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About THE VINEYARD


OUR MISSION: Following Jesus into authentic community and the empowered life.

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About THE VINEYARD


OUR MISSION: Following Jesus into authentic community and the empowered life.

A Centered Set Church

Understanding the difference between sociological terms “bound set” and “center set” can be helpful in understanding how we do ministry here at the Vineyard.

Bounded Set Approach:  Many churches could be described as “bounded sets.” Belonging to the church community is defined by where one is in relation to a clear boundary. Typically the boundary is composed of highly defined beliefs and behaviors. Those who adopt the beliefs and behaviors are considered “inside” and those who do not are considered “outside.” You are either "in" or "out".

Centered Set Approach:  In the centered set approach, participation in the church community is defined differently.  In our church, the center is understood to be Jesus. Those who are “in” are not defined in relation to a boundary, but by facing and moving toward the center.  In a centered set approach, a person might be some distance from the center, but as long as they are facing the center and moving toward it, they belong.  By the same token, a person might be close to the center, but if they are not facing the center and are instead moving away from the center, they don’t belong. In short, if someone has a desire to move towards Jesus, they are a welcome part of our community!

The centered set fits what C.S. Lewis called “Mere Christianity,” emphasizing the main and plain elements of faith (expressed, for example, in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds — ancient summaries of faith). We’re excited by the core of our faith and want to shout it out from the rooftops. This allows us to provide breathing room for diverse perspectives beyond the basics of our Christian faith. For example, we practice Baptism and Communion according to the biblical teaching on these sacraments without emphasizing the doctrinal formulations that have separated Christians on these matters.

To be effective, the centered set approach requires a powerful and attractive center, kept in clear view. Jesus said, "I will draw all people to myself" (John 12:32). So we keep Jesus as the center of our lives and our ministry. This follows the biblical metaphor of pilgrimage: the followers of Jesus are travelers coming from many different points of origin to a common destination. The centered set approach is a reflection of our vision to reach those who don’t often find a home in other church communities

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Our Staff


Our Staff


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Jon & Kate Maurer // Lead Pastors
jon@vineyardbr.org

Jon was born and raised in the upper peninsula of Michigan where he spent a lot of time backpacking, camping and traveling. He received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Central Michigan University, then attended a Bible school in West Florida. In 2001, Jon married his beautiful wife, Kate, and now they now have a full house: Judah, Creed, Haven, Remedy, and Shepherd.

After planting a church in Minneapolis, the Maurers moved to California where Jon graduated with a Masters degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and then started a church in Pasadena.  After about 3 years he was called to the Vineyard Church of Baton Rouge.  Jon & Kate feel called to equip and train the church, to help them to discover God’s calling on their lives.  At home, you will find him reading, watching movies, or playing board games.  His favorite thing to do is hang out with family, students, and friends.

And just for fun: enjoy this video of Jon as a contestant on The Price Is Right!


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Jeremy Pleasant  // Associate Pastor
jeremy@vineyardbr.org

Jeremy was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He attended Southern University and LSU, and obtained a Bachelors of Music degree from Southern University. With a strong desire to use God-given gifts to train, equip, and lead the body domestically and internationally, Jeremy has been an Associate Pastor at Vineyard Church of Baton Rouge since 2013.


Moriah & Elizabeth Seaman // Worship Pastors
moriah@vineyardbr.org

Moriah was born and raised in the beautiful plains of Kansas before his family moved to Pennsylvania for his high school years. Returning to the midwest to attend Greenville College in Illinois, he met the love of his life, Elizabeth (aka Biz). They've been happily married since August of 2011.

Moriah and Biz dove right into full-time worship and youth ministry at LifeSpring Wesleyan church in Sturgis, South Dakota. In 2013, they felt God's call to get "wrapped up in the vine," and moved to Augusta, Georgia, for a worship internship at the Vineyard Church of Augusta. In 2014, Moriah and Biz got connected at the Vineyard Church of Baton Rouge, serving in worship ministry, life groups, and other areas of ministry.

Moriah and Biz like to watch movies together, go on long walks in nature, and love to worship together. Their calling and passion is to raise up leaders in the church and bring glory to God in all that they do.


