Leadership

Pastors, Staff, Elders, Deacons

Associate Pastor

Meet the Pastoral and Ministry Staff  

Denny Johnson 

Head Pastor 
Pastor Denny Johnson was raised in central Minnesota south of the little town of Motley. His family attended the Lincoln Evangelical Free Church during his formative years.He graduated from Motley High School in 1976, from Brainerd Community College in 1978, and from Bethel University in Arden Hills in 1980, where he majored in Political Science.After a bid for state representative in his home district in central Minnesota fell short, he entered seminary, graduating from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois in 1983.
 
Denny served as pastor of Living Hope Evangelical Free Church near Elk River Minnesota from 1983 to 1992. In August of 1992 he accepted a call from the Heartland Free Church where he has served since.
 
Pastor Denny and his wife Sue have four married daughters and a growing number of grandchildren.









Jeff Droogsma

Associate Pastor 
Pastor Jeff Droogsma comes from a very diverse background, having lived in many places big and small, from New York City to the tiny town of Pease, MN (Dutch community of 200) and many in between.  This shows in that Jeff loves to work with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Another huge thing that marks Jeff and his precious wife Diane’s lives is that God placed them on the mission field (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) for almost 10 years.  God brought them back to the USA just 3 years ago to serve the “Ameircanos”.  

Their experiences in Brazil have given them a huge passion to share the gospel anytime, anyplace with anybody.  Due to this, God has also placed on Jeff’s heart to spur our people on to not only share the gospel but also to take steps of faith so as to discover what a powerful and amazing God we serve!  Rarely does a week or even day go by without Jeff nudging somebody to do something for Jesus that might seem a little crazy to the Scandinavians of Minnesota.

Jeff is a longtime member of the EFCA and was ordained by one of the churches they served at in Des Moines, IA.
 

Josh Hanson 

Youth & Worship Pastor
Pastor Josh Hanson grew up in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis in Blaine, Minnesota. His family are long time members of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Fridley, Minnesota.  

He graduated from Spring Lake Park High School in 2006. His first year out of high school, Josh went on a six month mission with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). Hearing a call to Youth Ministry while with YWAM, Josh went to Anoka Ramsey Community College, Crossroads Bible College and finally Northwestern College to pursue a Youth and Family Ministry degree.

Josh has served in a youth ministry, in some capacity, for the last eleven years.  His plan is to be in youth ministry, in some capacity, long after he becomes old and irrelevant.  Pastor Josh and his wife Brooke have a very energetic dog who loves to run. We all enjoy state parks and being out in God’s beautiful nature!







Jodi Welch 

Children's Ministry Director 
Jodi Welch is passionate about kids growing in their relationship with Christ. She trusted Jesus as her Savior in her elementary years.

She was very active in children’s ministry at her church in Iowas during high school. She graduated from Northwestern College (now university of Northwestern-St. Paul) with a Bible degree and an elementary education degree. Jodi and her husband James live in Maple Lake.  

They have four children, Cody, Jaden, Dawson, and Briella. She was a stay-at-home mom for 19 years. She continued to volunteer in numerous ways in children’s ministry before becoming our Children’s Ministry Director.  










Meet the Elders 

Jim Welch 

Chairman

Glen Schultz

Vice Chairman

Jeff Maus 

Treasurer

Ryan Long 

Secretary

Brent Anderson

Elder

Jeff Pribyl

Elder

Denny JOhnson 

Pastoral Elder

Jeff Droogsma

Pastoral Elder

Our DEACONS 

  • Jeff Pribyl, Chairman
  • James Aarestad
  • Bruce Berning
  • Barb Evenson
  • Tim Everett
  • Nancy Flugum
  • Joe Gravening
  • Rhonda Hiler
  • Brent Hunt
  • Craig Lieberg
  • Lori Maus
  • Carol Purcell
  • Ashley Roemer
  • Nancy Schultz
  • Greg Vennes
  • Jody Zylstra