• 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

  • heidi youngquist, staff 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

  • matt spoden, staff pastor

    Matt grew up in Maple Grove, MN as an only child to his loving parents, Kim and Tom. Matt's parents introduced him to educational computer games as a young child, which quickly grew into a lifelong love for video games. His passion for gaming has led to meaningful community, and he wonders how the Gospel of Jesus Christ might be proclaimed in digital spaces. He also finds great joy in rooting for his Minnesota sports teams (no matter how hopeless it gets), playing disc golf, and playing board games. Matt graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a BA in Religion and Psychology in 2015, and graduated from Luther Seminary with a M.Div in 2019. Matt's deepest desire in ministry is for all people to know God's love for them, and to help cultivate life-giving opportunities for people to grow in faith. 

    mspoden@bethlehemaberdeen.org / facebook.com/matthew.spoden

Our Team

How can we serve you today? 605.225.9740 / office@bethlehemaberdeen.org