Pastor Matt Heard

Lead Pastor

Pastor Matt Heard

Matt is a husband, father, and friend. He’s also a pastor, speaker, writer, teacher, leader, and consultant. He has been involved in leadership and pastoral ministry for three decades and trying to figure out what it means to be a human being for a bit longer.

He is the Lead Pastor for Northland Church and the Founder and Principal of THRIVE – a speaking, teaching, and consulting ministry that focuses on engaging men and women to be fully alive to the glory of God in every arena of their life, journey, and culture. His work with THRIVE includes roles such as speaking in a variety of churches, organizations, and conferences; consulting with leaders and ministries; coaching individuals and teams about the core components of what it means to flourish and thrive for God’s glory and our fulfillment; and writing – he is the author of Life with a Capital L: Embracing Your God-Given Humanity and is beginning work on a second book.

He is on the Board of Directors of Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global; and the International Arts Movement with Mako Fujimura. He is also a member of the faculty and Board of Reference for Summit Ministries.

Most recently he was the President of The Gathering USA, a ministry headquartered in Orlando and, before that, the Senior Pastor of Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs for twelve years until 2014. During that time, the church took innovative steps in establishing a multisite approach to ministry, embracing the arts and cultivating creativity, and also launched groundbreaking initiatives toward community involvement through forging partnerships with local government, nonprofits, and other churches to serve the homeless, those in need, and the oppressed – locally and also around the world.

His past vocational roles have included being the pastor of single adults and evangelism at Moody Church in Chicago, the founding pastor of Park Community Church in Chicago, the senior pastor of Sunshine Community Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the President of Vantage Point Forum in Grand Rapids. He also was the first Executive Director of the Greater Orlando Leadership Foundation (now Lifework Leadership). 

Originally from Monroeville, Alabama, Matt is a graduate of Wheaton College and Reformed Theological Seminary, and has also studied at Wheaton Graduate School in Illinois, L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, Fackelbararnas Bible Institute in Sweden, Capernwray Bible School in England, and two years of Pre-Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

Matt and his wife, Arlene, are the privileged parents of three amazing adult sons — Andrew, Joel, and Stephen — and a brand new and amazing daughter-in-law named Mary Rachel who is married to Joel. He and Arlene travel extensively and share their home base between Colorado Springs and Orlando.