Archive for the Thank You Category

Happy First Birthday, Waypoint!

Posted in ICOM, Thank You on November 1, 2016 by Waypoint Church Partners

13892112_10153709899551319_8212265264257580350_nIt was just a year ago that the Board of Directors for both Envision and the VEF unanimously voted to merge our two organizations into one strong ministry to serve churches and leaders throughout the region. It’s been a big year ever since.

A new name and logo were chosen to brand our new image. We hosted the ICOM missions conference in Richmond. We planted two great new churches. We hosted 3 leadership seminars in NC and VA. We held two golf tournaments to share the Waypoint story. We added nearly 10 Fusion groups to our growing array of peer learning groups for pastors. And those are just the highlights!

It is your partnership and support that make all this happen. Thanks for being part of Waypoint’s first year!

It was also a big year for the Waypoint staff. Neil Wheeler came on board as the Director of Leader Care. Our Director of Media, Rachel Woolard, added a Graphic Design degree from Liberty University to her resume. Our Associate Director, Dave, and Administrator, Cindy Hileman, relocated from Williamsburg, VA to Raleigh, NC to serve as the home base for our ministry to North Carolina churches. And possibly the most exciting news was my family added four new ducks to our growing mini-farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
We’re poised for another big year in 2017: New Fusion groups, five (yes, five!) new churches, more leadership seminars, more targeted consulting to help churches stay on mission. Because of our partnership with you, we’re “Navigating Ministry Together!”

Your Ministry Partner,

Tim Cole headshot - circle smTim Cole
Executive Director

This article was originally published in The Waypoint Endeavor: Fall 2016 edition. If you would like to receive future printed editions of The Waypoint Endeavor, please send your name and mailing address to


How did we get here?

Posted in Church Planting, Thank You on January 6, 2014 by Waypoint Church Partners

article by: Gregg Jennings, Minister at Common Ground Christian ChurchDJH_3288 - 2013-11-17 at 06-46-16

Common Ground Christian Church celebrated its 10th anniversary this Fall! And yes, this is amazing!

Sometimes VEF churches have financial problems, pride issues, broken leadership, or huge sin hurdles that need to be handled in a very delicate way.  There are times when these churches struggle so much that they actually close their doors forever.  So it is absolutely a miracle that Common Ground, having struggled with ALL the above issues is still around.

And just to be clear, we are not out of the woods on any of them.  We are kind of like your ‘now sober uncle’: everyone knows he had a problem, that he could relapse at anytime, and that you need to be really careful around him. Everyone is pretty much amazed that his liver hasn’t completely fallen out of his body. Yep. That’s us.

DJH_3271 - 2013-11-17 at 05-59-30It was because of this truth that this tenth anniversary really felt more like a “10 Year Sobriety Celebration”.  Trust me; just ask Dave Hileman, who was there. It was… different. It was raw. It was full of stories of redemption and hope, followed by a time of worship that had most of us in tears for all that God has done.  The beauty of this though, is that God has trusted this faith community with more adversity, mingled with joy, than anyone can imagine.

Before you cry “FOUL,” we know church work is hard, some of the hardest stuff anyone can do, so how is our suffering any different than yours?  We concur – it’s not, it’s just that everyone knows ours.  Kind of like that Uncle again.  Yep, we are the church in town that has “that problem” and, sure enough, people talk. But we haven’t let the talk disrupt our ongoing worship of the Holy Spirit, who we believe still raises the dead.  And it is in this spirit of brokenness and restoration that we have grown by nearly 100% in the last year.  God simply will not give up on us and the community of believers here at CG will simply not give up on God.

Paradoxically, it is in recognizing and vocalizing our vulnerability that we have found our strength in Christ. His strength being on display in our weakness kind of stuff.  Funny how biblical truths of confession, community, and Eucharist really do bring down the Kingdom of God to earth, right now.  So much so, that we get to talk of unspeakable joy, unfathomable grace, and unprecedented hope for the upcoming 10 years at Common Ground. As a community, we have nothing to hide and nothing to fear!  Christ has become our hope and stay, and around that hope he is building a very unique church in downtown Fredericksburg.  DJH_3277 - 2013-11-17 at 06-43-15

That night, Dan Lemelin, a new member, summed up Common Ground in a way that gave me goosebumps:

“We’ve only been here for four months, but we knew on the first Sunday we had come home.  All of our hearts are looking for a home with God, and where His presence is, there our hearts will be at home, and that is what we found here—the presence of God.”

