Hi-Land Christian Church: Fostering Faith Within the Truth of the Gospel


Pastor Mike Sublett has been the steady hands guiding Hi-Land Christian Church in Pampa for more than three decades. His tenure began on a Thanksgiving Sunday in 1992.

Having grown up in Pampa, Sublett and his wife, Shari, are deeply rooted in the community. Though their faith was shaped in their early days by Mary Ellen Harvester church here in Pampa, their path to leading Hi-Land Christian Church was unconventional.

“Every church Shari and I’ve ever been at is a non-instrumental Church of Christ like Mary Ellen,” Sublett recounted.

Mary Ellen Harvester is also credited for supporting Sublett while he attended Whites Ferry Road Preaching School in West Monroe, Louisiana, where he graduated in 1973.

“It’s where the cast members of Duck Dynasty are from,” Sublett shared. “In fact, one of my professors is the guy who led Phil Robertson (from Duck Dynasty) to the Lord.”

After graduating from preaching school in Louisiana and later down the line, Sublett and his wife were living in Ontario, Oregon, when they decided to move closer to home to be nearer to their aging parents.

“Getting here was a strange story,” Sublett began. “We decided that our parents were getting older and that we really needed to be closer (to them) than Oregon. When we decided that, I started looking (for preaching jobs), and I had a phone call with a church in Alexandria, Louisiana that just sounded like it was the grand-slam home run.”

“That guy loved me, I loved him. We hung up the phone and then after that call, he got called out on Hurricane Katrina and was gone for six weeks. So, I didn’t hear from him and I went, ‘well, obviously God doesn’t want us there.’”

“So (after that), we were taking Christina, our daughter, to college at Oklahoma Christian in Edmond, Oklahoma, and I brought some resumes with me just in case.”

“Now, every time over the years that this church (Hi-Land Christian) was without a preacher, Shari’s sister who went here would call Shari and say, ‘I think Mike should apply for this job, because I think God may want Mike and Highland Christian Church’, which was not a church of Christ.”

“My response every time she would say is that I wouldn’t go to Pampa, Texas, and preach at Hi-Land Christian Church if it was the last church on the planet- and I’ve said that statement a bunch of times.”

Sublett would soon realize that his resistance to the inevitable would get him nowhere.

“So, we were coming back here (on our way to drop our daughter off at college), and before we left Shari was on the phone with (her sister), and she says the same thing again.”

“And so I said the same thing again, and I said to tell her that I would fill in for one day because they’re without a preacher,” Sublett explained. “So she called Shari back later (while we were on the road) and said they had somebody for Sunday morning when we were going to be here, but asked if I would do Sunday night. So, I agreed to preach that night.”

Before filling in that Sunday evening, the Sublett family attended services at another local church in town. 

“We all went to church that Sunday morning as a family at a Church of Christ here (in Pampa) and we were all disapproved of while we were there that morning,” Sublett said of the uncomfortable experience. “After that, we went to lunch with Shari’s sister Deborah and her husband Jerry. And while we were there, Jerry got a call.”

“When he got back (from taking he call) he said, ‘You won’t believe this. The preacher we hired (at Hi-Land Christian) got a better offer and he took the other church. We don’t have a preacher.’ And Deborah, (upon hearing this), turned to me with longest finger in the world and stuck it right in my nose and said, ‘What is God going to have to do to convince you that he wants you here?’”

“I went, ‘Okay, I’ll give them a resume, but that’s all I’m gonna do,’” Sublett recalls.

“That night after I preached I walked up handed one of the elders a resume and he said, ‘Are you kidding?’ And I said, ‘No.’ So we had a big pow-wow meeting and it went really good.”

“After that we went to take our daughter to college, Oklahoma Christian, and we dropped her off and we went home (to Oregon). One of the elders called me and asked Shari and I to come down (to Pampa). So we flew out and had one of those dinners where everyone is supposed to get to know each other.”

“I called him (church elder) before we came and told them that we weren’t going to do just that dinner we talked about. I said, ‘Nobody will talk to me and I won’t get to talk to anybody. So I tell you what, we’re going to do dinner and then we are going to have a question and answer session where anybody can ask a question and I can answer.’ He said, ‘Okay, that sounds like good deal.’ Well, I fed Shari’s sister some questions to be sure and ask that I knew were hot questions that nobody would probably ask. It ended up being an hour and 45 minute queston and answer session,” Sublett said.

