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.
Joel Passmore serves Northside Church as Associate 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.
Charles Lewis serves as our Pastoral Resident. He arrived in Richmond and joined our NCR family in Summer 2019. His joys include getting to know strangers, encouraging others, and bringing people together. You will likely spot him at a local coffee shop, brewery, or concert. When he's not taking in the tastes and sounds of Richmond, he's watching his beloved Philadelphia Eagles and 76ers.
Isaiah Thomas currently serves as one of our Pastoral Interns. Before coming to Northside Church, Isaiah graduated from William & Mary in 2016 and went on to be a pastoral intern and part of a college ministry staff in Williamsburg, VA. He and his wife, Abbey, have been married since 2018, and he is currently pursuing an MA in Biblical Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. His favorite Richmond activities include eating out, battery park bootcamp, and watching sunsets at Libby Hill Park.
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.
Kelsi Drake is our Director of Operations. Born and raised in Atlanta, Kelsi has called Richmond home since 2014. She has a BA in Mass Communication from Georgia College & State University and joined our staff team in Summer 2019. As the Director of Operations, she oversees much of the administrative responsibilities of the church, and works closely with the staff team to support them in their roles. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going on walks with friends, and playing outside with her husband Stephen and their son Judah.
Corinne Tucker serves as our Engagement Teams Coordinator. She has been on staff since 2014, working in various spheres of the church's ministry over the years, including administration, children's ministry, event planning, and youth outreach. She also served for over four years at Youth Life Foundation, where she led the middle school after-school program. Corinne's current work at NCR includes facilitating the development of our Engagement Teams, working with team leaders to set and pursue strategic goals, and helping members identify how their unique gifts and passions can best meet needs in the community via various roles within our teams. As of July 2019, Corinne is working remotely for NCR while pursuing a Master of Arts in Counseling at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL.
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.
Rufus Johnson serves as our Worship Leader/Vocal Coach. Rufus is an accomplished singer, songwriter, teacher and sound engineer. He is a graduate of Fayetteville State University with a degree in Music Education and has been a Music Educator in the public school system for 17 years. You can check out his YouTube channel here.