Pastor Ernest and Dr. Erin Almond
Ernest Almond is the founder and lead pastor of Higher Definition Church, located in Jacksonville, Florida and meeting at Terry Parker High School. Pastor Ernest holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University. In addition to his ministry duties, he has served as a public educator since 2001. He has passion to reach people with the love of God, and uses his experiences in hip-hop culture, mentoring, and fitness to reach people in all walks of life.
Dr. Erin Almond holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Georgia, and Nova Southeastern University. In addition to her ministry duties, she has a passion for helping disadvantaged students make the most of their educational opportunities.
Pastor Ernest and Dr. Erin have been married since 2012 and have two children, Samiyah and Ethan.
The Lord first gave Pastor Ernest the vision to start a church in 2008, while he was a youth minister and Christian hip-hop artist based in Durham, North Carolina. In July 2011, while in New York for a professional development opportunity, he received clarity about the name and vision of Higher Definition Church.
In June of 2013, God revealed to the Almond family that it was His desire for them to move from their home in Durham, North Carolina to relocate and plant a church in Jacksonville, Florida. Despite the fact that they knew no one in Jacksonville and they had never been there before, doors opened quickly for the move to be completed. After a six-week flurry of activity and divine confirmation, the couple arrived in their new home at the end of July 2013.
Following a season of prayer and planning, Higher Definition Church opened for its first Sunday services on March 15, 2015 on the Westside of the city. Since that time, through the work of the ministry, dozens have proclaimed a commitment to Christ, more than 100 families have been fed, and countless hours of service have been poured into the community.
2019 signaled a new chapter for the ministry, as HD Church relocated to the Arlington area of Jacksonville, and currently meets at Terry Parker High School, with the continued mission to love God and lead people to life in His Higher Definition.
We exist so people will know God and live life according to His Higher Definition.
We want people to see that God is real and that He loves each of us, and the only way life can fulfill its purpose and potential is through a real, authentic relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. We're a collection of diverse people who believe that recognizing God as our Father and Jesus as our Lord is the only way to live life the way it meant to be lived. So we embrace everything God has given us so we can share that message.
God has blessed us as a church with rappers, singers, poets, fitness experts, educators, entrepreneurs, veterans, and more, all so we can use our gifts, talents, and skills to glorify Him and reach out to our communities in love. The end goal is simple. We want real people with real issues to have real and growing relationships with the God who made us and the people God gave us. We want everyone to live life in Higher Definition!