Who We Are
Vertical Fellowship is a Christian non-profit organization that exists to fulfill a unique Vision, Mission and Calling from God. We are an event-based ministry that networks with churches and organizations locally and internationally. We are passionate about using the common ground of music and creative arts to bring together believers and non-believers to share the gospel of Christ (Romans 15:20). We rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, the prophetic attributes of worship and music, our commitment to excellence, and the unapologetic proclamation of God’s Word to reach the hearts of those entrusted to us.
To proclaim what we have seen and heard that others may have fellowship with us. And indeed, our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)
To make disciples who Gather, Grow and Go.
To gather the community, both believers and non-believers, and create opportunities where the manifest presence of God is felt through worship, music, and the presentation of God's Word trusting the Lord for His promise in 1 Corinthians 14:26, resulting in repentance and salvation.
Pastor Michael Šust
Pastor Michael is the founder and director of Vertical Fellowship officially launched as an independent Christian organization in 2020. He studied voice, piano and composition at the National Conservatory of Music in the Czech Republic and earned his doctorate in musical arts from Boston University. He also attended Covenant Seminary in St. Louis to supplement his theological education. Michael spent 17 years serving the Lord as a worship pastor and 14 years as a lead pastor in Bible-teaching churches in four U.S. states. In addition to his passion for the Word of God, he is an accomplished singer, composer, arranger and conductor. He loves using music and the arts as effective tools for evangelism. Since 1995, he has organized dozens of local and international music mission and outreach events, leading, training and sending outstanding music and worship groups to do God’s work in numerous countries in Central Europe, around the United States, Canada and in Haiti. Pastor Michael has been married to his wife, Colleen, for 31 years. They have two wonderful daughters and four grandchildren. Together with their daughter, Christy, they travel and perform as The Šust Family Singers.
Colleen grew up along the Coast of New England and began her musical studies with the flute and piano. She received her BA in Communication from University of Massachusetts - Amherst while also studying flute, enjoying her involvement in the marching band and other university ensembles. It was there that she grew in her relationship with Jesus and discovered that God loved her regardless of her "performance." After getting married in 1989, she began her vocal studies with Michael and, to her great surprise and delight, a voice emerged, affirming that with a willing heart and the right motive God will indeed multiply our talents. Her greatest joy has been her marriage and ministry with Michael, raising her daughters Annie and Christy while seeing them blossom as worshippers and leaders, and being "Nana" to Alina, April, Addie and Armani. She loves mentoring women young and old, encouraging them to break out of their own fears or self-made limitations and use their varied gifts for the glory of God. Since 1995, she has been blessed to be part of organizing much of the travel logistics of music missions and tours both in the U.S. and abroad and being an eye witness to countless lives changed when people from various backgrounds come together in community to make beautiful music that honors our Creator.
Our Faith Statement
We believe that all ministries of God’s Church, within or independent of the local church organization, exist to glorify God. At Vertical Fellowship, we bring glory to God focusing primarily on worship (John 4:23-24), teaching of the Word (2 Timothy 4:2) and the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). We are unapologetically committed to Scriptural truth, its bold proclamation and its biblical interpretation without compromise. Our doctrinal pillars are as follows:
We believe in the only true God (John 17:3), revealed in three personas, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). These three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 29:19-20; Acts 4:3-4). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is the God of truth and is without iniquity, He is just and right (Deuteronomy 32:4) and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8).
We believe in the total deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the manifestation of God in the flesh. We believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe Him to be true God and true man (John 1:1, 1:14, 1:18; John 14:8-9; 1 Timothy 3:16).
We believe in the total deity of the Holy Spirit and that His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14). The Holy Spirit regenerates the sinner empowering the belief in Christ, baptizing the believer into one body of which Christ is the head (Colossians 1:18). The Holy Spirit indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts and empowers the believer for godly living (Mark 13:11; John 14:26; John 16:13; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 3:16). The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, of God’s righteousness and of coming judgment (John 16:8-11).
We believe the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in their original writings. We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament are God’s complete and sufficient revelation and therefore carry God’s authority for the total well-being of mankind (Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 119:160; Matthew 5:18; John 5:46-47; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:15-16).
We believe man was created in innocence according to the perfect design of his Maker but, by voluntarily transgressing, fell from his sinless and happy state. Consequently, all mankind became sinful (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). All people are sinners not only by inheritance, but by their own choice and therefore are under just condemnation without excuse. We believe that without exception every man and every woman is totally depraved and needs a Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, Romans 1:32; Romans 5:1-2).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that each person who repents and by faith receives Him as personal Savior is justified on the basis of Christ’s blood shed for us on Calvary. By God’s grace, through confessed faith in Jesus a person is born again, receives the gift of the Holy Spirit and thereby becomes eternally secure as a child of God. We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes each believing person into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation. (Romans 8:37-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13).
We believe in Christ’s resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-20), His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:9-11), His present life as High Priest and Advocate in the presence of the Father and in the physical resurrection of all members of the Body of Christ, the Church. (Acts 1:3; Hebrews 7:25-26).
Heaven, Hell and the Return of Christ
We believe in the personal, pre-millennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of each believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7) the lost are raised for eternal judgment and torment in hell in conscious separation from God. (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8).
We believe that upon accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, a believer becomes part of His body, which is the Church (Ephesians 1:22). There is one Church universal, composed of all those throughout the world who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather in order to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the body through the use and sharpening of talents, gifts, and abilities and outreach to unbelievers in fulfillment of the command of Christ to make disciples of all nations (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20). Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the Church. The local church body is under the oversight of appointed elders and other supportive leadership (1 Timothy 3:1-13, 1 Peter 5:1-3). The members of God's Church are to work together in love and unity, intent on the ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
We believe in that all believers are to engage in the ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples locally and /or around the world (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8-9) using their specific gifts to build the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:7-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11).
We believe that God ordained marriage in creation (Genesis 2:22-24) to be a sacred relationship between one man and one woman, (representing the only two genders ordained by God - Ephesians 5:22-30, Titus 1:6) intended for the duration of their life together (Matthew 5:32, Mark 10:9), to bear a visible witness to the relationship of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:32-33, 1 Peter 3:1-7) through oneness, love and submission.
We believe that God created man in His image (Genesis 1:27) and authored all life through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:3-4, Hebrews 1:2). We affirm that life begins in conception (Psalm 139, 13-16, Deuteronomy 30:19), and therefore must be cherished and protected (Psalm 82:3-4, Proverbs 31:6-9) including that of the unborn, the elderly and the impaired.