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Meet Our New Staff Member!

Danny and Wina

We are so humbled and thankful for all that the Lord is doing in our midst. The spiritual talent that God is drawing to this ministry is just incredible. I am so excited to announce to you today that Vertical has a new member on our Lead Team, Danny McLamb.

I asked Danny to share a little about himself and his family:

You’ve got it! My name is Danny McLamb, and I’m 54 years old. I have been married for 33 years to Edwina. We have 3 children; Curtis, 25 years old and married to Chrissy for 5 years (and about to have their first child). My daughters are twins, Sara & Jessica, 21 years old. Sara lives in Charlotte and is soon to be married to Reese, and Jessica lives in Surf City and is a youth minister at The Gathering at Surf City Baptist. I have been a pastor for 18 years. I grew up the Barker Ten Mile Community of Robeson County and lived there for 23 years. I love Jesus and His church and am so glad to be a part of Vertical. I’m living the dream.

Danny  has accepted the position to be our new Connections Pastor. Our Connection Pastor position has been held by Joey Autry since day one of VC. Joey is transitioning out of this role in preparation to launch our Vertical Bladen location over which he will be the location Pastor.

Danny and I began conversations about what God was doing in his life a while back. This has been a very long process as it is such an important and integral part of who we are as a church. The Connections Pastor oversees our VGroup system and protects VFormation #6: “We are a church OF small groups, not WITH – There is a difference.” We feel that Danny is the man and has the skills, leadership and strengths to lead Vertical VGroups excellently. Danny is now a member of our Lead Pastoral Team (Lead Team) and will also be serving alongside Joey on the Bladen Location team. We are very excited to have another pair of feet on the ground in Bladen.

Everybody welcome Danny and Wina to the Vertical Family (oh, and friend them up on Facebook).

This is What Makes Vertical, “Vertical”

What makes Vertical, "Vertical"?

Is it the lights? The rocking music? Could it be the more casual dress? The free coffee out in the lobby? Why is it that people are flocking to see what Vertical Church is really like?

Every week I feel like I am seeing a dream come to pass. I'm seeing people come to Vertical who normally would never have given church a chance. They feel like outcasts, outsiders. Many are broken emotionally and spiritually. They usually believe in God but they just can't find the bridge that leads back to Him. Often, before the 1st song is even sung their eyes are filled with tears.

Why? They haven't heard a song, the bible hasn't been read, nothing except for pre-service music. I believe it's because they've seen Jesus at work from the time they parked their cars until this point. People have actually been happy to see them – CHURCH PEOPLE!!!! "It's as if they REALLY are glad we're here!" would be the prevailing thought. These people have gone out of their way to make them feel at home, they show them where to go, even help them find a seat.

They don't feel judged, they don't feel out of place. Something feels right about this place.

They are experiencing the evidence of the power of prayer. People getting to a movie theater at 7am and PRAYERFULLY re-building what will soon become Vertical Church. It's people PRAYERFULLY putting up pipe and drape curtains and signage that transform the theater into Vertical. It's children's workers PRAYERFULLY putting together gates for children, preparing lessons that help children fall in love with Jesus. It's the road crew PRAYERFULLY creating the worship environment, lighting, instrumentation and video. It's even people PRAYERFULLY making coffee, lemonade and making the lobby appear welcoming. 

It's people praying over areas, praying towards those who will come, praying for people whose faces they've yet to see that makes the difference. It's the Holy Spirit inhabiting people, and those people PRAYERFULLY allowing Him to work through them. You can't fake this until you make it – You can't fake caring about people, reaching out to people or loving people far from God. Faking this, regardless of intentions, always shows itself as the hypocrisy that it is. Only God can give you the love people deserve.

On the surface the music, lights, dress and style might be mistaken as being "Vertical" but that's not what makes us who we are. All those people who spend themselves weekly for the Glory of God, that's what makes Vertical, "Vertical". I thank God for all of you!!! Your love is making a difference.

Vertical Church New Staff Announcement

Jonlloyd One of the first prayers that our team began to pray over a year ago was that the Lord would send us a worship leader that would take the excellence of the worship experience to another level. I have been known as a Worship Pastor for many years – worship is a big deal to me (it's a bigger deal to God). One of the first questions people often asked when they found out that I would not be worship leader but instead, Lead Pastor, of this church plant was, "who is gonna be YOUR worship leader?"

God answered that question by bringing us a team of people who from day one have set the bar VERY high. To say that I am proud of Justin, Rhonda and Robby is the understatement of the century. It's with this in mind that I share with you that whole team has been prayerfully waiting a while for the opportunity to say that we will be adding to our outstanding Worship Leader team:

Vertical Worship is excited to announce that Jon Lloyd has joined Team Vertical to serve as our Worship Arts Pastor.

Who is Jon Lloyd? As the leader of Jon Lloyd Band, Jon has had the opportunity to play around the Southeast. Jon Lloyd band has lead worship for groups, conferences and on opening bills of contemporary Christian concerts with the likes of Crowder and Building 429. When I asked Jon to share more about his life he said,
I grew up in Lumberton and started really getting into music around the 6th grade. I released two secular records before I formed the Jon Lloyd Band as my first Christian band effort. I released my first solo EP this past August. I have been married to Nikki for almost 8 years. I have 3 children:  Braden is 7, Riley is 3, Noah is 2, and they are all VKIDZ!
Not sure what else to say here, except that my vision for Vertical Worship is that we would teach and model that worship is a part of life, not just something that accompanies a church service.
So with that, Jon joins Justin, Rhonda, Robby and the rest of Vertical Worship, ready to take this thing to another level. This is such a marvelous answer to prayer, one that the whole team has continually asked God to make a way. He has. So we are all (especially Jon) very excited about this announcement.
Vertical Church, make sure you stop by Jon's facebook page and welcome he and his family to our family.

