Who We Are

Hillcrest United Methodist Church is a welcoming, caring church experiencing joyful, Christ-centered worship.  It is a community in which each member is encouraged to grow in faith and knowledge of God and is empowered to share God’s love and hope through service to others.


Our Mission Statement

We proclaim God’s love and invite all to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Leadership Team

Our leadership team recognizes the authority of God, and realizes that we are shepherds who serve under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We desire to devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. Our passion and goal is to equip the believers for the work of the ministry until we all attain maturity in the fullness of Christ.

Pastor Kerry Clear
Kerry has been a member of the Michiana community his whole life, with ties to the Elkhart, South Bend, and Niles areas. Prior to accepting his call to ministry, Kerry worked in various fields, including law enforcement, sales, and retail. Constants throughout the journey of life include entrepreneurship and music. Kerry’s first church job as a musician, while still in college, was at Bristol United Methodist Church as the choir director and worship leader. Kerry began a taxi company, Blue Ribbon Taxi, in 2007 with three cabs; at the pinnacle of the business, just prior to the surge of Uber and Lyft, he was operating as Yellow Cab and Blue Ribbon Taxi in four counties with over 40 cabs and 60 drivers.

Kerry graduated from Bethel College with honors and is currently nearing the completion of seminary at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. In addition to his role as the pastor at Hillcrest, Kerry also is the assistant pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in South Bend.

Kerry and his wife, Heidi, have a blended family of five children whom they homeschool. Their ages are 18, 17, 16, 15, and 11. They are all members of a family singing group, The Clear Family Singers, which include Kerry’s parents, grandparents, and eight brothers’ and sisters’ families. Kerry enjoys musical theater and combined musical events and, as a hobby, directs/organizes these whenever possible.
Julie Lininger
Julie has been the Administrative Assistant at Hillcrest since 2012. She and her husband have two fantastic adult sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and the cutest granddaughter and grandson ever! Two more grandsons will be joining the family in February of 2021.
Many moons ago, Julie earned counseling and psychology degrees from Ft. Wayne Bible College and Grace College. She homeschooled her sons and also tutored other homeschool students in addition to administering standardized school testing.
Julie enjoys spending time with her family, watching the Chicago Cubs and Ohio State Buckeyes, music, drama, reading, and writing short articles to encourage others.