This summarizes everything that we have worked so relentlessly to obtain in Christ.

DJH_3282 - 2013-11-17 at 06-44-38We work our tails off every single Sunday.  Teaching, singing, children’s ministry, coffee, diapers, food, greeting, chairs, set up, tear down… You know the drill. But all of it is worth NOTHING if God doesn’t show up.  We have been committed as a church to create an ecosystem where God and his Spirit are welcomed, and then trust that he will be the one who will transform hearts and lives. In the five years that I have had the privilege to be called a minister at Common ground, He has never failed us.
We owe a huge thanks to the VEF for their support and leadership.  Also to so many other area churches in Virginia who believe in us, and to everyone who has supported us through the years with wisdom and prayer.  Thank you so much!

May God truly bless you and your work.  I know there are several factors that have gotten us here and your love has gone far in our endurance toward the cross. We are lucky to be a part of such a wonderful network of churches.

EXILED: By God’s Grace, For God’s Glory

Posted in Thank You, Waypoint Events on March 14, 2013 by Waypoint Church Partners

DaveHileman Dave Hileman, the Executive Director of the VEF, was asked by Johnson University (formally Johnson Bible College) to be the President of their 2013 Homecoming celebration, bringing Johnson students and alumni together for a week of worship, workshops, and teaching. Dave rose up to the challenge and created an engaging three-day program based around Jeremiah 29, where God speaks to His people in exile:

“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

BarrasChris Barras, pastor of Area 10 Faith Community in Richmond, VA, was the main speaker and spoke at three of the six main sessions, from February 26th-28th. He introduced and continued the theme of growing where God has planted you, even if you are unhappy with your current situations.

craig The worship band was led by Craig Davenport (keyboard/vocals), a member of Lifepointe Christian Church in Williamsburg, VA. The rest of the band was comprised of members from several different congregations. Devin Powell (guitarist), Dahlene _, (backup vocal), Karl _ (drums), and Hector _ (bass) from Lifepointe Christian. Landon Elliott (electric guitar) from Olivet Christian Church in Newport News. Jordan Clark (lead guitar) from Greenville, NC. Jo Beth Broyles (keyboard) and Rachel Price (vocals) from Area 10 Faith Community in Richmond, VA.

BreakfastSeminarA breakfast seminar was held on Wednesday morning entitled “Paths to Church Planting” and included a panel of Rachel Price (Director of Media for the VEF), Josh Parrish (lead minister) and Daniel Barinowski (worship leader) from Crossings in Roanoke, VA, and Eric Hash (lead minister at Venture in Danville, VA). Each of these speakers are graduates of Johnson University from the past ten years and have each become engaged in church planting. They each spoke on their history and answered the questions of what led them into church planting.

GreggEubanksSeveral workshops were also held throughout Wednesday afternoon, allowing those in attendance to learn about more specific examples of the week’s theme carried out in specific situations. Seminars were led by Johnson graduates, church planters, and ministers from across the US. Speakers included (but were not limited to): Gregg Jennings, lead minister at Common Ground Christian Church in Fredericksburg, VA; Rachel Price, Director of Media Communications for the VEF; Neil Wheeler, minister of Chester Christian Church in Chester, VA; Lucas Rouggly, church planter from St. Louis, MO; Jill Lagerburg of Knoxville Christian Arts Ministries (KnoxCAM); and several more.

RachelRachel Price, our very own Director of Media Communications, along with leading a workshop, participating in the breakfast seminar, and helping lead worship, was also in charge of stage design for the week.

ToddBrownTodd Brown, from Blue Ridge Church of Christ in Fishersville, VA, also brought forth a powerful message at the Thursday morning main session.

Needless to say, Johnson’s Homecoming 2013 would not have been possible without all of the help and connections from Dave’s involvement with the wonderful people and churches all connected through the Virginia Evangelizing Fellowship. We are so grateful to everyone who worked hard to make this event a wonderful success.