“I wish I had a recording of that hour and 45 minutes. After it was over, I walked over to the table where my family was, and my daughter had her head down on the table. She said, ‘I cannot believe you said all those things that you said.’ Because to be honest with you, I didn’t care whether I came here and was kind of hoping it wouldn’t happen- so I answered questions the bluntest you could possibly do it,” he chuckled.

“So it was really hot. And there was one lady in particular who asked if there was any reason that would prevent you from coming here and being our preacher?’ I said, ‘Yep, two things. One, I won’t come here without a five-year guaranteed contract. And two, the reason for that is that your (church’s) track record with preachers stinks. You might be able to blame one preacher and cut him off, you might be able to blame two. But I’ve researched your church and you can’t blame seven. There’s problems in this church that make preachers leave. Either you fire them, or they leave, or it’s a joint venture- but you can’t blame seven preachers. That’s why we’re gonna do a contract.’ So basically, I said they had to face up to the music. It was a real intense thing.”

“They voted the next morning, and everyone voted yes except two people. And then 31 years later, we’re still here,” he smiled.

Hi-Land Christian Church also supports missions in the United States and around the world.

“Creation Truth Foundation is one of our missions- and it’s actually like a double one. There’s the organization Creation Truth, and then they have speakers who go out on the road. There are two of them, and Matt Miles is the one we support because we know him,” Sublett explained.

“Then last year we had some leftover money, and we sent that to Creation Truth Foundation because they’re on the road all the time, all over the United States, so they just wear out (their equipment) working. They’re having to get a new trailer and they were raising money for that, so we gave some that extra money.”

Creation Truth Foundation has a mobile dinosaur museum that travels all over the country to preach the truth of the creation of the world based on the Bible’s Genesis account.

“Another one of our missions that we just started, and we’ve picked two new ones up- is called Mercy Partners with Tom and Sandy Killian. It’s all over the world, but a lot of their missions are in Africa. They do everything from bibles, to water wells, to food- so we support them,” Sublett said fondly.

“We also support Mexican Children’s Home in Juarez. It wouldn’t pass inspection here, but it’s just a great situation where they have got a facility, and (the country of Mexico) lets them have kids. They feed the kids and it’s not an in-and-out facility. They can come and stay until they’re 18 and supply them training and schooling.” 

“Those are our three main missions that we support. We actually feel better than we have in a long time that we have missions that are all over the United States and the world that really are reaching folks and are making a difference in lives. We’re excited about all three of those missions,” he shared.

Sublett has high hopes for the upcoming year for Hi-Land Christian Church.

“We have a study from JI Packard’s book, Knowing God, on Sunday mornings. It’s one of those that most preachers and theologians would put in the top 10 books because of the importance of what it teaches. We use that in our adult class because there’s still a real focus on staying solid in a culture that’s crazy. We better be producing fruit and that fruit better be producing fruit,” Sublett shared.

“I would say the biggest central part for this next year is the same thing we’ve had, which is we really want to be people who are focused on and devoted to scripture- learning it and being a part of it and loving it changes and impact us.”

“There’s a lot of people who think, ‘I’ll do church at home.’ I’m telling you what, that won’t work. That’s like trying to kiss somebody in the other room. Fruit-producing involves being part of a church, being active in a church, giving, studying and sharing our faith with other people. It involves all of those things, and you don’t get to pick one. So, that’s really the number one thing that we will focus on next year.”

Sublett also hopes to bring Creation Truth foundation back this year.

“We are a young earth creation church. If somebody believes in millions and billions of years (of creation), they would not be comfortable in our church, because we really do believe it means exactly what it says in Genesis. No slip in words, no slip in years, just like it says,” he said.

“We’re also going to continue this next year to be a part of our School of Missions that we have every year in October, where we’ll bring in six missionaries from different parts of the world and they’ll speak to us and present their mission during that week.”

Pastor Sublett has written two devotional books. The first one is called Espresso, and was funded by his father, who enjoyed Sublett’s more serious take on the gospel. The second book is a collection of Advent devotionals Sublett wrote, which was also published at the encouragement of his family. 

If you would like to check out Hi-Land Christian Church, you can find them at 1615 N. Banks or call 806-669-0823.