Dave Barton was a junior in college and twenty years old when he bowed his knees to Jesus Christ. “I was a student at the time at Northeast Missouri State (now Truman), and though I had grown up in church, I didn’t want anything to do with God.”
Dave’s main goal was to do well in school so he could land a big job, be successful, and make money. One evening while he was studying in his dorm room, God graciously changed his course. “I heard a man on television preach the gospel, and though I had heard it a thousand times, this time it was different. It was that night over thirty-seven years ago that the Lord made Himself and my need of Him very real. The Lord saved me and for many years now He has become, as the old hymn says, ‘sweeter and sweeter as the days go by.’ Not every circumstance in my life has been sweet, but the Lord sure has.”
Dave considers his family a great blessing. “I am the husband of the most beautiful woman in the world and have six amazing children, four of which have married and given me wonderful spouses to love. I also have been blessed with thirteen beautiful grandchildren…and I have a few more grandchildren who have already made heaven their home whom I look forward to seeing one day. Though I may wear a few hats at Heartland, my favorite role is being Pa Pa!”
“I believe that I have the best job anyone could ever have. The Lord and the leadership at Heartland have entrusted me to serve as a Dean in Heartland Christian College and to be the Missions Director for Heartland Community Church. This combination has worked well as we have endeavored to be a blessing around the world, especially through the bringing of international students onto our campus. We do this to serve and be of help to our friends in a variety of nations. Our goal is to receive these wonderful students, disciple and train them further in their calling, and then send them back to their native land to serve God and be a blessing in their region.
“I have heard it said before that God has a sense of humor, and I believe this to be so true when it comes to my being Mission Director. I have been such a homebody in my life (I love home and my own bed!) that those who know me best have been very surprised at what God has allowed and graced me to do these last several years.”
Heartland mission teams have traveled to places like Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Moldova, India, the Philippines, Egypt, Israel, Thailand, Tanzania, and the reservations in South Dakota. When we go, we are not just going on a trip, but are going to serve along-side the many awesome friends and family which God has joined us to through the years.
Locally, our College students learn about Servanthood as they volunteer in their local communities by doing acts of service.
Dave also serves on the Executive Team here at Heartland to help guide our church and community forward in this season of change. “I serve alongside some very dedicated men and women of God. We for so many years had the great experience of having the most loving pastor in Pastor Charlie. For me, personally, he was not just a pastor but also a spiritual father and friend. He is greatly missed. However, we are so grateful that God is the Builder of His Church, and it is not just built by a man. God has blessed us with a new pastor and a wonderful team of young men and women to lead this church. We, as a church family, look so forward to the days ahead and what the Lord has for this region. We want to serve you and be a blessing for we know that we are called to not only reach out to the world with the love of Jesus Christ, but we are also called to reach out to our neighbor. If we can do anything to serve and be of help to you, please let us know.”
We are so grateful to our neighbors and friends for your prayers and support during this time of transition at Heartland as we have lost our founder and pastor, Charles Sharpe. We look forward to what God will do in the future, and would like to introduce you to some of the people who call Heartland home, and are leading our Community forward. Click here to read our latest newsletter.