Who We Are
Looking for a church home can be a challenging process and you find yourself asking a lot of questions. Are their beliefs and core values consistent with mine? Are they a welcoming family of believers to new comers? Do they have programs to help my kids grow in their faith? Will I find meaning and a catalyst for growth through the prayers, music and sermons?
On behalf of all of us at Pillar Community Church, we hope the answers to these questions and more are a resounding yes!
At Pillar, we strive to celebrate God’s presence with open minds and hearts that become transformed in our faith and invested in each other beyond Sunday morning. We host small Transforming Community Groups, youth groups, men and women's prayer groups and mission work through out the week for those who seek community and involvement with each other. We pray and listen to God to discern His will, share with each other in meaningful dialogue, celebrate through music, laughter, visits and caring for those in need.
Our ministry teams help connect people with God and his grace and healing.
If you are just visiting or call Vero Beach your home, we encourage you to visit us on Sunday at 10:30 AM to meet us and discover if Pillar Community Church is where God wants you to call home.
We currently meet on the second floor of the Family Life Center at First Baptist Church of Vero Beach, located at 2205 15th Avenue, as we seek a permanent home. If I can help you in any way, please call me at 407-733-8129 or write to me at [email protected]. I would enjoy the opportunity to meet you and answers your questions about our church family.
Warmly in Our Lord Jesus,
We believe in the deity of Lord Jesus Christ
In His virgin birth,
In His sinless life,
In His miracles,
In His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood,
In His bodily resurrection,
In His ascension to the right hand of the father,
And in His personal return in power and glory.
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto life in the lost and to death.
We believe that God created humankind male and female in His own image and likeness, and that scripture, beginning with Genesis 1-2, reveals God's glorious design for marriage and human sexuality.
A Community of Faith
We value community and believe that true and lasting spiritual transformation happens only within the context of the faith community. This is a theme which runs through our entire approach to ministry and is expressed in our commitment to inter-generational experiences, corporate readings, and prayers.
Continually Celebrating the Presence of God
Psalm 37 says, “Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart’s desires.” In the New Testament we read often of Jesus asking those around Him questions about their desire. Jesus even talked about the reality that our heart will always follow our loves (Matthew 6). A key and often overlooked component of our Spiritual Formation is the shape of our desire. At Pillar, we believe that we all chase what we love. That is why ‘desire-shaping habit formation’ is an important part of who we are and how we live as a people.
Christ and His Kingdom
The Gospel extends far beyond the personal salvation of individual souls. The work of our King is to reconcile all things to Himself. (Col. 1:16-20)! The world was created by Him, distorted by sin, and He died to redeem and ultimately restore all creation. His people are invited to participate in this restoration. We are redeemed and commissioned to establish and advance His Kingdom on earth. When the community of faith lives out and expresses God’s will, His Kingdom is expressed here as it is in heaven. When we live for Christ, we advance His Kingdom. Christ’s return will restore all things. Once we are His followers, our lives are lived to advance His Kingdom and practice the habits of a Kingdom member!
"The Lord is not a proposition to be proved, a program to be purchased, or a system to be managed. Rather, He is a relationship to be explored and a person to be discovered."
- Biz Gainey
In November of 2009, the Lord passed on the above vision to Biz that led he and Melissa to embark on a journey of prayer and discernment regarding the "next step" in their ministry life.
After a season of reflection, discernment and prayer with a small group of individuals, Pillar Community Church was born. The origin for our name is found in 1 Timothy 3:15, which in part says, "The church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."
Biz envisioned our church as a community of believers committed to seeking God's will in every aspect of our lives, not just on Sunday morning, but throughout the week.
Our dream is that every one of us will realize our need to discover who God created us to be and seek to live into this promised abundant life in Christ.
I hope that you join us on this journey!
