A Closer Look at the North Coast Church’s Chris Hilken. Questionable Behavior By a Questionable Pastor

Chris Hilken is a teaching pastor at North Coast Church in Vista, California. In an Insatgram account he is known for allegedly bullying, shaming, and shunning people. It also appears as if the EFCA pastor allegedly tried to turn a child against their family in creating devotion to North Coast Church. But this blog would also like to ask another question. Should a pastor who allegedly urinates on his wife to “mark his territory” even be a pastor?

“Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another.

Immanuel Kent     

“If you could kick in the pants the person responsible for most of your problems, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

One of Chris Hilken’s favorite quotes 

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Galatians 5:22-23 NLT

Chris Hilkin preaching Romans 12

In the North Coast Church abuse saga this blog would like to focus on one of the personalities that keeps surfacing in the Instagram channel. And that is of North Coast Church personality Chris Hilken.

Who is Chris Hilken? 

Chris Hilken is a native of the San Joaquin Valley and grew up in Bakersfield where he attended Liberty High School. It appears Chris grew up in a Lutheran family and that his father is a pastor of  St. John’s Lutheran Church. Chris attended Concordia University Irvine from 2007 until 2011. While there he also ran intramural activities as well. Chris started working for North Coast Church in June of 2011. According to my research he started off as the high school pastor and then in time became one of the teaching pastors of North Coast.  Chris oversaw ministry in North Coast for high school and youth it appears. He put together retreats, events and more. It appears as if retreats took place in Bakersfield at his father’s Lutheran church. Chris is also married to his wife Paige since June of 2013 and he has two children. This blog would like to know if Chris Hilken is credential as a pastor inside the EFCA. That information would be with the EFCA West district office or Greg Strand in Minneapolis would know. https://www.youtube.com/embed/CR06zwGS1XU?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

Are these examples of Chris Hilken marking his territory?

Urinating on Your Wife for the Glory of God? 

This blog has encountered a lot of unusual stories but one that I saw involving Chris Hilken made my jaw drop. Apparently what had happened is that after Chris got married what he did is in their first shower together with Paige is that he urinated all over his wife. He later stated that he wanted to “mark his territory.” And marking that territory meant urinating on Paige. The source of this story is actually Paige who shared it willingly with other young females at North Coast Church. You can read the original post at the Instagram below. The Wondering Eagle dedicates the YouTube video of dogs marking their territory to the teaching pastor at North Coast Church. 

When I was attending 11/12 Paige had just married Chris Hilkin at the young age of 19 when he was 24. One day after service Paige had a group of girls gathered around her, myself included. She was telling us all about married life. She told us that Chris peed on her during their first shower together without her consent. He said he was “marking his territory.” She made a joke of it and really downplayed the severity of the act. This is not only degrading it is potentially predatory behavior. And young impressionable girls should not be shown that it is okay for their husband to urinate on them without their consent. 


Troubling Authoritarian Behavior Allegedly by Chris Hilken

In the Instagram page northcoastchurchabuse there are a number of stories that deal with Chris Hilken. Stories of shaming, ignoring, bullying, and giving the silent treatment were common by Chris Hilken. The North Coast pastor had retaliated and was stern to those who raised questions about issues in the ministry at North Coast.  Below are a few from the Instagram page. 

I had been going to North Coast since I was in kindergarton. I don’t remember much until middle school.  ( I remember the gum talk though) I was involved all over the church in different leadership positions and worked in the youth ministry. Once I began high school my involvement in athletics started increasing. Because of that I missed a lot of Sunday services. I had some issues within 9/10 but mostly the issues are with 11/12 and Hilkin. During the summer we transition to the next grade up. So going into junior year they start promoting summer camp. I had never missed a camp until 11/12. I was having trouble deciding whether or not to go because an opportunity with college presented itself at the same time. Chris Hilkin told me I should go to camp with 11/12 (cause that is what God would want me to do) and was going to give me the silent treatment until I signed up. That was the deciding factor. I decided to go to college camp (where God wanted me to be) and Chris Hilkin gave me the silent treatment and ignored me for at least a month of Sunday service and midweek activities at 11/12. After that I lost most of my trust and respect for Hilkin because of how childish that was for a head pastor. Throughout high school the cliques grew even worse. If you weren’t involved in leadership or quit leadership or were even new you were basically ignored even if you’ve known the people for years.


Can we talk about the fact that we paid upwards of $300.00 to sleep on the floor of Hilkin’s father’s Lutheran church (most of us are non-denominational  because we don’t agree with the legalism the Lutheran church preaches) and it was treated as a ‘vacation’,’camp’, or ‘retreat.’ That’s a lot of money for many families and a church function/experience with God should not be a luxury experience. Especially if we were shamed for not being able to attend. This perpetuates the classism and elitism that Hilkin has exhibited among his closest students, especially in regards to the favoritism and cliques that were encouraged


During a senior leader retreat at 11/12 pastor Chris Hilkin sat all the girls down and told us that his pregnant wife had cried to him complaining about us. He told us she said, “I pray to God that our kid doesn’t turn out like any of those girls.” Can you believe that? He told a group of impressionable girls that his wife didn’t want a kid like any of us. He also proceeded to make everyone talk about their issues and asked how we could change to be better people. These are the traumas that take years for people to unpack. 


Chris Hilkin would tell the leadership team to be fake and talk to everyone in order to bring more people in. He explained it was okay because we were using it to bring people to God. It was just two-faced. And people really weren’t open or accepting. You were quickly shamed or put down if you had different thoughts, ideas or questions. 


