A letter from Philip
Over the last three years, I have sensed God saying that it was time for me to step back as the Lead Pastor of Vertical and begin to prepare a younger generation leader to take us into the future. I began praying and working towards that end and brought Meghan Petyak on to help me with this process. Then, about a year and a half ago, I brought Ben Derrick on the Executive Team to further develop his leadership and decision making. As I watched, listened and poured into him, I began to have a real peace that he was the man to lead us into the future. So, over the last year, I have slowly turned more and more over to him to watch him lead. In every situation, he has met my expectations. Seeing our staff look to Ben and Meghan as the primary leaders, I felt comfortable moving to the next stage, which was planning my transition from Lead Pastor of Vertical Church to Founding Pastor. By my own design, I have worked with Ben and Meghan to set up an excellent transition plan that allows me to pursue God’s calling on my next season of ministry while also caring for the church I started and love so much. Effective immediately, Ben Derrick is the Lead Pastor of Vertical Church. He will be my Pastor, and I will submit to his authority and leadership. Lori and I are both at a real peace over this decision and have trusted God as He has led us through this time. We desire to support Ben and Cammie in this new season of their ministry and want to set Vertical up to be around much longer than Philip Thurman.
Thank you for the gift of these last 16 years, we wouldn’t trade them for the world.
We love you guys,