Michael moved to Roanoke and launched Journey Church from scratch in the fall of 2000. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s degree in pastoral care, and a doctoral degree in preaching and leadership. He previously has worked as a pastoral counselor, college professor, prison chaplain, cancer hospital chaplain, and psychiatric hospital chaplain. He has written articles for books and magazines, has toured performing dramatically, and provides personal and professional coaching for other pastors, executives, and doctoral students. Michael and his wife Debbie have two children, Allison and David. He enjoys canoeing, camping, swimming, watching movies, and spending time with friends.
Melody has lived her whole life in the Roanoke Valley. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music from Roanoke College with a concentration in voice and music composition. She’s a certified NK-12 music educator and taught music in Roanoke County Schools for 12 years before being called into full-time ministry. Melody has played in a variety of secular bands. That's how she met her husband, Wayne, and eventually became the very proud step-mom of Zack. Melody is excited that Journey Church is a place where creative minds are encouraged to use their artistic passion for the purpose of building up God’s kingdom.
Jackie grew up in the Roanoke Valley. She holds an Associate of Science degree from Virginia Western Community College. She enjoys spending time with her husband, John, and children, Ryan and Charlotte. Some of her hobbies include reading, board games, card games and swimming with her children. She has attended Journey Church since 2010 and is very excited to be on staff!
Rhonda Hopper moved to the Roanoke Valley to help start Journey Church in 2000. She graduated from the University of Richmond in 1989 and from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1992. She loves Jesus, her poodle, her husband, and her 3 teenage daughters! She currently lives on Claytor Lake in Dublin, VA. She enjoys hiking, pickleball, and fishing. She is excited about online groups, online worship, and online Bible study!
Shannon and her husband Bobby are both from Botetourt County and now live in Vinton with their daughter Abbey. Shannon graduated from Lord Botetourt High School and has a Paralegal Certificate from Virginia Western Community College. She enjoys watching movies, reading and spending time with her family. Shannon feels blessed to have found a church like Journey, is very excited to be part of the staff, and is honored to serve God and the people at Journey.
Accepting. Loves, welcomes and encourages people of any race, socioeconomic level, marital status, age, spiritual background; does not embarrass or condemn or beat people down emotionally; is not cliquish
Celebrating. Has incredibly talented musical, multi-media and dramatic persons leading in worship
Discipling. Leads unchurched people to Jesus; connects them in meaningful community for learning and fellowship; intentionally moves them from wherever they are spiritually toward becoming more fully-devoted followers of Christ
Innovative. Unbound by convention, breaks stereotypes
Missional. Tithes to missions initiatives and serves in the community where there are needs, whether physical, emotional or spiritual
Transforming. Empowers people to use their gifts in transforming lives for Christ, always ready to be the hands and feet of Jesus, seeking no reward or recognition
Truth-telling. Biblically-centered teaching; sensitive in a relevant way to issues facing people in today’s world; does not back away from hard questions; shares the gospel message to people who may have never heard it before; does not compromise what’s expected of Christ-followers to serve and develop spiritually
Love people when they least expect it and least deserve it.
Pray like it all depends on God and serve like it all depends on you.
Adopt a bias toward action.
You cannot out give God.
It’s never too late to become who you were created to be.
People matter to God and to us.
On-going life change happens best in community.
Biblical teaching is the catalyst for life transformation.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Every Christ-follower is spiritually-gifted and has a God-called ministry.
The church is to be culturally relevant while remaining doctrinally sound.
(1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
Followers of Jesus are to live with authenticity and continually seek to take the next step in spiritual growth.
Connecting people to Jesus and one another in life-transforming ways.
Enhancing family stories.
Raising up servant leaders.
Transforming communities through educational and economic development.
Leveraging resources for the advancement of God’s purposes.
Grow spiritually as individuals and as a church through deeper discipleship, especially among new believers.
Encourage age, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity in the church.
Use our spiritual gifts faithfully in service within the church and the community.
Increase missional outreach to the community with passion.
Embrace a holy urgency to boldly follow however God leads.
Journey Church is a non-denominational church that seeks to honor God and uphold and pursue the values and beliefs found in the Bible.
There is one God who exists as three persons living in perfect community - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God created everything and sustains everything by his life. God is holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, full of mercy and grace.
Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Child, became fully human when he was born to the virgin Mary. Jesus was fully human and fully God. He lived a perfect life; died the death we deserve to die because of our selfishness; and physically rose from the dead. He offers us full life by the promise of his resurrection. He ascended into heaven and today is our representative and advocate with God the Father.
We experience the full life and presence of God in our relationship with God the Spirit who convicts us of sin, points us to Christ, and applies Christ’s work to our lives. The Spirit gives gifts and power to the church. The Spirit is the one who creates biblical community in the church. The Spirit reveals truth and guides our lives, individually and together.
The Bible is God’s completely true story about who God is, what God has done, what God is doing, and what God will do. It was given by God to human writers and reflects their backgrounds, styles, and use of language. The Bible is the final authority on all matters to which it speaks.
We are connected to God in only one way - by choosing to accept the forgiveness and reconciliation God offers to us through Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. God’s gift of grace makes us his adopted daughters and sons. There is nothing we can do to deserve this life - it is all a gift of God, and our job is simply to receive it. When we do, God begins the process of changing our hearts and minds from the inside out and making our characters more and more like Jesus’. And as we have been reconciled to God, we also have hope for being more fully reconciled to other people.
If we are in a faith relationship with Christ, we are part of the church. The church is universal, but is always expressed locally. The church is the visible and local demonstration of the new community Christ came to create. The Spirit leads our community life as we are devoted to worshiping God, understanding and applying the Bible's teachings to our lives, offering connection to others, living life together, serving our community, and using our Spirit-given gifts to serve Christ and others. The church celebrates the symbolic ordinances of baptism and communion which are gifts given by Christ and through which we experience his presence with us. The church is made up of imperfect people who daily seek to respond in all their relationships to God’s stunning grace. The church is to offer a connection with God to people outside a relationship with Jesus by living fully for Christ and helping those who respond in faith to become people who follow Christ with their whole hearts.
In God's own time and in God's own way, God will bring the world as we know it to an end. According to his promise,
Christ will return personally and visibly to judge the living and the dead and to begin the new era of God’s universal reign which will last forever.