• Pastor jeff whillock, lead pastor

    Jeff grew up in Rapid City where his family enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and skiing, as well as patchy participation in the Roman Catholic church. Jeff and his wife, Nancy (an RN), have two grown children. Jeff’s greatest joys come in enjoying times outdoors and at home with family, as well as helping people connect with God in the midst of everyday-life struggles. He began serving Bethlehem in January of 2005, and was called to serve as Lead Pastor in May of 2008. He is a graduate of Augustana College, with Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from
    Luther Seminary. 

    jwhillock@bethlehemaberdeen.org / facebook.com/jeff.whillock

  • Pastor heidi youngquist, associate pastor

    Heidi grew up in Lincoln, NE and is a proud Cornhusker! She and her daughter Violet, a student at Central High School, love to travel and enjoy the thrill of going new places and trying new things. Heidi is in her happy place whenever she is outdoors, but especially when she is in the mountains. Heidi savors time to read, cook, share in deep conversations, and the blessing of a shared laugh or a good cry. She received a BA in music from Saint Olaf College and an MA in Marriage and Family Counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX. Heidi graduated from Wartburg Theological Seminary in May of 2021 with her Master of Divinity with a concentration in Mission Development and Redevelopment. One of her greatest joys in ministry is helping people connect with God’s presence in life’s joys and sorrows and celebrating the gift and promises of baptism in daily life. It is her firm belief that everyone has a story to share, a gift to offer, and a difference to make. 

    hyoungquist@bethlehemaberdeen.org / facebook.com/heidi.youngquistwidner

  • pastor lisa heffernan, interim pastor

    Lisa grew up splitting her time between Wecota, SD and Pierre, SD. She received a BA in Religion from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN in 2009, and her Master of Divinity in 2013 from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA. Living with a disability herself, Lisa has a passion for disability ministry and advocacy and is also serving as the Coordinator for ELCA Disability Ministries—a part time position that began this summer. She is also a current Doctor of Ministry student with Western Theological Seminary, focusing on disability theology and ministry. It is her hope and prayer that the ELCA and other denominations can one day fully embrace people with disabilities in their congregations and as congregational leaders. She loves to spend time with her family here in SD, and in IA and MN, exploring genealogy and all the interesting “finds” that come along the way. She cherishes time with her friends when she can, loves to read and write, and appreciates a good hour (or many!) listening to historical and archaeological documentaries. Lisa has loved her time with the folks of Bethlehem, and is thankful for their interim partnership. 


Our Team

How can we serve you today? 225.9740 / office@bethlehemaberdeen.org