Church Planting: Meet the 2014 Church Planter Residents

By vintagechurch  -  On 08 Jan, 2015 -  0 comments

As we gear up to Church Planting Sunday on February 1, we thought it would be helpful for you to learn more about how Vintage is involved in planting churches. We believe the Gospel calls us to be a church that plants churches. In August 2014, Vintage Church partnered with the Leaders Collective—an organization founded by Elliot Grudem, our Lead Pastor for Leadership Development and Church Planting, that helps pastors and church planters sustain excellence over a lifetime of ministry—to launch a church planter residency program.

The church planter residency is a finishing school for qualified and gifted pastors that have either recently planted or will soon plant a church. The residents gather 12 times over eight months to develop the characteristics necessary to sustain a healthy, fruitful ministry.

The residency serves as a church plant incubator, allowing the pastors to dream about their vision for their church, test out their philosophy of ministry, and experience success, challenges, and failures in a safe environment. The residency also serves as a church plant accelerator, allowing the pastor to complete much of the work necessary to sustain and scale his church for the first three years of ministry under the direction of experienced church planters and other experts. Residents are encouraged to think big, start small, and be well prepared to scale fast.

The following pastors are part of the 2014 Church Planter Residency.


Aaron Anderson is the lead pastor at Vintage Church Durham, a position he has held since 2013. Prior to Vintage, Aaron served as part of the staff team at Blueprint Church in Atlanta and Kids Across America. Aaron holds degrees from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (B.A.), where he played football, and John Brown University (M.A.). He is pursuing his Ph.D. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Phabienne, live in Durham, and have two sons, Mathias and Parker.


Tanner Griffith is the lead pastor at Vintage Church Midtown, a church he planted in 2013. Tanner has served as a pastor at Vintage since 2012. Prior to that, he worked in the finance industry. He holds degrees from Virginia Tech (B.A.) and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He and his wife, Kara, live in Raleigh with their daughter, Archer.


Ford Jordan is planting Redeemer Anglican Church in downtown Raleigh. Prior to planting Redeemer, Ford served on the staff team of Church of the Apostles in Raleigh, The Falls Church in Virginia, and also worked as a consultant for a firm in Washington, D.C. He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina (B.A.) and Multnomah Biblical Seminary (M.Div.). He and his wife, Lindsay, live in downtown Raleigh with their three children, Kealy, Grady, and Emory.


Brian Recker is a pastor at One Harbor Church, where he oversees their Beaufort site, which he planted in 2013. Prior to One Harbor, Brian served as an Air Intelligence Officer in the Marine Corps. He is a graduate of Bob Jones University. He and his wife, Emily, live in Beaufort, NC, with their newborn son, Judah, and foster boys, Landon and Draven. He is also responsible for posting a shark video that went viral (over 7 million views).


Bliss Spillar is planting Redemption City Church in Frederick, MD. Prior to planting Redemption City, Bliss served on the staff of Portico Church in Charlottesville, VA. He is a graduate of Liberty University. He and his wife, Shelby, live in Frederick with their daughter, Cora. You can listen to a sermon Bliss preached at Vintage Church Downtown and Midtown here. You can watch Bliss talk about his experience in the residency program here.

Photo © Marcy May Photography

If you are interested in applying for the church planter residency starting in August 2015, email Elliot Grudem at