Dr. Ken Heer (74), noted preacher, pastor, and leader of The Wesleyan Church, passed unexpectedly Wednesday morning, May 4, 2016 in Brooksville, Florida.
Dr. Heer was pastor in seven Wesleyan churches in Indiana, including College Wesleyan Church in Marion and Fall Creek Wesleyan Church in Fishers, adding up to 28 years in pastoral ministry. He also served 23 years in several leadership roles at The Wesleyan Church Headquarters, including General Director of Education and the Ministry from 1988-1997. He was chief of staff for the Board of General Superintendents at the time of his retirement from headquarters in 2012. After moving to Florida, he served as president of Wesleyan Village in Brooksville and teaching pastor at Brooksville Wesleyan Church. (See full obituary below.)
Two celebration of life services are planned for Dr. Heer. He will be honored at Brooksville Wesleyan Church and by the Wesleyan Village community on Friday, May 6, at 2:00 p.m. No family visitation is planned before the service. The church is located at 22319 Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville, FL 34601.
A memorial service will also be held in Indiana at College Wesleyan Church on Monday, May 9, at 2:00 p.m. The church address is 200 E 38th Street, Marion, IN 46953. Pray for Ken’s wife, Nancy, and the family.
Official obituary of Dr. Ken Heer, by Dr. Jerry Pence:
The Reverend Dr. Kenneth Heer was born June 11, 1941 in Clay Center, Kansas, the second son of Donald and Constance (Tissot) Heer. He received Jesus Christ as his Savior at age nine and experienced the grace of sanctification at 18 years of age. He testified to sensing God’s call to ministry as one of his earliest memories. A high school basketball star, he graduated from Bryant High School in Bryant, Indiana. Ken married Nancy Kierstead, his wife of almost 55 years, on June 11, 1961. His first year of active ministry was 1962, while a student at Marion College in Marion, Indiana (now Indiana Wesleyan University), from which he graduated with a BA in religion. He went on to earn his MA in religion from Indiana Wesleyan and his Ed.D. in adult education and executive development from Ball State University. He was also awarded honorary doctorates by both Indiana Wesleyan and Southern Wesleyan Universities.
Ken was ordained by the Indiana District of the Wesleyan Methodist Church on August 14, 1964. His 50+ year ministerial career included 28 years in local pastoral ministry (Mt. Olive Wesleyan Methodist Church, Kokomo, IN; Warren Wesleyan Methodist Church, Warren, IN; Blue River Wesleyan Methodist Church, Arlington, IN; Oakland Hill Wesleyan Church, Lafayette, IN; College Wesleyan Church, Marion, IN; Trinity Wesleyan Church, Indianapolis, IN; and Fall Creek Wesleyan Church, Fishers, IN). He was a denominational executive for 23 years, serving The Wesleyan Church as Assistant General Secretary of Education and the Ministry, General Director of Education and the Ministry, Assistant General Director of Evangelism and Church Growth, Leadership Development Journey Coordinator, and as Chief of Staff to the Board of General Superintendents. For the past four years, he devoted himself to service as President of Brooksville Wesleyan Village and teaching pastor at Brooksville Wesleyan Church. He served Christ and the Church in many other roles as well, as a district executive; a member of various district and denominational boards, task forces and committees; a university trustee and adjunct professor; a General Conference delegate and coordinator; director for “The Gathering” ministerial conference; and as an author and consultant.
He is survived by immediate family members, including his wife Nancy; three sons Jeffrey (wife Cheryl), Philip (wife Melodie) and Bradley (wife Kay); six grandsons (Ryan, Jordan, Matt, Chad, Carter and Brody) and three granddaughters (Aly, Lexi and Lauren); brothers Art (Joann), and Mike (wife Judy).
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to Wesleyan Village in Brooksville or Brooksville Wesleyan Church.