Also, we want to make sure that we thank many of the others who helped make this event possible: Jeff Tolbert and the entire media department; Kevin O’Brian for his endless organizational help; Patty Forthman for coordinating the flags presentation; Brent Weaver and the entire tour choir for joining us for our Wednesday night worship; Tammy Lanham for taking such incredible pictures of the event and sharing them with us all; Tyson Chastain for recording the workshops and making them available for those who could not attend; and everyone on campus from Johnson University who worked behind the scenes to make this happen.

To watch any of the main sessions, just visit the Johnson Homecoming Livestream page.

Every Story Has a Beginning

Posted in Church Planting, Church Visits, Prayer Request, Thank You on September 12, 2011 by Waypoint Church Partners

author: Dave Hileman, Executive Director

261 people gathered for the first public worship service at Discovery Christian Church in Bristol at the YMCA on Sunday, September 11. While the excitement of the day was clear, “it seems like Christmas morning,”  the preparations and prayers underway since early Spring were evident in how well everything went and especially how comfortable both staff and volunteers were with the myriad of tasks needed for an excellent opening day (and beyond!).

The Y is just a couple of blocks from State Street in the heart of downtown Bristol and has great parking. And once you left your car, you were greeted at the door, inside, at the top of the stairs (or elevator) and again entering the worship area. Good signs and smiling faces directed people to the right places: check in for children’s area or the nursery, a hot cup of coffee or the Connection Point. The band did a very good job, graphics were sharp and the room was buzzing as more and more chairs had to be set up as the worship service began. Tony Marr did a masterful job with the beginning of a series on Acts, Every Story has a Beginning, the continuing of God’s story; he tied it all into our stories as well.

As of September 11, 2011 in Bristol there is an exciting new place to encounter Jesus, grow in faith and service and touch the lives of many people in the area living far from God.

Please join them some Sunday at 10. For directions and information check out Discovery’s web site at: or on Facebook at

More Pictures:

Thank You! – Joplin Relief Team

Posted in Joplin Relief, Thank You on June 23, 2011 by Waypoint Church Partners

Thanks to everyone who kept up with the VEF Joplin Relief Team here on our blog! Your prayers and support helped encourage and energize our team during their time in Missouri!

Thanks to everyone who supported the trip financially – hopefully this blog has been evidence of the great things  your money went towards through the VEF. There wouldn’t have been a trip at all without you.

Thank you to the amazing volunteers who took time off of work, summer vacation, and away from your families to travel across the country to help those in need.

And a great big thanks to Phil Murdock, who did all the hard work of writing a daily summary, uploading pictures and video, and relaying his experiences for us all to enjoy! Through you, we were able to get a closer look into the tragedy and hope surrounding the tornadoes that his Joplin.

Click here for one more news article from the Joplin Globe about the service our team provided in Joplin. They even mention the Virginia Evangelizing Fellowship by name!

Book Review: Celtic Way of Evangelism

Posted in Book Review, Thank You on March 31, 2010 by Waypoint Church Partners

author: Dave Hileman, Executive Director

In George Hunter’s book, “The Celtic Way of Evangelism” he outlines how the missionaries to the Irish, especially Patrick, shared their faith with the barbarians and pagans. And then he writes in contrast to those who learn to live with  and love those living far from God that “no major denomination in the United States regards apostolic ministry to pre-Christian outsides as its ‘priority’ or even as ‘normal’ ministry” (p 24) This is infinitely sad on so many levels. How far removed from Jesus’ interaction with the lost and hurting people of his day have we allowed ourselves to fall. How wonderful that there are courageous churches who are doing just that, getting to know, love and serve the “barbarians” who live all around each of us. Thanks.

Click here to buy this book on Amazon and a portion of the profit will be donated to the VEF.


Posted in Church Visits, Thank You on March 29, 2009 by djhva

To Jim and Jannette Bayne. Jim retired from Belmont Christian Church in Christiansburg after serving there for 27 years. Belmont held a nice “drop in” receptions for the Baynes on Saturday and are holding special services this Sunday, March 29th. We appreciate Jim and his years of faithful service to the Kingdom and wish them both well as they enjoy their family and travel around the country the next few weeks. Jim and Jannette Bayne