Regional Leadership Team

Regional Leadership Teams in the Vineyard are led by a Regional Leader (RL) and each area within the Region has an Area Pastor (AP).
Meet the team below.

Brenda Picture 2016

Brenda Gatlin
Regional Leader

Brenda, affectionately known as “B” had the assurance of a life-time call to ministry when she was a teenager and has been following that path ever since. She is passionate about seeing people become whole and be a right reflection of who God is. Her favorite ways to spend spare time are long talks over coffee with friends about God, or riding her motorcycle along with Michael up the North Shore of Lake Superior or getting lost in Canada on windy roads. She is crazy about watching Professional Bull Riding, listen’s to country music, and often preaches in her cowgirl boots.
Brenda is a Senior Pastor at Duluth Vineyard, has served for 5 years as an Area Pastor in her Region, and in 2013 was appointed as the Regional Leader for the Midwest North Region, serving and caring for 7 Area Pastors and about 54 local churches in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Chicago, IL area.

LeQue Heidkamp
Area Leader

Le Que Heidkamp is the Co-Lead Pastor of Mercy Vineyard Church in Minneapolis, MN. She and her husband Jeff founded Mercy in 2004. She has served VineyardUSA in various capacities including leading the Ethnic Diversity Task Force, assisting Multiply Vineyard and Vineyard Missions with intercultural ministry, and teaching and training about diversity across the country. In her spare time, Le Que loves to hole up in her house to read and write “silly young adult fiction” and hang out with her husband and two daughters.

Homero Garcia
Area Leader

Homero and Claudia Garcia-Cover are the Lead Pastors of La Viña Comunidad Cristiana in Mundelein, IL. Homero has been serving as an Area Pastor since 2013, serving all of the Spanish speaking La Viña’s in the Midwest North Region. There are currently 6 La Viña’s in this region.  Currently he pastors a church of about 600 people.  They have planted 7 churches by raising up leaders and sending them out to pastor. 

Homero was born and raised in Mexico, and Spanish was his first language. He has been married to his wife for 22 years and they have three children.  He likes to read, run and raise leaders! Homero is passionate about seeing La Viñas planted all over the US.

Greg Perkinson
Area Leader

Greg Perkinson is one of the Midwest North Region’s Area Pastor’s, serving in the Minneapolis Metro area (8 churches). He and his wife, Sara, have been at South Metro Vineyard for over 10 years. Sara was born and raised in MN and Greg is from Southern Indiana.

Searching for God’s leading Greg says, “I came across a youth pastor position at a Vineyard church in Burnsville, MN, now known as South Metro Vineyard. It was not far from where Sara grew up and also near where she was working at the time. We were interviewed for the position and visited a few times and felt like it was home. As the old Vineyard saying goes, you don’t become Vineyard, you realize you always were. I started as a part time youth pastor along with some janitorial duties for about 4 years! All Vineyard pastors should start with a bible in one hand and a plunger in the other!  We served under several lead pastors, went through several transitions, and then unexpectedly were asked to lead the Church. I have been serving in the lead pastor role for 6 years.”

Sara & Greg have been married 10 years and they have 4 beautiful children, great family & friends, and love their local home church. The church continues to have many challenges, as all churches do, but they are growing and seeing lives changed.

Greg says, “This past year we had 22 baptisms, 154 new believers, and 20% increase in attendance. We are now 86% white, 13% Hispanic, and 1% other (black, Asian, etc). This has been a huge area of growth and an answer to our prayers. We have become one of the largest single site food shelves in the state of Minnesota, serving 24,000 families a year, which equals around 90,000 people total. We continue to see our children and youth ministries grow and we are very excited about hosting a La Viña Church, led by Miguel and Rosy Aviles, in our facility. South Metro Vineyard is a true resuscitation, a reminder of God’s faithfulness, and that He has great plans and purpose for His church (or is in the business of giving new life). I am glad we didn’t throw in the towel and thankful God didn’t give up on us.”

Pat & Lisa Mulcahy
Area Leader

Pat and Lisa Mulcahy are the Lead Pastors of Vineyard Community Church in Grafton, WI. Pat also serves as the Area Pastor for the Southern Wisconsin area, which includes five other Vineyard churches and church plants.The Mulcahys, along with four other adults and about 15 children, planted the Vineyard in Grafton 15 years ago. Pat and Lisa love to see people who have never known Jesus, or who have been burned out by religion, discover just how good God really is. 

The last 5 years has brought about the completion of a newly constructed building which has provided many opportunities for Vineyard Community Church to grow. Today, they pastor a church of 250-300 people, with the invaluable help and support of a truly awesome staff. They are thrilled to introduce their first Saturday night service in November which stirs up excitement about the potential for outreach and growth. 

With their four adult children scattered around the country, Pat and Lisa have been experiencing the joys (most of the time) of being empty nesters. Their daughter, Megan, will be married in October, the first of the kids to take that step. They are grateful to God for his rich blessings in their lives, and looking forward to all God has yet in store for them.

Tom & Jill Severson
Area Leader

Tom Severson is one of the Midwest North Region’s Area Pastor’s, serving in the Chicago area (8 churches). After a career in Sales, he and his wife, Jill, have been at The Elgin Vineyard since 1995. Tom & Jill married in 1983 and have 7 beautiful children and 5 grandchildren, whom they love dearly. Tom and Jill share a passion for prayer (along with a recent interest and study in cracking the discipleship/spiritual formation code for today’s believer) and enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Shortly after 9/11, Tom was attacked and had his throat slashed while ministering to someone. The account of that experience is chronicled in a booklet he wrote with his son, Lane Severson, entitled, “Who Holds the Knife”. Echoes of God’s grace, forgiveness, and mercy resound in their story, inspiring hope and trust for even the darkest of times. Since that time, Tom has been able to correspond with his attacker (who has asked for forgiveness) and is now wrapping up the final 2 years on an attempted murder sentence. 

