Missional Communities


What is a missional community?

Missional Communities are families of missionaries who live out the gospel together in such a way that we call ‘missions’. While in a missional community you will care for one another as you reach out to the community, serve and grow together.

Interested in More information?

We have groups in Newton, Hickory, Maiden and surrounding areas. Each group has a declared mission.
Click below to have one of our leaders contact you with more information. 

Meet our group leaders

Our Missional Community leaders are dedicated to caring for the families and individuals in their groups.
They'd love to get to know you!


Mike and Christel have been leading this group for several years.  They were high-school sweethearts before their wedding in Western N.Y. They lived in New England and Florida before settling in NC over 10 years ago.  Both Mike and Christel are educators.  Mike is a math teacher at Newton-Conover High School while Christel is a former biology teacher. They have 2 sons in college.
They both have a passion for serving and are involved in several ministries at VerticalLife.  
In their spare time, they enjoy fixing up their 140 year old house and solving graphic adventure/puzzle video games together.

Declared Mission: Praying for staff and students on the premises of Newton-Conover High School; Coordinate Light in the Darkness event (10/31)

Kevin & Valerie Johnson

Kevin and Val have been leading this group for several years. They have been married for over 30 years. Kevin is one of VertilcalLife’s elders. They have 4 adult children and one beautiful granddaughter.
They are both nurses by training — Kevin works as an oncology/ infusion nurse at Atrium Health-Lincoln and Valerie volunteers her time in pro-life ministry performing ultrasounds. They previously served as medical missionaries. Since returning to the USA in 2003, they have been a part of several church plants.  In a very real sense, Kevin and Valerie consider themselves to be church planters who happen to be nurses.
In their spare time they enjoy outdoor activities and spending time with family.



Garrett is a Cyber Security Engineer and Amy is a stay-at-home mom and teacher.  Together they raise their five children, one is at NC State and the others are homeschooled and a part of a local homeschool community.  

They're a blended family since 2016 and recently moved back to Newton from Lincolnton.



This group is located in the Conover, near Taylorsville area.  Bruno and Jennifer have 4 teens and one toddler.  They run 3:19 Farm and Outdoors and try to live simply by raising and growing their own food.

Bruno has a passion for leading others to know more about Christ and living a gospel centered life.


Josh is currently one of VerticalLife Church’s elders. This group is located in the Startown area. They are huge supporters of the pro-life ministry LoveLife where Josh is employed full time.

Declared Mission:
Love Life - Mentoring moms who choose life and promoting that we are a House of Refuge in our community.