To glorify God by pursuing gospel transformation through Jesus Christ
What is the process of gospel transformation? Every believer actively engaging in a three-fold process through the power of the Holy Spirit: Worship Together, Engage in Community, and Live on Mission. All of which is under-girded by a devotion to God's Word and to prayer.
Engage in life-renewing relationship with God
Engage in Community:
Engage in life-changing relationships in community
Live on Mission:
Engage in life-giving relationship with the world
It was small & Simple
Roswell Community Church began in a home with a group of friends praying together.
Roswell began not as a church at all, but as a prayer group from an existing local church, gathering weekly to spend time together and to see what God might have for them as a separate body. Not exactly a fairy tale beginning for a new church. But God loves surprises and what started as a handful of families became a growing group of people eager for a community that would love God and love each other. Before they knew it, the fire marshal was shutting down the gatherings because it was too large for the home.
From 2004-2006, a couple of pastors were brought to the church to help lead and shepherd the growing body.
Over the years we met in a few local buildings and churches during the off-hours, before landing at the Cottage School where we gathered from 2006 to 2012 until we outgrew it too. In April 2012 we moved to Hembree Springs Elementary, our current location.
God has taken us on a unique and wonderful journey, from uncertain beginnings, through obstacles and surprises, and through it all He is forging us into a healthy, Gospel-centered community. We believe we are just a small part of the larger story that God has been telling for eternity, and we hope it’s one you'd like to join us in. We know we're still in the early chapters, so we’re excited to see how our Good Father will lead us in the years to come.
Leadership & Staff
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As the Lead Pastor, Matt is responsible for the overall vision and direction of the church, which he does the only way he knows how: in team! Matt provides strategy for the mission and leadership to the staff team, so that together with the Elders, Roswell Community Church can continue to live out its pursuit of Gospel transformation. Matt also serves as one of the preachers and as an Elder.
Matt grew up as a missionary kid in France for the first 15 years of his life and married his high school sweetheart, Becky, before joining the Air Force for 6 years. Following his time in the service, Matt spent 4 years in business until he was drawn into youth ministry in 2002. Matt joined the team at RCC in 2010 and has loved being a part of the beautiful community God is building here!
Matt and Becky have journeyed through 25 years of marriage together and have two married children. Aside from spending time with Becky, Matt enjoys many things, from a good movie to an energetic conversation about WWII, to an exciting Philadelphia Eagles victory, but whatever it is, he’d rather do it together with people.
Matt holds a Masters in Theology from Columbia International University.
Art Vander Veen,
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Art is our part time Teaching Pastor and, with 44 years of ministry experience, our mentor. Over his long career he has, among other things, been a founding member of the Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, planted and pastored a church for 25 year in North Atlanta, and served as the chaplain for the Atlanta Falcons. Art was also in on the beginning of Roswell Community Church and has been on our staff for all of its 10 year history. He authored all 11 volumes of the Amazing Collection, a five day a week Bible Study for each book of the Bible for women.
Art grew up in Chicago and at age 18 moved to Albuquerque NM where he met and fell in love with a 16 year old named Jan who later became his wife. They just celebrated 57 years of marriage. They have 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren ranging in age from 11 to 26. Art received a B.A. Degree from the University of New Mexico in 1968 and a Th.M. From Dallas theological Seminary in 1976.
Art fell in love with teaching the Bible while ministering to the college kids in Santa Barbara in 1970. In one way or another he has been doing that ever since. Besides family and ministry Art enjoys remodeling projects and he and Jan share a love for RV travel and gardening.
community and Mission pastor
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Mike came on staff part-time in 2007 to oversee the youth ministry, and over the years, his responsibilities in and love for the church have only grown. Now, having handed off the student ministry to Michael Panyard, Mike oversees all assimilation and community environments, as well as the development of the church’s personal and global mission arenas. Although Mike was born in Ohio and lived in New York, since the age of five, he has considered North Atlanta home. He was raised in a church that taught him how to have a relationship with Jesus and where he was formed by doing ministry in community. God eventually led him to Wheaton College (IL) where his calling became clearer. After graduating, he moved back to the Atlanta area and began volunteering at Roswell Community and playing drums on the worship team (something he has loved to do since he was four). In 2010, Mike completed his Masters of Divinity from Liberty University, was ordained and brought on staff full-time. Mike met his wife, Bailey, in high school, but was way too shy to pursue (knowing she was too good for him); fortunately, when they ran into each other after college, he refused to give up! They were married in July 2007, and have since been blessed with two sons and a daughter.
