Cade Hennessee

Lead Pastor / Elder

Cade was installed as Vertical Life’s lead pastor in 2023. He is passionate to see lost people saved, saved people matured, and matured people multiplied – all to the glory of God. After spending his youth in the farming communities of southern Oklahoma, he went on to navigate submarines in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Cade moved to Texas in 2005 where he later graduated from Wayland Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He served Christ faithfully in ministry for six years near San Antonio before moving to the Houston area. Married to Cori since 2008, he strives to love her as Christ loves the Church. They lovingly disciple their three children with help from the family of God. Cade loves to learn and is interested in many things, but one of his favorites is cooking. He hopes there are big kitchens in heaven.

Rick Fasino

Pastor / Elder

Rick Fasino was born and raised in Rochester, New York, and is the youngest of six children. He graduated from LeMoyne College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and has spent most of his career in the technology industry. Rick came to Vertical Life Church in 2015 when he moved his family from Chicago, IL to Houston, TX, and was appointed an Elder in 2018. Rick currently lives in Tomball with his wife, Diane. Together they have three grown children, daughters Morgan, Skylar, and Carly.

Ted Rice

Pastor / Elder

Ted grew up in Lubbock, Texas. He became a follower of Jesus after participating in a mission trip to Mexico in 1971.  While completing a degree in Biblical Studies and Christian Education he served as an intern in Youth Ministry in Beaumont, TX. After completing his studies, he served as an Associate Pastor of Youth and Worship at Berean Baptist Church here in Houston. It was in this season of ministry in ‘78 he met and married his wife, Rita. They have served in various capacities of ministry while raising their two children, Krista and Justin. They now have three grandchildren in Austin.  Ted serves as Elder of Soul Care, a Biblical Counseling and equipping ministry here at Vertical Life Church.

Ray Whaley

Pastor / Elder

Ray became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1971 during the beginnings of the Jesus Movement which was sweeping through the US and Europe. In school, Ray’s studies were in Physics, but his heart is studying and teaching the Word of God. His passion is how the Torah and the Prophets illuminate the New Testament and how the New Testament explains God’s revelation about Himself in the Old. Ray joined VLC back in its first year when it was called Harvest of Grace. He is married to Brenda, and they have two grown daughters, Amanda and Lisa.

Debbie Garcia


Debbie grew up in a Christian household and thought she knew all she needed to know about being a Christian. Yet, she was missing one important and very vital component in her Christian life. She had lived a very religious, self-centered life which led to a very worldly and a very “me first” frame of mind. It wasn’t until September of 2011 that she couldn’t take it anymore and felt like there had to be more to being a Christian than what she had experienced. She was longing for a deep personal relationship with Jesus and in February of 2012 she finally invited Christ into her heart during an altar call one Wednesday evening at church. Debbie has 11 years of Christian preschool experience, two years as an Executive Director of Grace Symphony Orchestra and countless hours of sweat and tears in raising four children with her husband and best friend, Miguel Garcia.

Jonathan Brown


Jonathan Brown is the Worship Leader here at Vertical Life Church. He is a husband and father of two beautiful children. Jonathan has served in various ministries, primarily worship ministries, his entire life.  He grew up in a military family headed by his father who was a pastor. Jonathan’s primary passion is using his gifts to serve the local body and communicating God’s story of good news to every person who attends services here at VLC.  He also leads with the video production and live production ministries at the church.

Alex Alvarez

Pastoral Resident / Student Ministry Leader

A member since 2018, Alex Joined the staff in May 2022 as a Pastoral Resident and serves by leading the Student Ministry alongside his wife Alyssa. He has been married since 2019 and is the father of a beautiful little girl. Alex grew up in Houston, Texas, and came to faith at the age of 17 while attending a Sunday service for the first time.  Since hearing the Gospel and experiencing the transforming power as a teenager, Alex has a great desire to see the lives of all teenagers changed by the very same message that changed his life.

Skylar Dixon


Skylar has been a part of Vertical Life Church since she was in high school. Raised in Chicago, her family moved to Houston in 2015 and joined the church soon after. Skylar studied graphic design in college and she now utilizes her design skills for the church on a weekly basis. Skylar has been married to her husband, Jacob, since 2020. They live in Tomball with their two dogs and hope to start a family soon.