Dan Powell // Youth & Young Adults Ministry
dan@vineyardbr.org

Liz Powell // Children's Pastor
liz@vineyardbr.org

Dan and Liz attended Trinity International University near Chicago where they met and later married in 2009.  Dan graduated with a BA in Biblical Studies and Liz with a BA in Christian Ministry with an emphasis in Children/Family. They have been doing ministry together ever since. The Powells spent some time in northern Wisconsin where they led high school camp ministry programs and received their master’s degrees from Wheaton College in Evangelism and Leadership. They then moved to the Baton Rouge area in 2014. 

Before joining the Vineyard staff, Dan had been doing camp ministry mostly in Wisconsin where he worked on Wheaton College’s north woods campus.  There he developed a passion for discipling and shepherding young adults toward Christ. Dan enjoys working with God in the lives of young people as they learn to live for the Kingdom of God.  He also ministers to the church through outdoor recreation events and oversees discipleship development in the church with Liz. 

Liz was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs.  She has spent time as a Montessori Preschool Teacher, Program Assistant and Retreat Coordinator in camp ministry. She is passionate to lead and equip people as they mature in Christ and further his Kingdom. She loves how children have a natural connection with God, giving us a window into the aspects of true spirituality. She desires the next generation to be rooted in faith and active participants in the life of the church. In her spare time Liz loves any adventure outside, biking, playing as a family, drinking coffee, and connecting with friends!

Liz has been on staff since January 2015 and Dan joined us later in November 2015.

They have two daughters Eleanor and Karis. 


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Ashley Levet // Church Administration
ashley@vineyardbr.org

Ashley was born in Lake Charles and raised in Baton Rouge from the age of 3. In 2009 she married the love of her life Scott Levet. They blended their families and had one addition: Taylor, Mya, Chandler, and Emma.

Ashley has been a member of the Vineyard since September 2013. Throughout her previous years she worked at The Advocate Newspaper, stayed home for a few years while volunteering at 12 Baskets Ministries, before going back to work in March 2013. She has now put her God given skills to better use here at the Vineyard. Her passions are family, helping others, serving the church community, and spending quality time with the ones she loves.


Laura Kearns // Bookkeeper
finance@vineyardbr.org

Laura has lived in many places, from Texas to Germany, but she eventually landed in Louisiana. Baton Rouge has been her official home since 1993, and she is thankful for that because Baton Rouge is where she met her husband Mike. Mike and Laura were happily married in May of 2000. They discovered the Vineyard Church together and have felt completely at home since day one. They knew the Vineyard was exactly where they belonged and where they needed to be.

Laura joined the Vineyard staff in 2015. She runs her own business and has experience in bookkeeping and collections – staying busy and juggling things is what she likes to do!  Mike and Laura are eternal "big kids" that love to travel, try new things, go on adventures, volunteer at the Vineyard, and hang out with friends and family. Throw in some relaxation for good measure and that about sums up what they are all about.

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Vision & Values


OUR VISION: We are a multicultural and multigenerational church fighting to reclaim the lost generations missing from the church. We desire to see people encounter Jesus in a radical way through authentic relationships and community. We are passionate about creating a space for those with no church paradigm. The church can be, and should be, relevant in today's society. The Vineyard Church desires to partner with God's Kingdom to renew all things and see real community transformation happen.

Vision & Values


OUR VISION: We are a multicultural and multigenerational church fighting to reclaim the lost generations missing from the church. We desire to see people encounter Jesus in a radical way through authentic relationships and community. We are passionate about creating a space for those with no church paradigm. The church can be, and should be, relevant in today's society. The Vineyard Church desires to partner with God's Kingdom to renew all things and see real community transformation happen.

OUR FIVE CORE VALUES:

The Theology and Practice of the Kingdom of God
Vineyard is committed to the theology and practice of the kingdom of God, rooted in the vision of the Hebrew prophets and fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. We have been commissioned to proclaim the good news of the kingdom bearing witness to the already and not yet of the kingdom in words and deeds.

Vineyard is a movement distinctively centered in a renewed understanding of the centrality of the kingdom of God in biblical thought. We view the kingdom of God as the overarching and integrating theme of the Bible. From our beginnings Vineyard has been committed to the proclamation of the kingdom of God and to bearing witness to the deeds of the kingdom through healing (physical, emotional and social), doing justice, and delivering those held captive by evil. Since the kingdom of God is the future reign of God breaking into the present through the life and ministry of Jesus, we are a forward-leaning movement emphasizing the ever-reforming nature of the church engaging the world in love.
 

