In the fall of 2014, Alex and Eri Soler found themselves gathering with 4 individuals in their living room every week. These gatherings were surrounded by prayer, talking about the Bible, playing games, and—of course—eating barbecue meatballs.
By December of the same year, 4 people grew to 31, and the Soler living room was now too small to host these Wednesday night gatherings. So, Alex and Eri decided to knock a wall down in their basement to create more space for the growing group.
It was obvious that God was doing something unique. After seeking counseling and praying intentionally for direction, Alex and Eri decided to take a step of faith and plant a new church.
The new church launched in September of 2015 in an old school in Zion, IL, under the Assemblies of God. Now, Vertical Encounter serves families around the Lake County area and looks forward to multiplying in different ways.
We believe you were made for more than just waking up every morning and going through your daily routine. Life can easily lose its value when we don't have a hope in something bigger than ourselves.
At Vertical Encounter, we are passionate about helping you encounter the God who created the universe. That same God knows you by name and has created you on purpose and with purpose. You were not a mistake!
We are a church that works with many different community partners to help you find a place to serve. We have also intentionally developed strategies to help you discover who God has made you to be. You can discover these strategies in a program we call "Growth Track," which you can find more information on in the menu bar.
Lastly, we find in the Bible that when the early Church was forming after Jesus resurrected, Christ promised to send His Spirit to be with that early Church. When The Spirit of God came, we find that He empowered the early Church to do things it would never dare to do if it wasn't for something supernatural. The truth is that the same Holy Spirit is alive and active today. We hope to help you encounter that Spirit of God so you too can be empowered to do things you could never do on your own.
We value healthy relationships here at Vertical Encounter. Our goal is that you feel part of a family. Because of this, we have developed "Small Groups" that help facilitate fellowship and healthy relationships.
With our strong community partners, we focus heavily on serving outside of the four walls of our church. In fact, we don't believe that the building we meet in is the church. We believe that we (the people) are the church and that we exist to serve our community.
We believe that our children are the Church of today. We continue to invest heavily on our student programs from Pre-K all the way to the end of high school. We want to make sure that we are helping create young people that are confident in what they believe.
LOVE & ACCEPTANCE
One thing we always say at Vertical Encounter is that we don't have to agree with each other in order to love and accept everyone. We are all on a journey to become more like Christ, and accepting that reality helps us learn to care for people on a whole different level.
Nobody likes feeling stuck. Your growth is important to us. We want to help you progress in your spiritual journey. We also want to grow as a church and never feel like we are complacent or comfortable. We challenge ourselves with finding new ways to multiply the church and help our community more effectively.