Our mission is to glorify God by making disciples who are:
By God's grace, Christians have a joy that isn't dependent upon their current circumstances – a joy from God Himself (Philippians 4:4). We gather weekly for Christ-centered corporate worship and we seek to live all of our lives as worship, including consistent engagement in personal Bible reading and prayer. Even as we experience deep sorrow through the trials and difficulties of life, we recognize that the Gospel makes it possible to be "sorrowful, but always rejoicing" (1 Corinthians 6:10). We want to hold onto gratitude for what Jesus has done and hold onto hope for what He will do.
We believe the church is a family, and we want to live out our communal life as a healthy one. We desire meaningful relationships, walking together so we can both weep and rejoice with each other. We seek to honor one another, serve one another, listen to one another, speak truth to one another, correct one another, repent to one another and forgive each other regularly. We want to encourage and care for each other holistically (spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc). By God's grace, as we live Jesus' ways, we want it to be said of us: "they had no need among them" (Acts 4:34).
We seek to live out the Gospel as we obey the mandate in Micah 6:8, to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God." We want to love our neighbors consistently, in word and deed. We work to be significantly available to really know and love our Northside neighbors in spirit and in truth, including sharing our faith with boldness and joy.
The Centrality of the Gospel
We seek to consistently teach that the forgiveness and favor of God is on all those who have sincerely repented of their sin and trusted in Jesus as their Savior and atoning sacrifice (Rom 1:16). And we don't want to just teach grace, but also live it out as a grace-saturated church – continually repenting, and trusting in the righteousness of Christ and not our own (Col 2:6-7).
The Bible as Authority
God has given His Word to His people as the only authoritative standard for their faith and life. We affirm the Bible's truthfulness and inerrancy because the Bible is inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16-17). We joyfully and confidently commit our lives to its message, gladly proclaim its truth to others, and diligently seek to live our lives according to its teaching (Psalm 119).
A Cross-Cultural Commitment
All people are created in the image of God, and the gospel of Jesus should break down barriers of ethnicity, culture, socio-economic status, generation, and class (Eph 2:19-22). We desire our church body and leadership to include and reflect the diversity of the Northside with "every nation, tribe, people and language" being welcomed and celebrated (Rev 7:9). We commit to the discipleship and Spirit-gifted ministry development of all church members from all backgrounds. Additionally, our commitment to justice in light of the city's and church's racial history, and our current community demographics, compel us to especially recognize, support and empower African American leadership (Acts 6:1-7) and contextualize our ministry toward the cultural preferences of African Americans (I Cor 9:19-23).
A Northside Focus
We believe that geography matters and seek to be "in the Northside, for the Northside." Geographic proximity enables significant overlap in relationships both inside and outside the church (Proverbs 27:17). Understanding the Northside's history is important and we seek to pursue the good of our Northside neighbors and institutions (Jeremiah 29:7). We want to concentrate our time and resources here.
The Primacy of the Church
All Christians need to be vitally connected to a local church to be strengthened, comforted, corrected, and shepherded to persevere with hope (Acts 20:28, Hebrews 13:17). We express this connection through church membership. We are committed to seeing the spiritual gifts of all of our members (young and old, male and female) be identified, developed, and utilized in the context of the local church for the building up of the body of Christ (Eph 4:11-16, I Cor 12).
A Kingdom Mindset
We see ourselves as a part of a much bigger whole – God's Kingdom (Col 1:13). We want to encourage, learn from and support God's work in other parts of the world (Matt 28:18-20). We desire to be a significant part of a movement of cross-cultural ministry development, including being a champion and incubator for ministry leaders and pastors who will be called elsewhere.
Matt Lorish serves as Senior Pastor for Northside Church of Richmond. Matt graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary-Orlando in 2008 (Master of Divinity & Master of Arts in Counseling) after previously working in campus ministry for four years. Before the start of Northside Church, the Lorishes served at Grace Community Presbyterian in the Richmond area, where Matt was an assistant pastor. The Lorishes were approved to plant a church by the Assessment Center of the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) in the summer of 2008.
