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.