Everyone’s story is important, and here at Hill City we want to celebrate people, where they’ve come from, and what they’ve been through.
As a church, we challenge our team to share their stories because it helps us relate to and empower others. Our stories represent how a life with Jesus has changed our own passion, purpose, and hope.
These are the stories of our staff.
Kait is the Director of Marketing and Administration here at Hill City. She keeps all of our systems and communications organized, and runs ads and marketing material that help express our heart to the Richmond community. Born and raised in Radford, VA, she grew up riding a horse named ‘Sugar’ and ballet dancing from age 5 to 14. During her college days, Kait spent a summer working on an ice cream truck, and another interning across the pond in London. She loves surprises, meatloaf, and has a knack for winning trivia games.
Kait graduated from VCU with a degree in Creative Advertising in 2015, and now lives in the Museum District with her gal pal, Maddy. She is engaged to be married in June of this year to her fiancé, Greg. They met through mutual friends at here Hill City and love to run and restaurant hop together.
While the majority of Kait’s tasks go on behind the scenes, you’ll catch her bustling around getting things ready on Sundays, all with a smile.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
A: My favorite thing about my job is that, although many of my tasks happen behind the scenes, they free up the people who serve here on Sundays to be totally focused on loving and welcoming our visitors. I thrive in the opportunity to make things simpler and more efficient. I like to brainstorm and think ahead of how to answer people’s questions before they ask them. It’s kind of like a waterfall effect, whether it’s a new method of organization or a system in place that makes something run more smoothly, or crafting the words we put out there on social media or our website – all those things mean that our team members are available to simply interact and engage with new folks on a Sunday.
Q: In terms of a relationship with Jesus, how did it all begin? Has this always been in your life, or is there a time you weren’t interested?
A: I wasn’t completely unexposed to Jesus throughout my childhood. I went to church with my family sporadically and made all of the macaroni crafts at Sunday School and church camp. The strongest feeling I can remember is fearing who God was, I didn’t understand His love.
College was the first time that I actually heard that I was loved by God and nothing in the world deemed my worth except for Jesus. I didn’t know that church was rooted in that. Deep down, I wished church would be open and welcoming, because I always felt like an outsider. I went through stages of wanting church, but had always felt excluded and decided I didn’t need it.
Q: What’s been the biggest challenge to your faith? How has that changed you?
A: When I was a Junior in high school my parents got divorced. It was hard for lots of reasons, but when I became a Christian, I started to understand my parents more and why things played out the way they did. I’ve always felt loved and supported by both of them, but the biggest challenge of my faith was coming to know Jesus as a 19-year-old and experiencing it all on my own, instead of together as a family. It’s hard to bring this news to the table without this faith rooted in my family and not knowing how to share it with them.
After their divorce I started to notice this big void in my life that nothing could satisfy. I had been seeking a remedy in earthly things like the relationships I had, the outfits I wore or the races I won. I sought to be the nicest girl in school, the fastest athlete, and so on, but those things were never enough and never left me feeling whole.
When I came to VCU I had these grand expectations that college would fill the void. I connected with Maddy, who I’d known from home, and met some of the friends she’d made. They were kind, loving, caring and they weren’t doing what everyone else was doing. They were having fun but they weren’t reckless, they weren’t living the college experience that I had envisioned. Then I found out that all these girls were going to church and loved it. I remember wanting to be invited so badly – and then it happened. My friend, Grace, invited me to their church here in Richmond and I was so excited. I felt like I didn’t know enough to be there, but I liked church – it was fun and I was so attracted to the joy of the people there.
In the Spring of my freshman year I started going to the campus ministry that John and Lacy were running at VCU called Chi Alpha. When I heard John talk for the first time, I remember it being something I had never heard before – that you aren’t supposed to be perfect and your worth isn’t defined by anything else except Jesus. I didn’t really know who Jesus was before, but I really wanted to know Him, and I kept chasing Him in every way I could. Coming to church, I found that my family didn’t have to be perfect or whole, I was made whole in Jesus – he filled the void.
Q: What’s something you really love about Hill City’s vision?
A: Hill City is so refreshing because the stigma that you need to know the Bible from Genesis to Revelations is totally taken away. You don’t need to have grown up in church to be passionate and live out your faith.
I don’t want to be too comfortable and I think Hill City provides a safe place and community, but continually pushes you to take a next step. I want our church to continue to be stretched and grow, because I was once that new person that hadn’t experienced church like it should be. I don’t think church is a place that should stay the same.
Five years ago, I just met Jesus. And now, I work for a church. I think believing in our vision with all my heart qualifies me more than my resume. And for the record, I am using my degree, Dad [smiles].”