New Heights Church was founded in 2008 on the principles of loving Jesus, loving others, and serving both by a humble, yet visionary leader - Mark Elkins. Mark and his wife, Alice put much of their lives into loving people in such a way that people saw Jesus in all that we do.
Mark was given a building In downtown Pineville, KY to begin a church that looked different, felt different, but loved people well. Mark's electric and loving personality effected both his preaching and his actions. As the church grew, New Heights began renting the Bell Theater for it's services. During our time in Pineville, Mark launched an annual event he called "Kid's Fest", an opportunity to meet the needs of families and show the love of Christ to all people in our area. This event still continues today in Middlesboro.
In 2017, God began tugging on Mark's heart about moving the church from Pineville to Middlesboro. As Mark began planning the move, he Intentionally picked a location that would position the church to love people that others tend to ignore and he helped design a building that could be utilized to love people no matter the time of day or where they have come from.
As the building came to life, New Heights temporarily moved to a training studio in Middlesboro in 2018 until opening the building in December 2019. As the building opened, New Heights Immediately started loving others through Celebrate Recovery, Life Groups, and other ministries.
With the move from Pineville to Middlesboro, Mark was still looking ahead and was passionate about planting a high impact church plant similar to New Heights and brought on Jonathan Neely as his apprentice. Unfortunately, in 2021 Mark was diagnosed with stage four cancer yet he continued mentoring Jonathan and ministering to the community. Mark was blessed to continue baptizing people, sharing the gospel, and discipling people as long as the Lord allowed him to.
Together, Mark and Jonathan shared a passion for adding to our street/homeless ministries and co-founded the Hope Project. The Hope Project serves as one of the core ministries at New Heights Church and provides an average of 75 meals per week along with clothing, hygiene products and other needs. Mark was passionate about meeting the needs of people while pointing them to Jesus.
In September of 2023, Mark passed away but left behind a legacy of loving Jesus, loving others, and serving both. Our church Is thankful that he led so well and promoted unity and ministry to the very end. He remained positive, encouraging, faithful, and joyful throughout his battle.
That spirit of unity continued to November 2023 in the naming of and voting on of Mark's apprentice, Jonathan as our Lead Pastor. Jonathan Is passionate about continuing the mission and vision God gave Mark and Alice In 2008 of loving Jesus, loving others, and serving both - no matter what!
Pastor Mark Elkins
Pastor Mark was the lead and founding pastor here at New Heights Church. Mark lived his life under the same mission and vision as New Heights Church - loving Jesus, loving others, and serving both. We are grateful for the legacy Mark has left behind as we continue the mission and vision he so greatly lead us to.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Elkins family after losing Mark on September 9th, 2023.