OUR STORY

When theHeart was first planted in 2001, our original vision included the statement “attracting and ministering to those individuals who have not attended or who currently do not attend church to share God’s love and forgiveness through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Decades later, this singular purpose remains the same.


Our DNA as a faith community has always been to reach people who identify as the displaced church—anyone who feels disconnected from God—and return them into relationship through Christ's Love.

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MISSION

Reconciling people to God and each other through Christ's Love. Simple.

VISION

Creating vibrant spaces of hope and healing where Christ’s Love is put into action.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

We take the posture that in the essentials of our faith we find unity, in the non-essentials we embrace liberty, and in all things we offer love. Our desire is to be known by what we're for more than what we're against.

GOD

There is One True God. In the beginning He created all things good. He was and will always be in relationship with Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

PEOPLE

The human race was created by a special act of God, in His own image. Adam and Eve were created without sin. They were tempted by the enemy (Satan), and chose to disobey God. Based on their disobedience, humans are now part of a broken world.


God did not abandon His creation. He promised to restore the brokenness. As part of this, He chose a people through Abraham (Israel). Despite Israel's disobedience, God has not forgotten His promise. He brought the Messiah (Jesus) into the world through this chosen nation. He will restore all things through Jesus.

BIBLE

God inspired the authors of Scripture by His Spirit. The Bible, as originally given, is the perfect Word of God.

SALVATION

God entered humanity as a human (Jesus). Jesus was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from the virgin Mary. Jesus died for our sins, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven, where He serves as the only mediator between God and mankind, making intercession for us. God desires all people to receive salvation through faith in what Jesus did for us.

LIFE

Through the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit, believers in Jesus are called to love God with all of themselves, and to love people with the same kind of love. We long for the return of Jesus, when He will restore all things.

WHAT WE VALUE

Everything we do as a community of believers—in worship, as part of a group, or in service of others—can be modeled with a clear understanding and healthy commitment to five distinct values.

SIMPLE

Attempting to be and do church in a way that removes things that are unnecessary so we can focus on what is important and do those specific things with quality and excellence.

LOVING

Believing that we are called to love God with all of ourselves and to embrace people with this same kind of love.

TRUE

Being known by what we’re for rather than what we’re against removes barriers. In truth, we can lead radically sanctified lives, be the unique creations God has called each of us to be, and experience truly intimate relationships with one another.

CALLED

Coming together to be the physical representation of church in our neighborhoods and places of work. We are called to display genuine spirits of love, respect, and honor for others above ourselves that is visibly present in the way that we interact with everyone we meet.

MOBILE

Embracing our true identity through the unique, creative, and healthy ways that we intentionally live out authentic community as a body of believers. Mobility challenges us to apply the truth of God's Word in our daily lives as we seek spiritual growth and act with grace-filled maturity.

MEET OUR STAFF

theHeart Staff thoughtfully establishes ministry initiatives that help us pursue a mission of reconciliation. With a strong emphasis on our distinct values, they work to create safe spaces that lead to the real and meaningful expression of love for God and people.

GRAHAM AITKEN

Pastor, Mobilization and Outreach

Graham has been on staff at The Heart since 2017 after working in humanitarian aid, both stateside and overseas. He received his Masters in Intercultural Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and is passionate about the global effort to alleviate physical and spiritual poverty. As well as overseeing all of our outreach ministries, Graham serves on the Executive Team as head of operations. 

 

Graham grew up in Scotland but lived in the Chicago suburbs for a long time which unfortunately saddles him with the painful burden of being a Bears fan. On stressful days, you might find him on the driving range or running trails trying to decompress! He is working hard to pass on a love of all things Scottish to his wife, Lizzy and two children, Jack and Sophia. And yes, he’s heard all the kilt jokes already… 

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MICHAEL SHELDON

Pastor, Teaching and Discipleship

Mike has been in ministry since 2000, joining theHeart staff in 2022. His passion is in helping to connect people to the heart of God. With relationship at the core of his philosophy of ministry, Mike desires to be approachable, teachable, and consistent in all areas of life and ministry. He oversees the teaching and discipleship areas of ministry at theHeart.

 

When not nerding out over church and scripture, Mike really enjoys great coffee, smoking meat, and engaging conversations. He and his wife Debby have raised two children and are new Western North Carolina, relocating from Oregon. Already they can see that Boone is a special place.

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ETHAN HARDIN

Pastor, Associate

Ethan has been in full-time ministry since 2013, joining theHeart staff in 2016.  He loves working with the next generation and serving our church family in whatever way he can, which sometimes includes teaching and worship leading. He oversees our youth and kids ministries and also curates our Table Talk initiative. He is currently finishing up his Masters in Biblical Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

 

He is from Henderson County, NC and carries a deep affinity for rural Appalachia and the traditional lands of the Cherokee people. In addition to cherishing a good Bible commentary, Ethan is an avid Lord of the Rings fan, a trail runner, and a musician. He and his wife, Taylor, along with their three children, love calling Boone their home. 

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MINISTRY LEADERSHIP TEAM

Partnering closely with theHeart Staff, this committed group of volunteer leaders help to oversee, guide, and support the spiritual health and operational vitality of our church family.

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RICHARD CAMPBELL

Treasurer

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MATT DULL

Secretary/Admin Officer

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RAY EDMONDS

MLT Member

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ALEX NSENGIMANA

MLT Member

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AMANDA OPELT

President/Staff Care

Teaching Team

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JOHN PAGE

MLT Member

Teaching Team

 

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