I used to be heavily involved in the church. Especially in the 11/12 ministry. I once brought up my grievances to pastor Chris Hilkin. I expressed to him my concern for people being fake to each otherand not welcoming to new people. He told me months later that he referred to me behind my back as “****** the complainer.” This is blatant bullying and creates a hostile space where teens are unable  to air their grievances or trauma. 


Did Chris Hilken Allegedly Try and Turn Children Against Their Family? 

There was one story at the North Coast Church Instagram account that was troubling for this blog. Allegedly in a sermon Chris used one of his student’s parents in the subject of his sermon. He used his ministerial platform to try and create a wedge between a child and their parents. He was allegedly trying to create a situation where in order for someone to be accepted they had to choose between Chris Hilken and North Coast and their family.

I remember an 11/12 youth ministry sermon where the pastor Chris Hilkin told me that my family was not “real Christians” because my parents did not attend church or agree with all of the church’s beliefs.I felt so pressured to agree with everything he said as I longed for acceptance from my peers. The leadership team of students were like cult members to the pastor Chris, agreeing with everything he said. 


Here is a question for the EFCA West Director Tim Jacobs and the EFCA leadership in Minneapolis. What type of church has a pastor that pits a child against their family and even puts them in that situation? That is not a sign of a church, instead it is an indicator of a cult. For a pastor to be doing that with young and impressionable children is unthinkable in the view of this blog. Children should not have to choose between their mother and father and North Coast Church. Not in that context of all. If you look at many cults one of the common behavior is to turn people against their families. This is a major red flag with North Coast Church. 

Did Chris Hilken Create an Environment That Allowed Teenage Girls to be Groomed by his College Friends or Brother on Retreats? 

Retreats and campouts are a major part of the evangelical experience. But several descriptions in the Instagram account raise concerns. Did the North Coast Church pastor create retreats in Bakersfield that allowed for his friends from college or even his own family to groom young teenage girls for planned relationships? Relationships that went public when a person turned 18, which is of legal age in California. Consider what is written below. 

I have seen a lot of talk about many different leaders who have shown predatory behavior and its so true. In high school I can remember Chris Hilkin bringing his brother around and a couple of his college buddies. These guys went to camp with us up in the Bakersfield and met all of us 16 year old girls and showed an interest in all of us. They would always be present for meals and at the time I didn’t think anything of it. Two years later I was graduating high school and noticed that many of these girls who they had met when these men were well into their 20’s and these relationships became public once the girls turned 18. This gives me the creeps as these were trusted men in our church, on staff, who preyed on underage girls until they were old enough to actually date. So disgusting and so predatory


We were taken on an 11/12 “retreat” in Bakersfield which we paid to attend and were left in a church with no activities to do while Chris Hilkin and the boys played basketball. When asked for an activity Chris said we could be “cheerleaders” for the boys playing basketball. Chris also told me that my boyfriend wouldn’t love me if i didn’t act more respectful towards him. I was 16. The misogny perpetuated by Chris and Paige Hilkin towards young girls is disgusting. 


Analysis of Chris Hilken’s Behavior at North Coast Church

Chris Hilken in the view of this blog should not be a pastor at North Coast Church. He lacks the maturity and misused his pastoral position for personal gain. Lets reflect on a number of the above mentioned topics. Urinating on his wife is something that really stunned me. I remember when I played football in high school in Fresno and after one practice two guys who played around in the shower resulted in someone turning around and urinating on his fellow team mate. That was questionable. The idea of a pastor urinating on his wife just as they are starting life together is even more disturbing. Is the goal of such a patriarchal act to shame his wife and put her in his place? Meanwhile he positions himself for dominating her? Is that complementarianism at North Coast Church? 

The other acts of silencing, bullying and acting towards those who have questions strike this blog as being incredibly petty. How can a pastor reach the lost if he can’t deal with feedback or hard questions? Is this an EFCA church or is it a business? Or in the EFCA is a church actually a business? For a pastor to react that way is troubling. People should not be marginalized in that manner. It has no place inside a church. Likewise to use students as examples in sermons and shame them is wrong. I watched part of that sermon up above and what struck me about Chris Hilken is his arrogance. He comes across as condescending, cocky,  and rude. The fruit of the spirit is love, kindness, gentleness, self-control, etc… which seem to be absent from Chris Hilken as he has done ministry. 

But this blog would also like to ask the question did Chris Hilken enable predators at North Coast Church? From allegedly explaining away David “Chancho” Garcia’s inappropriate actions to being a part of Spanish culture to putting together retreats for his friends and brother to benefit from. Where is the remorse or concern of a pastor who is also a father? Where is the concern for impressionable young females? Why is this absent in Chris Hilkens life? This blog would like to ask the question why is Chris Hilken a pastor? Is it because his father is a pastor? And if retreats were created to groom teenager girls at a Lutheran church in Bakersfield, California did Chris Hilken also threaten his father’s ministry as well? The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is a conservative synod unlike the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. 

So the question needs to be asked…should Chris Hilken be a pastor at North Coast Church? Based on the evidence this blog has seen, The Wondering Eagle would say no. He doesn’t understand what being a pastor is about. He doesn’t understand sexual abuse, grooming, and women are mere objects to be conquered. He is too cocky and immature to grow and learn from his mistakes. Actually does he even know or can he acknowledge his mistakes? This blog will be writing about Chris Hilken again. 

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