Pastors & Directors
Tues. - Thurs.
Dr. Bob Bakke
Bob has been the teaching pastor of Hillside Church since 2007. He and his wife Sally live in Burnsville and have three sons, a daughter, a son-in-law, three daughters-in-law, six grandkids, and a black Lab. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Bob spent 14 years serving Connecticut and New Jersey churches. For 12 years he served as an Executive Director of the Evangelical Free Church of America, promoting prayer and spiritual awakening. He is an author, and has produced television and radio simulcasts since 1994. Bob produces occasional national broadcast events that afford millions of people the opportunity to pray simultaneously. As one who honors the local pastorate as the highest calling, Bob uses his gifts as a preacher, teacher, networker, and tactician for promoting and cultivating prayer-based movements - domestically and internationally - that have led to the transformation of people and places. His designs are to ensure that local churches - and Hillside Church in particular - become the principle agency for the revival of the "Church" and the advancement of Christ's Kingdom today.
Mon. - Thurs.
Pastor of Small Groups and Discipleship
Brian comes to Hillside church after pastoring young adults in Chicago and managing the missional side of Mugshots Coffee Company in Bloomington. He graduated from Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Brian is passionate about Jesus and people. He loves seeing people go deeper and wider in the gospel. Brian enjoys reading, basketball, soccer, movies, a good cup of coffee and most importantly his family. He and his wife, Heather, have three kids: Isaac, Emelia, and Elias.
Tues. - Fri.
Pastor of Student Ministries
Josiah has been with Hillside Church since June 2012. He studied at University of Northwestern, St. Paul, MN, and graduated with a BA in Pastoral Ministry in 2011 and a MA in Theological Studies in 2015. In 2007 he completed classes at YWAM's Discipleship Training School in Colorado. He enjoys the outdoors year-round by hiking, biking, camping, boating during the summer, and snowboarding during the winter. He and his wife Heidi have two young children - Charlie and Ariana. Josiah's three greatest passions are youth, discipleship, and missions. He desires to "know Jesus and make Him known."
Mon. - Fri.
Director of Children's Ministries
Deb came to Hillside in August 2008 as Children’s Ministries Director. She grew up in the Twin Cities, earned her degree in Elementary Education from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Masters in Education from the University of Minnesota. She taught deaf and hard-of-hearing children for ten years, ending up in Eau Claire, WI, where she met her husband Bob. Deb worked at Salem Baptist Church in Eau Claire for nine years as Director of Children’s Ministries and Director of Salem Sunshine Preschool. In 2006, God led Deb and her family to the Twin Cities where she worked as a Children's Ministries Associate for two years at Woodcrest Church in Eagan before coming to Hillside. Deb and Bob have two adult sons who serve the Lord with their musical gifts. Deb loves organizing and creating programs that get children excited about God's Word and about getting to know our Savior, Jesus. Deb loves to travel with her family and especially seeks out opportunities to visit lakes, waterfalls, and hot-air balloon festivals.
Tues. - Thurs.
Director of Prayer Ministries
Carol has a degree in Communications from Bethel University. Her career as a journalist includes editing a denominational magazine, as well as creating a magazine for the unchurched called Pursuit. She currently serves as the founding editor of Prayer Connect magazine (recently renamed PRAY), sponsored by the National Day of Prayer. Her life frequently intersects with prayer movements and events in the Twin Cities. She also gives prayer leadership to PULSE, a national evangelistic ministry reaching the next generation. She is member of America's National Prayer Committee and the author of Prayer That’s Caught and Taught: Mentoring the Next Generation, available through Amazon or PrayerShop Publishing. Her business card says: I write. I edit. I drink coffee. And I pray.
Director of Worship Arts
Justin joined the Hillside staff in November 2018. “As a musician, it is quite incredible that our stories and hearts coalesce as we sing musical prayers to the One-True-Creator-God,” he says. He and his wife Christie have been married for more than ten years, and he takes joy in his “brilliant and beautiful boys”- Clayton and Cedar. Justin holds a Masters of Theology from Bethel University, and is pursuing his Masters of Divinity from Bethel Seminary. He also serves in the Minnesota National Guard, and is moving toward becoming a chaplain. He loves that God invites followers of Jesus on a journey of what it means to love God and neighbor.
Wes is a graduate of Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and Central Theology Seminary in Minneapolis, MN, with a Masters of Divinity degree. Upon graduating from seminary, he received a direct commission as a chaplain in the United States Air Force and served seven years. He then spent 13 years in the Minnesota National Guard before retiring. Wes and Judy have been long-time members of Hillside and have four children and 12 grandchildren.
Director of Operations
Kara has a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. She worked for five years in industry and academia before choosing to stay at home with her children for a season. She joined the staff of Hillside in 2007, and has held a variety of positions on staff before becoming Director of Operations in December 2018. She is married to Ryan and has two daughters, Annika and Chloe. Kara enjoys swimming, watching hockey, and making homemade ice cream.