Charles Gingerich has been in pastoral ministry since 1987. After graduating from Emmanuel Bible College, he pastored churches in Stayner, Angus, Killaloe/Augsburg, Lion’s Head, and Port Franks, Ontario. He has also driven truck and done mechanical work during that time. In 2007, he published a book detailing the history of Bethel Missionary Church in Lion’s Head.
In May 2013 he became interim pastor at Heartland Community Church. In January 2014, he accepted the position of permanent pastor at Heartland. Here he teaches the Bible and works with other elders in congregational care. At the same time, he operates a small cash crop farm near Zurich.
He and his wife, Lois, were married in 1983 and have three children.
Our Mission Statement
Heartland Community Church exists to serve the spiritual needs of the people in the Clinton area.
To Fulfil Our Purpose:
- We provide a comfortable atmosphere of acceptance for everyone and meet needs as we are able.
- We invite people to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- We provide opportunities for Christ-centered worship and Biblical learning.
- We help people develop their God-given abilities to serve Christ.
- We develop leaders who follow the example of Christ in character, service and outreach.
- The Bible is God’s inspired word. It is authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
- There is only one true God, the creator of everything that exists. God eternally exists as three-in-one: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Adam and Eve, the first human beings, were created in the image of God to fellowship with God and give Him glory. Sadly, Adam and Eve chose their own independent way and disobeyed God. All of creation has been affected by this “fall of man”. Every person ever born has also resisted God’s will, and for this sin, deserves God’s judgement.
- Jesus Christ is the Lord, God given in the form of human flesh, born of the virgin, Mary. Jesus was totally sinless in His life so that He could die as a substitute for us sinners. He arose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He will return for those who have accepted His free gift of salvation.
Why We Believe God’s Word:
- Therefore just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. — Romans 5:12 (NIV)
- For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. — John 3:16-18 (NIV)
- For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. — 1 Peter3:18 (NIV)
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. — Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)
In 1997, about a dozen people from the Clinton area attending Huron Chapel in Auburn, began weekly prayer meetings to seek God's direction about starting a new church in Clinton. Hearts were stirred and minds met, and the following year this group rented space in the Wesley Willis United Church building. There was no regular minister. A few of their own number and different persons from the area preached and taught the scriptures each week. Eventually Pastor LaRoyd Bender from Granton, Ontario was hired. As he spent many hours preaching and visiting, the congregation grew to about 30 to 40 worshippers.
Worship services were held each Sunday evening, then shifted to 9:00 a.m. beginning Easter Sunday April 4, 1999. It was always a challenge to vacate the building in time for the second service in the morning.
After four years, Pastor Bender moved on, and again our little church carried on for almost three years with ‘casual’ ministers—Rev. Virgil Gingrich, Rev. Edward Chester, Rev. Jim Carne, and Rev. Dave Wood--to name a few. It was a difficult time, but the Good Shepherd (Jesus) was always with us, and we persevered.
Then with little funds and lots of faith, Pastor Dan Steadman from Maxwell, Ontario was called late in 2006 to be pastor part time. He and his wife Linda moved to Clinton and poured their energies and hearts into pastoral work, music, and vacation Bible schools for children in the summer.
After renting space for 12 years, the Wesley Willis building came up for sale. So once again with little funds and lots of faith, the building was purchased and dedicated to the glory of God. You can read the dedicatory prayer posted in the church to this day.
Tragedy turned into opportunity in January 2010 when a fire destroyed a building in town that housed a food bank and some apartments. Immediately Heartland Church opened its doors to help the firemen and some of the people affected. Beginning three years to the day after the church building was purchased, Heartland Community Church supplied meals, clothing, blankets, etc. for three days.
With the food bank gone and people in need, we believed God directed us to continue providing a hot meal 2 days a week for anyone who wanted it. This outreach ministry was named “Soup and More.” The Soup is for the body; the More is Christ’s love and teachings for the soul. Starting off with 10-15 people, it grew to 50-60 people. We now have a ‘congregation’ that meets in the dinning room 2 days a week. All are welcome and we hope our guests will come to believe as we do in Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and worship with us each Sunday. The donations of both money and food for Soup and More are nothing short of miraculous to the present day.
Pastor Steadman retired in 2012 and was succeeded the following year by Pastor Charles Gingerich from Zurich, Ontario. He can be found leading and feeding his flock each Sunday and Wednesday or visiting someone in the area who is ill or in need. Pastor Gingerich divides his time between farming and the ministry of the gospel, sowing seed on his land and sowing the Seed of God’s Word, assured God’s blessing will bring a harvest in each case.
We have seen many miracles, some finding the Lord, some being baptized. There have been many ups and downs over the years, but we try to be always faithful to our mission of “Knowing Christ and making Him Known” in central Huron County and around the world.
EVANGELICAL MISSIONARY CHURCH OF CANADA
Heartland Community Church is affiliated with EMCC. For more information check out https://www.emcc.ca/