Rich Nathan

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Rich Nathan
OccupationPastor and author
Spouse(s)Marlene Nathan

Rich Nathan (born December 1955) is an American pastor and author who has been the senior Pastor of Vineyard Columbus since 1987.

Early life and education[edit]

Nathan came to believe in Jesus at the age of 18.[2] Prior to pastoring, he was an assistant professor of business law at The Ohio State University for five years.[3] He has bachelor's degrees in history and religious studies from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio graduating magna cum laude, and a J.D. with honors from Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law in Columbus, Ohio.[3]


Nathan has served on the National Board of Vineyard: A Community of Churches for more than 20 years and is the Large Church Task Force Coordinator for the Vineyard.[3] He is a national and international conference speaker[3] and author of three books.[4] Nathan has been noted[by whom?] as one of the strongest voices in favor of bringing together various streams of the church including the evangelical stream, the social justice stream, the charismatic stream and the liturgical stream.

Nathan has been outspoken on the subject of faith and politics. In an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, he was quoted as saying:

We think the Gospel has political implications, but it's not partisan. And we don't think that either the Republicans or the Democrats have the sole possession of the implications of the Gospel.[5]

Nathan has also been a major force for immigration reform, highlighting the issue in both sermons and op-eds. He advocates for a different plan than those traditionally offered for America's illegal immigrants, "a pathway to citizenship governed by a system of checks and balances."[6] He has led Vineyard Columbus to embrace racial and ethnic diversity. Vineyard Columbus is one of America's most diverse churches, having attendees from over 125 nations. Nathan has been a leader in the Vineyard movement in advocating for women's full participation in all aspects of church ministry including becoming senior pastors, church planters, missionaries and Vineyard Association overseers. As Nathan put it in a message on egalitarianism: "God's gifts and call are not gender-based."

Vineyard Columbus[edit]

Vineyard Columbus (formerly Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Columbus and Vineyard Church of Columbus) is a church in Westerville, Ohio. It is part of the Association of Vineyard Churches with headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas.

Vineyard Columbus dates back as a church to the late-1970s. Three different churches joined together to form the first church. The church remained independent of any larger group for a number of years. After investigating a number of groups to join with, the leadership of the church decided on the Association of Vineyard Churches, led by John Wimber. They became the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Columbus in 1987. Vineyard Columbus has experienced significant growth over the years, drawing about 7,500 people from over 125 nations at its weekend worship services and becoming the largest church in the Vineyard movement today. It is a church that is self described as an "empowered evangelical" church, according to the definition in Rich Nathan and Ken Wilson's book Empowered Evangelicals that was published in the mid-1990s.

The original church in Westerville has planted more than 30 churches since 1987,[7] including over a dozen in the Columbus area - all included in the Vineyard Movement. Vineyard Columbus also supports many Christian missionaries throughout the world.

Satellite Campuses[edit]

In 2009, Vineyard Columbus opened its first satellite campus, Vineyard Columbus Sawmill Campus,[8] in Dublin, OH. This campus grew rapidly and started holding 2 services (9am and 11am) as of September 2013. In 2011, VC opened its second campus, Lane Avenue Campus of Vineyard Columbus.[9] In the fall of 2012, VC launched its third campus, East Campus, at Berwick Alternative Elementary School.[10] In early 2015, East Campus joined forces with the Eastside Vineyard church plant in Pickerington and moved operations out there. Vineyard Columbus also has a Spanish language campus called La Vina that meets in the Chapel of the Cooper Road location on Sundays at 11:30am.


  • Who Is My Enemy ISBN 0-310-23882-X
  • (Co-authored) Empowered Evangelicals with Ken Wilson ISBN 0-89283-929-5
  • (Co-authored) Both-And: Living the Christ-Centered Life in an Either-Or World with Insoo Kim ISBN 0-83083-766-3


  1. ^
  2. ^ Nathan, Rich; Wilson, Ken (1995). Empowered Evangelicals. Vineyard Church of Columbus. ISBN 0-89283-929-5
  3. ^ a b c d Nathan, Rich. "About". Vineyard Columbus. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  4. ^ Jackson (1999), page needed
  5. ^ The Columbus Dispatch - Local/State
  6. ^ Beaty, Katelyn (December 2011). "The Kingdom in Columbus: Why the world's largest Vineyard church is drawing people from 104 nations in central Ohio". Christianity Today. pp. 42–45. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
  7. ^ Vineyard Church of Columbus
  8. ^ Vineyard Columbus: Sawmill Campus
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ East Campus at Berwick


External links[edit]