Melanie is the leader of the Women’s Association for Vineyard USA, giving voice, encouragement and support to women throughout the movement.
Melanie was born and raised in the post-Christian landscape of Australia. Her parents were church planters, and it was in that context that her love of local church was cultivated. Her passion for Jesus and people led her and her now late husband to start a youth ministry that saw hundreds of teens come to Christ, as well as leading the 24/7 prayer base in Australia.
They moved to Ohio in 2003 to work as Youth Pastors, and in 2009 they were sent out to plant LIFE Vineyard Church. Thirteen years later, LIFE has grown into a vibrant faith community, a sheltering tree in the heart of Columbus. This community also extends to Cambodia and India, where, through a partnership with Asia’s Hope, LIFE supports two family-style orphan care homes for at-risk children. Visiting the children in India each year is one of the deep loves of Melanie’s life and ministry.
Melanie has been a Pastor’s daughter, Pastor’s wife, a co-lead Pastor, and now solo lead Pastor. This unique perspective has developed a passion to see women empowered and released into their callings at every level of ministry leadership and she is excited about serving the women of the Vineyard in her new role.
Melanie is married to Andrew and is the proud mother of three incredible teenagers. In her free time you’ll find her growing her own vegetables in her rather large garden, baking in her kitchen, or listening to live music.
I am so excited about working with women from across the country who are serving Jesus faithfully in their local contexts. I believe we have a tremendous opportunity to see women pastor in new and powerful ways in these uncertain times. People are anxious, tired, and lonely from a pandemic that has altered the fabric of society, and the role of local church is shifting from a linear, top-down style of leadership to one of nurture and embrace. There is a great need for spiritual mothers and fathers, and I am excited to see the local church landscape grow to accommodate a more holistic approach to community pastoring.
My dream is to see women step into their full calling and purpose in the Kingdom, empowered and released to bring heaven to earth in whatever context they find themselves in. My dream is to build on the legacy of the women who have gone before us, who advocated for our voices to be heard and our vocations honored. My dream is that we take that legacy and walk forward, shoulder to shoulder with our brothers into a future that has space and room for all of us to flourish. My dream is that we would beat our swords into plowshares, beginning the deep work of cultivating the land that has been so well fought for. My dream is that this association represents all women, from every nation, in all levels of leadership, known primarily by our love for one another. My dream is that this association brings blessing, wisdom, and leadership to the larger Vineyard movement. That we would work together with our other associations and the national leadership to bring about a more excellent environment for our local churches to thrive in. It is my dream that women would no longer be hindered in their calling by damaging doctrine or cultural norms. That the church would be the safest and most empowering of environments for this next generation of women and that trauma and wounding would no longer be the story for women called to pastor.
The Vineyard is my spiritual home, the family I have chosen to belong to. I love the theology of the Vineyard, our rich history of Biblical integrity married with the movement of the Holy Spirit. I love the outworking of the now/not yet of the Kingdom, which is a precious combination of humility and faith. I love the heart of the leaders of our movement and their genuine desire to serve and not merely be served. I love the intimacy of worship, the freedom to not be perfect, and the open hand in which we allow everyone to participate in Kingdom work.