Leadership

Pastors & Staff

Chad  Benkert - Pastor
Dana Benkert- Children's Ministry

Chad and Dana Benkert lived most of their early  life in Michigan.   Chad grew up in the faith and received a call to ministry in 1997 after attending a Promise Keepers event.  Coming home and sharing what God had done, Dana  immediately was consumed by the Holy Spirit and was on board with the drastic changes coming in their lives.   Soon after his call they became actively engaged in youth ministry in their church, a parachurch outreach and soon as active youth pastors in two different churches in Dowagiac, Michigan.  A few years later as the ministry expanded, they started an amazing street ministry called "The Eclipse" , a Christian Music Club in Buchanan, Michigan  seeing hundreds of lives joining the Kingdom of God.  

In 2012 they joined the Covenant and  Chad later completed a Master’s Degree with a specialty in Congregational Vitality at North Park Theological Seminary, while continuing to serve Federated Covenant Church churches as lead pastor and Dana as the Children's pastor.  Chad has served as an Evangelism Cohort Leader for the Covenant and as a Congregational Vitality facilitator and administrator for the Great Lakes Conference of the Covenant, Intentional Interim and has spoke at many churches, Covenant conferences, and led workshops across the country.

Chad and Dana were married in 1991. They have two children, Kylie and Jeremy, and Kaedyn their first grandchild. Tragedy struck the family in December 2016 when Kylie, (20)  and Jaylen, her fiancé,  were killed in a car accident. That day, everything changed for them and has never been the same.  Through the healing process, Chad said at his first time preaching after the loss, “Through this grief process, I became a man with two hats: a grieving dad and a guy with a burden for the lost. Neither will go away, so now they need to become one hat.”  Now, Chad and Dana's hearts for ministry and desire to see the Kingdom of God grow, are evident in their lives as they work through the journey of child-loss with the help of the Holy Spirit.


Heather Thomas - Worship Leader

Heather arrived in Urbandale in 2007, moving in with her parents on her one-year wedding anniversary to Brodie. Brodie lingered in Cedar Rapids tying up work transitions and later joined Heather. Together they lived with Heather’s parents for 6 months until their home in Marion sold.  “Best 6 months of my life” Brodie was never quoted to say.
Through the course of events (including but not limited to; car accidents, substantial health issues, job loss, home foreclosure, bankruptcy, and their car starting on fire) God brought them to Urban Heights.  HERE WE ARE! Miraculously, God blessed them with 2 daughters in this time and so much more.
Heather’s day job is a mental health and substance use counselor. She would tell you she has no business leading worship with her own history of anxiety and general lack of know-how, but God had other plans.  
Everyone has a story.  We’d love to learn yours!  

Barbara West - Office Administrator

Barbara has been an active member of the Urban Heights family since 1993.  In November 2003, Barb took a temporary position in the office and has been there ever since.   Barb is married to David West and they live in Clive.  They are parents of three adults sons.  When Barb is not working, she enjoys shopping, going for walks, scrapbooking, & other crafts.  But most of all she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. 

Leadership Team 2023

Mike L - Chair
Beth R - Vice Chair
Ji m W - Financial Officer
Carol B - Secretary
Heather T - At Large
Pastor Chad B - Ex-officio