Leadership

Get to know a little more about our staff, elders, deacons, and ministry leaders

Lead Elder and Senior Pastor

Luke Ahrens

How I came into relationship with Jesus Christ
My mother shared the Gospel with me when I was four, and gave my life to Christ. During my early teenage years, I began to see God do a work of grace in my heart, and my walk with Christ deepened significantly.

How I came to Vertical Church
I first began attending Harvest when I entered seminary in 2003. Then after finishing seminary and serving on staff at Harvest in Chicago for a few years, Jensine and I moved to Columbus to plant Vertical Church Columbus.

What I do at Vertical Church
I serve as the Senior Pastor and as an Elder.

Why I do what I do
I want to see people encounter and be changed by the Living God!

At Vertical Church since 2010
On staff since 2010

Luke Ahrens

Luke Ahrens

Lead Elder and Senior Pastor

Luke recieved a bachelor of Theology from Columbia Evangelical Seminary and a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Seminary. Luke has been married to Jensine since 2001 and they have 4 children.

You can also hear Pastor Luke on the Meeting With God Radio Ministry.

Aaron Roberts

Aaron Roberts

Director of Worship and Student Ministries

Aaron is currently pursuing an education in theology to apply to his ministry at Vertical. He has been married to his wife, Alex, since 2014, and they have a sweet dog, Rose.

Director of Worship and Student Ministries

Aaron Roberts

How I came into relationship with Jesus Christ
I was blessed to be raised by parents who love the Lord, and they taught me the truth about Jesus from a very young age.  While I was in college at OSU in 2012, through the ministries of Campus Crusade for Christ, God opened my eyes to how awesome He is and I dedicated my life to Him.

How I came to Vertical Church
My wife and I were invited through a friend of ours who had the opportunity to get church planting experience at Vertical.  We loved it so much we decided to make it our church home!

What I do at Vertical Church
I work on planning for Student Ministries gatherings, both on a weekly basis and special events. I also plan worship sets, coordinate volunteers, and lead worship on Sunday mornings.

Why I do what I do
I am passionate about serving our students and congregation for the Kingdom of God, and love seeing God do awesome work in people’s lives through these ministries!

At Vertical Church since 2016
On staff since 2019
Favorite verse Romans 1:16

Adminsitrative Assistant

Claire Bauer

How I came into relationship with Jesus Christ
In 2006, I went to college searching to resolve the dissonance I felt regarding my questions of God and faith. My God’s grace, I was invited to a Bible study through Campus Crusade for Christ in my dorm. Throughout the course of the year, I read the bible and my eyes were opened to the truth that I needed a savior and could not produce any righteousness in my self. In April of that year, I put my faith in Christ alone and began walking with him daily.

How I came to Vertical Church
After graduating college I was looking for a church home in Columbus, and my close friends invited me to check out this church. 

What I do at Vertical Church
I am the Administrative Assistant here at Vertical Church, helping Pastor Luke with Assimilation, planning events and other Administrative things for the church. My husband and I also lead a small group together and serve our 1-3rd graders in the Children’s Ministry.

Why I do what I do
I love being a part of reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and watching lives be transformed by His goodness and grace. It is a privilege to get to be a part of serving Christ at Vertical Church by working on behind the scenes things to give Him glory and make the Gospel increasingly accessible to those in Columbus.

At Vertical Church since Spring 2011
On staff since 2019
Favorite verse Hebrews 1:3

Claire Bauer

Claire Bauer

Administrative Assistant

Claire is also involved with outreach on the Ohio University campus. She is married to John and they have two children.

Elder

Tom Heyl

How I came into relationship with Jesus Christ 

In the fall of 1976, a teammate on our high school football team was persistent in inviting me to a student-led Bible study. I reluctantly agreed to go and heard the gospel message for the very first time and in a way that was totally relatable to me. After the meeting, I approached the adult-leader who agreed to meet with me after football practice the next day. He answered all the questions swirling around in my head and that is when I gave my life to Jesus Christ,  

How I came to Vertical Church 

I first met Pastor Luke when he came to Columbus in 2010 and helped him launch the radio ministry, Meeting with God. Sometime in 2013, God directed my wife Cynthia and me to search for a new church home and after several visits, discovered that God seemed to speak to us through Pastor Luke’s messages and the great worship and praise experience.

What I do at Vertical Church 

I currently oversee a Grace Group that meets on Sunday evenings, serve on the pre-church prayer team, and serve on the Communications team. 

At Vertical Church since Fall 2012

Elder since Summer 2020

 

Tom Heyl

Tom Heyl

Elder

Tom works for the Compass Ministries, and is married to Cynthia with two kids and two adorable grandchildren.

Darron McGuire

Darron McGuire

Elder

Darron works as a banker. He is married to Karin and they have two children.

Elder

Darron McGuire

How I came into a relationship with Jesus Christ

At age 5 I heard a compelling hellfire and brimstone sermon and knew I did not go to hell. I went forward at the alter call and accepted Christ. Unfortunately, I never understood a personal relationship with Jesus until 2008. Ever since I have enjoyed a personal relationship with Christ and am never disappointed. He is always faithful.

How I came to Vertical Church

I was attending another church and heard a pastor on the radio. In his message he asked, “When is it time to quit your church?” The answer was when the Holy Spirit quits showing up. Then we looked up Vertical Church. When we visited, the Holy Spirit showed up and we have been coming here ever since.

What I do at Vertical Church

I am a greeter, serve on the finance committee, am a leader of a men’s small group, and I am an Elder.

Why I do what I do

I enjoy serving and seeing lives changed and see others growing in a relationship with the Living God.

At Vertical Church since Fall 2012

Elder since Spring 2017

Favorite Verses Romans 8:28, Job 23:10

John Buk

John Buk

Deacon - Ushers

Mark Knore

Mark Knore

Deacon - Set-up and Tear-down

Ron Townsend

Ron Townsend

Deacon - Finance

Travis Vulich

Travis Vulich

Deacon - Finance

Amber Bernal

Amber Bernal

Coffee Cart

Joel and Emily Swaney

Joel and Emily Swaney

Greeting Team

Kristen Martin

Kristen Martin

Outreach Coordinator

Rick Ross

Rick Ross

Security Team

Susie Ross

Susie Ross

Children's Ministry

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