Ed Kendrick, Lead Pastor, began Heartland in 2002 after graduating that same year from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with his Masters Degree in Divinity. In 2015, Ed completed his Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree, also from Southeastern Seminary. Prior to attending seminary and starting Heartland Church, Ed spent twenty years as a bank executive and served in various civic positions including Mayor for the City of Fort Meade, Florida.
Ed has been married to his wife, Nancy, for 41 years. They have one daughter, Lauren, and two grandchildren, Colton and Kenzie.
Through Ed’s leadership, Heartland has grown from just 14 people in 2002 to more than 2,500 who call Heartland home today. His true passion is to see people come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and to grow in their relationship with Him until they themselves are reaching others for Christ.
Ed’s hobbies include saltwater fishing, woodworking and riding his Harley!
Colossians 1:17 is Ed’s life verse: “He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.”
Danny Moosbrugger has acted as Heartland’s Executive Pastor since May 2013.
Married to Bobbi, they have two adult children, Lori and Bryan, who are both married and live in Central Florida. They are not quite empty nesters – Hank still lives at home. He is black and chrome and weighs about 1,000 lbs when full of gas – their beloved Harley Davidson!
Danny’s education includes a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Florida Baptist College, a Master of Divinity with a minor in Counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. Past positions held include Law Enforcement Officer, Student Pastor, Minister of Music, Senior Pastor, Church Administrator, and administrative positions at both Southeastern and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminaries.
Danny’s hobbies include motorcycle riding and reading. He enjoys all styles of Christian music!
Danny has a passion to help others experience success through the accomplishment of their goals, dreams, and when their “AHA” moments are realized and acted upon. He strives to lead others to an understanding of life through a biblical viewpoint.
HIGH SCHOOL & YOUNG ADULT Pastor
From a young age, Chad has felt led to work with students. His experience as a teenager, highly active in student ministry, had a profound impact on his life. After moving from Orlando, Chad began attending Heartland in June 2013, and became part of Heartland’s Student Ministry in August 2014. Since then he has been engaging with students through teaching, activities, and service. He joined the Heartland Staff in August 2015 as a Student Ministry Assistant, stepped in to his role as Student Pastor in 2019 and High School & Young Adult Pastor in 2020.
Chad’s favorite verse is John 17:4: “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” He tries to live by this every day. Chad is married to Meagan, and they have two sons, Declan and Orin. Both Chad and Meagan graduated from UCF, so they enjoy supporting the Knights! They’re also big Disney World fans!
Doyle Eldridge has been Heartland’s Children’s Pastor since January 2011. He was ordained into the Gospel ministry in April 1982 after graduating from Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1981 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Ministries. Doyle has served at other churches in Alabama, Tennessee and Florida prior to coming on board with Heartland.
Doyle’s favorite Bible verse is Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” He has a passion to let his light shine for Jesus and to teach children to do the same. Doyle has been starting and leading Awana Clubs since 1989. He has personally started five Awana Clubs in Polk County and has also trained those from other churches to lead their own Awana programs.
Married to the love of his life, Toni, together they have five children and nine grandchildren. A fan of both the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you can often hear Doyle talk about the ups and downs of these teams.
Technology & Media Pastor
Florida born and raised, Gary has literally grown up in the church, having sat under the piano as his mother played for choir rehearsal each week. He began leading music in his home church in 1988 and shortly after, began to feel God’s call on his life to enter full-time ministry. In the Spring of 1994, Gary, along with his wife and young son made the move to Graceville, Florida to attend the Baptist College of Florida, where he received a B.A. in Music.
Upon graduation in 1997, he returned to Florida to take a full-time music ministry position at FBC Fort Meade. There he met Ed Kendrick, and the two quickly formed a strong friendship. Their desire to serve God and their shared vision for church planting began the birth of Heartland Church. Gary and Ed opened the doors to Heartland’s first service in the summer of 2002. Since that time Gary has served in various staff roles – Worship Pastor, Executive Pastor, and currently Technology & Media Pastor.
Married to Stacey since 1987, they have two children, James and Jenna. They are also the proud grandparents of Ellis Gibson and Lucy Rae! Gary enjoys traveling to the Smoky Mountains, boating, and spending time with his family.
