VCI Team

E. Stanley Ott – Founder and President

As President of the Vital Churches Institute (VCI), Stan's passion is the transformation of the mainline church. Stan teaches the principles of congregational vitality, transformation, missional endeavor, and leadership. His impact reaches thousands of folks throughout US and abroad through the Acts 16:5 Initiative, his published writing and his teaching engagements.

As pastor, Stan has over thirty years of first-hand knowledge of the hard work and challenges that lead to the blessings of being a transformational congregation that moves to new vitality.

Stan's Publications include:

  • "Twelve Dynamic Shifts for Transforming Your Church" (Eerdmans)
  • "Transform Your Church with Ministry Teams"(Eerdmans)
  • "The Vibrant Church: A People Building Plan for Congregational Health" (Regal)
  • "The Joy of Discipling: Friend with Friend and Heart with Heart" (Zondervan)
  • Vision for a Vital Church (Vital Churches Institute)
  • Small Group Life (Vital Churches Institute)



Chris Bullock - Coach and Consultant

Chris has a heart for transforming Presbyterian churches in the 21st Century.  He is currently serving as Co-Pastor with his wife, Karen, at Central Presbyterian Church, in Midtown, Mobile, Alabama.  He has worked with Acts 16:5 in the Presbytery of Mississippi and is helping lead Acts 16% in the Florida Presbytery starting this spring.  

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Hoyt Byrum - Coach and Consultant

Hoyt has served congregations since 1975 with a double focus of: helping individual Christians become mature in their faith and helping congregations become transformational in their ministry and mission. Hoyt has particular expertise in:

  • Developing a Small Group ministry.
  • Deploying effective Stewardship efforts.
  • Leading groups in the concepts of the Acts 16:5 Initiative.

Hoyt holds a Bachelors of Science degree, a Master of Arts in Counseling, a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry.


Steve Ebling – Coach and Consultant

Steve's passion is to help people and congregations grow into the disciples Christ is calling them to be. Currently, he is leading an Acts 16:5 Initiative team in the Presbytery of Whitewater Valley. He has served churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana for over twenty years as an Associate and Senior Pastor. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Divinity degree.





Tom Houston – Coach and Consultant

Tom is passionate about helping people to grow in a life-long journey with Jesus. Throughout his ministry, he has worked closely with seekers and disciples of all ages to help them to know and relate with their Living Lord and to be the unique creation that God has called them to be.

For over 13 years Tom has served as Pastor or Associate Pastor to churches in Pennsylvania and Ohio. His experience also includes working with Youth for Christ and serving as Executive Director of the World Bible Quiz Association.

Tom is excited to help churches align their shared life and mission around the concepts of the Acts 16:5 Initiative as they embrace the process of congregational transformation.  Tom holds a Bachelors of Arts in Youth Ministry and a Master of Divinity degree.

Linda Jaberg – Coach and Consultant

Linda has extensive experience in serving the local church and building bridges in the surrounding community. She has served churches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida. Having held a variety of leadership positions, Linda has had a profound influence, especially on children. Linda knows participating in the Acts 16:5 Initiative is key to the successful transition that her church is going through. Having experienced and resolved the conflict within the church leadership; the congregation is now positioned for spiritual renewal and new growth. With more than thirty years in ministry, Linda is well-prepared to guide church leaders desiring transformation. Linda holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with a Minor in Secondary Education and a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Pastoral Care.


Paige M. McRight - Consultant

Paige McRight received her Master of Divinity from Princeton Seminary and her DMin from Columbia Seminary.  She grew up in a new church development pastored by her father in North Alabama.  She has served as Associate Pastor in two large churches in Florida and South Carolina.  Paige has worked with churches of all sizes as a member of presbytery staffs in Atlanta, Charlotte, and most recently as Executive Presbyter in Central Florida Presbytery.  In addition, she served for three years as chaplain at Agnes Scott College.  Throughout her ministry, Paige has worked with others to support members, candidates, and pastors in identifying and strengthening their gifts for ministry.  She has helped develop programs for pastoral leadership development in the Synods of Mid Atlantic and South Atlantic and participated with the Acts 16:5 Initiative in Central Florida Presbytery.  Recently retired, Paige is looking at leadership in ministry and mission work at the turn of the twentieth century through her family letters to her great aunt, Elizabeth Maxwell.


Dale Patterson - Coach and Consultant

Dale has several years working in the world of sales and marketing with Fortune 500 companies. He has over twenty-eight years of experience in large and small congregations including New Church Development. Dale's heart is bringing the message of refreshment and the invigorating hope of Christ-centered living to the many in our communities who are disenfranchised from the church. He is an experienced pastor in leading a congregation with the concepts of the Acts 16:5 Initiative. Dale writes the blog and a daily e-devotional, Enjoy Life, Enjoy God. Dale is also the author of In the Snare of the Fowler. Contact:



Pam Volk – Administrator

Pam Volk has a wide range of experience in the Human Resources field through Kelly Services, Harvard University and the University of Pittsburgh. After time at home with young children, she joined Stan in the adventure that is church transformation. Pam has experienced the powerful effect that church transformation has on individuals and congregations not only through her work with VCI but also as a member of the Pleasant Hills Presbyterian Church where Stan was Senior Pastor. She has lived the message that Stan delivers. Pam holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business.