Mike Willis – Lead Pastor / Elder

I grew-up in Raleigh and heard about Jesus from my parents and camp counselors. I started dating my wife, Vanessa, after we graduated from NC State University. Between my Sophomore and Junior years, I spent a summer in Spain studying abroad and it was there that I first understood God’s calling on me to be a Senior Pastor. We have four kids: Maddie, Luke, Ben and Evie. Vanessa and I have had the joy of serving Jesus overseas in Kenya and Jordan. I received a seminary degree from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M.). During seminary, I was privileged to start and lead a college ministry in Dallas. We moved from Dallas to Chicago for church planter training and then to Raleigh to plant Harvest Raleigh in 2009. I grew up here. I love this City.  I want to see people place their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord and love Him and others with their lives.

Tim Horton – Elder

I distinctly remember the first time I picked up a Bible to read it because I wanted to know what it really said. I had read the Bible for years and from a very young age, but it was always because someone had asked me to open my Bible and read it. On that day, for the first time, I read about a God who loved me with a deep, deep love and I knew, at that moment, that I wanted to serve Him for the rest of my life with all of my energy. Christ’s love for the church is the most powerful thing that I know and the cross and resurrection are the greatest demonstrations of that power that man has ever seen. My life has a new purpose because of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

I love Harvest because we are a faith family who, amidst the good and bad of life, walk with one another as we walk with Christ. I am passionate about small groups, because they have been a great tool of spiritual transformation in my life. I am also really energized by church planting because it is the radical place where the sharp edge of the knife cuts into the greatest darkness in the world by rescuing people who have been blinded for generations.

I met my wife, Kate, while we were both participating in church planting overseas. I have two daughters, Mary Wallace and Legare, and a son Asa. Our family likes to get out of town and see new things, see the leaves change in October and play on the beach in the summer. We look forward to meeting you soon!

Seth Apple – Elder

There was a day etched in my mind I’ll never forget. It was a typical Sunday in a small southern church in Greensboro, NC. I was in a hot basement at a Sunday school class and the teacher clearly presented the message of the Father’s (God) love for his sheep. It was that simple day with that simple message, God brought me to himself. Walking with the Lord has been difficult at times (mainly from self inflicted trials) and it has also been very sweet. Two things have been consistent through it all – God’s love and His Church. It is because of His love often shown through the church I am passionate about a unified body of believers who love the Lord and love each other.

There are six other particular days I’ll never forget as well. First is the day I married my beautiful bride, Rebecca, who clearly exemplifies the grace of God. The other five days are the births of my six children: Lilly Jo, Jack Lewis, Amelia Katelyn, Ezra Jude, Eliza Jane and Ezekiel Jett.

Kenny Perry – Elder

I grew up in a Christian family and church has always been a big part of my life. By God’s grace, I came to Christ at a young age. Yet as I began to grow older, I went through a period where I became very distracted by the world and practically indifferent to walking with the Lord. In my senior year of High School the Lord used godly men, my youth group and life circumstances to remind me that He is the only one worthy of the honor and esteem that I had been placing on other things. Since that time God has consistently grown me in my faith and developed my understanding of the great Gospel of Christ, and on the implications of the Gospel to the world.

I am married to my lovely wife Kourtney, and we have two kids, Isaiah and Abigail. Kourtney and I are originally from southeastern Virginia, and we have made Harvest our home since moving to North Carolina in 2011. We love our church and enjoy seeing God change lives and impact our world through the people of Harvest!

Jason Kennedy – Elder

I’ve had the joy and privilege of being around a lot of fantastic people in my life. My wife, Julie, my family, church leaders and men in college invested in me and helped me grow as a disciple of Jesus. I have three boys, Jason Jr., William,  and Graham and a daughter Fields. We like to dig, build and admire mom together.

After several years of rich learning at the church where I met my wife, we decided that we wanted to be a part of a new thing; something where we could apply the things we had learned and be a blessing to others. About that time, the Willis’ showed up in Raleigh ready to plant Harvest and the Lord showed us that this is exactly where He wants us. Since then, we have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and joy of serving Christ at Harvest. I am privileged to serve on the worship team as drummer.

Charles Su – Worship Leader

I grew up in Cary in a Christian home and enjoyed going to church as a kid. I placed my faith in Jesus as a freshman at NC State and have grown a lot in my faith while involved in Cru. For the past few years I have led worship for Cru and am now training up the next worship leaders. I got connected to Harvest after Pastor Mike texted me and several hours later we were at Jubala coffee then several weeks later I was a worship intern! My first impression of Harvest was that everyone really worships and my desire is to grow Harvest Raleigh’s worship of Jesus all the more. Worshipping God is the epitome of human expression so it’s a privilege to serve in leading worship at Harvest.