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Joel plans and organizes the services each week at Roswell, giving oversight to the Worship and Tech Teams, selecting songs and liturgical readings, scheduling band and tech volunteers, and preparing media for services. As a worship leader and bassist, Joel has served on Roswell's Worship Team since 2006, and officially came on staff in 2013.
A native of the Atlanta suburbs, Joel grew up heavily involved in youth group, passionate about serving in Music Ministry and Global Missions. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's Degree in Finance, he worked for several years as an accountant and analyst for a manufacturing company before taking off to backpack through Central and South America. He now works as the Director of Risk Management for a licensing firm in Roswell. Joel fell in love with a beautiful girl named Sarah at Roswell in 2013 and they got married in 2016.
Other interests include Atlanta United and Arsenal soccer, UGA football, Spanish, travel, and spending time with his wife and extended family
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Cori, together with Jadie Burton, is responsible for all things Kids at Roswell — from creating safe, engaging, Jesus-centered environments for babies through 5th graders on Sunday mornings, to championing opportunities for family involvement in our liturgical calendar. Cori joined the staff in early 2012 and has seen God grow Roswell Kids grow from 25 kids to roughly 150.
Though she spent much of her childhood state-hopping between the Midwest and Southeast, Cori has always considered the mountains of North Carolina home and enjoys going back whenever possible. Cori graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, IN where she began dating her husband, Michael, while studying Early Childhood Education, Special Education, Deaf Education and Communication Studies. She has enjoyed regaining a life after college and now lives in Woodstock with her husband and their 2 young daughters (ages 4 & 6 years old) who share her love of baking, painting and playing outside.
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Clark is a jack of many trades and the master of many others too! He has overseen the building blocks of the community group ministry at Roswell Community Church, and assisted in solidifying new member assimilation. In addition to having a tender heart for people, Clark has the unique ability to think critically, formulate processes and execute logistics like no one else. In his current role, Clark oversees all areas of operations and facilities for Roswell. Clark also serves as the chairman of the deacon team.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Clark completed a long career in telecommunications in 2015, holding various positions with AT&T and Cisco Systems. During those years, he served as a lay leader in various churches in both Nashville and Atlanta. He and his wife, Martha, have four grown children and are the happy grandparents of seven grandchildren. Clark enjoys reading, fixing and building things and desperately trying to improve his golf game.
READ BIO [+]
As the Director of Student Ministries, Michael's passion is to disciple middle and high school students through Christ-centered worship, teaching God's word, and fostering meaningful relationships with their peers and youth coaches. Working with teens since 2005, Michael thrives on the opportunity to build up the next generation - whether that's through one-on-one conversations or by leading a large group game. He considers it both an honor and privilege to work with this incredible age group! Michael was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After graduating from Ball State University (go Cardinals!), he spent the first few years of his professional career in the advertising/marketing world. Moving to Georgia with his wife, Cori, in 2009 led him to Roswell Community Church, which he considers his Southern family who warmly accepted a Colts-loving, Sci-fi nerd of a Hoosier, super hero connoisseur with open arms. On any given day you’re likely to find him jumping on his backyard trampoline with his two (adorable) daughters,...that is, if he's not at Chick-fil-A getting a milkshake!
Kim ali, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
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Kim is responsible for all Roswell Communications - whether that’s welcoming new visitors, managing social media or creating videos for Sunday morning. In addition to communications, Kim enjoys perfecting and maintaining processes that keep our team and calendar running smoothly. Kim came on staff in 2016, but Roswell has been a precious source of life and community for her and her family since 2011. Kim grew up in Texas, studied Theological Historical Studies at Oral Roberts University and now lives in Woodstock with her husband, Amir, 4 kids, and 2 crazy boxers. When she’s not juggling work and family, she enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and watching any and all History Channel and Netflix documentaries.
