History & Vision


In 1995, while at his company’s mid-year convention in Colorado, Charlie Sharpe was praying about the work that God was calling him to. He heard the Lord tell him that the church needed to be established first. “That’s a good thing, but who would pastor the church?” Charlie asked. He was surprised to discover that God had him in mind! Charlie answered the call, and that next Sunday, July 9th, the first Heartland Community Church service was held in a converted machine shed near LaBelle.

Two months later, Charlie and his wife Laurie broke ground to build a city of refuge called Heartland, a place where hurting and broken people could come and find healing and deliverance through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Once the Heartland Christian Academy gymnasium was completed, the church congregation began meeting there for the next 20+ years, led by Pastor Charlie until his death in February of 2017.

Then, in the summer of 2019 under the leadership of Pastor Kris Palmer, we were blessed to move into our new building adjoining the school, adding a dedicated church sanctuary, foyer, classrooms and offices. The design allows us to utilize the existing school classrooms and facilities for our Sunday children and youth programs.

We expect to see people of different tribes and tongues gathered around the throne of God someday. But we don’t expect to see families from five different nations gathered in church on Sunday morning. At least, not in the middle of a Missouri cornfield. Yet, God has done just that at Heartland. Every church service includes people from places like Egypt, Thailand, the Philippines, Sweden, Colombia, Korea, Ghana, New Zealand, and Mexico. Some of these nations are represented by children who have been adopted into Midwestern homes. Other cultures have been translated here by entire families moving from their homelands or college students here for a brief season.

This international flavor is only one element of the unusual a Heartland. The congregation is also filled with families who had been broken and are now restored. Husbands and wives headed for divorce have found a fresh start. Parents and children once estranged have found an eternal bond.

We come from every background and experience. A former drug dealer worships beside a man who earned perfect attendance in Sunday school. A doctor goes to the altar in need of healing, and a local farmer prays for him. We are a diverse lot.

God has not called us together for the sake of diversity, though. He has called us for unity. We may worship Him in different words. Our manners, customs, foods, and families will remain unique in their expressions. But we all speak with one voice­­­­­—a voice of praise. And we all walk with one purpose—to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our minds, with all our strength. And to love our neighbor as ourselves, no matter where he comes from.

Vision Statement

Our vision is a Christ-centered, sustainable, intentional community of hope built around a vibrant local church, cultivating individual, family, community, and global transformation through the power of the Gospel.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to evangelize, encourage, educate, equip, and then activate mature disciples who have been called by God, redeemed by Jesus, and transformed by the Holy Spirit through a sustainable Christ-centered intentional community built around the local church.


Jesus taught that the highest virtues in terms of God’s Law are relational—to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.


Heartland Community Church
6434 Shelby 150 Bethel, MO 63434

(573) 633-5604