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About Us

VillageChurch is a church where real community takes place. It is our goal that the services be an exciting time you will look forward to every week. Come and enjoy the company of brothers and sisters as you grow together through genuine fellowship, participate in corporate worship, and engage scripture through powerful messages.

How can we achieve that goal? 

Evoking a true sense of worship through music and scripture. 

Delivering messages that are gospel-centered and teach us how to do life with God as our anchor.

Providing opportunities for people to develop meaningful and lasting relationships in small group settings. 


OUR HISTORY

Pastor Erik Estep and his wife Emily felt a calling to begin a new church in Blythewood in 2001. In March 2002, VillageChurch, sponsored by First Baptist Columbia, held its first worship service at Bethel-Hanberry Elementary School in Blythewood. Since that time, VillageChurch has grown to almost 1,000 people gathering for worship each week. Our commitment as a church is to be faithful to God's Word, to love God, and then to love people. 

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our dream

Our dream is to spread the message of Jesus to as many people as possible in our community. The church has an opportunity to create a village where people discover lifelong relationships with other people and an eternal relationship with Jesus Christ. We are motivated by the the command Jesus gave His followers in Matthew 22:37-40. He said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the Prophets depend on these two commands." Jesus’ commands are the foundation of VillageChurch’s value in serving our community and taking advantage of every opportunity we have to share the good news of Jesus with others because we believe Christ changes lives for the better. 

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Our Beliefs


Discovering the Truth

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
— 2 Timothy 3:16

Sharing the Truth


Christ's final instruction to His followers before He ascended into heaven was for them to be busy telling other people about Him. Therefore our number one priority as a church is to share the incredible message of Christ with those in our sphere of influence.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samara and to the end of the Earth.
— Acts 1:8

Our Community

 

Our Call to Ministry

 

Our Worship

 

Leadership

Life-change happens in the context of relationships and biblical community. God uses a variety of means to transform a life, and this often occurs in small groups where there is an environment of grace and truth. Our desire is to develop a church that is not merely a social group, but rather a transformational community.

And all who believed were together and had all things in common. They were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
— Acts 2:44-47

We will constantly evaluate our methods to ensure cultural relevance and maximum effectiveness for relating Christ to others.

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jews, in order to win Jews. To those under the law, I became under the law(though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law, I became as one outside the law(not being outside the law of God, but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might have some. I do it all for the sake of the Gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
— 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

We seek to give glory to God in authentic expressions of surrender and praise. We desire for our worship to be culturally relevant and appealing to both believers and non-believers.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
— Psalm 40:3

We support God's appointed pastors and leaders and support them in every way in order to honor God.

And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepards, and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.
— Ephesians 4:11-12

meet our team

Here to serve.

  Erik Estep    Senior Pastor   Erik is the founding pastor of VillageChurch. He grew up in Oklahoma but moved to South Carolina as a senior in high school. He is a graduate of Spring Valley High School, Furman University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. During his time at Furman, Erik met Emily and they married in 1992. They have 3 children: Hank (who lives in Atlanta), Glyn (a college student) and Janie (a senior in high school).

Erik Estep

Senior Pastor

Erik is the founding pastor of VillageChurch. He grew up in Oklahoma but moved to South Carolina as a senior in high school. He is a graduate of Spring Valley High School, Furman University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. During his time at Furman, Erik met Emily and they married in 1992. They have 3 children: Hank (who lives in Atlanta), Glyn (a college student) and Janie (a senior in high school).

  Matthew Phillips    Student Pastor   Matthew Phillips is a native of Texas, but do not let that fool you because he was raised in Columbia, SC. This avid Gamecock fan graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2008 with a degree in Public Relations and is now pursuing his Master's of Divinity through Southeastern Theological Seminary. Matthew has been on staff at Village Church since September of 2008. If Matthew is not preaching the gospel then he’s making others laugh. He is married to his better half, Emily, and they recently had their first child, William and have another on the way! They also have have a yellow lab named Tanner.

Matthew Phillips

Student Pastor

Matthew Phillips is a native of Texas, but do not let that fool you because he was raised in Columbia, SC. This avid Gamecock fan graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2008 with a degree in Public Relations and is now pursuing his Master's of Divinity through Southeastern Theological Seminary. Matthew has been on staff at Village Church since September of 2008. If Matthew is not preaching the gospel then he’s making others laugh. He is married to his better half, Emily, and they recently had their first child, William and have another on the way! They also have have a yellow lab named Tanner.

