ministry degree May 2007 at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. His dissertation’s title was “Disciple-Making Boards: The Impact of Training a Church’s Governing Board in Small-Group Spiritual Formation Leadership.”
In 2002, Gary and his wife Joyce each earned the Certificate of Advanced Church Leadership from the Beeson Institute, a three-year seminary program to take pastors and church leaders to cutting-edge, teaching churches across the United States. Through Rev. Olsen’s leadership, Rolling Hills has been a pilot congregation for the latest programs from Stephen Ministry and Purpose-Driven Churches.
His latest venture in 2008 has been to become a certified online workshop provider, exploring the possibilities of the Internet to make and grow disciples of Jesus Christ.
When asked about interests and hobbies, Gary lists his wife, their two children and their spouses, and their two grand-children!
A native of southern California, he has earned: a B.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a major in Urban History and a minor in Cultural Geography; a Masters of Divinity from Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary, near Milwaukee, Wis.; and Clinical Pastoral Education units at Pawtucket Memorial Hospital, Pawtucket, R.I. through Interfaith Healthcare Ministries. Rev Olsen possesses ordination standing in the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
The Rev. Dr. Gary L. Olsen began his ministry at Rolling Hills Community Church on October 1, 1992. Our unique four-denominational concept was a positive force in his decision to become our pastor. His enthusiasm and dedication to the unique challenge are readily apparent as he continues to fulfill a very vital role in the leadership and spiritual growth of our church.
Dr. Leonard McCormick, organist of Rolling Hills Community Church. Dr. McCormick leads the congregational singing in the traditional Sunday worship services at 8:30 and 11:00, as well as accompany the choir and provide concert-level performances to enhance worship.
Dave spent most of his youth growing up in Northern California. At an early age he was interested in music and started his musical journey by taking up the drums. He studied percussion with a respected instructor, Todd Fleming, for several years. In his senior year of high school he started playing guitar and singing to expand his musical knowledge. This was prompted by an opportunity to join a new band that was being formed. Dave continued his education at Santa Rosa Junior College where he majored in music. While attending college he maintained his professional music career in a bay area band named Steele. This band went on to be offered a record contract, but the band decided to turn it down in hopes of a better offer. While Steele did not become a national act, they were well known in Northern California and played with many nationally known artists. Dave went on to form other bands in the later part of the 1980’s and eventually transitioned into writing, producing, and recording his own music as well as other artists. He continues to write, produce, and record Christian music currently.
Dave’s non-musical carrier resides in the software industry. He has been working for software companies for over 20 years in various roles. He attained a senior management position in a Northern California firm that produced various automated insurance rating programs. In 2003 Dave and his family moved to Lago Vista and he joined Highland Lakes Software. This company produces enterprise programs for telecommunications billing and accounting. He currently holds a senior management position overseeing the software support and quality assurance departments.
Dave, his wife of 21 years Jamie, and his daughter Sabrina joined Rolling Hills Community Church shortly after moving to Lago Vista in 2003 and have all been active members ever since. Dave joined the contemporary praise band in late 2003 as the bassist and a vocalist. He later transitioned into a lead guitar role and continued to sing lead and backup vocals. He took over the leadership role for the praise band on January 1, 2010.
Judy Geddes began membership and her employment at Rolling Hills Community Church in 1998. She has been actively involved in youth ministry during the past nine years as director of the Youth Choir, Coordinator of the elementary youth programs, and this past year she has taken on the responsibility of the Middle School and High School youth ministry. Judy is a Stephen Leader in the Stephen Ministry program, Christ Care Small Group Leader, and Lay Ministry Leader in the Church. She is involved in the Care Ministry of the church, and oversees most care needs of those who request help. This can include prayer requests, food needs, hospital and nursing home visitation, or fulfilling a request for a Stephen Minister.
Judy and her husband Bill love camping, gardening, animals (especially cats), and their five granddaughters. Wherever they go Judy always keeps her cell phone handy and is in constant touch with the church. Reaching her is never a problem and she welcomes any and all calls regardless of the time of day.
