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Ben and Sarah Koch felt called to Austin and moved down from Ohio to come on staff in 2014. Ben worked as Associate Pastor and then became Lead Pastor in 2016. He and Sarah have 3 children, Jasmine, Madeline, and Levi, and love getting into nature, road trips, and finding new places to explore around Austin.
"Here at The Vineyard, we are passionate to see our city flourish and desire to see everyone step into the adventure of following Jesus in the kingdom of God"
Rick was invited to join the Vineyard staff in January, 2018. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 43 years and have 3 grown daughters and 3 awesome grandkids. He is passionate about connecting people with and watching them grow in small groups. He enjoys “Jeeping” with those he loves. Whether it’s a date night with Lisa or piling his grandkids into the backseat, they pop the top and remove the doors and blast into a warm, sunny Austin day together without a care in the world!
Elaine is our resident “Brit” and has been on staff for more years than she can remember. She is our Associate Pastor and oversees our community groups, our hospitality teams and our Alpha courses. Helping both guests and members alike feel "at home" in the Vineyard, discover their gifts and grow in their faith and their love for Jesus is an incredible privilege and joy for her. Elaine has been married to Bill for 11 years, and she has 2 children and 4 brilliant grand-children.
Tony Miller, his wife Crystal and their two children have been members of the Austin Vineyard for years and he re-joined the staff in 2018. Tony was born into a musical family and started “making noise” himself at age 4. Tony became a believer in high school, and as he began to grow in the Lord, he knew the call of God was on his life. He toured on the Christian music circuit for a time, but felt called to serve the body in leading worship. Tony is a talented drummer who is active on the Austin music scene. He loves pawn shopping, martial arts, studying theology and pizza.
Tim Rushing joined the staff in February 2016 after retiring from 31 years in the corporate world. He is passionate about studying the Bible and received his Bachelor of Biblical Arts degree. He and his wife Kathy have operated the church food pantry since 2007. Tim focuses on reaching the community through tangible acts of kindness and has expanded his missions focus with a recent trip to India. Tim and Kathy have been married for 14 years and enjoy vacationing at the beaches in Mexico as well as hiking in the Colorado Rockies. They have five children and eight grandchildren between them.
sARAH KOCH & LISA EVANS
CHILDREN'S MINISTRY DIRECTORS
Sarah Koch, wife of Lead Pastor Ben Koch, and mom to Jasmine, Maddy, and Levi, has a huge heart for seeing the next generation experience the incredible and personal love of God. Her life was changed forever when she was 8 years old, as one evening when she was by herself, the Holy Spirit came to call her to himself and repent of her sin. She felt his presence and heard his voice so clearly and submitted to The Lord's wonderful loving kindness. She has continued a personal relationship walking alongside Him since that moment through the thick and thin of life. Sarah enjoys movies, games, pizza night, & exploring new and different places in central Texas!
Lisa Evans has been married to Rick for 45 years and has 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren. She owns and operates an in-home daycare and is delighted to be loving and leading children. Lisa enjoys spending time with her family and is looking forward to some new camping adventures.
Sarah & Lisa are thrilled to be working together. They passionately want each and every child at The Austin Vineyard to have the opportunity to meet with Jesus and then walk daily with Him and learn about all of the many amazing treasures He has for each one of us!
MISSIONS MOBILIZER/ Spanish-Speaking Ministries
Bernie moved to Austin from El Paso as a young adult in the late 80s and has been amazed at the growth of her adopted town. She brought with her a rich heritage, a blend of Mexican, West Texan and Southern New Mexican cultures. Spanish was her first language growing up and she is thankful to be able to put this language skill to use here with the growing Spanish speaking ministries she helps lead. Austin Vineyard has been her only church family since surrendering her life to Jesus in December of1996. She is so thankful for the love, acceptance and healing she has received within this awesome Body.
Bernie's passion for missions was birthed early in her walk here as she and her future husband, Jeff, began leading teams to Nuevo Laredo every six weeks. She has also traveled and assisted with trips to interior Mexico and other countries. A passion for missions is a family thing and she has been blessed to travel abroad with both Jeff and son, Isaiah, individually and together for Kingdom adventures. She joined our staff in October 2022 to assist lead Pastor Ben with mobilizing our body towards more involvement in God's missional purposes here, near and far. She currently leads our multi-generational Missions Small Group and treasures the richness of the relationships as they grow, serve and pray together.
Jeff and Bernie have been married for 21 years and are blessed to live with their family - son Isaiah, Bernie's mother Maria and their German Shepherd, Clara. FUN FACT: Bernie named Clara after her favorite Dr. Who companion!
ACCOUNTING & FINANCES
Emily joined the Austin Vineyard Staff in 2016 as our financial administrator and bookkeeper after moving from Ohio where she was the office manager for Vineyard Cleveland for several years. Emily has a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Case Western Reserve University and began her Masters in Social Work in 2017. Emily has a heart for the vulnerable in our communities, and specifically for foster children. While bookkeeping utilizes Emily's more administrative skills, she cares for the church and the finances with a heart to support the staff and ministry of the church! In Emily's free time she can be found at a local coffee shop or at her sister's house hanging with her nieces and nephew!
Lexi is passionate about the details and joined our staff in 2016 to support the pastors. She and her husband Paul and their two daughters joined the Austin Vineyard in 2011 when the Northeast Austin Vineyard merged with the Austin Vineyard. Lexi began following Jesus as a teenager growing up in Austin in the Epsicopal church. She loves learning about global missions, enjoying Saturday morning breakfast with her family, cheering for her kids at swim meets, and watching Texas Aggie Football!
GARDEN ADMINISTRATOR & EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Leann moved from the West Coast to Austin with her family in 2018. She began attending the Austin Vineyard Church soon after and joined the staff in 2021. Leann brings her previous office and admin experience to her role here as our garden administrator and assistant to executive pastor, Rick Evans. She enjoys the outdoors, meeting people and sight-seeing.
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