Adjunct Teaching Pastor
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Steve is an occasional lay preacher at Roswell Community Church. He was formerly a church planter in the metro area and now teaches history, Bible, and rhetoric to high schoolers. In 2008 Steve graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity (MDiv).
Steve grew up all over metro Atlanta until he planted in Woodstock with his wife of 14 years and three children. When he’s not raising kids or husbanding or preaching or preparing lesson plans you will probably find Steve on the Chattahoochee River trying his hardest to tempt a trout to rise to a fly.
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Jadie, together with Cori Panyard, is responsible for all things Kids at Roswell — from creating safe, engaging, Jesus-centered environments for babies through 5th graders on Sunday mornings, to championing opportunities for family involvement in our liturgical calendar.
Jadie grew up around the corner in Milton, Georgia. She graduated from Vanderbilt University where she majored in Elementary Education and Human and Organizational Development. Prior to coming on staff with Roswell, Jadie worked in human resources and professional development at a financial services firm. Jadie is married to her high school sweetheart, Jim, and they live in Roswell with their two young children, James and Liza.
– Elder Board –
Bless the LORD, oh my soul, And all that is within me.
Bless His holy Name...
Psalm 103.1 (ESV)
All of life comes down to just one thing.
Worship is a word that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Worship is the elevation of something over and above me…or you. When I organize my life, behavior, and thoughts around serving or pleasing someone or something, I’m worshiping them. When I use my words to praise or declare the excellency of someone or something, I’m worshipping – even if I don’t sing it. So we can actually worship any number of things: a lifestyle, our kids, a career, a spouse, an object, a political ideology etc. But most of us… we worship ourselves. We give our time, money, energy, and emotions to ensuring that we appear competent, or beautiful, or likeable, or important, or… .
When God saves us through Jesus, we enter a whole new world of worship. Suddenly, we are invited to build our life around The One who is worthy of that elevated place. The great news is that we were actually made for this. Now, through Jesus, things are getting put back the way they were always meant to be – with God in the center of our lives and hearts.
So at Roswell, we worship God all week. We worship him by engaging in good work with people and by loving our families and community sacrificially. We worship by finding quiet places for our hearts to savor our Savior, or by caring for God’s creation and stewarding the things He’s given to us. In other words, all of life is an invitation to worship God.
Then on Sunday, we gather as a community to worship God in the way His children have since the beginning: with songs and prayers and extended times of hearing His words spoken to us. Sunday is a day where we celebrate, revere, and contemplate the Glory and the Gospel of God. We hope you’ll come and join us. We hope you’ll discover that all worship and all true and lasting joy is found when we build our life around the only One worthy of being the center.
One Lord. One Faith. One Baptism.
The historic liturgical calendar is an instrument that Roswell uses to help organize our Sunday worship services around a holistic participation in God’s community and story. We don’t follow the order of service that many liturgical churches do, and so we likely wouldn’t be considered a traditional liturgical church. But we believe that choosing to integrate scripture readings, confessions and creeds into our Sunday gathering connects us to the people of God around the globe by hearing the same words and reflecting the same creeds.
The calendar also gives us seasons to help us focus our hearts and worship on specific themes from Scripture. Each calendar season thereby presents the church with a fresh opportunity to explore God’s truth while pressing deeper into Christ’s life and work.
– church calendar seasons –
The forty days before Christmas, in which we anticipate the incarnation of Christ, and focus our hearts on awaiting his second coming.
The season following Christmas, in which the church proclaims Jesus to the world as Lord and King.
The forty days beginning on Ash Wednesday, and concluding the day before Easter, intended for preparation, fasting, repentance and anticipation of the Resurrection of Christ.
A fifty day season where we celebrate that Jesus is risen and ruling His kingdom, and that by his resurrection he has raised us to new life together with Him.
The season used to celebrate the reality that God, through His Spirit, is at work through and among His people in the world. Literally meaning “50 days after,” the day of Pentecost falls 50 days after Easter.
ORDINARY TIME [+]
This season’s name comes, not from ordinary, but the word “ordinal”, meaning “counted time.” The time, beginning on the first Sunday after Pentecost, is used to focus on specific themes of interest or importance to a local congregation.