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About Us

Our Team

Co-Founder & Pastor

Rev Amie Vanderford

Rev Amie Vanderford obtained her Master of Divinity at the Christian Theological Seminary (where she met Thaddeus), along with numerous master level courses in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and is an ordained minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She and Thaddeus believe that mental and emotional health are as critical to a person’s overall well-being as spiritual and physical health, and they have incorporated liberation theology, trauma informed care, and mental health services, with a particular focus on relational and community healing, into the mission, vision, and foundation of this church. 


Amie has had a diverse career prior to taking up her call to prophetic and pastoral ministry. In addition to working in the corporate and non-profit fields, she is an accomplished photographer with a diverse multicultural and international background, having lived all over the world since childhood. She obtained an undergraduate degree in International Relations with a focus on Peace and Conflict Resolution, and she has a strong passion for addressing systemic racial and other social injustices.

Co-Founder & Minister of Mental Health

Thaddeus Shelton, Jr., MFT, CSAYC

Thaddeus Shelton, Jr. obtained his Master of Marriage and Family Therapy at the Christian Theological Seminary, and has additionally received his CSAYC (Credentialed Sexually Abusive Youth Clinician) certification. He is currently providing therapy services through a local Indianapolis agency, Family & Community Partners, and he is the facilitator of the Project LEAST (Love Everyone As Self Training) mentoring program which teaches evidence-based pro-social skills in order to equip youth to navigate the world in a healthy and more communal way. He understands the complicated dynamics of systemic oppression, and uses a narrative therapeutic approach to address and help dismantle those systems.

Thaddeus has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, and has had a diverse career as an entrepreneur, project manager, and business owner, along with years of experience in the insurance industry, prior to answering his call to service.

Minister of Food Outreach

Jill Phillips

Jill Phillips comes to The Laboratory Church in support of Thaddeus and Amie's vision of an inclusive, liberation focused, trauma-informed, relational healing ministry. She is also the visionary and passionate supporter of the 4KEEPS Mobile Pantry's mission of bringing food aid out to the people where they are, and understands that it is essential in overcoming limited access to food resources in our community. 


Jill is a retiree from AT&T and a Graduate Gemologist. Retirement plans have included service to others through work with the ICAN Food Pantry and The Laboratory Church's 4KEEPS Mobile Pantry. She also enjoys travel with her husband Mike, and musical pursuits with her band and a local performing arts ministry.

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