Experiencing God
The kingdom of God is not a geo-political territory, nor is it the people of God. Rather, the kingdom of God is a dynamic realm. When one enters the kingdom she/he experiences the dynamic reality which exists within the triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This means that the experience of the kingdom of God (and thus, the experience of God’s presence) is central to our faith and Christian life.

God is eager to be known and experienced by all. We believe that God is searching for lost humanity in order to draw us into intimate relationship with Himself. In response to God’s initiative, we value the life-changing power of the experience of His presence. The primary place where that relationship is nurtured and developed is in the act of worship – both private and corporate. So, experience-based worship is the central activity of all that we do in the Vineyard. It is worship that causes all else that we do to become an act of worship. We experience God’s presence as a palpable reality when we worship. As we worship we become increasingly sensitive and responsive to the Spirit’s presence so that we can do as Jesus did: “See what the Father is doing,” (john 5:19) and support His work with our lives.

The experience of God flowing out of a life of worship affects all aspects of our life so that all division between the secular and the sacred vanish. We believe that the Spirit distributes His gifts to us resulting in prophecy, prayer languages, healing, miracles and many other gifts as we joyfully experience His presence. We value an approach to God’s presence that is respectful both of God and of those we are with. We eschew hype and other efforts to manipulate either God’s presence or the response of others to His presence. We distinguish between the Holy Spirit and the human response which shares in all the beauty and brokenness of our humanity. We also believe that as we experience His presence through Christ by the Spirit we will be made more fully human and better reflections of the God-image that we were created to be.
 

Culturally Relevant Mission
The church exists for the sake of those who are exiled from God. We are called to bring the gospel of the kingdom to every nook and cranny of creation, faithfully translating the message of Jesus into language and forms that are relevant to diverse peoples and cultures.

We seek to plant churches that are culturally relevant in a wide variety of settings locally and internationally. Each Vineyard church is encouraged to reach those in its community not already reached by existing churches. To this end, we promote a creative, entrepreneurial and innovative approach to ministry that is faithful to Jesus and expressive of His heart to reach those who are far away from God.

Our mission fits our culture. It’s relevant. When it's all said and done, the objective is mission. And the way to get there is relevance. Being relevant today requires us to translate the message of Jesus into language and forms that are meaningful to our culture. We live in a constant state of tension: relating to those around us while staying true to the Bible. The gospel speaks from thousands of years ago with timeless truths that apply to the "here" and "now." We try our best to be evidence of that fact by living out the Bible in everyday life. We desire to reach those in our community not already reached by existing churches. To this end, we promote a creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative approach to ministry that is faithful to Jesus and expressive of his desire to reach those who are far from God.
 

Reconciling Community
Jesus is reconciling humans to God, to each other, and to the entire creation, breaking down divisions between Jew & Gentile, slave & free, male & female. Therefore, we are committed to becoming healing communities engaged in the work of reconciliation wherever sin and evil hold sway.

We seek to be diverse communities of hope that realize the power of the cross to reconcile what has been separated by sin. This requires us to move beyond our personal preferences to engage those who are perceived to be unlike us and to actively break down barriers of race, culture, gender, social class and ethnicity.

We are convinced that the church, locally, nationally and globally, is meant to be a diverse community precisely because Jesus is Lord over every nation, tribe and tongue. We are not satisfied with the status quo when it doesn’t reflect this kingdom reality, but are eager to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom here and now and to realize this mark of the kingdom in our midst.
 

Compassionate Ministry
We lean toward the lost, the poor, the outcast, and the outsider with the compassion of Jesus as sinners whose only standing before God is utterly dependent on the mercy of God. This mercy can only be truly received inasmuch as we are willing to give it away.

We believe that ministry in Jesus’ name should be expressed in concrete ways through the local church. The poor are to be served as though serving Jesus Himself. This is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a church expressing the love of Christ in a local community.

In all forms of ministry, compassion is a hallmark of the one who was moved with compassion Himself in the face of human need. This being the age of grace and “the year of the Lord’s favor,” compassion should constitute the leading edge of our service to God, each other and a broken world. As such, we seek to avoid unauthorized judgments of others, realizing that we are all fellow sufferers and strugglers with the rest of humanity.