Elisabeth Hunter is so excited to be back on staff as Family-Life Ministry Coordinator! Elisabeth grew up primarily in Broken Arrow, OK, but also spent time in New York City and Los Angeles. After high school, she moved to Texas to attend The University of Texas at San Antonio. She graduated in May of 2003 with a degree in Communication with a Speech and Theatre concentration. Elisabeth married Jared Hunter in August 2003, at which time they moved to Austin. Following the birth of their first son, Hudson, the Hunters’ relocated to Lago Vista to raise their family (where Jared grew up and graduated).
Since moving to Lago Vista, she has made her presence known! Whether as founder and co-director of the Lake Travis School of Fine Arts, or as the lead in various local musical theater productions, Ms. Hunter is well respected for her contributions to the North Shore community. At Rolling Hills she previously worked as Co-Director and teacher at RHEEEP where she taught Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade. Additionally, Elisabeth has volunteered and participated in Vacation Bible School and has served as Children’s Choir director for the past two years.
Jared, Elisabeth, Hudson (age 5) and their new addition, Finn, are thrilled to be an active part of Rolling Hills Community Church family.
Bettie is Director of the Children's Early Education Program (RHEEEP). She was born in Alice, Texas in 1972. She grew up in a variety of places: Corpus Christi Texas, Chattanooga Tennessee, and Houston Texas. She graduated in 1990 from Kempner High School in Houston. Bettie attended college at the University of Houston, until she and her husband moved to Austin in 1993. She transferred to The Univerity of Texas at Austin and graduated from UT with a BS degree in Applied Learning and Developmemt, with a minor in creative drama. She is also certified by the State of Texas to teach K-8 grades and has an early childhood endorsement that certifies her to also teach in Pre-K and Kindergarten. After graduating UT, she taught at a private kindergarten in Austin for five years. They moved their family to Lago Vista in May of 1999. Bettie and Charles have been married 17 years and have two daughters, Autumn and Hayley and one son Charles Elijah. They joined Rolling Hills Community Church in November 2001. Prior to working at RHCC she was a co-owner of an Education and Enrichment center here locally. Presently she is active at Rolling Hills as a small group leader and teaches at the Sunday evening Youth activities.
Bill Geddes has been employed as custodian since April 2005. He and his wife Judy retired to the Lake Travis area in 1998, after eight years of full-time RVing, and made their home in Jonestown. Bill, a retired Navy Chief, is a veteran of WWII, Korean and Viet Nam wars. He and Judy have two children and five granddaughters.
Bill considers it an honor to serve in the church, and cheerfully accomplishes his daily tasks, which always includes making coffee first thing and having it ready for the staff when they arrive. Bill will tell you that keeping God’s house clean “isn’t a job, it’s his privilege”.
In his interview for the Rolling Hills Youth Associate position, when asked if there was one word that would describe him, Matt smiled and said, “CRAZY!” As Matt describes himself, “the good Lord didn’t put a shy bone in my body! (ha-ha) I love to get in there with the youth and show that being a Christian can be exciting and life changing, not only for themselves but for others also.” After graduating Lehman High School in San Marcos, Texas, Matt went right to work, and his most recent career passion was served at the Gary Job Corps as Community Life Advisor. At 21, Matt has an opportunity to start at Concordia University in Austin with a major in Special Education and a minor in Psychology. Matt looks the Rolling Hills Church family in the eye and says, “I pray that God will use me in any way that He can to help your children, and I promise to give it my all every time!” Matt will team with parent Ira Wiesman to serve in leading Planet Youth, the Rolling Hills middle school ministry.
Got questions about Jesus Christ, car radio systems, kayaks, touring bikes, or Eagle Scouts? Ask Marty DeVoss, our Youth Ministry Assistant! Having moved to Lago Vista a few months ago from Denton, Texas, where he attended the University of North Texas and Denton Bible Church, Marty brings deep faith and a local presence to high school and middle school ministry. Also ask him about Jessica, Charlotte, and Lucy!