Ronnie Martin
Lead Pastor Substance Church
Local Lead Pastor in Ashland/Elder

Ronnie is the planter and founding pastor of Substance Church, which launched in 2013. In addition to pastoring and preaching at Substance, Ronnie is the author of Finding God in the Dark (w/ Ted Kluck), Stop Your Complaining and The Bride(zilla) of Christ, as well as a contributing writer for The Gospel Coalition, Doxology & Theology and Am I Called. Ronnie has been married to Melissa for 24 years and they have one daughter, Beth. Ronnie's interests include songwriting and reading, hiking with his wife and plenty of good food—which is why he goes hiking with his wife.

Chris Lawson
Local Lead Pastor in Wooster / Elder

Before joining Substance as the lead pastor of the Wooster congregation, Chris served as an associate pastor and worship leader for eight years in his hometown of Newark, Ohio—followed by a one-year church-planting residency in Columbus. He has been married to Lindsay for a little more than 10 years, and with four energetic kids, his hobbies include wrestling on the living room floor, repeating himself often, and wrestling on the living room floor. He also enjoys running, hiking with his family, and eating buffalo wings.

Jeff Powell
Elder / Pastor

For the past 15 years, Jeff has been a District Superintendent for The Evangelical Free Church of America. Before taking his role as DS, he spent seven years as the lead pastor of Christ Community Church in Savannah, Ohio. Jeff has been married to Kim for 37 years and they have two children and two grandchildren. Jeff enjoys Ohio football, golf and two scoops of the finest ice cream money can buy. Seriously, no one likes ice cream as much as this guy.

Zach Watson
Elder / Pastor

Part of the original core team that planted Substance Church in 2013, Zach has served in various roles, including leading a Community Group. Previously serving as the deacon of Facilities, Zach joined the Elder team in early 2018. Zach has been married to Jillian for 11 years, and they have three children. Employed as a Nurse Practitioner in Mansfield, Ohio, Zach also enjoys hiking, reading and woodworking. He can build just about anything out of reclaimed barn wood and old pallets.


Amy Allen
Hospitality in Wooster
Scott Allen
Facilities in Wooster
Betsy Buckwalter
Substance Kids in Wooster
Kyle Klingler
Scott Long
Music & Sound
Ashley Powell
Substance Kids in Ashland
Randy Van Hove
Jillian Watson
Hospitality in Ashland

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