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Our Story


Our Story


Pete & Lorraine Kennedy

Pete & Lorraine Kennedy

In 1986, Pete and Lorraine Kennedy began meeting in their living room with 25 other individuals with the same desire to experience more of God's Kingdom in every aspect of their lives and to share it with others. They met there for a few months until they acquired a house with a fairly large tract of land in southeast Baton Rouge. The expanded group then began meeting in the refinished garage of the house and became Baton Rouge Christian Fellowship (non-denominational).

Having outgrown the garage, Baton Rouge Christian Fellowship began renting a large store-front in a local shopping mall while building a sanctuary on the land. During this time the independent, non-denominational church maintained close ties with the Vineyard Movement, participating in many Vineyard conferences and relating to many Vineyard churches in Louisiana and other states. In 1996, Baton Rouge Christian Fellowship accepted an invitation to come under the covering of the National Vineyard Church; later that same year the sanctuary was completed and dedicated. Since that time we have grown closer as a community even as we have expanded in numbers. We have also formed vital and meaningful relationships in the community around us which have afforded us the opportunity to partner, serve, and show the love of Christ. Our priority is to live out the call God has placed on us corporately and individually.

Knowing the time was coming for Pete and Lorraine to retire, they began to search for a couple to take the Vineyard  Church of Baton Rouge through the next season.  At the beginning of August 2010,  we welcomed our new Pastors, Jon and Kate Maurer, along with their three children Judah, Creed and Haven (and now Remedy and Shepherd). They arrived from California, confident that this is the direction the Lord has called them.  With excitement, the torch has been passed and we are in the next chapter of our church's story!    

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Beliefs


We are a church where people can explore their faith and relationship with God in an authentic way. As part of the Association of Vineyard Churches, we teach and affirm sound Bible-centered beliefs. The following is our statement of faith, formulated by The Vineyard USA that the Vineyard Church of Baton Rouge stands behind.

Beliefs


We are a church where people can explore their faith and relationship with God in an authentic way. As part of the Association of Vineyard Churches, we teach and affirm sound Bible-centered beliefs. The following is our statement of faith, formulated by The Vineyard USA that the Vineyard Church of Baton Rouge stands behind.

God the King and the Holy Trinity

We believe that God is the Eternal king. He is an infinite, unchangeable Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, goodness, justice, power and love. From all eternity He exists as the One Living and True God in three persons of one substance, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory.

God the King: The Creator and Ruler of All Things

We believe that God’s kingdom is everlasting. From His throne, through His Son, His eternal Word, God created, upholds and governs all that exists: The heavenly places, the angelic hosts, the universe, the earth, every living thing and human beings. God created all things very good.

Counterfeit Kingdom: Satan and Demonic Hosts

We believe that Satan, originally a great, good angel, rebelled against God, taking a host of angels with him. He was cast out of God’s presence and, as a usurper of God’s rule, established a counterkingdom of darkness and evil on the earth.

The Kingdom in Creation, The Fall, and The Doctrine of Original Sin

We believe that God created mankind in His image, male and female, for relationship with Himself and to govern the earth. Under the temptation of Satan, our original parents fell from grace, bringing sin, sickness and God’s judgment of death to the earth. Through the fall, Satan and his demonic hosts gained access to God’s good creation. Creation now experiences the consequences and effects of Adam’s original sin. Human beings are born in sin, subject to God’s judgment of death and captive to Satan’s kingdom of darkness.

God’s Providence, Kingdom Law and Covenants

We believe that God did not abandon His rule over the earth which He continues to uphold by His providence. In order to bring redemption, God established covenants which revealed His grace to sinful people. In the covenant with Abraham, God bound Himself to His people Israel, promising to deliver them from bondage to sin and Satan and to bless all the nations through them.

We believe that as King, God later redeemed His people by His mighty acts from bondage in Egypt and established His covenant through Moses, revealing His perfect will and our obligation to fulfill it. The law’s purpose is to order our fallen race and to make us conscious of our moral responsibility. By the work of God’s Spirit, it convicts us of our sin and God’s righteous judgment against us and brings us to Christ alone for salvation.

We believe that when Israel rejected God’s rule over her as King, God established the monarchy in Israel and made an unconditional covenant with David, promising that his heir would restore God’s kingdom and reign over His people as Messiah forever.

