Gospel

a message for people who are far away from God, and a message for believers
The Village Church at Vinings is an Anglican church in Atlanta’s Upper Westside. We’re a church committed to the message of God’s grace for people who need it. We believe that the church, ultimately, is not a place to go or an event to attend, but a community of people who have been radically loved by God demonstrated to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because we have been so well-loved by God, it’s our desire to make known the good news of God’s grace to each other within our church community, to those in our everyday lives (at work and in our neighborhoods), and to people around the world.
What We Believe
As a Christian church we affirm and believe the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed. As an Anglican church, our statement of faith is The 39 Articles of Religion.  This document, established in England in 1563, is a beautiful, succinct, orthodox explanation of the Christian faith.  Click here to read the 39 Articles of Religion.
Core Values

Gospel. Community. Mission.

Gospel

I am more sinful and flawed than I dare believe, yet I am more accepted and loved by God than I ever dared hope. These things are true at the same time, and they’re true because Jesus Christ lived and died in my place. -Tim Keller- The gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ and the power of God’s kingdom has entered history to forgive our sin, heal our brokenness and restore all of creation. This renewing work of Jesus is what rescues us from the consequences of our sin and transforms us into His image (see 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Romans 8:1-4). The gospel is a message for people who are far away from God, and a message for believers. It shapes every facet of our lives (home, work, neighborhood, church).

Community

The gospel is a proclamation to be believed and a power to be experienced “individually and collectively”. God has created us to be relational beings as well. We need each other and we want to stop pretending that we don’t (see Acts 2:42-47And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.). We believe the church is not a place, but a people — a community that is continually being reformed and renewed by the transforming power of the gospel. At The Village Church, our value for community drives us to be a simple church that resists complicated program-driven ministry models. We value relationships over events, buildings, budgets, or personalities.

Mission

The gospel calls us into a relationship with Christ and one another; and it also sends us out into the world on mission (see Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, Matthew 25:34-40). We want to be a church that proclaims the gospel message, through Word, Sacrament, and deed, in the city of Atlanta and around the world. Additionally, our vision is not only to build one church, but to be a part of a movement of the gospel expressing itself in the multiplication of churches both locally and around the world.

What does it mean to be Anglican?
The Village Church at Vinings is connected to the global Anglican Communion through the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), and under the authority of the Rt. Rev. Foley Beach, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the South and Archbishop of the Anglican Church of North America. We join with over 80 million Anglicans worldwide rooted in the beliefs of the English Reformation. What exactly does it mean to be Anglican? Practically, Anglican Christianity is rooted in the ancient faith and practice of the first century church and developed in the 16th century English Reformation. Driven by a missionary focus, Anglicanism has been about the work of making disciples for over 500 years and has expanded into a global church. A rich worship experience is a key ingredient of our Anglican heritage. We embrace an interactive liturgy with emphasis on Bible preaching and on the Sacraments instituted by Jesus himself Baptism and Communion (or the Lord’s Supper). For more information on Anglicanism, please visit ACNA’s website.
What is a gospel centered church?
A gospel-centered church understands that change or transformation of any kind, especially heart transformation, cannot happen apart from the good news of God’s grace. Therefore, a gospel-centered church keeps the focus of its activity “preaching, sacraments, teaching, worship, outreach, mercy ministry, discipleship“ centered on the riches of God’s grace available only through the shed blood and sacrificial death of Jesus for sinners. Because of this, a gospel-centered church is committed to:

  • Reading and teaching the entire Bible in light of the gospel
  • Weekly celebration of the Sacraments
  • Preaching the gospel to unbelievers and believers alike
  • Leaders applying the gospel to themselves first; church leaders are the first repenters
  • Cultivating a leadership culture marked by an increasing Gospel astonishment
  • Being known for an atmosphere of grace; gospel-centered churches are safe place for those outside the church.
  • Being known as people who don’t just know the doctrine of the gospel but who also love Jesus and other people.
What is a missional church?
As a church we cannot forget how much people need the gospel. Life is hard. We need hope. We need grace. We need mercy. We need Jesus. We won’t forget it if we understand something simple yet mind-boggling: God became a man. The incarnation helps us understand and relate to people. While the cross provides the framework of our theology (what we believe about and how we understand God), the incarnation provides the framework of our missiology (what we believe about, how we relate to, and how we reach people and our culture). While the cross of Christ is our message, the incarnation shapes and informs how we communicate that message. And what do we see in the incarnation? We see Jesus. In Jesus the man, God moved into the neighborhood. He loved people. He spent time with people. He met people’s needs. He shared his life with people. He offered grace to sinners and he gave up his life so we could know God’s love rather than his wrath. He didn’t see people and culture as his enemies, but as broken treasures that he came to restore. A missional church sees people and culture the same way. Because of this we will be committed to:

