Maryville Vineyard Staff
Aaron on Facebook
Aaron has been called to ministry for almost as long as he can remember. At six, he knew God had called him (although he had no idea what that meant), but it didn’t become official until he was 15 and actually started telling other people about it. Aaron married Sharon in 2003, and the couple quickly decided that God was calling them to start the Maryville Vineyard. They planted the church in 2004. Before he became Lead Pastor of the Vineyard, Aaron attended Lee University and graduated in 2002 with a BA in Pastoral Ministry. He also worked as a counselor and worship pastor prior to the Vineyard.
It is Aaron’s greatest desire to help more people know and understand the gospel. It is his mission statement and the measuring stick for any decision he makes. “To save the whole damned world,” as he often says. Literally taken, this is the mission of Jesus, it is the mission of the church, it is what we are called to do.
When Aaron’s not focusing on writing sermons, organizing church events, or doing other pastoral things, he really enjoys playing and watching basketball, listening to music, and spending time with his favorite three people in the world: Sharon, Bryce, and Bree. Aaron is also an avid reader and podcast listener, and he loves listening to podcasts at 2x speed, where the speech is just barely intelligible, so he can listen to as many as possible. Aaron’s best ‘stupid human trick’ is that he can tell the number of letters in words almost instantly.* If you’d like to learn more about him, you can visit his blog. Or better yet, come on by the Vineyard one Sunday and he’ll be more than happy to meet you in person!
*Please do not abuse this knowledge by tossing large words at him, expecting him to say a number! He’ll know the answer, but once he starts, he can’t stop. And then he gets weird!
Sharon on Facebook
On a mission trip to the Dominican during her Senior year of high school, Sharon was called to ministry and her whole world was changed. She attended Lee University and received her BA in Pastoral Ministry, moving towards her goal of working in ministry. In 2003, Sharon married Vineyard head pastor Aaron McCarter, after serving as youth pastor at River Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida. A year later, in 2004, the couple felt God’s call to start Maryville Vineyard. So that Fall, the Vineyard was planted with Sharon serving in the role of associate/youth/children’s pastor. She served in this capacity until Cory was hired as youth pastor in 2011, and she now serves predominantly as associate and children’s pastor.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
-Acts 20:24 is Sharon’s favorite verse.
While Sharon works part-time at the Vineyard, she spends much of the rest of her time caring for the McCarter’s two beautiful children: Bryce, who was born in 2008, and Bree, born in 2010. Sharon is somewhat of an over-achiever and is often jokingly charged with being the president of everything she’s ever been involved with. If she wasn’t a pastor, Sharon would love to be a high school teacher and volleyball coach, which shows her heart for children and youth.
Teri on Facebook
Teri has been an integral part of the church staff since 2006. She has been married to worship & communications pastor Matt Farrand since 1997. The Farrands are the proud parents of daughter Tatum, born in 2007, and son Mac, born in 2012. Teri attended North Central University, studying Children’s Ministry. Prior to joining the Vineyard staff, Teri worked in marketing and distribution for a non-profit organization and also as a church secretary. She is the ministry coordinator at the Vineyard and handles general administration tasks along with having various hospitality responsibilities.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
-Micah 6:8 is Teri’s favorite verse.
Teri is the “security blanket” on staff. As long as Teri feels happy and positive, everything will be alright. When Teri starts worrying, it’s time to panic! Teri is the voice of reason and security, but she also has a lot of surprising interests. She has an “always wanted to do” list, which the rest of the staff has compiled from all the things that Teri has said she always wanted to do. On this list are things like writing a foreword to a book, petting a penguin, being a bounty hunter, and trying malt vinegar, among many others. She is also, believe it or not, a closet Nascar fan, and can often be caught on Sunday afternoons cheering for Mark Martin while Matt is sleeping. So if you know about Nascar, make sure to ask her about the latest race.
Worship & Communications Pastor
Matt on Facebook
Matt and Teri came to the Vineyard in 2006, looking for a church home after leaving a previous ministry and needing God to refresh their spirits. They found out very early on that the Vineyard was going to be a place of healing and they quickly began getting involved wherever they could. Teri was hired part-time in 2006, as the first staff member other than the McCarters. In 2008, after becoming really involved in the Vineyard ministry, Matt was hired as the Worship/Communications Pastor. With this role, Matt works with managing the church’s media, worship, programming, communications, and basically everything that occurs in the sanctuary on Sunday mornings. Matt attended North Central University with his high school sweetheart Teri, and the couple got married in 1997. Matt worked in various forms of ministry, PR, and marketing before arriving at the Vineyard. Matt and Teri are the parents of two beautiful children: daughter Tatum, born in 2007, and son Mac, born in 2012.