Charles Lewis came to serve at the Northside Church of Richmond in August 2019 as a pastoral resident, and became ordained and installed at Northside Church of Richmond in February of 2021. Before moving to Richmond, he served as a pastoral intern at a PCA church in Northern Virginia, and prior to that he served as a campus ministry intern with RUF at the University of Pittsburgh. A Philly native, Charles enjoys exploring new restaurants, bars and coffee shops, going to concerts, making craft cocktails, listening to vinyl records and messing around with his Canon Rebel T7 camera. He and his wife Hannah have a son.
Gwen Abegaz serves as our Director of Mercy Ministry and Community Engagement. She was born in Ethiopia and raised in Southwest Virginia. After living in Northern Virginia for a few years, she visited Richmond and immediately felt at home and moved a few months later. She served as Youth Life Foundation's high school program coordinator and studied Psychology and Sociology at VCU. Gwen is responsible for overseeing, deepening and developing our Mercy Ministry and discipling young women. She enjoys the outdoors (but hates insects), listening to podcasts, and traveling.
Rayshawn Graves, a Richmond native, is married to Dr.Tiffany Graves. They have a son and daughter, Ezekiel and Ramiyah. For some time now, he has felt that his purpose in this life is to serve Jesus' church by preaching the gospel, encouraging the lost, equipping His people, and exalting Him as the Savior. He is also a writer, armchair basketball critic, sneaker aficionado on a budget, and should-be Chipotle shareholder. You can check out his writings at www.brgraves.com.
Lexy George serves as our Children's Ministry Coordinator. Since graduating from JMU in 2003, Lexy has worked with children in a variety of contexts and positions – everything from psychiatric and behavioral care to childcare and preschool. She has been on staff at Northside since summer 2016. She and her husband, Nate, have 3 children: Katherine, Isaac, and Gabriel. As the Children's Ministry Coordinator, she oversees our 2 nurseries, Children's Worship, and Sunday School.
Hassan Washington Hassan Washington serves as Worship Director at Northside Church of Richmond. Residing in Richmond, VA, Hassan serves full time in different musical and ministerial positions at multiple churches in Richmond, including with his home organization and church, the United Holy Church of America, Inc. Aside from his work in the church, Hassan is also part of Richmond based band, The VybeHouse who have successfully released two projects over the last two years. He has also released his own production material, which can be found exclusively on Bandcamp. Hassan works as a community activist alongside R.I.S.E. for Youth, a nonpartisan organization committed to dismantling the youth prison model, ensuring safe spaces that usher growth and success to the upcoming generation.
Corinne Tucker serves as a Ministry Staff member of Northside Church. After living in Richmond and working on staff with both Northside Church of Richmond and Youth Life Foundation of Richmond for almost five years, Corinne moved to Orlando, Florida to pursue a Master of Arts in Counseling at Reformed Theological Seminary. She completed her degree in 2021 and has continued working remotely for NCR, leading virtual groups, assisting with the organizational structure of the Mercy & Development Team, and developing resources to facilitate the integration of emotional and relational health into NCR's ministry. Corinne also works as a counselor in private practice and in educational settings. Outside of work, she enjoys soccer, yoga, and all kinds of water – rivers, lakes, and the ocean!
Tim Hamlette recently moved from Lynchburg, VA to Richmond with his wife, Bianca. Tim has a huge heart for discipleship and the holistic growth of people through the love of Jesus. Tim graduated from Liberty University in 2013 with a Bachelor's in Sport Management and then graduated from Seminary in 2015 with a Master's in Theological Studies. While in Lynchburg, Tim served as a pastor at Hill City Community Church for some time, worked in higher education and as a Mental Health Associate for middle school. For fun, he enjoys playing Madden and 2K, listening to music (hip hop, jazz, neo-soul), watching sports, a good cigar and bourbon, finding the best hot wings around, and watching his favorite TV shows, Martin and The Office.