Senior Pastor Biz Gainey
Biz Gainey serves as the Senior Pastor of Pillar Community Church. Biz has his Masters of Divinity from Gordon Conwell Seminary and has been involved in ministry since 1995. He has been married to his wife, Melissa since July of 1995. Biz and Melissa have three children: Jacob, Luke and Hayla. The Gainey’s moved to Vero Beach in the winter of 2010 and began the work of Pillar on January 2, 2011. Though the ministry began officially in January of 2011, the ‘vision’ for this ministry was placed upon Biz as early as November of 2009. Having been effective in ministry leadership and strategies of church growth, Biz and Melissa both began wondering if the church weren’t more than an instrument and if Christ weren’t more than a program. During this time of prayer and questioning, Biz came away with an important statement that characterizes his approach to ministry even today: ‘The Lord is not a proposition to be proved, a program to be purchased, or a system to be managed. Rather, He is a relationship to be explored and a person to be discovered.' While this vision still remains illusive in many ways, PCC strives to capture its heart by shaping our desires for a journey with Christ in communal, and deeply connected ways. One of the terms that expresses this journey is ‘Avodah.’ This is a term you wil become familiar with if the Lord calls you to participate in this journey with Pillar Community Church. Another way to express avodah might be ‘worship as a way of life,’ not just 90 minutes a week.
Associate Pastor Ian Wooldridge
Ian Wooldridge is the Associate Pastor of Worship/Creative Arts and Spiritual Formation at Pillar Community Church. He is married to his best friend, Jordie, who makes him want to know God more each and every day, and who inspires him endlessly.
He has a BA in English from the University of Louisville, and is currently at work on a Spiritual Formation Certificate from the Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation. Along with this Certificate, he aims to continue his studies in Spiritual Formation and to ultimately obtain a Masters of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Direction.
Ian’s driving passion in life is for people to know and be fully immersed in the “With-God” life, which is a way of living in constant, conscious awareness of and communion with God. He believes that this kind of life is possible, and he sees the riches of Spiritual Formation as the means by which we can know Jesus relationally and interactively in our lives. He sees the relationship with Jesus as a “rabbi and apprentice” relationship, where we — Jesus’ apprentices (or disciples) — are to fully imitate the overall lifestyle and habits that He chose for Himself. As we do this, over time, we naturally begin to bear fruit (John 15:5; Galatians 5:22-23) and to take on the character of Jesus, our ever-present teacher and friend, learning from Him how to live in His Kingdom — here and now, moment-by-moment.
Ian sees the Way of Jesus as just that — a way of life. It’s this passion that led Ian and Jordie to move from Louisville, KY (their hometown), and to lay down new roots in Vero Beach, FL, and at Pillar Community Church.
Ian loves being outside, reading, learning, writing, music, and of course, good food, coffee or tea. Ian and Jordie also have a Goldendoodle that they love a lot, named Juliette. She’s awesome!
Elder Tim Smick
Tim Smick and his wife Bobbi helped launch Pillar Community Church as a new church plant. He is a pastor’s kid who trusted Christ as a twelve-year old while watching the close of a Billy Graham Crusade on TV. He is a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) where he studied literature as a major. Wheaton also influenced his career direction to which he has devoted the entirety of his working life – making a difference in the lives of seniors. Tim is the owner of HRA, a company that develops and operates senior living communities throughout the United States. Pillar is the third church plant he and his wife Bobbi have successfully launched. Tim and Bobbi are the parents of two adult daughters (Kim and Amy) and the grandparents of Emma and Ethan who also attend Pillar.
“This is the first church where I have worshipped that really focuses on assisting its parishioners in being formed in the image of God for the sake of others. Spiritual formation such as this is not a quick fix. As author Robert Mulholland says, it is more akin to the slow cooking of a crock pot than the speed of a microwave’s nuking. When we put the crock pot on in the morning and leave for work, it doesn’t look like much is happening. But, slowly, throughout the day, a wonderful transformation is happening. The same thing is true of our spiritual life. The reality is that everyone is, at all times and in all places, undergoing some kind of spiritual formation—consciously or unconsciously—and through this formation will come something wonderful or something destructive. When we are shaped into the wholeness of the image of Christ our spiritual growth produces a life of wholeness that ministers to others whereas when we are shaped by the liturgies of the world our ego-centric spiritual growth results in pain and death.”
