JOSIAH LAWRENCE

Eastside Community Church | josiah@eastsidememphis.org

My Story

I was born in Auburn, Alabama, but grew up mostly in Jonesboro, Arkansas. In a small town in Arkansas as 1 of 6 kids in a pastors home. I grew up hearing the gospel and seeing it lived out by my parents, but did not experience that personal relationship with God that brings about life change until my senior year of High School. During that year the example of my parents as well as some college ministers working with Campus Outreach at Arkansas State University began to challenge my understanding of what it meant to be a Christian. God saved me from the lie that Christianity is just about accepting information about what Jesus has done and changed me through His Holy Spirit. As I was convicted of my sin and repented of trusting myself especially my tendency to trust that my knowledge could save me, God began to change everything about me.

I attended college at Arkansas State University and had the opportunity to be discipled for four years by Tim Bundren. He taught me what it means to care deeply about those who do not know Christ and to follow Jesus daily. After college, I was privileged to work with Campus Outreach and 2nd Presbyterian Church at the University of Memphis and through The Village Church at University of North Texas and University of Texas at Dallas doing personal evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development on the college campus.

In 2013 I took a job at The Village Church as a Groups Minister in Dallas and then in 2014 moved back to Memphis to help with planting Harvest Church. I had the opportunity to serve with Downline Ministries as the Emerging Leaders director for a year and enjoyed serving at Harvest for a number of years as an Assistant Pastor and Elder. I am thankful for a season of development and service that stretched me and taught me more of what it means to pastor and love God's people as well as our neighbors and city at The Village Church and Harvest Church.

I have been married to Sarah since 2010 and along with our children, Emily and Isaiah, she is the greatest joy in my life. I am thankful for her and the way that she has been used by God to build a home full of joy, comfort, and purpose that is the foundation of our ministry at Eastside and in our neighborhood. We are excited and hopeful to see God use our imperfect lives and family to be a blessing to those where we live, work, and play.

I received my Masters at Southern Seminary and am extremely thankful and humbled to be the Lead Pastor for Eastside Community Church. We launched from Harvest Church in September of 2018. If you would like to hear more about Eastside and our story do not hesitate to email me at josiah@eastsidememphis.org.

My Hope For Harvest

I hope Harvest Church is a place where worship is passionate and authentic, evangelism is friendly and common, disciple-making is action rather than rhetoric, and community is honest with one another.  I pray that it is a place where we all remember our desperate need of the Gospel and where that same Gospel moves us to be people who love the lost and one another.  I pray that our dependence on God would lead each of us to be a people of the word who live our lives under the authority of our compassionate and gracious King Jesus.