Elgin Vineyard loves to minister to the homeless community through a daily weekday breakfast that is known within the Elgin area. They are so grateful for their new Church building and space that it provides (after a long time in a store front), which has allowed them to host a La Vina Church, planted and pastored by Carlos Domani. A favorite annual event, which gathers many youth around the surrounding Chicago, is the Common Ground Vineyard Youth Conference. More recently, The Elgin Vineyard has joined with 4 other downtown churches in a 4 block proximity to host “Love Elgin,” an all day Saturday event reaching out to those in need, offering the gospel, food, clothes, car assessment, massages, haircuts, family photos, prayer ministry–all for free! This block party, attracts at least 1,000 attenders and many volunteers from area churches. The Elgin Vineyard also hosts a weekly after school program, Crossroads for Kids, which is opened to the local public school system and the gospel is able to be freely communicated to all those who attend.

Geno & Shannon Olison
Area Leader

Geno & Shannon Olison are Midwest North Area Pastors serving in the Chicago land Area, overseeing and serving 9 churches. They are the planting pastors of the South Suburban Vineyard Church in Flossmoor, IL and have just entered their 5th year of ministry there. Geno was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and Shannon was born and raised in Urbana, IL. Geno and Shannon Olison met in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, through mutual friends while on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Geno, who had been attending the Vineyard Church in Urbana, along with the strong encouragement of Happy Leman, was finally able to convince Shannon to attend the Vineyard, too. Ever since that moment, it’s been a string of adventures, excitement, highs and lows.

They church planted with a team of nine other adults and two babies, packing up homes and leaving jobs to move to the south suburbs of Chicago (30 minutes straight south of the city) in the summer of 2009. The goal was take a multicultural team of leaders and build a multicultural Vineyard church from the ground up. Almost 5 years later, they’re blessed to see that vision unfolding before them. Geno & Shannon have 3 boys – Joseph, Elijah, and Joshua. They are excited to see what God will do in their family, their church, and in the Vineyard movement this year!

Casey LaCore
Area Leader

Casey is the Children’s ministries pastor/missions pastor and is generally responsible for volunteers at the Duluth Vineyard. She also oversees outreach/integration/evangelism. She has been working at Duluth Vineyard for 6 years in several roles and is a member of the senior leadership team. 

Casey is a wife (36 years) to a very kind man, mother of 4 fabulous adult children, mother inlaw to 2 lovely ladies and grandmother to 3 awesome children. She has worked in several areas over the years; 10 years in residential mental health and disable adults, 8 years as a home daycare provider, 10 years in volunteer management and civic engagement. She has a degree in Community Enhancement and master’s degree in education.

Casey was working at UMD, as the director of the office of civic engagement; when she was asked to consider working at Duluth Vineyard. She had been attending Duluth Vineyard for about 3 years prior to her working there. She loves families and children and knows it is God’s heart for families to be healthy. He loves to have children come to faith in him and understand his ways from an early age. Her goal is to do everything she can to help families navigate life with Jesus as their guide. Life is better for everyone in the family when each family member is looking to Jesus first and foremost to get their needs met. She loves different cultures and seeing how the gospel is understood in different cultures. She loves meeting people whose lives are very different than hers and talking about faith and families. She also like seeing the big picture in people’s lives; and helping them understand what the things are that stand in their way of living life with Jesus successfully. Then helping them navigate life removing the things that stand between them and Jesus and adding more disciplines in their lives that help them connect with Jesus. Another area she loves is helping people discover how they were uniquely made by their loving father, what gifts he has given them and what he has laid out for them to do since the foundation of the world. 

Brian Brinkert
Specialist: Bi-vocational Pastoral Care

Brian Brinkert is currently an Associate Pastor at Duluth Vineyard Church in Duluth, MN. He and his wife, Andrea originally helped plant a church in Cedar Rapids and then moved to Mankato, MN to plant Two Rivers Vineyard Church and pastored there for 13 years. In 2017, Brian and his family joined the staff at Duluth Vineyard where he oversees Small Groups, Weekend Teams, and Men’s Ministry. He also is assisting in the Church Planting Residency Program as a trainer and mentor. Brian has a passion for encouraging pastors and church planters. Brian and Andrea have been married since 1995, and love enjoying life with their two teenage daughters.

Jeff Heidkamp
Specialist: Preaching Mentor

Jeff is the co-lead Pastor at Mercy Vineyard in Minneapolis, MN, along with his wife, LeQue. Jeff also serves on the Executive Team for VineyardUSA. He is passionate about helping others learn how preaching is accurate and sharp,  centered around the gospel and the kingdom of God, and is relevant to those we want to reach for Christ. Jeff brings Pastor’s in our Region together to learn and practice better preaching.

Jason and Betsy Patrick
Specialist: Youth Pastor’s Mentors

Jason and his wife Betsy have many years of working with youth and Jason is on staff at Vineyard Church of Elgin in Elgin, IL, where he serves as both Youth Pastor and Community Pastor. He married his high school sweetheart, Betsy, and they have a beautiful family. Seeing teens experience God’s love for them and watching that love transform them is one of their greatest joy’s. The Patrick’s are networking, training, resourcing, and providing care for all Youth Pastors and Leaders through out the region.