Leadership Structure

Under the authority of Jesus Christ and the word of God, Heartland is led by a body of “elders.” This body is divided into several different teams, which are listed below. Each team is specialized in function and role according to the gifts and passions of the team members.

Current Leadership Structure Update – 10/2020

The Leadership Structure of Heartland is undergoing new development. Our three year journey of leadership exploration has led us to an agreement among all-elder teams to reframe our future leadership structure. The current Management Team is working on fleshing-out these leadership structure changes in our by-laws, our staff job descriptions and team assignments. We aim to complete this process by the end of 2020. What follows is a snapshot of the leadership structure changes we are working toward.

We are currently reducing the number of elder teams by combining the responsibilities of the current Advisory and Overseer teams into the responsibilities of the Board of Directors and expanding the number of non-staff elders serving as Directors. In addition, a new three member Lead Team assumes the responsibilities assigned to the current “Lead Pastor” description and Management Team description. This Lead Team is made-up of a Leadership & Teaching Pastor (currently being sought), a Communities & Discipleship Pastor and an Organization & Development Pastor. The Pastoral Elder team will continue to lead in their responsibilities as described. In addition, the non-staff Pastoral team leader will serve as a non-voting member of the newly structured Board of Directors. Additional details are available upon request (info@heartlandchurch.org) and will be provided here as our journey progresses.

We will continue to operate in keeping with the following leadership structure descriptions and current by-laws until we complete our active reframing process. Our aim is to enter 2021 operating with our new leadership structure.

Management Team

This team is comprised of Heartland staff members who lead major Heartland ministry areas. Their focus is on ministry vision for Heartland and on staffing. Responsibilities of this team include developing ministries and establishing churchwide priorities that contribute to the big picture vision established by the Lead Pastor. (This includes hiring/firing staff, establishing a budget, and establishing systems and policies that allow the church to function most effectively to accomplish its mission.)

Current Management Team members are Tom Brawner, Michelle Pemberton, Steve Fisher, Seth Davidson, Shibu Mathew and Craig Cheney.



Lead Pastor

This position is to be filled by an ordained minister with leadership and teaching gifts. The responsibilities of the Lead Pastor include establishing the big picture vision and leadership for the church and providing accountability in staffing decisions.

This team is comprised of volunteer members of Heartland who have marketplace expertise in legal affairs and financial management. Their focus is on Heartland’s finances. They insure that Heartland’s financial affairs are handled with responsibility and integrity in accordance with ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) standards. They must approve the Heartland budgets proposed by the Management Team, and they authorize buying/selling of real estate, securing real estate leases or borrowing of money. (Additionally, an Audit Review Team selects the auditors for the yearly audit and works with Heartland Operations Team to review both the yearly audit results and Heartland’s internal control structure, presenting a final report to the Board of Directors.)

Current Directors are Thomas Badgett, James Kanary, Carlo Jurani, Rusty Fulling and Derek Seitz.

This team is comprised of volunteer members of Heartland with strong leadership gifts and experience. Their focus is on global vision for Heartland and on the performance of the Lead Pastor. With input from the Management Team, the Advisory Team establishes and oversees annual churchwide goals and priorities. Additionally, this team is responsible for providing wise leadership counsel to the Lead Pastor, evaluating the Lead Pastor’s job performance, and (when necessary) calling a new Lead Pastor.

Current Advisor Team members are Aric Henderson, Janet Richardson-Barce, Caroll Sinclair and Suzanne Vaughan.

This team is comprised of volunteer members of Heartland with a passion for building disciples and genuine community. Their focus is on spiritual growth and care/counseling. Their responsibilities include modeling and promoting spiritual growth and genuine community among the staff and membership of Heartland, administering the sacraments, overseeing the benevolence fund and food pantry, and extending care to the church.

Current Pastoral Elders are John Auld, Greg Blessen, Tasha Cook, Brad Gregory, David Irwin, Betsy Lehleitner, Brian McBride, Melba Mueller and Ryan Nelson.

This team is made up of respected pastors who know and love Heartland and Heartland’s Lead Pastor. They are responsible for maintaining a current relationship with the Lead Pastor and providing discipline and accountability for the Lead Pastor in case of moral or theological infidelity.

Current members of the Overseers Team are Greg Ealey and Jarrett Meek.