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.
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.
Tiera Latham serves as Children's Ministry Coordinator. She was born and raised in Richmond, VA and graduated from JMU in 2011 with a B.A. in Philosophy & Religion and a minor in English. She has been married since 2011 and is a mom to two fun and adventurous kids (2 years old and 5 years old). She has served children in ministry for over ten years in different capacities (as a youth camp counselor, through afterschool and summer programs, and in nursery/toddler classes at church). Aside from this, she has worked in public schools as a part-time educator and served as a foster parent. Since she can remember her passion has been to serve and advocate for youth, and she is honored that she is able to do so in the city where she grew up.
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.