Christ the Mediator and Eternal King

We believe that in the fullness of time, God honored His covenants with Israel and His prophetic promises of salvation by sending His Son, Jesus, into the world. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, as fully God and fully human in one person, He is humanity as God intended us to be. Jesus was anointed as God’s Messiah and empowered by the Holy Spirit, inaugurating God’s kingdom reign on earth, overpowering the reign of Satan by resisting temptation, preaching the good news of salvation, healing the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead. Gathering His disciples, He reconstituted God’s people as His Church to be the instrument of His kingdom.

After dying for the sins of the world, Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, fulfilling the covenant of blessing given to Abraham. In His sinless, perfect life Jesus met the demands of the law and in His atoning death on the cross He took God’s judgment for sin which we deserve as lawbreakers. By His death on the cross He also disarmed the demonic powers. The covenant with David was fulfilled in Jesus’ birth from David’s house, His Messianic ministry, His glorious resurrection from the dead, His ascent into heaven and His present rule at the right hand of the Father. As God’s Son and David’s heir, He is the eternal MessiahKing, advancing God’s reign throughout every generation and throughout the whole earth today.

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church at Pentecost in power, baptizing believers into the Body of Christ and releasing the gifts of the Spirit to them. The Spirit brings the permanent indwelling presence of God to us for spiritual worship, personal sanctification, building up the Church, gifting us for ministry, and driving back the kingdom of Satan by the evangelization of the world through proclaiming the word of Jesus and doing the works of Jesus.

We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is our abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe in the filling or the empowering of the Holy Spirit, often a conscious experience, for ministry today. We believe in the present ministry of the Spirit and in the exercise of all of the biblical gifts of the Spirit. We practice the laying on of hands for the empowering of the Spirit, for healing, and for recognition and empowering of those whom God has ordained to lead and serve the Church.

The Sufficiency of Scripture

We believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of Holy Scripture so that the Bible is without error in the original manuscripts. We receive the sixtysix books of the Old and New Testaments as our final, absolute authority, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

The Power of the Gospel over the Kingdom of Darkness

We believe that the whole world is under the domination of Satan and that all people are sinners by nature and choice. All people therefore are under God’s just judgment. Through the preaching of the Good News of Jesus and the Kingdom of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, God regenerates, justifies, adopts and sanctifies through Jesus by the Spirit all who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. By this they are released from Satan’s domain and enter into God’s kingdom reign.

The Church: Instrument of the Kingdom

We believe in the one, holy, universal Church. All who repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and form the living Body of Christ, of which He is the head and of which we are all members.

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

We believe that Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Both are available to all believers.

The Kingdom of God and the Final Judgment

We believe that God’s kingdom has come in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, that it continues to come in the ministry of the Spirit through the Church, and that it will be consummated in the glorious, visible and triumphant appearing of Christ–His return to the earth as King. After Christ returns to reign, He will bring about the final defeat of Satan and all of his minions and works, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment and the eternal blessing of the righteous and eternal conscious punishment of the wicked. Finally, God will be all in all and His kingdom, His rule and reign, will be fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth, recreated by His mighty power, in which righteousness dwells and in which He will forever be worshipped.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH

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Frequently asked questions


Frequently asked questions


When and where do we meet?
We meet Sunday Mornings at 9 & 11am at 16761 Tiger Bend Rd, in Baton Rouge, LA. It's a time of worship, word, and celebration. We hope to see you there! 

What do I wear to church? 
Come as you are. Seriously. Whether it be a T-shirt and flip flops or a suit and tie, we want you to wear what you feel most comfortable in. 

Do I have to say anything, give any money, or will I be singled out in any way? 
No, no and no. We provide an opportunity for our church to give an offering, but we ask that our guests just sit back, relax, and let the service be our gift to you. We have gift bags available for our guests, so be sure to pick one up after the service before you head home.

What is the music like?
Our worship music is a modern rock and contemporary style.

Is there anything for my kids? 
Nursery and Kids ministry is available at every service. Our kids learn biblical principles through creative lessons and fun activities.

Is Sunday the only time we meet?
Sundays are only one of our regular gatherings. To find out more about different gatherings, click "What's Happening" and take a look at our "Life Groups."