Orchard's Blog: Stories, News & Events

Global Leadership Summit


For many years, some of Orchard Hill’s leaders traveled to Willow Creek for the Global Leadership Summit. In 2010, Orchard Hill was given the opportunity to bring this content-rich conference to the Cedar Valley. Since then, Orchard Hill has partnered with Willow Creek to be a premier Summit location.

Every year we open our doors to hundreds of leaders in the Cedar Valley. Many churches and businesses in town use this event as their main leadership development training. This year, over 700 people participated in this two-day simulcast event.

“I enjoyed every one of the speakers this year!” said Tammy Chambers, and “Bryan Stevenson's session on justice and hope was eloquent and very challenging!!” said Katy Myers, both via Facebook comments during the day.

Speakers ranged from business and nonprofit innovators, to church leaders, and speakers from the education sector. "When I compare the Summit to all the other different leadership opportunities available to me, the Summit is the best. It's the best in terms of the quality, the experience and the people you get a chance to meet," said one Summit attendee.

Orchard Hill also has a huge group of volunteers whose focus is creating a warm and inviting space for attendees to enjoy the day. “A huge thank you to all the great volunteers that once again made the GLS happen. Your servant hearts and "can do" attitude makes it happen and creates success,” shared Pat Oehler, Summit Event Manager.

Next year’s Global Leadership Summit will be August 9-10, 2018. To register for the special price of $79, visit orchardhillchurch.org/summit.

Caravan17 & Rocky Mountain High


In 1985, eight Cedar Falls students set out on Cedar Falls’ very first Caravan. Since then, thousands of students and adult volunteers have traveled to destinations including New York City, Toronto, Atlanta, and the Great Lakes.

This year, Caravan17 joined Rocky Mountain High; a youth conference held every three years at the YMCA camp in Estes Park, Colorado by the Synod of the Heartland Reformed Churches. A group of 111 students and 24 leaders departed from Orchard Hill on July 21 to join 3,200 other students from across the Midwest.

“Hearts were touched. Lives were forever changed,” said Elliot Tension, BIGhouse Ministry Leader. “ High School students encountered and experienced Jesus and we could not of done it without all of your prayers and support.”

Rocky Mountain High is a 4 day youth conference featuring guest speakers, energizing worship, small groups and fun activities during the day. After Rocky Mountain High, Caravan17 stayed in at the YMCA Camp through Thursday taking the time to debrief what they experience at the conference. The night sessions included acoustic worship and leader testimonies.

Last Friday, Caravan17 left for Denver where the closing session was at Southeast Christian Church. They spent Saturday at a Waterpark or shopping before heading for home, traveling through the night to arrive for the return service last Sunday at Nazareth Lutheran Church.

“Jesus was in the business of changing lives this week,” continued Tensen. “After the trip, I received this text from a student: This trip was life changing for me and everyone around me. Before the trip I was in a low point in my faith but after being pressured into going on caravan, my faith has never been stronger and I feel refreshed."

Find out more about high school ministry opportunities at CedarValleyStudents.org/bighouse or check out pictures from the trip on Instagram by following @bighousecf.

Cedar Falls

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319.266.9796 | email

Grundy County

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319.266.9411 | email


501 Heritage Way, Waverly
319.266.9796 | email