Dogwood Hills is a pastor-led congregational body where the pastor leads but where each member has a voice.

Pastor Kevin Willmott

Since May of 2000, Kevin has been the pastor of Dogwood Hills Baptist Church where he and his late wife Shelia have served this community of believers faithfully. God blessed the two of them with two children, Dustin and Brittany, who are now grown and raising Kevin and Shelia's six grandkids in the Palestine area. Kevin graduated from Palestine High School and has lived in the Palestine community since his youth, so he knows the people and community well. He used to be a full-time farmer but now only does so on the side, but that means that he knows a thing or two about planting, watering, and harvesting which is what he does in a spiritual way in the field of Dogwood Hills.

In the fall of 2018, Kevin was blessed by the Lord to meet Robin Kelley, and in May of 2020, they were married. Robin is an RN here in Palestine and plays bass with the worship team. They look forward to serving the Lord together for many years to come!

  • Lance King

    Associate Pastor (students)

    Lance was born and raised in SW Louisiana. After he and college sweetheart Michelle graduated from college in 1993 (Lance: B.S. Math Education; Michelle: B.S. Social Work), they were married. The Lord blessed them with two Louisianian daughters, Michaela and McKenzie. In 2001, the family moved to Texas, and eventually God blessed them with two Texan daughters, Kelsey and Karis, who get along well with the Louisianian ones. Lance has served on pastoral staff with churches in Louisiana and Texas, and he loves to teach God's word to 7th-12th grade students (which includes daughters 3 and 4). He also loves to hike with his family in rocky terrains where there is no poison ivy. In 2008, Lance graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and he has been on staff at Dogwood Hills since March 2016. Here's a little about the "kids."

    Michaela is a graduate of Louisiana College, now Louisiana Christian University (LCU), and is employed there as the Associate Director of Residence Life and the Director of Recreational Services. She's married to Clay Jordan, a fireman in Pineville, LA. McKenzie has recently graduated from LCU with a Bachelor's Degree in Missions and Ministries and works for YM360 (Generate) in Birmingham, AL. She enjoys singing, playing guitar and piano, and writing songs. Kelsey is in high school and is a compassionate homeschooling student who enjoys playing tennis, learning about science, and doing art. Karis is the bubbly youngest daughter with an almost never-ending smile.

  • Dustin & Jennifer Willmott

    Worship Leader & Children's Ministry leader

    Dustin and Jennifer have been married since 2012. They have three boys: Sebastian, Julian, and Grayson. Dustin is Pastor Kevin's son.

    Dustin has been a member of Dogwood Hills since 2000 and serves as the Worship Leader working with a talented group of musicians and vocalists. He grew up at Dogwood Hills and picked up his guitar skills here, and God uses his talent to help our fellowship worship each Sunday. Dustin earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from UT Tyler and is a rural postal carrier for the USPS.

    Jennifer has been a member since 2013 and serves as the Children's Ministry Leader. She has a heart for serving and is willing to help others at any time. She was called to lead the children's ministry in 2019 and is also our Pre-K Sunday Morning Bible Study teacher. She loves to teach kids and watch their creativity, knowing that it's essential that children learn about Jesus and get to know Him personally. Jennifer also serves as a counselor for Living Alternatives, a pro-life pregnancy center in Palestine.

    Both Dustin and Jennifer love the Lord, and we are blessed to have them here at Dogwood Hills. "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4:10).

  • Stephanie Fleharty

    ADMINISTRATIVE assistant

  • Missy Handorf

    Financial Secretary

    Missy was born and raised in Palestine and has been married to Scott for 25 years. She and Scott have two boys, actually grown men, named Dustin and Justin. Dustin is married to Anna, and God's blessed them with a wonderful son named Rhett. The family has been a part of Dogwood Hills since 2009, and she's been keeping the church's financial records since March 2010.

  • Deacons

    Front (L to R): Kenneth Dickson, Ernie Ivins, Jerry Don Kelley, and Carl Ivins

    Back (L to R): David Hardin, Ray Larson, Mike Akin, and Josh Hinshaw (not pictured: Jerry Fetcher)

  • Worship Ministry Team

    Front (L to R):

    Susan Pace (vocals)

    Chelsea Jones (vocals)

    Robin Willmott (bass/flute)

    Laura Vaughn (piano)

    Back (L to R):

    Josh Hinshaw (lead guitar)

    Bumper Clayton (drums)

    Dustin Willmott (worship leader, guitar, vocals)

    Caleb Hodges (keyboard)