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First Free Church

Lead Pastor

Lincoln , Nebraska

FFC logo (black)


Weekly Attendance: 1,000

Denomination: Evangelical Free Church

The Neighborhood: Lincoln, Nebraska

The Role: First Free Church is seeking a Lead Pastor who is a gifted leader that will strategically direct First Free.  He must be spiritually mature and have a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. He must have a demonstrated ability to effectively communicate the Word of God through a solid, biblically-based preaching ministry and a passion to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Worship Center-1

Meet First Free Church:

In February of 1952, a small group of men and women began meeting for prayer and Bible study in a small room at the downtown Lincoln YMCA building. In those days, the leadership of the Midwest District of the Evangelical Free Church of America came alongside this fledgling group and helped it to organize as a Free Church.

By July of 1952, the 25 people who were then meeting had called their first pastor, Rev. James R. Leonard who was a graduate of Moody Bible Institute.

In 1953, property in northeast Lincoln was purchased and groundbreaking was held for the congregation's first building in May of 1954. By this time, average attendance had risen to 72 and First Free church was now well established and sustainable. The building was completed and dedicated on September 25, 1955 and seated 300.

First Free maintained steady growth. By 1962, the congregation had purchased additional property adjacent to the church building to allow for expansion and in May of 1964, ground breaking on a significant addition to the original building took place. Average attendance was then at 290.

In 1977, First Free purchased 15 acres near 84th and Van Dorn in southeast Lincoln as a future building site. In May 1982, First Free moved to its new location and facility.

In August 1983, Mark Brunott was called to be our Lead Pastor. Pastor Mark has continued to advance First Free’s ministries as our Lead Pastor and has directed a staff that, under his leadership, has grown to 10 full-time and 10 part-time ministry leaders including nine pastors and seven directors of ministry.

God has blessed our church and it has grown to a congregation of over 1,000 in regular Sunday morning attendance. First Free is truly a multigenerational church with attendance fairly evenly distributed across age categories.

God has richly blessed First Free Church and our future is bright. We are excited about future expansion and especially, plans to reach even further into our community. With God's blessing and the help of His committed people, we are confident that we will see these plans and more come to fruition.


About the role:

First Free Church is seeking a Lead Pastor who is a gifted leader that will strategically direct First Free.  He must be spiritually mature and have a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. He must have a demonstrated ability to effectively communicate the Word of God through a solid, biblically-based preaching ministry and a passion to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

The ideal Lead Pastor will have a growing love for God and be totally committed to building His kingdom. As Lead Pastor, he will have a passion for shepherding those who are already convinced of the truth of the gospel and those that are unconvinced.

The Lead Pastor will ensure the effective functioning of the staff, leadership of the church including the elder board, and provide overall vision, leadership, staff coaching, and oversight for all facets of ministries of First Free Church. He will also serve as the primary preaching pastor and will shepherd people as Lead Pastor of the Body.

IMG_4028The role will:

  • Exemplify a leader of leaders with ministry staff and elders.

  • Cast vision and direction for First Free Church, in conjunction with the ministry staff and elders.

  • Function as lead preaching/teaching pastor who shepherds the congregation.

  • Provide supervision and guidance over church and ministry staff to help them accomplish their stated goals and objectives.

  • Solidify leadership by casting mission, vision, and values.

  • Build trusting relationships with everyone attending First Free Church.  

What you bring:


A bachelor's degree (e.g., a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies) from an accredited Christian university is required; a Master of Divinity or comparable graduate degree from an accredited university is preferable.


The ideal candidate will have five or more years of pastoral experience in a local church as a Lead, Associate, or Campus Pastor.

Personal Characteristics

  • He has a deepening and growing intimacy in his relationship to Jesus Christ and his character models biblical eldership as outlined in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

  • He is transparent and authentic.

  • He will model and be an example of a strong, Christ centered marriage.

  • He knows his gifts, talents, strengths, and limitations, and has an accurate understanding of his God-given capabilities. He has a teachable and humble spirit based on his security of who he is in Christ.

  • He lives a life of dependency on the Holy Spirit, as demonstrated in his prayer life, decision making, stewardship, and life experiences.

  • He is an example of a balanced life (social, spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional).

  • He understands and appreciates midwest values and work ethic.

  • He places a high value on character and substance over external dynamism (an understated leader is preferred).

  • He lives his life on mission; the desire to see the lost introduced to Jesus Christ, developed into fully devoted followers, and equipped to reach their world.

  • He is a team builder and developer, having the skills to train leaders for the ministry based on the model of Ephesians 4:12.

  • He understands and agrees with First Evangelical Free’s philosophy of ministry for leadership, equipping, and service.

  • He is in agreement with the doctrinal positions of the E.F.C.A. and constitution and bylaws of the First Free Lincoln Church.

  • He is a gifted communicator and teacher of God’s Word.

  • He is a strategic thinker and problem solver.

  • He is vision and implementation driven.

  • He is a leader developer and shepherd.

IMG_4026What it’s like to live in Lincoln, Nebraska:

As the state capital and home of the University of Nebraska, the city of Lincoln is a vibrant community and a great place to live.  The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce has accurately described Lincoln as “the perfect mix of good people, interesting places and a diverse range of things to do.”  With a population of 284,000 people, Lincoln is both big-city equipped and small-town friendly.

We are an economically healthy city that provides job opportunities in healthcare, industry and public services.  Lincoln is known as the Silicon Prairie due to the number of start-ups in the tech industry. Our city consistently maintains one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.  Education is a priority in Lincoln. We have a very strong public school system as well as several private schools. In addition to the university, Lincoln is home to four private colleges and two community colleges.   

Our city is family friendly, sports oriented and is nationally recognized as one of the healthiest and cleanest cities to live in.   Lincoln is home to many beautiful parks and miles of bike trails that make outdoor activities easily accessible. The Folsom Children’s Zoo is world class and has recently expanded.  Public swimming pools, the Lincoln Children’s Museum and historical museums provide other family friendly activities. The Haymarket and Railyard, in downtown Lincoln, are home to great restaurants, theater and the Pinnacle Bank Arena.  And, honestly, there is nothing quite like Lincoln on a football Saturday when the “sea of red” gathers in Memorial Stadium.

Lincolnites are welcoming and generous toward a steady stream of refugees looking for a fresh start in our community.  This creates a healthy diversity of people and cultures in our city. There is a strong relationship between local churches and the community, which has allowed First Free Church to meet specific needs and to form meaningful relationships.  

Think you’re a great fit for this role? Become a candidate here.


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