About the Vineyard

The Vineyard is an association of churches sharing the same values and vision. We want our Christianity to be simple, relevant, practical and supernatural. No hype. No manipulation. We want to say “yes” to Jesus while saying “no” to religion.

There is no single Vineyard. We are a local expression of a national and international association of over 500 churches meeting in gyms, church buildings, converted industrial buildings and store fronts.

Each Vineyard is unique, yet all Vineyards are like-minded in their approach towards God. We are people from all walks of life – professionals, homemakers, students, tradesmen, singles and families. We are committed to living out a Biblical faith in the context of contemporary society.

We want to be real and not religious, intimate and not isolated, an army not an audience.

The Story of Heartland Vineyard Church

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.

Since that time, the Heartland Vineyard has evolved and changed as people from all over our city have come to know Jesus and find new life in Him. Staff members have come and gone, ministries have developed and changed, services have expanded and contracted,  but through it all, our mission has remained the same.

Daughter Churches

Granddaughter Churches

  • LaCosecha Vineyard Church of Waterloo, Jorge and Nuris Lopez (planted by Harvest Vineyard Waterloo)

Our Mission

Extending the Kingdom of God by equipping an army of fully devoted disciples as they experience and express the compassion and truth of the Lord Jesus. 

Our Vision

WE SEE A CHURCH that cares passionately for the least, the last and the lost, the oppressed, the abandoned, the addicted, the helpless, and those in spiritual, relational, emotional and physical need.

WE SEE A CHURCH turned inside out; a church that gathers to celebrate the victories of the past week and then goes back out into the world to draw the brokenness of the world into the love of God’s great Kingdom.

WE SEE A CHURCH of small groups, not just a church with small groups. We believe the church is where true Biblical community can be found and should be the best place to build honest and encouraging relationships. It is our desire to see all of our groups be Grace Filled, Relationally Driven, Biblically Rooted, Missionally Minded and Spirit Led.

WE SEE A CHURCH that multiplies! We are a part of a church planting movement and sensing a fresh calling from Holy Spirit for us to partner with Him in pursuing not just the Cedar Valley but all of Northeast Iowa and beyond. We believe God has laid on our heart that 30 new churches are to be planted out of this vision in communities like Oelwein, Tama/Toledo, Parkersburg, Charles City and Eldora/GrundOy Center to name a few.

WE SEE A CHURCH that cares deeply for children and where Children are brought into discipleship through our programming in the church but more importantly, that the parents of these children become powerful disciple makers in their homes and that Moms and Dads step into their rightful place as the spiritual leaders of their children.

WE SEE A CHURCH which embraces young people and opens up their hearts and gives opportunities to young men and women to dream, test their wings and climb high as we hold their ladders. We see the older teaching the younger through mentoring relationships and we see many young leaders sent out into our world to make a difference for the King we love.

WE SEE A CHURCH that places a high value on and enters into the practice of all the spiritual gifts of the Bible. We see a “naturally supernatural church” that is unashamed and unafraid to exercise these gifts with a heart to lift, heal and encourage people around them.

WE SEE A CHURCH with an effective school of discipleship, teaching men and women, boys and girls to step into their rightful place as children of God and living lives that reflect the beauty, love and power of Jesus Christ.

WE SEE A CHURCH that is driven by God’s vision for unity to be bold and innovative in partnering across denominations with other churches, ministries and organizations. We believe that together we can share the good news of Jesus Christ with a hurting world regardless of social status, ethnicity or faith background.

Our Practices – What We Do



Loving, Carefrontational COMMUNITY: a priority of loving others

“Love your neighbor as yourself” Jesus in Mark 12:31

We want loving, vital, and meaningful relationships with fellow believers to permeate every part of church life. We want to value every person, from the youngest to oldest, as uniquely enabling the church to fulfill its mission. We want to love each other to the degree that we hold one another accountable as well as celebrate our successes.



Sincere, enthusiastic and intimate WORSHIP: a priority of loving God

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Jesus in Mark 12:30

We want to be filled with passion for Jesus, believing that pursuit of full devotion to Christ and His Kingdom are normal for every believer. We want to grow in our ability to express our love for God in what we say, what we sing and what we do.



Compassion Driven OUTREACH: a priority of extending God’s Kingdom

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Jesus in Matthew 28:19

We want to reach out to the lost and the un-churched through relational evangelism, servant evangelism and by the power of the Holy Spirit. We want to reach out to the least, the last and the lost with a spirit of love and respect, willing to share the hope that we have in Jesus. We want to train, equip, and send church planting teams throughout the heartland of America and beyond as God directs as well as participating in missions world-wide.



Hands-on, Spirit-led MINISTRY: a priority of cooperating with the Holy Spirit

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Jesus in John 14:12.

We want to partner with the Holy Spirit in ministering the Kingdom of God through believing and proclaiming the truth of the Bible, through bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and through practicing all of the gifts of the Spirit. We want to minister to the lost, the least, the sick, and the poor because they matter to God. We want to be filled and re-filled with the Holy Spirit and all of his gifts as we enforce the victory of Jesus over sin, sickness, death, demons, injustice and oppression.



