The vision of Highlands Bible Church is to love God and love people.


The purpose of Highlands Bible Church is to glorify God by making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ

Highlands Bible Church is a campus of the Green Pond Bible Chapel.  Some of our Pastors, Elders, and Deacons are “campus specific,” but we are all one team. For the whole GPBC leadership team click here. The following are the Highlands Campus leaders:

Highlands Campus Pastor

Mike Ruel Family
Mike Ruel

Mike Ruel has lived with his wife Melanie and two not-so-little-kids in Vernon for over 10 years, while serving in various roles at the Green Pond campus.  Mike has felt a leading to plant a church in Vernon to reach the community with the gospel for a good while now, and is excited that God is finally bringing it to fruition. Mike has a B.S. in Management from William Paterson University and spent 15 yrs in Corporate America as a project manager in technology and publishing. He also received an M. Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with a concentration in Christian Ministry. When not busy with HBC, you could probably find him at Starbucks, or throwing freshly-chainsawed firewood in his trusty Toyota Tundra or possibly even fishing for bass.  Follow Mike on Twitter or on Facebook, or read some of his writing.


Highlands Bible Church is led by elders (also known in Scripture as overseers and pastors). The pattern for church government in the New Testament shows that God desires spiritually qualified men to be responsible for shepherding, leading, and overseeing the church. This position is referred to by three different terms, most commonly translated as “elder,” “pastor,” and “overseer.” The qualifications for this position are listed clearly in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. We believe that this position is limited to men, as taught in 1 Timothy 2:12 as part of God’s created design with no reference to value or ability.

At any given time some of our elders will be vocational pastors who are paid by the church and who have full time responsibilities. Vocational pastors do not possess any greater authority than our non-vocational elders.

Rob Downs

Rob has been an active member of the Green Pond Bible Chapel for over 40 years. He accepted Christ as an early teen while watching a movie at church entitled “Thief In The Night.” As a sophomore in high school Rob was convicted by the Holy Spirit to have a deeper walk with Christ. Since that time he has had the opportunity to serve in various ministries. Rob loves serving God at GPBC along with being a husband, father and grandfather.

Paul Fehrenbacher

Paul and Pam Fehrenbacher reside in Branchville, NJ and have been joyfully married since October 2011. Paul is self employed with P&F Small Engine, an outdoor power equipment repair service, since 1983. He came to Christ in his thirties and has been passionately pursuing the things of God ever since. He loves to study theology and apologetics and enjoys discussing these topics with just about anyone who will listen. For fun he likes dipping a line in the water or exploring any nature trail he can find.

John Lisa

John is married with 5 children and has been attending GPBC since 1982. From the very start, John was involved in many ministries and Bible studies, being personally helped by many good men to grow in his faith. He has served as a College & Career leader, men’s softball and boys basketball coach, deacon and elder. John’s spiritual gifts are encouragement and exaltation, and his passion is mentoring young men to grow into healthy men of integrity, who tremble in reverent fear, living a life fully devoted to God. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive glory and honor and all praise. His life verse is 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”


The elders are assisted, as in the New Testament model, by men and women qualified to serve a deacons. The qualifications for deacons are listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The role of the deacons is to meet practical needs in the church to assist the pastors in leading the church.