Hello! My name is Jeff Miller, and I’m the founding pastor of Vineyard Community Church. This page of our website is devoted to my story and the story of VCC.
My wife, Jennifer, and I ‘planted’ VCC in early 2001. We’ve enjoyed sixteen years of marriage and have four children, Benjamin, Levi , Aedan and Abbey Rain. I grew up all over, in seven different states as well as overseas in Germany, as my dad was in the military. When I was a teenager, he retired here, and Augusta has become my home. Church planting, or starting new churches from scratch, has been dear to my heart for many years. What follows is a brief history of my journey from total pagan, who had never darkened the doors of a church, to a pastor…
“I LOVE THIS CHURCH!” I exclaimed, my hands raised through the open T-tops in triumph. I sped down Bobby Jones Expressway without care or want of the world around me. It was 1991 and I had just left the Augusta Vineyard Church after my 2nd visit to a service there. I was elated. Little did I know that this new thing I had discovered called following Jesus and going to church would radically alter the direction of my life.
Who is God? What’s the Bible all about? I had no idea at all, but I knew I liked it. It was changing my life. I told Jesus that I needed his help to forgive me and make me a Christian. That was November 1, 1990, one day alone in my bedroom. I came from a background where we never went to church – EVER. Through too many circumstances to mention here, I discovered that Jesus was real. He was all that the Bible said he was. Christianity offered life, because Jesus had life. God suddenly became very real to me and I made a choice to follow him. Soon after that I wandered into a churched called the Vineyard. Immediately I knew I had come home. Every week I couldn’t wait for Sunday morning. It was life to me. I knew I was part of something much bigger than myself. Little did I know, however, that 10 years later God would call ME to pioneer such a church.
In 1992, I forsook my efforts to continue college in pursuit of following in my father’s footsteps into a medical career. God spoke to me loud and clear and gave me a tremendous burden to be involved in ministry, as full-time as possible. I began undergraduate studies at Columbia Bible College and Seminary in 1992 and completed my B.A. in Theology in May 1995. Through these years I developed a passion for church planting – the pioneering of new churches. Jesus infected me. I experienced his love, mercy, and healing through worship and church involvement. It was like a bomb that went off inside of me from which I’ve never recovered. I want this for others, I thought, and God has called ME to make it happen.
Soon after my graduation I married Jennifer, found God’s favor with a great job in management, and began growing our family with the birth of Benjamin and Levi. 1995-1999 were good years for us. We were very involved in the Augusta Vineyard; I was prospering in my career, but felt a deep sense that God had something different. We were prepared to relocate with my company for a job opportunity when God spoke to me: Quit your job and start a new Vineyard Church. Thus, in early 2000 I began a one-year internship at the Augusta Vineyard, working part-time in construction on the side, with the intent of planting the new church in 2001. Through that year I clarified God’s vision for VCC. In cooperation with the leadership of the Vineyard, we organized a team of about ten people who would commit to helping start the new church. And, in January 2001, Vineyard Community Church had its beginnings in our living room.
Since then, God has done tremendous things in our midst. As I write this, I wonder at the way the Kingdom of God has truly exploded among us. Back in 2001, we crammed as many people into our house as possible, but quickly had to move out. Currently we’re in our third meeting place, and hope one day to purchase a facility of our own. God has sent us out into this city and beyond, sharing the gospel of Christ, loving the lonely, building families, creating community, and loving him with all we are. To that end we continue on our journey together in this radical, wild, mysterious faith we call Christianity.