Our Story -
Donnie and Amy grew up in different parts of the country, Donnie in Fayetteville and Amy all over the South. She lived in Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas, and Arkansas. God, in HIs sovereignty, brought them together while they were attending the same church in college. They were married in 1998 and the Lord has blessed them with three wonderful children: Titus (14), Anna (11), Christian (9).
Donnie has served in ministry since 2000. He has served as a student pastor for 8 years in Arkansas, Florida and Texas. Before moving to Fayetteville to church plant, he served for 6 years as executive pastor at a church in east Texas. Donnie has earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas and attended Southern Seminary.
While serving as executive pastor, the Lord began to “stir the waters” (Psalm 107) in both Donnie and Amy about planting a church. Much of this leading came from a very personal battle that the Griggs have been on the past 7 years with their oldest son who has battled brain cancer (Medulloblastoma). Throughout this time they have learned to lean hard into God, to trust Him with everything and that He is enough. If anything they have learned that life is short and that people are hurting. The Lord has brought them back to Northwest Arkansas to plant a Gospel-centered church that displays the love of Jesus to everyone so that others can experience that love for themselves.
On a snowy evening of November 16, 2014 Vertical Community met with a small group in a neighborhood pool house in Springdale to begin casting the “Love is Why” vision that God was birthing. Having been broken themselves, Donnie and Amy continually prayed for God to bring broken people to be able to minister to and then those would eventually do ministry out of that brokenness healed. Every Sunday evening a faithful few gathered to sing, pray and share in what God was doing. By March of 2015 it became necessary to find a place with more room so VCC moved to meeting on Sunday mornings at the Courtyard Marriott in Fayetteville, with the children’s ministry being housed across the street at a local daycare that was gracious enough to offer their building for the church to use. For about a year the VCC family faithfully tore down and set up the “church in a box” as they grew and many hurting came and began the healing process.
After searching for a more permanent location one opened in a very popular place in town, directly across from the new Whole Foods in Fayetteville. The place needed a LOT of work and the VCC family stepped up and spent the better part of the summer creating a space that many say feels like home when they walk in. In September of that year a dedication/prayer service was held asking God to use the people and the place to glorify His great NAME.
The heartbeat of VCC is to show His love to others so that they can experience that love for themselves. Recently, a missionary who was visiting VCC commented that authenticity oozes out of the people and its true. Some of those were the hurting that are finding healing in Jesus and in turn learning to help others in their journey. Its a beautiful thing, and most likely what is meant by I John 4:12 – “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” We would love for you to prayerfully consider being apart of Vertical Community Church.
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