Pastor reflects on first six months at Rolling Hills Church

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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Pastor Bill Search took the helm of Rolling Hills Church in El Dorado Hills a little more than six months ago and has since seen attendance at services grow and is looking forward to working more with the community.

“These past six months have been great,” Search said. “Jeff Bigelow, the pastor I succeeded, did such a great job. I’ve carried on some of those elements and emphasized what we have for years – for local compassion.”

Search works closely with Mike Sproul of the El Dorado County Food Bank and the church is the only distribution site for the Food Bank in El Dorado Hills.

“It’s been pretty busy those couple of Tuesday a month,” Search said of handing out food to those in need. “It’s good to see.”

During Christmas services, the church hit an all-time high in attendance.

“We had our best Christmas ever with roughly 6,500 people throughout our six services,” Search said. “Our high-water mark was about 5,000, so this was a big shift.”

Search has plans to further reach out to the El Dorado Hills community and hopes to see more people connected to Christ and Rolling Hills and one way they do that is through music.

“We use music in a medium that connects with people,” he said. “You turn on the TV and the common music of our era is a rock style and that is reflective in our church and it hits people where they live,” Search said. “Either you like it or you don’t. A lot of churches don’t do our kind of music, but there is a church out there for everybody.”

Teresa Kelley, chief financial officer for Rolling Hills, said in the transition from Bigelow to Search was seamless.

“We had 17 years with the same leader and a transition like this you could have been difficult,” Kelley said. “But we are so blessed. The transition has gone so smooth and I’ve been thrilled.  Search has been an asset to the growing church. … This has been amazing. He is a delight. … He is so community driven. It’s amazing.”