Elder Cindy Kusmer
Cindy Kusmer has been involved with Pillar Community Church since it’s inception. She trusted Christ as her Savior, in 1973, as a freshman at Ohio Wesleyan University where she studied fine arts. Cindy has served in leadership positions with local church ministry boards, Young Life, Stonecroft Ministry and Community Bible Study. Her passion for the study of God’s Word, and ministry to women and children, led to a 32 year involvement with Community Bible Study where she served as Teaching Director of two classes and Area Director of SW Florida. Cindy and her husband, Rich, have 2 grown children, Brian and Lauren, and 4 grandchildren, Alescia, Jacolbie, Graham and Weston.
"I was drawn to Pillar Community Church by the call to live in and celebrate the presence of God in every moment. For me, this echoed the admonition of Colossians 2:6-7, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness." The vision and mission of Pillar communicates this truth on a corporate level: "...to be a community of faith, continually celebrating the presence of God, by shaping desires for Christ and His Kingdom."
Elder Tom Rhodes
Tom and Sophie Rhodes have called Pillar home since the second week of Pillar’s inception. Tom is a Vero Beach native that received his degree in Business Management from the University of Richmond and then moved back to Florida after college. He trusted Christ as Savior in 1996 at the age of 25, and after attending largely Baptist and evangelical churches before Pillar, found Pillar’s attention to soul care and spiritual formation to have made the difference in his walk with the Lord. “Less attention to doing, which comes naturally for me, and more attention to being. Knowing that God walks with us has totally changed my perspective on life.”
Tom and Sophie have been married 26 years and have 2 children attending college. At Pillar, Tom serves on the Missions Team, Finance & Accounting Team, and Children’s Ministry Team teaching elementary age children, as Mr. Mango. Before attending Pillar, Tom and Sophie were instrumental in serving at previous churches. They led a young adult couple’s ministry, a Father-Son group called “Raising a Modern-Day Knight”, and participated in a Father-Daughter group.
When not working or serving at Pillar, Tom can be found windsurfing in the ocean or river, any time the wind blows. When the wind isn’t blowing, he can be found playing disc golf or maneuvering his paddleboard.
Yasmin, our church Administrator and Children's Minister has been attending Pillar with her family since 2012. Originally from Cuba, Yasmin emigrated to the U.S. as a child and was raised in South Florida where she married, "Junior", her husband of over 23 years. They have 4 sons: Caleb, Joshua, Seth, and Nathanael.
In her teens, Yasmin felt the Lord's call on her life while serving at the church she attended. "God made it very clear to me that He had designed and equipped me to teach!" She received a degree in Special Education (Learning Disabilities and Varying Exceptionalities) from Florida International University and has maintained a state teaching certification since 2000. She taught in the public sector of Miami Dade County Schools before relocating to Vero in 2007 with her husband and boys. Here, she joined the ranks of Christian educators becoming ACSI certified as faculty at the private school her sons attended.
"Pillar drew Jr. and I in via our children. After our first visit, the boys loved it. I had to find out what the boys had discovered during their visit. Pillar teaches how to cultivate a 'with God life' through spiritual disciplines and demonstrates sincere love for community in Christ. We just had to be a part of what was happening here!" Yasmin’s deepest desire is for all children to become aware of God's perfect love for them, to understand their identity in Him, and to discover their unique purpose in His Kingdom. These experiences will foster a lifelong intimate relationship with their Creator.
We currently meet every Sunday at 10:30am at the Family Life Center (2nd Floor) of First Baptist Church:
2205 15th Avenue
Vero Beach, FL 32960
P.O. BOX 2288
Vero Beach, FL 32961-2288