Matt is an idiot savant, without the idiot.
Whatever needs to be done at the Vineyard, Matt probably knows how to do it. He knows a whole lot about everything. From web design to playing dark chords with his impressive hitchhiker’s thumb on the piano, Matt is the man to get the job done. But what makes Matt so special is his crazy love for the church. The church is Matt’s passion and he does everything he can for it.
Matt also loves music passionately and if he hadn’t been called to the ministry at Summer camp in 4th grade, he would probably have been a high school music teacher. In fact, his favorite childhood moment was being surprised with a saxophone for Christmas, which really spurred his love for music. Teri jokingly says that Matt is two artsy genes away from being Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory, and if you’ve seen the show, you’d know that’s pretty spot on. His best ‘stupid human trick’ is his ability to dislocate his thumbs on command. With his diverse talent and knowledge set, Matt really keeps things together and running smoothly at the Vineyard, both behind the scenes and from the worship stage, and he does it all with the hope that it helps people connect with God.
Jen on Facebook
Jen Hill joined the Vineyard staff in the Summer of 2006, as the Groups Coordinator. She felt the call to lead this ministry after a sermon on puzzle pieces, which talked about how everyone fits into the picture of God’s Kingdom. Jen is volunteer staff, and has served in many different ways at the church. She is probably most familiar as the face of the Sunday announcements video. She is married to Chad Hill and they are the parents of two awesome boys: Jackson, born in 2005, and Parker, born in 2007.
Jen is an exciting spark-plug and encourager on staff. She is a great example of God’s joy and is always super upbeat and excited. From an early age she showed talent with being in front of a camera and was actually involved in a public access television show when she was just 15. Jen loves to sing conversations to her children and dances often, which shows just how silly and fun she likes to be. Her favorite passage of scripture is Acts 12, especially in the Message translation.
Youth & Missions Pastor
Cory on Facebook
Cory joined the Vineyard’s team as Youth and Missions Pastor in 2011. Before becoming a pastor, Cory had worked at various retail management positions and had attended Global University, studying Pastoral Studies. In 1996, Cory married Melissa and they have been blessed with five wonderful daughters, Taylor, Kate, Jenna, Cassie, and Emerson. Cory has a tremendous heart for the youth of Blount County and a great personality to be working with them. He also leads mission trips throughout the year to Haiti, where we are partnered with Maryville Vineyard’s first missionaries, Josh and Amanda Armstrong.
“The outward man is perishing, the inward man is being renewed daily.”
-2 Corinthians 4:16 is Cory’s favorite verse
Cory is crazy energetic and loves goofing off and having a good time. Like Matt Fuson, Cory has been known to do some great impressions, and the two regularly have Ray Romano impression wars. Cory loves to help out with the kid’s ministry on Sunday mornings and does all sorts of fun, crazy motions to lead worship with them. They absolutely love it. When he’s not leading the Vineyard’s youth or helping out around the church, Cory loves to spend time with his family, go camping, and play softball. He also remembers nearly every lyric to any song he’s ever heard and a lot of the time he will sing responses to people with fitting song lyrics. Cory has a great, fun-loving personality, a genuine love for people, and a passionate desire to reach the youth of Blount County. The Trube’s are an awesome part of the Vineyard family.
Media Arts Pastor
Matt on Facebook
Matt Fuson joined the Vineyard as the MAP (media arts pastor), in 2012. Before joining the ministry full-time, Matt was a graphic designer for Life Care Centers of America, but when offered the position at the Vineyard, he knew it was where God wanted him to be. Matt attended Lee University where he double majored in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems. He has been married to his wife, Michelle, since 2004. The Fuson’s were blessed with twin boys Jack and Elijah in 2008, and daughter Maggie, in 2011.
To avoid confusion with the other, pre-existing Matt on staff, Matt Fuson prefers to be called Matthius Ernie, which is actually his full name. In reality, he is most often referred to simply as “Fuson,” or “Foo-foo.” Hang around him for any amount of time and you’ll probably hear one of his many great impressions, ranging from Ray Romano to Gollum. He loves to have fun and goof around, and always keeps things light-hearted. In fact, his dream job is to be a Disney Imagineer. In his spare time, Fuson loves spending time with his family, playing ultimate frisbee and disc golf, and listening to Billy Joel. He would also love to get into parkour (free-running).
Vineyard Kids – Elementary
Michelle on Facebook
Michelle’s bio is coming soon.