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Home > ABOUT US > Overview

“THE WORD” Church is a people-centered, relationship-driven ministry with a call to help those who are hurting, lost, and in poverty.

Being a first-time visitor or new member at any church can often be quite confusing, and sometimes even a little uncomfortable. We understand that, so we put considerable time and thought into making our visitors and members experience as pleasant and relaxed as possible.

We’re going to go out on a limb and say “THE WORD” Church is probably unlike any church you’ve ever visited. From the street to the stage (though not exactly in that order), here’s what you can expect:


Let’s start with our pastor, Dr. R. A. Vernon. You can read his bio by clicking here, but to give you a general idea, he’s a fun-loving family guy with charisma and confidence. A thought leader and a forward-thinking visionary, he loves people and loves the city of Cleveland, the place where he was born and raised.

He has a doctorate in practical theology so he knows his stuff, but he preaches in a relatable, often humorous manner (Who says church can’t be entertaining?) that most anyone can identify with.

Our beautiful first lady, Lady Vernon, complements him well. She’s cool, calm, and collected, but her reserved composure should not be mistaken for reticence. She’s educated, creative, and confident, and gives our Pastor the support and sage advice he needs to be the man of God, husband, father, and pastor he is called to be. Add to that list published author, as she released her first book this summer, I am Victory: Kingdom Principles to a Victorious Life!


They don’t call us “THE WORD” Church for nothin’. We’re Bible-believing, Bible-toting, Bible-promoting, Bible enthusiasts. We love the Word of God and believe it has all the answers, or, for those gray areas of life that leave us clueless, a formula for finding the answers.

Dr. Vernon teaches about anything and everything, weaving current events together with biblical history so we can make sense out the world we live in today. He recognizes that pop culture has so subtly blurred the lines of what God really wants for us that it’s difficult if not downright impossible to tell right from wrong in some cases.

What’s considered controversial today used to be accepted biblical doctrine in days gone by. So, do we compromise or confront? Tolerate or tackle? Dr. Vernon, in the plain-spoken way he’s become popular for, makes the answers clear every weekend and every Wednesday.


So, the last time we checked the numbers, we were 36,000 strong. Though we don’t see all our members every week, with four campuses and twelve services all over Cleveland and Akron, we see plenty.

The great thing about our church is, even with thousands of people, you still feel connected. We’re big on loving people and building relationships, so we’ve come up with a variety of ministries that allow you to bond with other members, which appeal to the needs, gifts, and expertise of men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and statuses.

There’s Men’s Monday for men.
Men’s Monday is a monthly ministry event dedicated to helping men develop a pure relationship with Christ, answer the call to integrity, and learn how to lead godly lives. Every second Monday at 7:00pm, men from all over come together at “THE WORD” Church to hear a relevant message from Dr. Vernon or another speaker, with messages that are largely oriented towards the issues and challenges that are ubiquitous among men desiring to live holy, disciplined, purposeful lives. Following the teaching, men are encouraged to hang out and enjoy food, sports, video games, and the freedom to be men among men.

For women, there is Lady Vernon Presents The Chat Room.
The Chat Room is a roundtable discussion where women of various backgrounds and views come together to have lively, spirited discussion about life issues, current events, and the hot topics that dominate the media. The colloquy is lighthearted and informal, but always provides biblical perspective. It’s a celebration of womanhood and the different things women love—conversation, laughter, giveaways, and opportunities to grow personally and spiritually.

For singles and married couples, there is Dr. R. A. Vernon presents Relationships Uncut, which is a two-part platform for married couples and singles, respectively. The first half of the evening, married couples enjoy teaching from both Dr. and Lady Vernon. Dr. Vernon spends the latter half of the evening teaching singles straight from his book, The 10 Rules of Dating.

For those who are married, they offer practical advice showing couples how to pursue a godly, rewarding, relationship filled with intimacy, great communication, and mutual understanding.

With a realness that’s as refreshing as it is raw, he gives singles honest answers to their most pressing questions and clarifies confusing conceptions about both sexes. It’s entertaining, which is great, but more importantly, it’s encouraging, educational, and edifying.


We realize that a church of this size might be intimidating for some, so we make it easy for you to get in, get comfortable, and get settled for service.

When you pull into the parking lot, right off the bat you’re greeted with waves and warm smiles by these great guys who direct traffic in all kinds of weather so you never have to hunt for a parking space, even when the place is packed.

Then, you walk through the main entrance, and there are two or more cheerful greeters waiting with open arms, literally, to hug you. From there, you’re handed off to our ushers, who are also grinning (yeah, we do a lot of smiling and laughing here), and they in turn direct you to your seats. You don’t have to do any thinking or searching; we’ve planned for your visit and have taken the guesswork out of the most common concerns people have when they attend church for the first time or the fiftieth time.

After you’ve been parked, hugged, and directed to your seat, things really take off. Service starts on time, every time (we respect your time so we’re always punctual).


In two words, we blaze. Praise and worship is an integral part of our service. The music is loud. The singing is moving. The canopy of choreographed lights is hypnotizing—just kidding—but the idea is to get totally lost in the worship experience. You might think you’re at a concert. We make “a joyful noise” at every opportunity because we believe that soul-stirring worship preps the spirit and opens the heart to receive the Word of God.

Our song selections are carefully chosen and often correspond directly to the theme of the day’s message. With our team of talented musicians, singers and gifted songwriters leading the way, we try to cultivate an atmosphere that harmonizes tasteful music choices with sound, truthful, teaching. You can visit to hear some of the music we composed.


We’re big on children and teens at “THE WORD” and we champion family values and programming. We’re always looking for fresh ways to engage our kids and offer a number of outlets from the cradle to college to cater to their spiritual, emotional, and mental needs.

We offer a number of other ministries and small groups that not only minister to our congregation, but also gives our members the opportunity to flex their creative and intellectual strengths to service the kingdom at large.


Our greatest calling, by far, is outreach. It’s what we do well and what we continually strive to perfect. We recently renamed our outreach ministry Matthew 25 Alive, based on our Bedrock Scriptures, Matthew 25:35-36, as these two verses explain exactly what we do and what we’re here for as ambassadors for the kingdom. It is our adaptation of the word in action, but more specifically, it is our community outreach campaign devoted to helping people in need, such as incarcerated and impoverished men, women, and children. It’s feeding the hungry and providing clothing for those without the resources to provide it for themselves. It’s giving away cars and homes debt free. In a nutshell, it’s doing everything we can to be a light to those who need to know and feel the love of Jesus Christ.


Our 160,000 square foot main campus is also home to a full-blown athletics division housed in our sports complex, with three full basketball courts, two playing fields, a billiards hall, and a skating rink, providing a venue for all sorts of sports activities including football, boxing, and soccer.

We are very proud of who we are and the work that God allows us to do here at “THE WORD” Church, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to serve you. Be sure to check back often for information and services and the latest happenings at “THE WORD”.

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