Grace-filled OBEDIENCE to the Word of God: a priority of being transformed

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. John 14:23-24

We want to help every member of Heartland Vineyard Church come to lovingly and willingly obey the scripture. We want to learn to be biblically faithful in all that we say and do. We want God to govern our lives by the authority of the Word of God, enabled by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.



Humble SERVANT’S HEART: a priority of laying down our lives for others

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus in Mark 10:45

We want to follow Jesus example in becoming a servant to those around us. We want the person of the Holy Spirit to instill in our hearts a willingness to serve. We want to live in a way that assists others in getting closer to God, realizing His purpose for their lives and doing all we can to see them fulfill their ultimate destiny.

Our Values – Who We Are



Grace is God’s love in action towards men who merited the opposite of love. Grace is the foundation on which we relate to God.


Relationships are the currency of the Kingdom and an incredible mechanism for transformation.


The Bible is our main source for content/curriculum and testifies to the person Jesus. The Bible provides us a guide for how we do life and relationships. Matthew 18 and Ephesians 4:25-27 are essential for any healthy community.


We are a missional church. We don’t exist for ourselves, but for Jesus and the world. The true power of the church comes when we embrace the great commission and our call to Love the world like God modeled when he sent his son Jesus.


In short, this means that plans can be set aside for what God wants to do at any given time. We believe that the Holy Spirit is always leading us and it is our desire as followers of Jesus to follow His leadership in our lives on a day to day basis.

Our Beliefs


The Finished Work of Christ – the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament served to condemn sin, constantly reminding the sinner that humanity at its best was and continues to be unable to meet God’s standard of righteousness and holiness.  Jesus fulfilled “The Law” while on earth, offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice for our sin.  In so doing, everyone who believes in Him becomes a New Creation in Christ, where we are made righteous as He is righteous and holy as He is holy.  Believers are not under the jurisdiction of the Law, but are under grace.  God did His part completely.  The part that remains for us is to believe and receive by faith the fullness of who Christ is and what He accomplished for us.


God loved us enough to give His Son, Jesus, who would willingly lay down His life as a perfect sacrifice for our sin and failure.  What we could not do on our own, Jesus did!  We are saved by grace, though faith. The scripture tells us “whoever believes in Jesus will be saved”.

God the Father

The eternally existent One, forever holy and loving Creator, whose ultimate intention is to have many sons and daughters. God is what He is, but Father is who He is.


God’s only Son, eternal and holy, entered into creation, having been conceived by the Spirit and born of a virgin, revealing God the Father by living His life without sin, choosing to suffer and die for the sins of the world, rising from the dead on the third day, offering salvation and eternal life to everyone who believes.

Holy Spirit

The life and presence of God living within the believer, teaching, comforting, equipping, and empowering each one to live life in its fullness as sons and daughters of God. We believe in the filling or the empowering of the Holy Spirit, often a conscious experience, for ministry today. We believe in the present ministry of the Spirit and in the exercise of all of the biblical gifts of the Spirit. We practice the laying on of hands for the empowering of the Spirit, for healing, and for recognition and empowering of those whom God has ordained to lead and serve the Church.


The organic expression of God’s purpose and love, demonstrated through believers who gather to worship, love, encourage, and care for one another and then scatter to express the great love of Jesus.


The inspired and miraculously preserved word of God, used by God to reveal His love and redemptive purpose in Christ to the world.

Dan Paxton Dan Paxton
Senior Pastor

Josh Paxton Josh Paxton
Executive Pastor

Carrie Metz Carrie Metz
Family Ministries Director

Tana Rawdon Tana Rawdon
Business Manager

Corey Peters Corey Peters
Business Advisory Team

Jake Bates Jake Bates
Small Group Director

Jen Bates Jen Bates
Small Group Director

Kevin Briden Kevin Briden
Sound Director

Jake Shepard Jake Shepard
Celebrate Recovery Director

Julie Shepard Julie Shepard
Celebrate Recovery Director

Gary Kinkade Gary Kinkade

Janet Lyons Janet Lyons
3:12 Transformation

Michael Lyons Michael Lyons
3:12 Transformation

Michael Reed Michael Reed
Assoc. Worship Director

Mark Jolcover Mark Jolcover
Ministry Intern

Lynn Speed Lynn Speed
KidZone Director

Greg Swanson Greg Swanson
DivorceCare Coordinator

Megan Swanson Megan Swanson
Worship Intern

Rodney Wallace Rodney Wallace
Baptism Coordinator

Scott Woodman Scott Woodman
SOKM Site Coordinator

Susan Woodman Susan Woodman
SOKM Site Coordinator

Heartland Vineyard

3211 Titan Trail
Waterloo, IA 50701
Phone: (319) 883-3028

Get Directions Email Us

Gathering Times
Sundays at 9:00 and 10:45 a.m.

Office Hours
Monday–Thursday: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.