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.
And now, here we are… 30 years later. So much has changed, yet so much has stayed the same. Dan, our Senior Pastor has transitioned to the role of Founding Pastor (April 2019) and serves our church family now as one of the fathers of our church and community. He also brings leadership to our teaching team and is very much committed to helping move the purpose and mission of our church forward however he can through serving and also consulting our staff and leadership team as needed.
Dan’s son Josh is now serving as our Lead Pastor after being on staff for 8 years as our Executive Pastor. Josh and his wife Steph and their two sons, Max and Cooper, consider it a blessing to be a part of what God is doing in our city and beyond. Josh and Steph are so excited to be carrying the legacy that Dan & Roi Lene have left us with as we move forward together in our calling as a church of “Leading People into Intimacy with Jesus.”
The best days are ahead of us!