On an initial drive through the Northside of Richmond a visitor will immediately notice differences between neighborhoods, and even streets within neighborhoods. The Northside of Richmond is a diverse area that has both some of the wealthiest areas of the city as well as the most blighted.
Through the eyes of a resident, the Northside is no less beautiful, but also more complicated. Some of the residents of the economically poor areas are rich in faith, culture, and relationships. And the beautiful condition of some of the homes of the Northside is often not matched by a corresponding beautiful home life.
A group of Northside residents gathered together to plant a church in this part of the city. This group is from different walks and stages of life, with varied stories, backgrounds and interests. But the group is held together by one common bond: none of us has it all together and all of us are hopeless apart from Jesus.
Matt Lorish serves as the church planting 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.
Joel Passmore serves Northside Church as assistant pastor and worship director. He has lived in Richmond most of his life, is a proud VCU alumnus (go Rams!), and worked as a chemical engineer for nearly a decade before answering a call to ministry. He graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary, and together with his wife Nikki, they parent two very energetic daughters.
Nii Aryee serves as Director of Admin and Community Engagement. Nii was born in Newark, NJ to a Ghanaian father and African American mother. Before joining the staff of NCR (January 2017), he served as a Deacon at Christian Community Presbyterian Church (PCA), Newark, NJ. Nii is in the MDiv Urban Ministry program at Alliance Theological Seminary, NYC. Before entering seminary, he served in the Air Force Reserves, spent a year studying the Bible at the Word of Life Bible Institute and completed his undergraduate studies at Nyack College in Organizational Management. Nii’s wife Shaqrah was born and raised in Newark. She has experience working with youth in programs such as the Boys & Girls Club and Upward Bound. Nii and Shaqrah together led a high school youth ministry in Newark before getting married in 2006. They have four children.
Charity Smith serves as Ministry Staff for Northside Church of Richmond. She graduated from Wingate University in 2011 and worked in college ministry for several years before moving to Richmond in August, 2014. Her primary responsibilities include leading Young Women's Academy, discipling college students, and studying urban ministry. She also works part-time as the mentor coordinator for Youth Life Foundation, a local non-profit.
Corinne Tucker serves as the church's Administrative Assistant and Ministry Staff. She moved to Richmond in June 2014, after graduating from the College of William & Mary with a degree in English. Her work includes coordinating the children's ministry, assisting with Young Women's Academy, and studying urban ministry. As the Administrative Assistant, she is responsible for church communication and event planning, among other things. She also works part-time with the middle school after-program at Youth Life Foundation, a local non-profit that runs neighborhood Learning Centers.
Mario Jackson serves as the Vocal Director for Northside Church of Richmond. After graduating from Randolph-Macon College in 2015 with a degree in Music and Education, he began serving as a vocalist for Northside Church. Now, his primary responsibility is to assist the Worship Director in preparing music for Sunday services, teaching Northside vocalists, and shaping the music to reflect the diversity of the Northside community.