Heather Zempel

Discipleship Pastor & Campus Ministries Director

A native Alabamian, Heather Zempel currently leads the discipleship efforts at National Community Church in Washington, DC where she oversees small groups, directs leadership development training, and serves on the weekend teaching team.

Heather followed a circuitous route into full-time ministry. Having obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in biological engineering from Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!), she worked as an environmental engineer and as a policy consultant on energy and environment in the United States Senate before coming on staff at National Community Church. Using her educational background, Heather now can be found exploring environments that foster spiritual growth.

She lives on Capitol Hill where she can be found enjoying the adventures of parenting with her husband Ryan as they raise Sawyer, their fun-loving and energetic daughter. Heather is the author of Sacred Roads, Community is Messy, and Amazed and Confused, and you can read about her ramblings on small group environments, discipling the next generation and SEC football at www.heatherzempel.com

Jodi Otto

Discipleship Team Ministry Assistant

Jodi was born in Indiana, raised in Michigan, and settled in Florida after completing undergrad in order to help out with her aunt and uncle’s ministry in Haiti. God used a prayer journal, a dream of operating a coffeehouse, an experience on one particular mission trip, and a one-day tourist trip to DC that ended up leading her to apply for protégé program here at NCC.  She moved to DC just a few weeks later to be the Ebenezer’s protégé.  For the first year and a half, she has built relationships within the coffeehouse by serving a simple cup of coffee…and in the process; she fell in love with the church.  God has continually proved to her that He will get us to where He wants us to go more than we do. 

Besides her love for coffee and community, she loves nighttime monument tours, hiking, and a good blog.