MIDDLE SCHOOL Pastor
Ricky Holder joined the Heartland staff in 2020. A graduate of The Baptist College of Florida, Ricky holds a BA in Missions. He and his wife, PJ, met and were married in 2009 while in college together. They have four children, Jason, Anthony, Rachel, and Ryann. The Holder family loves all things Disney and spends their spare time in the parks.
Pastor Ricky has been serving in churches since 2007 and was ordained to Gospel Ministry in 2012. He has served in churches in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. He attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and will be continuing his education online.
Ricky has always had a passion for students of all ages, having served with babies through college age throughout his years in ministry. His favorite verse is 2 Timothy 2:2 which says, “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” His goal in ministry is to equip the next generation to share their faith boldly and share it often.
Creative Arts Pastor
Mike White, Heartland’s Creative Arts Pastor, has been leading worship for 26 years. His passion is to see people making an authentic connection with God while finding freedom in a moving musical experience.
The passage of scripture that best defines his heart for worship is John 4:23: “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
He enjoys Sunday drives in his Jeep, playing his Taylor acoustic guitar, attending concerts from up-and-coming bands, playing tennis and basketball, and drinking kiwi-strawberry Vitamin waters. Mike’s favorite sporting teams are the Boston Red Sox and the Florida Gators. He also enjoys listening to Bethel Music, Hillsong United, U2, Switchfoot and Queen.
Mike is married to his high school sweetheart, Lizbeth. They have two children, Tabitha and Kari. Mike believes this life-affirming proverb: “In a world of compliments and criticisms, be sure the voice of God defines you.”
In October 2016, Mitch Johnson moved to Winter Haven to join the Heartland staff family as Discipleship Pastor. Prior to working at Heartland, he had the honor of serving at two other churches – as a Young Adult Pastor and as a Student Pastor. One common theme is apparent in every church Mitch has been a part of: He loves to create leaders with the goal that they will serve their family, church, and community.
Married to Brooke and a proud father to their two sons, Scout and Atlas. The Johnson family enjoys spending their time together – whether that means worshipping at church, taking walks in their neighborhood, hunting, fishing, or simply staying and relaxing at home!
Mitch was called into full-time ministry at the age of 17. His formal Christian education includes a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies from Truett-McConnell College, a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and is currently enrolled in Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree.
Mitch is passionate about seeing people understand the Bible because he knows that it holds every truth needed for this life! As believers, it is our mission to multiply ourselves and to make known the name of Jesus in our own community, country, and to the world! He wants to equip and see the people of Heartland Church carry out this mission.
Administrative & Support staff
Robin Murphy, Executive Assistant, became a Heartland staff member in 2008 after years of volunteer service in Heartland’s office. She has been married to her husband, John, since 1988. Prior to working at Heartland, Robin was involved in the banking and real estate industry.
Growing up in a Christian home, Robin became a Christ-follower at a young age. She moved to Florida from Michigan in 1985 and continues to be a big fan and supporter of the University of Michigan football team—Go Blue! She also loves to participate in and watch many other types of sports.
Robin and John have been active Heartland members since the church’s start in 2002. Throughout the years, together they have served in many ministry areas including Connection Groups, Guest Services, leading the college-age students, and offering pre-marriage coaching for couples who are preparing to get married.
In Robin’s free time, she enjoys hiking, visiting family members, traveling, crafting, and decorating and repurposing items for use in her home.
Robin’s desire is to be a true servant not only at Heartland but also in her “everyday encounters” with people. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…”
Administrative Assistant of Finances
A native Floridian born and raised in Winter Haven, Tina Gonzales loves her home and has a heart to see God’s glory fall on this region. She dedicated her life to Christ at a young age and is passionate about seeing people’s lives changed for the better.
Having worked as a preschool teacher for 10+ years, Tina made a huge impact in the lives of many families and children. She has a heart for missions where she has made several mission trips to orphanages across the globe.
In addition to her weekday duties, Tina serves on Heartland’s Media & Tech Team. She is happy to call Heartland her “home church” and is excited to see what God will accomplish through her employment and service here.
Bobbi Moosbrugger began attending Heartland in May 2013 and became a staff member on February 1, 2014 as Hospitality/Event Director. She is married to Danny and they have two children, Bryan and Lori.
