Heartland Welcomes You
Heartland Community Church is named so for our desire to be a community church, our heart to serve the entire community, and our focus on matters of the heart. Heartland is also symbolic of the church's physical location at the heart of Ripon, and Ripon's location at the heart of California.
What We Believe
We are people of prayer as we seek to follow God's lead in our personal lives and in the church. We initiate ministry by praying first, and then responding as God leads. People are eager to share their needs for prayer, and we show our care by praying for one another and sharing God's answers. We have a vibrant, inter-generational worship service where everyone feels welcomed and accepted. People's passion for Christ overflows into loving, open, and supportive relationships, where we regularly share what He is doing in our lives. We are a church that is alive, known for our desire to grow in Christ and our love for the world. People of all ages can come to Heartland and find acceptance, genuine care and respect. We are united in our purpose and desire to participate in our own unique way, and we desire to bring others here. We notice when someone is missing and take initiative in reaching out to them and making sure they don't fall through the cracks. Faith is a process, not an immediate outcome. A journey, rather than a destination. Join us on the journey!
Heartland Community Church is part of the Evangelical Covenant Denomination, which was founded in 1885 upon the historic beliefs of the Christian faith (e.g. the Apostle's Creed).
Our denomination values the Bible as the Word of God, the gift of God's grace and a growing spiritual life that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, the importance of extending God's love and compassion to a hurting world, and the strength that comes from unity within diversity.
While firmly holding to these foundational beliefs, we also give freedom where the Bible gives freedom. Practically, this means that we "major on the majors and minor on the minors." For more information please visit our website at: www.covchurch.org.
The pioneers of Heartland Community, An Evangelical Covenant Church, were Swedish Mission Friends who had moved to the Ripon area from various parts of the United States. Itinerant pastors began to visit this small group of settlers and conduct worship services for them. They eventually organized a church at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. Emanuel Johnson on Friday afternoon, January 21, 1916, as The Swedish Bethany Mission Church of Ripon. The first services were conducted by Rev. John Safstrom, a charter member of the congregation, and by various visiting ministers.
For the first few years, meetings were held in the local high school and in homes. A church building was later erected on lots donated by Mr. And Mrs. Claus Lindblom, at an approximate cost of $10,000. This new building was dedicated in 1920. On April 6, 1916, a decision was made by the church to organize a Swedish Sunday School. However, in 1921, the church also voted to start an English class as a part of the Sunday school. With the Bible as its basic text, the Sunday school performed an important ministry in teaching children, young people, and adults the way of life through Jesus Christ and in building them up in the Christian faith.
At its annual meeting on January 1, 1921, the church organized a young people's society to be composed of Christian youth. In 1926, one of the society's initial projects was the purchase of a lot at Mission Springs, upon which a cabin was built about ten years later.
The young people also helped pay off the church debt, contributed toward the purchase of an airplane for the Alaska mission field, and supported foreign missions and the Mission Springs Conference Center. For several years the young people even gave partial support to a missionary in Congo, David Lindblad.
In the 1930's, with services still being conducted in Swedish, the church began to really wrestle with the language transition. Initially, they began to use both Swedish and English in the church. On January 1, 1941, they decided to conduct all Sunday services in the English language, and to change the name to Bethany Covenant Church to reflect this change.
At the start of the 21st century, Bethany began to reinvent itself for a new generation once again, while staying true to its rich heritage as a mission church.
In one form or another, the church has been a mainstay in the Ripon Community since its inception in 1916. It has seen many generations trained and educated in the teachings of Christ, many lives impacted by its ministry, and several "home-towners" go into the ministry both at home and abroad. Though the original Swedish language and customs are now only a part of its rich history, Heartland is an enduring testimony of God's faithfulness to His people, and the church's desire to fulfill its part of the Great Commission in every generation.
Chris Williams is our
Lead Pastor. He is in
the church office weekly.
The office is located behind the church at 127 S. Acacia Ave. Hours are:
9 A - 4 P
"If you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all you soul."