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Southbrook Church



Student Ministry




Weddington, NC




- John Kearney Executive Pastor

“Our passion is to see kids grow in faith with their families and then continue to grow once they have left their families and moved on to college life.” These are the words of John Kearney, Executive Pastor of SouthbrookChurch, as he described their Student Ministry. As he spoke, it became evident that Southbrook Church felt a deep calling to present the gospel to the youth of their church and community.


Located south of Charlotte in Union County, NC, Southbrook is a gospel-based church that never shies away from preaching truth. Relevance without compromise - this is the mission of Southbrook’s Youth Ministry. They strive to present the Gospel using relevant means of communication without compromising the core message of the Bible. Southbrook finds the common ground of both churched and unchurched students and brings them together for a time of worship and fellowship every week.


Recently, Southbrook ran into the best problem a church could have. They were sending their current Youth Ministries Pastor away to plant a church across the country, thus leaving a void in their student outreach.


After conferring with the church leadership, Kearney reached out to Vanderbloemen Search Group, as they had previously partnered with Vanderbloemen to find their Senior Pastor. Kearney said, “We saw the value in the investment from our Senior Pastor search,” and they wanted to make the same investment in their Student Ministries Pastor.


The VanderbScreen_Shot_2016-04-19_at_10.22.34_AM.pngloemen team firmly believes that each search is more than that just seeking a great staff member – it is a holy space. This search was to find the next person God was calling to reach a generation of students who will, one day, lead the church. With the experience, expertise, and network of the Vanderbloemen Search Group in their corner, Southbrook took their search to a national level.


Full of energy and enthusiasm, Troy Thornburg caught the eye of Kearney and the Southbrook leadership team after being presented to them by Vanderbloemen Search Group. Hailing from Springfield, OH, Troy had experience growing a Student Ministry and training volunteers. More than his experience, Troy was a heart match for Southbrook. God has laid a burden on Troy’s heart for reaching students, and his obedience in following this calling has now brought a new chapter to his journey.


John Kearney and the rest of Southbrook Church’s leadership are excited for Troy as he establishes relationships with local schools and families, and they look forward to big growth in their Student Ministry. With the mission and vision of Southbrook, combined with Troy’s passion for ministering to students, God has big plans for their community.


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