  James Ballew    Worship Minister   James has been the Worship minister at VillageChurch since May 2008. He graduated with a BA in Music from the School of Music at the University Of South Carolina. He is married to Lauren Ballew whom he met while leading worship at Camp Longridge in Ridgeway, South Carolina. They are expecting their first baby, Raylee, in October. James is also an avid Crossfitter at Crossfit Valor and loves to compete in local competitions when he can. His favorite verse is Philippians 4:13.

James Ballew

Worship Minister

James has been the Worship minister at VillageChurch since May 2008. He graduated with a BA in Music from the School of Music at the University Of South Carolina. He is married to Lauren Ballew whom he met while leading worship at Camp Longridge in Ridgeway, South Carolina. They are expecting their first baby, Raylee, in October. James is also an avid Crossfitter at Crossfit Valor and loves to compete in local competitions when he can. His favorite verse is Philippians 4:13.

 
  Jonathan Ruth    VGroups Pastor, Director of Choirs   Jonathan grew up in Columbia and graduated from Richland Northeast. His wife, Tiffany, grew up in Lexington where they met at Fellowship Baptist Church. Tiffany is a nurse at Providence. They have four children ages 6-12. He attended Erskine College and Seminary for his Music and Master’s of Church Music degrees. Jonathan loves a great cup of coffee, enjoys hanging out with his family, and cruising Lake Murray. He also enjoys hunting whitetail and fishing when he gets the chance.

Jonathan Ruth

VGroups Pastor, Director of Choirs

Jonathan grew up in Columbia and graduated from Richland Northeast. His wife, Tiffany, grew up in Lexington where they met at Fellowship Baptist Church. Tiffany is a nurse at Providence. They have four children ages 6-12. He attended Erskine College and Seminary for his Music and Master’s of Church Music degrees. Jonathan loves a great cup of coffee, enjoys hanging out with his family, and cruising Lake Murray. He also enjoys hunting whitetail and fishing when he gets the chance.

  Will Bonniville    Middle School Pastor   Will was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina where he attended Blythewood High School and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2017 with a degree in Political Science. Will is now pursuing his Master’s of Divinity through Southeastern Theological Seminary. Will has been an intern at Village Church since 2013 and joined full time in 2018. Will is married to his wife Sally. When he has free time he enjoys fishing, playing guitar, and spending time with friends.

Will Bonniville

Middle School Pastor

Will was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina where he attended Blythewood High School and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2017 with a degree in Political Science. Will is now pursuing his Master’s of Divinity through Southeastern Theological Seminary. Will has been an intern at Village Church since 2013 and joined full time in 2018. Will is married to his wife Sally. When he has free time he enjoys fishing, playing guitar, and spending time with friends.

 Dr. Wendell Estep   Staff Consultant   Many of you are familiar with Dr. Estep (Pastor Erik’s father) after seeing him preach on television as the pastor of First Baptist Columbia for 32 years. He grew up in Texas, served as a pastor for 50 years, and is the father of Stephanie, Erik, and the grandfather of 5. He and his wife, Lynda, have been a team for over 5 decades.

Dr. Wendell Estep

Staff Consultant

Many of you are familiar with Dr. Estep (Pastor Erik’s father) after seeing him preach on television as the pastor of First Baptist Columbia for 32 years. He grew up in Texas, served as a pastor for 50 years, and is the father of Stephanie, Erik, and the grandfather of 5. He and his wife, Lynda, have been a team for over 5 decades.

 
  Kerri Fischer    Office Administrator   Kerri was born and raised in California and graduated from Hartnell College with a business degree. She moved to Columbia in 2001 where she has worked at several churches in various positions. Kerri married to Kelley with two kids; Tyler and Alyssa. Her hobbies include reading, banking, and going to the beach.

Kerri Fischer

Office Administrator

Kerri was born and raised in California and graduated from Hartnell College with a business degree. She moved to Columbia in 2001 where she has worked at several churches in various positions. Kerri married to Kelley with two kids; Tyler and Alyssa. Her hobbies include reading, banking, and going to the beach.

  Amy Paolucci    Children's Coordinator   Amy was raised in Minnesota, graduating from St. Olaf college in 1997 with a BA in economics. She has a traveled extensively to include a one year exchange program in France, an internship at the American Embassy in Tunisia, and missionary trips to India and Thailand. Amy worked for a financial investment firm before moving to South Carolina. She is passionate about her relationship with Christ, her family, and the ministry at Village Church. Amy is married to her loving husband Ryan and they have three wonderful children, Paige, Grant and Reed who are all involved in the children’s ministry.

