Verve is a church for people who don’t like church.
“We’re focused on that niche of people—which is unfortunately getting bigger all the time—who have no interest in the church at all,” Pastor and Founder Vince Antonucci says.
The ministry is best illustrated by the story of Warren, who works on the Vegas Strip at a horror show. He came to Verve as a fervent atheist with a plan to ruin the nascent church’s first service, ending it before it ever began. He was shocked to find the members welcoming, warm and even funny and got so engaged that he forgot to pull off his stunt. Eventually he became a Christian, was baptized and joined a discipleship program. Five years later, he’s led several of his friends to the Lord.
With such stories, Verve’s ministry seems perfect for reality TV. Verve was approached multiple times by Hollywood producers looking to create a series. He always turned them down.
“We didn’t want someone exploiting our people and their stories,” Antonucci explains.
Eventually, Verve was approached by City on a Hill, a Kentucky-based Christian production house that made the 2014 film The Song. Antonucci knew City on a Hill well and knew they would do his members’ stories justice. After two months of filming, six half-hour episodes were created of 11 members’ stories.
“It was weird because I’m not an actor or a reality TV show guy; I’m just a pastor,” Antonucci says. “It was rewarding knowing that these stories were going to be put on Trinity Broadcasting Network and hopefully will inspire and even challenge Christians who watch.” —Taylor Berglund