  • Faithful contextualization – communicating gospel truths in a way the culture understands
  • Encouraging missionaries rather than consumers – equipping people to live-out the Gospel in their everyday lives and work
  • Mercy ministry – healing real wounds and righting injustices in Atlanta and around the world
  • Church Planting – multiplying to new neighborhoods, states, and countries by starting new local churches

To sum up, Jesus not only lived among us, he also died for us. Therefore, being missional fails if it does not point to the cross. Through all we do, the message we’re translating for the culture is “Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

To sum up, Jesus not only lived among us, he also died for us.   Therefore, being “missional” fails if it does not point to the cross. Through all we do, the message we’re translating for the culture is “Jesus Christ and him crucified.”

Rev. Curt Benham

Pastor
Curt and his wife, Michelle, both born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, have lived in Atlanta for 8 years.  They have two young children, Samuel and Virginia, who were both born in Atlanta.   Curt is a graduate of  The Florida State University (as is Michelle) and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake  Forest, NC.   Before planting The Village Church, Curt served as a college minister in Romania and was on  pastoral staff at several regional churches where he ministered to teenagers and parents of teenagers. Contact: Curt@villagechurchvinings.org

Carlyn Clawson

Village Counseling Coordinator, Administrative Assistant

Carlyn, originally from Thomasville, GA, and her husband Jay have been in Atlanta for 10 years.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Studio Art at Furman University, where she also fell in love with youth ministry through her involvement in Young Life. In 2006, she moved to Atlanta to work with middle school youth and pursue a graduate degree in counseling.  She joined the Village Church team in 2010, serving as the administrative assistant.  Upon receiving a Master’s in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University, she launched Village Counseling, a counseling ministry at The Village Church.  Contact: Carlyn@villagechurchvinings.org

Tee McSpadden

Director of Children and Students

Tee is a native of Tifton, Georgia and has worked as a teacher, daycare administrator, and virtual secretary. She received her B.A. in Education of Young Children from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a focus on children ages birth through kindergarten. Tee has been married to Joe for 12 years and they have two children, Zoey (7) and Jude (3). She loves family vacations, baking (especially if chocolate is involved), and shopping. Contact: Tee@villagechurchvinings.org

Courtney Grant

Nursery Coordinator

Contact: courtney@villagechurchvinings.org

 

Jim Payne

Village Counseling
Jim was born and raised in Atlanta and is thankful for an extensive knowledge of its backroads and running trails. He graduated from Oglethorpe University, where he met his wife, Lisa. They have two children, Logan and Eliana. After setting aside dreams of rock stardom, Jim received a Master of Divinity degree at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. He worked as a campus minister at Oglethorpe and as a pastor at Crosspoint Encuentro Church in Smyrna for several years and is ordained in the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA). Having personally experienced much suffering and healing in his own life, Jim has great compassion for fellow strugglers and is honored to work with them through Village Counseling. Contact: Jim@villagechurchvinings.org

Morgan Wilkinson

Village Counseling
Dr. Wilkinson is a Licensed Associate Professional Counselor at Village Counseling and offers counseling services to adolescents, adults, couple and groups.  She has a Ph.D in Counselor Education and Supervision from Auburn University and a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University. She works with a variety of issues including career-related issues, anxiety, depression, relational issues and trauma.  Morgan is trained in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She takes an integrative approach with her clients with a focus on creating a safe, relaxed environment where clients can feel accepted and free to pursue health and wholeness. When working with couples she utilizes an Emotionally Focused approach. She also provides formal and informal career assessments for students and adults.
Morgan has experience in private practice and Rainbow House Advocacy Center. Additionally, she is an Assistant Professor of Graduate Counseling at Faulkner University and is an adjunct instructor for Richmont Graduate University.

Contact: Morgan@villagechurchvinings.org

Vestry

The Vestry is elected by church members to serve as lay leaders for three years.  Responsibilities of the Vestry include overseeing all financial affairs, mainly the church budget, ensure the property of the church is maintained, and help empower and enable ministry plans set forth by the ministry team. The current VCV Vestry Members are:

  • Judd Harper
  • Rod Gray
  • David Green
  • Mary Beth Pierce
  • Teddy Cravens