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Heartland Pastors

Lead Pastor: Zeke Pipher

Zeke is the senior pastor at Heartland Evangelical Free Church in Central City, Nebraska. He’s been married to Jamie for 14 years, and they have three children. He earned his Master of Divinity from Talbot School of Theology, and his Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

In addition to his pastoral ministry, Zeke is an author and freelance outdoor writer. His first book, Man on the Run: Helping Hyper-Hobbied Men Recognize The Best Things, was published with Howard Books (Simon & Schuster’s Christian imprint) in March of 2012. He’s represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency.

Zeke is a regular contributor to several national outdoor magazines, including Field & Stream, Deer & Deer Hunting, Petersen’s Bowhunting, and Bow & Arrow Hunting. He writes and speaks regularly on subjects such as hunting strategies and the life of the sportsman, as well as topics like marriage, parenting, and balancing priorities. 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 train their German wirehair, Ezra. He’s a huge Husker fan and maintains that the 1971 football team is the best college team of all time.

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 was born and raised in Central City, then spent over 10 years working for Send International, an international missions 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 studied 3 years at the Moody Bible Institute, and 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 Pastor: Travis Purkerson

Travis and Ruth and their family are the latest addition to our pastoral team.