Rayden Hollis- Lead Pastor
Rayden was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma, and was raised in a multi-generational family of faith. Rayden’s grandfather was a Southern Baptist pastor for more than 50 years who planted 11 churches across Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Coming from a family of faith, where church attendance was mandatory and family devotions were common, Rayden relied on the faith of his family and his funny personality to calm the uneasiness he felt about eternity and salvation.
When Rayden was 9 years old he was sitting on the front row of a megachurch in Oklahoma City when God spoke to his heart about his sin. As a nine year old kid Rayden thought maybe he was having a heart attack, but now recognizes that he was just feeling deep conviction about his own sin.
“I had heard about the Holy Spirit, but this was my first encounter with His convicting work. For the first time in my life I realized that I wasn’t a ‘good kid’. I was a dead kid, but Jesus could make me come to life.”
Rayden had always been a funny kid, a great story teller, and a fearless leader, and those same characteristics led him to become a little evangelist who was committed to sharing his faith and living boldly for Jesus.
God’s call on Rayden’s life was obvious. He led Rayden to Southwest Baptist University and then into full time ministry. Rayden has led and participated in mission trips to several countries and five continents. God used Rayden to grow student ministries, preach the gospel, and revitalize a dying church.
In 2014 God called Rayden to Edwardsville as a church planting missionary. He now serves as the lead pastor at Red Hill Church. Rayden is primarily responsible for the vision, the preaching, and pastoral care at Red Hill.
Rayden’s hope is that Red Hill develops a passion for the lost, a devotion to bringing God glory, and a commitment to planting and supporting gospel-centered churches and church planters around the world.
Nick Volkening- Collegiate Ministry & Church Planting Director
Nick was born near Carbondale, Illinois, and had an on and off again experience with the church while growing up. His parents were Christians, but his family wasn't consistently connected with a local church til he was 14. He believed that Jesus was Savior, but he didn't think he needed him as Lord. He relied on charm and intellect to find value and meaning in the world.
When Nick was 14, he attended a camp in North Carolina with a local church. While he went to flirt with girls that he would never see again, he came back with something much different than he expected. He remarked:
"It was the first time that I saw my sin as part of the reason the world was so jacked up. I was part of the rebellion."
Nick returned home with a hunger to know God, know his Word, and participate in the mission of Jesus. By age 15, Nick's family had connected with a local church, and he began to learn and grow in his faith. Jesus had changed his heart.
God grew Nick as a leader, and he began using the same charm and intellect that he had used for himself to advance the Kingdom of God. In 2012, Nick became part of The Journey Southern Illinois, a church plant out of the St. Louis multisite church The Journey.
It was in 2014 that God called Nick to Edwardsville as a missionary, student, and a church planter. He now serves as the Church Planting Resident at Red Hill along with being the Lead Campus Missionary for Cougar Fellowship, a disciple making movement on the campus of SIUE.
Nick's hope is that Red Hill knows and enjoys Jesus Christ and that people are loved, discipled, sent, and cared for well by the leaders of the church.