Meet Our sTaff and Elders

Luke Ahrens Lead Elder and Senior Pastor

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
Graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School: Master of Divinity
and Columbia Evangelical Seminary: Bachelor of Theology
Favorite verse Romans 1:16
Married to Jensine since 2001
Children Isaiah, Elijah, Micah, and Tirzah

Aaron roberts  director of worship & student ministry

 

How I came into relationship with Jesus Christ
I was blessed to have been raised in a Christian home and heard the gospel at a young age.  When I was five or six, I made a profession of faith and placed my trust in Christ as my Savior.  Fast forward to college, where at a Campus Cru meeting at OSU, I reaffirmed my commitment to Jesus and more fully grasped what it means to follow him.  Since then, I have been growing in my relationship to him more and more every day. 

 

How I came to Vertical Church
In 2016, my wife and I got connected to Vertical Church through a pastor friend of ours who had the opportunity to be a part of the church during a transitionary period of his ministry.  Through that connection, we started attending and immediately fell in love with the people, culture and mission of Vertical Church.

 

What I do at Vertical Church
I am the Director of Worship and Youth Ministries at Vertical Church.  I have the privilege of leading our weekly worship services and ministering alongside our production and worship volunteers.  I also lead our weekly youth meetings and have the opportunity to serve the students of our church in various capacities.

 

Why I do what I do
I believe God has called us to make disciples, and I consider it a great honor that He has given me the chance to make that calling my profession.  God has given me a passion for people, and I am so blessed to be able to live that out as a member of Vertical Church!

 

On staff since February 2020
Married to Alex since 2014

 

Claire Bauer  Administrative Assistant

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
Married to John Bauer

Children two sweet little guys, JJ and Everett

Daron McGuire – Elder

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

Married to Karin McGuire

Children Samantha “Sam” and Sawyer

TOM HEYL – Elder

How I came into a 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.

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 2013

Elder since summer 2020

Married to Cynthia Heyl

Children: 2 children and 2 grandchildren