Bobbi had the great privilege of learning the gift of hospitality under the mentoring and teaching of Dr. Dorothy Patterson, the wife of the former President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Using these “gifts,” she has served as Director of Hospitality at Southeastern Seminary, Southwestern Seminary, and Truett McConnell College. While at Truett, Bobbi also acted as the head cheerleading coach for five years.
In addition to planning Heartland’s various events, Bobbi also enjoys hosting events and entertaining in her own home. Her other passions include decorating, making crafts, creating centerpieces and uniquely setting the tables for events and banquets, riding with her husband on his Harley, and watching cheerleading. Bobbi’s favorite “cheer team” is Bartow High School – where her daughter is the cheerleading coach. Japanese is the food she enjoys most!
Proverbs 3:5-6 is Bobbi’s favorite passage: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
Children’s Ministry Intern
Blake was born right here in Winter Haven, but lived in South Carolina for seven years before moving back to the area. The oldest of six children, Blake went to church for the first time in 2008 at the age of 15 – and that church happened to be Heartland. Immediately he began serving in the children and student ministry areas.
While Blake’s official staff positions have changed from Student Ministry Assistant to Discipleship Ministry Assistant to Children’s Ministry intern, the heart and compassion he has for working and serving in any area remains the same! 1 Peter 4:10 is one of Blake’s favorite verses: “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
Desiring to help others ‘Love Jesus, Love Each Other, and Love Their World’, Blake feels that God has called him into full-time ministry and is currently taking college courses with the goal of attending seminary.
Although work, school, and church occupy most of his time, Blake also loves to play volleyball (he organizes and plays weekly with a group of about 30 individuals) and enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, hunting, white water rafting, and dirt biking.
Video & Digital Media Specialiist
Since 2010, Alec Ledger has called Heartland Church home. He quickly became involved in the tech and worship teams and has worked on staff since 2012. During that time, his role has grown and evolved, and he now serves as Video & Digital Media Specialist. On a weekly basis, Alec manages created video content, social media accounts, and photography teams. He also assists in planning and programming different elements of Heartland worship services, such as lighting, media, and creative worship elements.
Alec currently attends Southeastern University and is in the final stages of pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Worship Ministry. He has a passion for worship and creativity, and for working with technical teams and seeing these areas of ministries grow!
Alec’s favorite verse is James 1:17 – ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.’
Discipleship Assistant and Database Manager
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Sonia Martinez, her husband Robert and their daughter Gabriella moved from New York to St. Cloud, FL in the summer of 2004. In 2007, they moved to Winter Haven and in early 2010 they found their church home when she and her family started attending Heartland.
In August 2017, Sonia joined our staff full-time to become our Discipleship Assistant and Database Manager. Prior to that she has served in various roles within our Children’s Ministry and most recently was the Children’s Ministry Smallville Director. Sonia has a passion to serve God and loves helping everyone especially families to strengthen their relationship with the Lord by encouraging them to be part of a Heart Group, and to be God-centered and serving in our different ministries.
Sonia’s favorite verses are: 1 Peter 4:10: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…
Deuteronomy 6:6-7: And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Gary and his wife Diane have been members of Heartland since 2011. Married since 1976, they have one adult son, John-Michael, who lives in Tampa.
After serving 24 years in the Air Force and Army, Gary retired from the military in 1995. He volunteered at the school where his son attended and shortly afterwards began a second career in education–substitute teacher, Network Manager and later TV Production teacher at Fort Meade Middle-Senior High School, and IT Director at Lake Wales High School. He retired from the school system in 2013.
Gary enjoys eating out, going to the movies (no chick flicks), listening to classic rock (it’s a nostalgia thing), teaching kids of all ages, writing, and of course riding his Harley trike with his Lady Di. His motto is “live your life in such a way that when you look back you’ll have few regrets and even fewer sorrows.”
Psalms 51:10-12 is his favorite verse: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
Married to Phil; they have one daughter, Brooke. Shari loves quiet or active time with her family, especially her two grandchildren and enjoys traveling and being outdoors.
Dawn is originally from Wisconsin, but has been living in Florida for 21 years. She is involved in the areas of VBS, decorating, stage design, and wherever needed. Her favorite verse is Psalm 51:10 – “Create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Married to Nancy for 37 years; they have two children and four grandchildren. He loves spending time with family, flying, skiing, white water rafting, and traveling. Ricky especially enjoys helping others who are in need.