Who Else is on Team Vertical (VKidz)

I am so excited about the people who are making Vertical reality. No matter how much Donnie, Brandon, Joey and I want this there is no way we could do this without the people that I have shared this week. Today I would like to share the people who team with parents to lead children to explore and move forward in their relationship with God. These are our VKidz leaders: 

Upstreet/Waumba LandJoey Autry – Besides being the Connections Pastor at Vertical, Joey is also overseeing the VKidz leaders. Joey has studied the "orange" family strategy and is bringing "orange" to Vertical. What does that mean? From the Orange website: 

So, an Orange thinker asks, “What if church leaders and parents synchronized their efforts to fuel wonder, discovery and passion in the next generation?” By combining the critical influences of the light of the church (yellow) and the love of the family (red) the Orange Strategy shows a generation who God is more effectively than either could alone.

  1. Upstreet Producer – Penny Blaine – Penny is over the large group gathering for Upstreet. In Penny's environment kidz will sing, learn about the virtue, will often see a skit that speaks to the days big idea and dive into the bible teaching of the day. Penny's years of experience in ministry as well as theater excites us for our kidz – the energy Penny brings is contagious – she can definitely hang with your kidz! 
  2. Upstreet K-5 Host Coach – McGee Deaver – McGee oversees Upstreet. The goal as BELIEVERS, children in Upstreet learn to apply Biblical truths to their young lives, becominglife-long followers of Christ. We love the passion that McGee brings as she leads Upstreet leaders.
  3. Upstreet Check-in/Security Coach – Sherry Autry - The check-in team helps kids and families feel welcome while using a computer database system to check kids into Vkidz. Sherry will lead the team that make checking in your kidz quick and a joy while knowing that with our system you can feel assured that we are taking great measure to provide safety while you worship.
  4. Waumba Land Pre-school Host Coach – Lynn Smith – We're excited that Lynn Smith has joined the Vertical team as the Waumba Land leader. What is Waumba Land? Waumba means Creator in Swahili – so Waumba Land means "Land of the Creator" and while your kidz are there we want to help them EXPLORE a relationship with God.  Lynn is looking forward to leading her team to make this truth come to life for Vertical Pre-schoolers.
  5. Nursery Host Coach – Karen Paschall – We don't believe in baby sitting. From 6 weeks on Karen's team will pray over babies and begin to help them discover Jesus from an early age. We want toddlers to take a first look at who God is and understand that…God made me. God loves me…Jesus wants to be my friend forever. Karen is the perfect person to head this team up.

So now you know the Vertical leaders. Of course there are plenty more people who make Vertical happen weekly but these are the leaders of leaders. They cannot wait to meet you on February 6th (and neither can I).

Who Else is on Team Vertical (Services/Worship)

Mixing This week we're looking at the leaders who are making Vertical excellent. These volunteers are the leading all of our teams. Today we look at Production and Worship.

Production Team – Service Program Director – Brandon Meadows – Along with being our Student Pastor, Brandon oversees the planning of the Vertical Worship environments. There is more to planning a service than picking some songs and plugging them in. Brandon is excellent at bringing the other pieces together.
  1. Audio Director – Mitchell Cain - Mitchell heads up our team that makes Vertical Worship sound great. It's not easy to run audio in a portable environment. Unlike most churches, Mitchell and his team start from scratch on a weekly basis. We're thankful to have such a capable leader in this most important area. After all, if the message can't be heard then it can't do it's job, right?
  2. Media Director – Scott Shaver – Scott is over all things visual. These are the things you see on screens, video and in photos. Scott is learning to master ProPresenter which I believe is the best intuitive presentation software available. Scott has some great people on his team including Randy Lamb and Bree Harris (taking her awesome pics).
  3. Road Crew Manager – Jamie Pittman – Jamie leads the road crew, our set up team. RC is much like a travelling band, unloading the trailer and setting up staging, sound and lighting. The RC are the unsung heroes of Vertical and RIGHT NOW I AM SINGING THEIR PRAISES TO THE WORLD!
  4. Stage Manager – Robby Gaddy - Along with being our band leader, Robby is Vertical's stage manager. Robby oversees the set up of the things the musicians need to do their job weekly. After years of setting up and leading bands, Robby's commitment to excellence makes this job a perfect fit.

This doesn't even take into effect the great musicians and singers we already have. Our band consists of Robby Gaddy, Rodrick Starnes (guitars), Justin McQueen (guitars/keys), Chris Rich and Bob Orr (bass guitars) and James Ward (drums). Rhonda Lovin is one of our worship leaders and she and Brandon are working on a process to place singers accordingly (Bree Harris, Alison Carrol, Brad Townsend, Karla Beth Pittman, Elisha Mickle, Randy Lamb and others). We are very excited about Vertical Worship.

Tomorrow we will look at VKidz!