About The Refinery

The Refinery Church is a community of people in Wilmington, NC who follow Jesus and have a burning passion for God and His heart towards our friends, neighbors, city, nation and world. Our desire is to multiply generations of followers so that the Good News of the gospel can be proclaimed to all generations. We believe that God has uniquely designed His body to walk together in the fullness of Jesus. This cannot be obtained or accomplished without every part contributing to the whole. Regardless of where you are on your journey, you have something to contribute to the Kingdom of God. Our desire is that you would not only burn with a passion to see God’s mighty works in our days fulfilled, but that our children’s children would experience even greater moves of God by standing upon our shoulders.

Our Vision

We are making disciples of Jesus Christ who love God, love people, and impact the world.


“Pay attention to what you hear; with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you and still more will be added to you.”(Mark 4:24)

To be a disciple is to be not only a learner, but also a giver. We were created to be conduits, therefore, what God teaches us, we are to give to others.

Our Mission

We are building multiplying generations of disciples.


“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Our mission accomplishes our vision as we give to others what has been freely given to us.

Our Leadership Team

Mark Tippett Ovella Tippett

Mark and Ovella Tippett

Mark and Ovella Tippett planted The Refinery Church in Wilmington, NC in the summer of 2013. They were called into full-time ministry in May of 1999. They were high school sweethearts, married in 1988 and have 5 amazing children and the cutest grandson on the face of the earth. Mark and Ovella are passionate about family and connecting with people. They love to renovate and do home projects together.

Mark has an undergraduate degree from NCSU in Forestry, Masters of Science in Forestry and Soil from Virginia Tech University and Masters of Divinity in Church Planting from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mark was on staff at two other local churches from 2001-2013 and did full-time missions for two years. Mark loves fishing, missions and people.

Ovella has a degree in Early Childhood Education from UNCG. She is also a Doula. Ovella loves to mentor other women, talking about parenting, family and childbirth. She enjoys spending time with her family, crafting, and dabbling in interior design.

Kenny Arnold and Heather Arnold

Kenny and Heather Arnold

Kenny and Heather met in college at Carson-Newman in Tennessee. They have lived in Wilmington since 2005, and they have 11 children from all around the world. 

Kenny coordinates the Refinery’s worships teams and also works for Seaside Mortgage.

Heather oversees the elementary age children’s ministry for Refinery Kids. 

The whole family enjoys hiking, biking, fishing and hanging at the beach.

Emily Tippett at the Refinery Church

Emily Tippett

Youth Director

Emily Tippett oversees the Youth Ministry at the Refinery and has been part of the church since the beginning.

Emily has lived in Wilmington most of her life, some would call her a local. She loves Wilmington and her community here. She loves to travel, throw pottery and a good charcuterie board.

Luke Tippett at The Refinery Church

Luke Tippett

Community Pastor

Luke Tippett is the Community Pastor at The Refinery Church. As the Community Pastor, he works to grow relationships within our community and church family. 

Luke grew up and currently lives in Wilmington, NC with his wife, Laura, and son, Huck. When not working, he loves hanging out with his family on the beach, fishing and traveling. Luke and Laura also own a creative agency doing video and marketing work.

His passion is “doing life” alongside others and opening up his home for gathering.