In January of 1988, Dan and Roi Lene Paxton and their children Josh, Abbi and Betsy, were living in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Formerly from Iowa, the Paxtons moved to New Mexico to pursue Dan’s career as a high school football coach. After five years of coaching and teaching, Dan and his family left to help establish a church. They continued coaching and teaching, but this time for God. It was during that time that Dan experienced the voice of the Holy Spirit telling him,
“I am now going to take you to a place where you speak their language.”
Seven years later, the Lord asked the Paxtons to leave the Southwest and move back to Iowa. They were moving back to the place where they ‘spoke the language.’ In the fall of 1988, the Paxtons began to invite people into their home in Cedar Falls for Bible study. A small group began to gather. On April 22, 1990, 27 people met together for worship and the Heartland Vineyard Church was born.