Graham Blaikie, Interim Pastor

Graham, a New Zealander, met his wife, Doreen (from Rockford IL) at Moody Bible Institute. After 14 years with Campus Crusade (NZ), Graham was a lead pastor in Auckland, NZ and Stoughton, WI for 17 years. He has an M.A. in Apologetics, a Th.M. from Dallas Seminary, and has almost completed his doctorate through Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Their four adult children reside in Auckland and Prague.



Fred Schmitt, Adult Ministries Pastor

Fred began attending Hillcrest in 1994 and joined the staff as Pastor of Adult Ministries in 2006. He graduated from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and is now pursuing a Master of Arts in Christian Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Fred and his wife, Jennifer, met in the UW Marching Band and were married in 1991. They are blessed with four children.

Hobbies: Camping, videography

E-mail: Pastor Fred


Larry Machonga, Youth Pastor

Larry recently joined our staff after serving in Michigan for the past 10 years.  Larry has also served churches in California, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  He received a bachelor's degree in Christian education (1982-1986) and his Master of Ministry degree (1996-2000) from Moody Bible Institute.  Larry and his wife, Ingrid, have been married since 1985 and have three boys - Bryson, Jordan and Ryan.

Hobbies:  Soccer, sports, and woodworking

Email:  Pastor Larry


Renae Sherven, Director of Operations

Renae has been on staff since 1998 and came to us with a wealth of administrative experience. She and her husband Craig have two children and have been a part of the church since they were first married.

Hobbies: Camping, outdoor activities, being "Mom"

E-mail: Renae


Jill Rau, Administrative Assistant

Jill joined the Hillcrest staff in the spring of 2016 after being an active member and deacon for 11 years. She graduated in 1991 from the University of Idaho with a degree in Social Work/Sociology. Jill married her high school sweetheart and best friend, Jeff in 1992 and has been a stay-at-home mom to their 3 children for the past 20 years. Jill is passionate about adoption and orphan care, and has been instrumental in beginning ministries here at Hillcrest that focus on those things.

E-mail: Jill


Julie Olson Paul, Accounting Assistant

Julie joined the Hillcrest staff in the summer of 2007, bringing a wealth of accounting and payroll experience. Julie, her husband Tim and their daughter live in Oregon.

Hobbies: Reading, computers, watching sports

E-mail: Julie



Ric Pearson, Worship Leader

Ric and his wife, Michelle, started attending Hillcrest in 2006 after moving from Iowa to Wisconsin. Ric loves serving with the amazing singers and band members at Hillcrest. His prayer is for the Hillcrest worship experience to glorify God and help attenders grow deeper in their walk with the Lord. Ric and Michelle are the proud parents of four beautiful children, and he considers himself the luckiest husband (20+ years!) in the world.

Email: Ric


Phil Harms, Multimedia Director & Custodian

Phil has helped Hillcrest with its technical needs since he began attending in 1996. He worked in engineering for 15 years before starting his own handyman business, “It-is-Finished Services,” and investing more time at home with his wife Kristi, their four daughters, and the many children they have welcomed into their family since they began fostering in 2008.

Hobbies: Construction projects, auto repair, raising/training kids, scouting “deals”

Email: Phil