Celebrating One Decade in Ministry

Our graduates are called, transformed, and sent to “lead a life of eternal impact,” and we love celebrating the life change they get to be a part of through the local church!

Jacob Lavender, a Highlands College graduate from the Class of 2013, is celebrating ten years in full-time ministry. He has been faithfully serving at Action Church in Orlando, FL, and is now the Associate Pastor.

Read more to find out how God is moving in Jacob’s life!


Jacob Lavender

2013 Highlands College Graduate

What do you love about your role?

I love helping people discover their next step. It’s amazing to hear how one step can lead to a family being restored and generations being impacted.

What do you love about your city?

Orlando is an amazing city and one of the most popular tourist destinations! The people who live here are incredible, and I am honored to serve this city!

How did you get connected to Action Church when you first started?

I was serving in kids ministry during and at the close of my second year, and I got an opportunity to interview at a few different churches. One of my mentors at Highlands connected me to Pastor Justin, at the time, and we sat down at the cafe in Grants Mill and talked for about an hour. I can not tell you what we talked about, but I can tell you that I left that conversation thinking I would charge hell with a water gun with that guy. I do not even remember where he said he was planting a church, but I remember thinking I would follow him anywhere.

Looking back on being in ministry for ten years, what stands out the most?

When I was young in ministry, my attitude was always, “How can I use my gifts to serve the church.” After ten years, I now realize how much I need the Church, not the Church needs me. I get an opportunity to be paid in full-time ministry, but I always want to be the best A-teamer I can be in every environment.

As you reflect on your time at HC, what are some of your favorite memories?

The early morning workouts! You build character on those days. Also, the relationships. I am still best friends with the guys I went through my class ten years later.

Favorite hobby or way to spend a day off?

I love to golf and recently have picked up some pickleball. I love competition, either in the gym or on the courts!

If you could encourage a recent graduate on what it takes to make it ten years in ministry what would it be?

Fight for a heart of gratitude. Ministry is really hard. It will cost you. Remember you are called, and He who calls you is faithful.

What advice would you give to current or aspiring students looking to make an impact?

Don’t rush the process! Everything has a season, and every season is a season of learning.

Any stories or testimonies that you want to share?

I met my wife at Action our very first Easter Sunday. We got married a year later, and now I have two girls (Chloe 8, Kensie 5), and this past year I got to baptize my daughter! I am in awe of what God has allowed me to be a part of. Also, launching a location during COVID-19, having the power go out at our broadcast on a Sunday morning, and having Church outside because there was no AC. So many cool memories come to mind! It is all worth it!

Jacob, we honor you for your love for Christ and passion to see the Church thrive! We look forward to seeing how Jacob continues to make an eternal impact beyond Highlands College.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know one of our amazing Highlands College alumni. Learn more about Highlands College and how you can get connected to our incredible network of graduates around the world.