Vote for Heartland’s Next Lead Pastor

January 23, 2024

Dear Heartland Family!

As the Elders of Heartland Church, we wanted to remind you of the upcoming vote Sunday, February 25, for Pastor John Holderby as our next Lead Pastor.

As most of you know, John has been a part of our church staff as an Associate Pastor focused on Preaching and Life Groups since 2017.   In 2021 John shared with us God’s leading him to pursue the role of Lead Pastor as a new direction in ministry at Heartland or elsewhere.

As this conversation developed, Pastor Ed shared his desire to go part time beginning June 1, 2024.   After 48 years of ministry, he believed God was leading him to make this transition.

As we began to walk with John through this potential change, we consulted with the leadership of our denomination, Fellowship of Evangelical Churches (FEC).  They first affirmed the hiring or promotion of staff from within a church.  Statistically the success rate is much higher this way than bringing someone in from the outside.  Next, they encouraged us to be as thorough interviewing John as we would be with any candidate, we would consider for a Lead Pastor position from outside of the church.

We followed through with the advice of the FEC leadership and were very pleased with the interview process John went through and with the question-and-answer times before the church body.  And, because John is on staff, we have been fortunate to often hear John preach.

We also discussed the differences between John and Ed.  We in no way are expecting John to become Ed.  God has gifted and equipped each uniquely.  Just as we have done in encouraging Ed to gather people around him who strengthen his ministry; we have and will encourage John to gather people around him who will strengthen his ministry.  We are also glad that Ed will still be on staff part time (20 hours per week) in the role of Shepherding Pastor and available as a resource to John and Matt as needed.

Our next steps to prepare for the vote during the service on February 25 are twofold.

1)  Discovery Class, February 18, 11:00 a.m..  If you are not a Partner, this is your opportunity to become one.  Though the input of all who attend Heartland is welcomed, constitutionally, only Partners can vote for a new Lead Pastor.   So, if you are not a Partner, please join us for this one-hour informative meeting Sunday, February 18, and become one.

2)  Questions.  If you have any questions about this change or vote, please contact one of us.  We, your Elders are eager to visit with you.

  • Mark Doty –
  • Ron Schweinberg –
  • Jeremy Fogg –
  • Marcus Zeller –
  • Larry Brinkman –
  • Matt Holderby –
  • Ed Wright –

Finally, we invite you to join us in prayer as we prepare for this vote for John Holderby as our next Lead Pastor and move forward in serving our Savior together!

In Christ,

Your Elders