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Heartland Pastors

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 HuntingPetersen’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: and

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 Pastor: Travis Purkerson

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