Leadership & Staff

Simon and Amanda Geller

Head Pastors

Simon and Amanda Geller moved to Texas in  2015, being called by the Lord to plant a church in Livingston, with their 6 children: Keith, Nicholas, Xander, Faith, Simon and Gabriella. They have such a love for people and a desire to see them walk out the plan God has for them. "It is our desire to see everybody in Polk County come to know their destiny in Christ. We will do this by showing Christ's love to the community through outreaches, developing our gifts from God in Life Groups, preaching the Gospel in service and developing a culture of prayer."

Matthew Ellis

Associate Pastor,  Worship Pastor

Matthew Ellis has grown up in the church and has always had a burning passion to reach the community around him with the powerful and transforming love of Jesus Christ.  He has served in various ministries and worship teams since 1993 but stepped into leading worship at Life Vine Church in 2018.  In December of 2018 Matthew was ordained as the Associate Pastor.  He is in love with Life Vine Church's vision for our city and can't wait to see it completely and fundamentally changed by the gospel.  He and his wife Amanda live in downtown Livingston where they raise their three kids River, Lily and Laurel.

James and Crystal Stephenson

Youth Pastors

James and Crystal have been a part of children’s and youth ministries since 2013, and have recently joined the LVC leadership team in August 2020. Their strongest desire is to see the Gospel come alive in the hearts and minds of all youth. They believe that God has placed gifts and talents in every individual, and they hope to cultivate an environment that brings those gifts out in each of the youth to help them become the leaders, and servants, that God has called them to be.  With five children of their own, they have a deep desire to see each and every child come to know Jesus as their personal savior. They can’t wait to see all that God has in store for the youth of Polk County! 

Amanda Ellis

Children's  Director

Amanda Ellis joined the LVC leadership team in October 2017. She has a heart and passion for seeing kids and their families grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, getting to know Him and His word in an intentional and meaningful way. She and her husband, Matt, have 3 kids: River, Lily and Laurel. They are excited to serve alongside the body of Christ in Livingston, TX.

Juana Leigh Baker

Director of Hospitality

Juana Leigh Baker has been part of the LVC team since the beginning in 2015.  She has a heart for service and encouragement and can often be found helping in women's ministry, planning, executing meal plans for our potluck lunches and singing with the worship team.  If it has to do with showing someone hospitality, you can be sure you'll find her working tirelessly behind the scenes.  She loves, serves and
leads well.

Justin Fryar

Director of First Impressions, Jubilee Coordinator

Justin Fryar has been a part of the LVC team since the beginning in 2015.  He energetically carries out his many roles as lead usher, security team leader, head of greeting team and the coordinator of LVC's involvement with Jubilee Prison Ministry.  He has a passion for reaching those in prison with the love, peace and freedom that only Jesus can bring (Matthew 25:36).  He works hard to make sure our Sunday morning services are warm, inviting and safe.   

Sam Baker

Church Administrator

Sam Baker has been a part of the LVC team since the beginning in 2015.  He works diligently behind the scenes to make sure that  all things here at LVC run smoothly and efficiently.  He oversees the logistics and can, on any given day be found cheerfully working away whether it be paying the bills or swinging a hammer.  He loves the body of Christ and does whatever is necessary to bring about God's Kingdom purposes.    

Tina Bentley

Office Administrator

Tina Bentley serves by carrying out weekly office duties.  In addition to many other logistical tasks, she oversees connecting with new visitors, and keeping media updated weekly.  She is the smiling face you'll see or the friendly voice you'll hear if you drop by or call during office hours.  

Kristy Murphy

Director of Our Father's House

Kristy Murphy has been with Life Vine Church since the beginning in 2015. During the first five years she was responsible for getting Life Vine Church's youth ministry started, but has since been lead to become the director of Our Father's House in the fall of 2020. She has an incredible heart for the broken and lost and wishes to see everyone come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.  Serving the community and being the hands and feet of Jesus in a tangible way is her mission.