Amy Paolucci

Children's Coordinator

Amy was raised in Minnesota, graduating from St. Olaf college in 1997 with a BA in economics. She has a traveled extensively to include a one year exchange program in France, an internship at the American Embassy in Tunisia, and missionary trips to India and Thailand. Amy worked for a financial investment firm before moving to South Carolina. She is passionate about her relationship with Christ, her family, and the ministry at Village Church. Amy is married to her loving husband Ryan and they have three wonderful children, Paige, Grant and Reed who are all involved in the children’s ministry.

  Beki Miller    Events Coordinator   Beki Miller is our Events Coordinator. She is a native of Central Kentucky and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education & Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University and a Masters of Education degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Kentucky---Go Wildcats! She is married to Jeremy Miller and is homeschooling their 2 sons, Joshua and Daniel. She enjoys reading, watching movies (especially period pieces), traveling, architecture and interior design.

Beki Miller

Events Coordinator

Beki Miller is our Events Coordinator. She is a native of Central Kentucky and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education & Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University and a Masters of Education degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Kentucky---Go Wildcats! She is married to Jeremy Miller and is homeschooling their 2 sons, Joshua and Daniel. She enjoys reading, watching movies (especially period pieces), traveling, architecture and interior design.

 
  Butch Richardson    Building Superintendent   Butch graduated from Dentsville High School and entered the US Army serving a tour of duty in Vietnam. He owned and operated Standard Electric, Inc for 35 years prior to retiring in 2009. Butch is married to Joan and is a loving parent to Derrill, Janet and Kent. He stays busy with the 4 grand boys, Zachary, Matthew, Will and Henry whether on the sports fields or at home. Since retiring he has enjoyed working on his tractors, restoring a 1931 Model A Ford and being a member of the Blythewood Romeo group (retired old men eating out).

Butch Richardson

Building Superintendent

Butch graduated from Dentsville High School and entered the US Army serving a tour of duty in Vietnam. He owned and operated Standard Electric, Inc for 35 years prior to retiring in 2009. Butch is married to Joan and is a loving parent to Derrill, Janet and Kent. He stays busy with the 4 grand boys, Zachary, Matthew, Will and Henry whether on the sports fields or at home. Since retiring he has enjoyed working on his tractors, restoring a 1931 Model A Ford and being a member of the Blythewood Romeo group (retired old men eating out).

  KJ Mack    Discipleship Intern   KJ is a native of Columbia, SC where he graduated from Blythewood High School in 2016. KJ is currently pursuing a degree in Public Health with minors in Business and Psychology at the University of South Carolina. He is an avid long-distance runner and enjoys reading, hiking, and hanging out with friends in his free time.

KJ Mack

Discipleship Intern

KJ is a native of Columbia, SC where he graduated from Blythewood High School in 2016. KJ is currently pursuing a degree in Public Health with minors in Business and Psychology at the University of South Carolina. He is an avid long-distance runner and enjoys reading, hiking, and hanging out with friends in his free time.

  Heidi Lorenzetti    Administrative Assistant   Heidi, otherwise known as “The Glue”, was born and raised in Minnesota, where she obtained her degree in Organizational Management. Heidi has been married to her husband Brad for 28 years, and has two children, Josh and Jessica. Heidi has been with Village Church since 2010 and enjoys traveling and reading in her free time.

Heidi Lorenzetti

Administrative Assistant

Heidi, otherwise known as “The Glue”, was born and raised in Minnesota, where she obtained her degree in Organizational Management. Heidi has been married to her husband Brad for 28 years, and has two children, Josh and Jessica. Heidi has been with Village Church since 2010 and enjoys traveling and reading in her free time.

  Andrew Busbee    Media Intern   Andrew, more commonly known as “Busbee”, is a native of Blythewood, SC, where he attended Blythewood High School. Busbee is studying Organizational Leadership at Columbia International University while also competing on the track team. Busbee is known for his recap videos and inability to shoot a basketball. He enjoys playing frisbee, teriyaki chicken with yum-yum sauce, and laughing in his free time.

Andrew Busbee

Media Intern

Andrew, more commonly known as “Busbee”, is a native of Blythewood, SC, where he attended Blythewood High School. Busbee is studying Organizational Leadership at Columbia International University while also competing on the track team. Busbee is known for his recap videos and inability to shoot a basketball. He enjoys playing frisbee, teriyaki chicken with yum-yum sauce, and laughing in his free time.