A Letter From Pastor Vernon

Pastor Vernon Rainwater


  • Pastor Matt Named as Lead Pastor
  • Northland Staff Updates
  • A New Role for Pastor Vernon


On behalf of the elders, I want to give you some exciting news regarding leadership and staffing changes that have taken place over the past month.

I’m pleased to tell you that the elders have called Pastor Matt Heard to the role of Lead Pastor, and he has accepted. Pastor Matt has been serving us since last fall as Lead Teaching Pastor and has been part of our church family for over 20 years. We are excited to have Pastor Matt and his wife, Arlene, lead us into the next chapter of Northland’s rich legacy.

We will hear more from Matt and our governing elders this weekend.

We have also filled several key staff positions, including an HR Director & Finance Director. You can read more about these new hires on our staff page.

Also on May 15, I will be moving into a new role as Northland’s Pastor Emeritus. I will have no organizational responsibility, but will remain a pastor at Northland. This shift allows me the time and capacity to provide leadership to several ministries that are close to my heart, including occasionally serving as your preacher and worship leader. Connie and I are thankful for the opportunity to serve our church in new ways.

I have great confidence in our pastoral and ministry teams and our Executive Pastor, Kevin Urichko.

There is just no place like Northland — no other place with the heart for worship, no other place with the vision to reach the world and passion to serve. So much of that happens because of you, the Northland congregation, and the call that Jesus has put on your life to worship and service.

Thanks for the way that you have prayed for our elders, leadership and staff over the past year. We are grateful for you, and most importantly, for what God is doing through this community of believers. Please keep praying for Northland as we continue to grow, learn and serve together in our common mission.

– Pastor Vernon

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What does emeritus mean?

Emeritus is an Anglicized Latin word referring to one who has earned his way forward by faithful service. In academic settings, this term is often associated with retirement. In our context, the title indicates a continued ordination for pastoral ministry and a “double honor” (1 Timothy 5:17) for his years of service. The elders are pleased to elevate Pastor Vernon in this manner.