Brian & Debbie Lowther – Small Groups Coaches

We grew up here in Raleigh and live in Cary with our four kids: Ian, Lee, Rebecca and Maggie. I (Brian) went to NC State and now as an engineer, work hard to do all I can to ensure electrical power gets to your home. I (Debbie) went to App State, worked with Home Owners Associations for years and now enjoy being home with the kids. We both love to be active including ultimate frisbee and mountain biking. As a couple, we have benefited greatly from Harvest small groups and it’s a joy to now be a part of coaching small group leaders. We help write small group discussion questions and equip existing and new small group leaders and their groups flourish.

Ben & Jess Gibson – Small Groups Coaches

We both grew up in Raleigh and we are in fact high-school sweethearts. We both attended UNC-Charlotte where we got plugged into a ministry that was literally life-giving. Although the time periods in our lives are different when we surrendered our lives to the Lord, we did both make a public profession through an Ocean Baptism that Jesus is our Lord and Savior and that we respond YES! to following Him. We have been married for over ten years now with two pretty great kids, Will and Abby! We are truly thankful for the gift of the local Church, for Harvest Raleigh who keeps the gospel at the core of every teaching and understands our desperate need for fellowship, that our health and spiritual growth depend on it. Many of the most significant changes in our Christian life have taken place in the fellowship of the local church—specifically, in small groups. This is where real life happens as we work together to magnify God through all of life’s circumstances. We welcome you in, no matter your own personal life circumstances, to meet you where you are at and share the good news.

Heather Burckart -Administrative Assistant to Pastor Mike & Director of Connections

I was 16 when I first heard of God’s love for me. It was overwhelming to think that God could love me so unconditionally and had a plan for me. This was a love and relationship I desired; I asked Jesus to be Lord over my life. After high school I attended Meredith College where God put amazing people in my life who discipled me and helped me grow in my relationship with the Lord. It was there that I learned the importance of being a part of a community of believers that would stir me up and point me toward the Lord.

After college I stayed in Raleigh and met my wonderful husband, Erik, who encourages and supports me on a daily basis. We have three girls, Anna, Madelyn and Ava, and a boy, Elijah.

I am excited to be a part of all that God is doing at Harvest and I would love to help you get connected.

Contact Heather.

Julie Miles – Director of Harvest Kids

I grew up in a Christian home with my parents who have been involved in full time ministry since their college days. I was only 4 years old when I came to know the Lord, but I remember it very vividly. I was sitting in the playroom one morning with my mom and I started asking her questions about heaven and how to get there to meet Jesus. She lovingly explained the gospel to me and that is when I decided I wanted to have Jesus be the Lord of my life. I slowly grew in my faith through childhood, but it wasn’t until attending a private Christian high school here in Raleigh that my faith really started to grow.

After high school, I wanted to go away to college but God had other plans for me. Instead, I stayed local and attended Meredith College. I’m thankful now that I followed God’s guidance because I gained two great things out of my time there: 1) I got connected with a great campus ministry that deepened my faith and discipled me to the point of becoming a small group leader and 2) I met my husband, Daniel, at work and we were amazed to discover we had already been attending the same large church for the last decade!

God has blessed Daniel and I with three very energetic boys, Ethan, Caleb and Zachary. I enjoy getting to stay home and homeschool them. In my free time, I enjoy reading, working on puzzles and playing board games as a family. I’m thankful that God led our family to Harvest and look forward to serving you and your children!

Terrell Dillon – Director of Harvest Kids

I was saved at the age of 12, however, I made some bad choices in my college years and found myself in a dark place. I remember the moment when I knelt down in my apartment and completely submitted my life to Christ.  As it says in John 3:30, “He must increase, but I must decrease”. Shortly after my husband, Lance, and I we were married, my older sister was killed in a tragic accident. He used this moment to show me just how big and capable He is.  He is my comforter and my sustainer even all these years later. 

Harvest is home for my family. God’s Name is praised, His truth is spoken, His heart is felt and I am pushed to live more boldly for Christ. Through Harvest Kids, I have watched my own children memorize scripture, sing songs to praise God’s name and grow in Christ. It’s a joy to work with Harvest Kids watch them grow!