Lead Pastor: Zeke Pipher
Zeke has been the senior pastor at Heartland since 2005. He’s been married to Jamie since 1997, and together they have three children (Kate, Aidan, & Claire).
Zeke earned his Master of Divinity from Talbot School of Theology (2001) and his Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (2005). Zeke is also an author and freelance outdoor writer. He recently published two books designed to help give men & boys a vision of masculinity and equip older men to initiate boys into manhood: The Wild Man fable and Wild Mountain Tribe 14-week guidebook.
Zeke’s first book, Man on the Run: Helping Hyper-Hobbied Men Recognize the Best Things in Life was published with Howard Books in March of 2012. His second book, In Pursuit: Devotions for Hunters and Fishermen was published in June 2014 with Baker Books.
Zeke is a regular contributor to Deer & Deer Hunting, Petersen’s Bowhunting, and Whitetail News magazines. The Piphers live on an acreage in central Nebraska, a mile from the Platte River—the perfect place to hike, hunt, fish, camp, swim, chop wood, and run their dogs, Ezra & Hazel. For more information, check out Zeke’s other websites: www.thewildmountain.com and www.zekepipher.com.
Youth/Family Pastor: JJ Springer
JJ grew up on a farm near Aurora. He and his wife Carol have four kids (or five, depending on the weekend). They have been at Heartland since 2008. Before coming to Heartland, JJ was a teacher and worked for a family policy organization in Lincoln. He enjoys hanging out with students and pointing them to Jesus, taking mission trips to Utah and Colorado, talking about apologetics, adding and subtracting numbers, and arguing about politics.
JJ enjoys reading and traveling, and has an unhealthy obsession with the Huskers, Chiefs, and Royals. He spends most of his free time trying to figure out how Millie (the family lab) keeps getting off her leash.
Pastor of Spiritual Formation: Nathan Musgrave
Nathan and Sandy have been married for 20 years. They have four children: Anna, Gracie, Emerson & Stella. Nathan grew up in Central City. He and Sandy then spent over 10 years working for Send International, a mission organization, serving most of that time in Asia. Nathan joined the Heartland staff in 2011 as Pastor of Spiritual Formation. That means that he works to encourage the church in areas of discipleship and spiritual growth. Our small groups, called Shelterbelts, are sharply focused on issues of discipleship: becoming apprentices of Jesus in our ordinary day-to-day lives, as God changes us together into the character of His son Jesus, and reshapes the way we think and feel and relate to one another and the world around us.
Nathan enjoys counseling individuals who are experiencing significant challenges; he also meets weekly with people, simply to help them think through areas of spiritual growth in ordinary life.
Nathan studied 3 years at the Moody Bible Institute, then earned degrees from John Brown University and Wheaton College. He enjoys reading, woodworking, raising a small flock of sheep, and coaching his kids’ basketball teams.
Worship & Counseling Pastor: Travis Purkerson
Travis and Ruth have been married for 26 years and have six children. Their two oldest children are married and live in Columbus, Nebraska. Ruth and Travis have four children living at home with them: Rebecca, Josie, Clay and Justin. Travis and Ruth have been working in ministry for over 23 years. The majority of those years have been spent in the ministry of worship. Their primary purpose in leading worship at Heartland is to
Foster an environment where God and Man can touch each other (Ps. 34:8; John 4:23) and cause the “Word of Christ to dwell richly” in the hearts of God’s people (Col. 3:16 and Ps. 119:1; John 4:23).
Travis has enjoyed the ministry of Biblical Counseling for many years and will be assisting the other pastors in dealing with the difficult cases that come to the pastoral team on a daily basis. His desire is to see God’s sufficient word personally applied to the lives of those who are struggling, providing hope and direction that brings Glory to God (Rom 15:4; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3).
Travis has received a Bachelor’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Prairie Bible College and a Master’s in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s University.