Heather Kinnan Semple, Red Cedar Wesleyan Church

Heather Kinnan-Semple - Pastor of the Week
Heather Kinnan-Semple – Pastor of the Week

Heather Kinnan Semple was named lead pastor of Red Cedar Community Church in 2012. Her husband, Jeff, serves as the worship and arts pastor. Red Cedar Community Church has grown significantly since Semple was placed in charge, and many have come to know Christ. According to an article written on Wesleyan Life, “134 people received Christ on Easter Sunday and 98 were baptized the following Sunday.” (Reference which edition or link to article) Semple’s main ministry is to the “de-churched.” She reaches out to those who are angry with the church, providing them with healing and renewal. The area is home to many migrant workers and holds great Lutheran and Catholic populations. Red Cedar Community Church takes mission trips into their own community. Semple works to instill the idea of giving in a Christ-like manner. Rev. Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement said this of Semple, “I have seen the impact Pastor Semple has made in the lives of pastors. She is not only an exceptional speaker, but her insights are both practical and transformational for leaders.” Heather served as a part-time spiritual formation pastor prior. Her husband, Jeff serves as worship leader at the church.

Semple recently spoke at General Conference of The Wesleyan Church sharing her personal journey. The video below documents the speech and her personal testimony of leading Red Cedar Wesleyan Church. She speaks of “obedient risk,” referencing Proverbs 21:1, “Good leadership is a channel of water controlled by God; He directs it to whatever ends He chooses.”

She shared that the influence of Dr. Harry Wood help define her future. She recalled how he told her parents that God had something for her to do. In the speech, Semple said, “He would spend however long and however many years it took praying for me to bring me to the place where I would surrender to that.”

Heather received her education through Southern Wesleyan University in 1997. Her degree was Elementary Education. Heath Mullikin interviewed Heather in the Technology Show.

“Pastor Semple is recognized as this week’s Pastor of the Week because of her dedication to spiritual leadership and the impact she has had on her community, church, and the pastors she trains and develops,” says Carder. Semple received her recognition with humility and gratitude during a personal presentation by Carder while attending the Wisconsin District Conference of the Wesleyan Church. She comes from a multi-generational family of pastors serving the local church but is the female pastor in the Wesleyan Church from the Kinnan legacy family.

Heather Kinnan Semple Presented with Pastor of the Week mug by Dr. David and Helen Wright
Heather Kinnan Semple Presented with Pastor of the Week mug by Dr. David and Helen Wright

She was presented with the PotW mug by Dr. David Wright, President of IWU. IWU and the Church Engagement Office salute her personal and ministry achievements. She has sent students to IWU and continues to provide expertise and leadership seminars across The Wesleyan Church.


Pastor Heather will be speaking at the 2016-2017 Chapel Summit Week at IWU.



Written by Emily Lehner, a writer for the Alumni Center and a sophomore Writing major at IWU. She is active on the cross country and track teams. She is passionate about using her writing skills to share the good news of Christ with others and writes often on her personal blog at www.emilylehner.wordpress.com.

(Additional contributions provided by Rev. Rick Carder, Director of Alumni and Church Engagement.)

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