Pastor Joy Laughridge
2019 PNC Pastoral Nominee
Pastor Joy’s Statement of Faith
I do not remember a time in my life when I did not know that the Author of all Creation was the God revealed in the Bible. I don’t remember a time in my life when I did not know that God is good and that God is love. From the time I was young, I knew that God was the One who held the world in His hands and that no one was wiser or more powerful than God. As I have grown older, these concrete convictions about God have remained in tact, but age, and education, and life experience have both pushed and allowed me to also embrace and affirm the mysterious nature and ways of the Almighty God revealed in Christ and present with me in the Holy Spirit.
While affirming the God is mysterious, I cling to faith that God is knowable through the written word in Scripture and most clearly through Jesus, the Living Word. Everything that we must know about God in order to live in right relationship with God has been writing down in the Bible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit who illuminates these words and confirms in my heart that they are true. Everything that needed to be done in order for humankind to live in a joyful and right relationship with God have been accomplished through Jesus in his life, death on the cross, and resurrection to life. My faith in Jesus was nurtured from the time I was young through Scripture and the community of faith, and I trust in him daily for my salvation. Later in life as a young adult, I understand for the first time in a real way that I was not good enough or able to earn my own salvation and I abandoned myself even more wholeheartedly to the grace of God in Christ which saves me. At that time my relationship with God changed. The focus of my life shifted from trying to be good to please God to depending on God’s grace and living in joyful gratitude.
As I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know God, neither do I remember a time when I was not part of the local church. I have been a student of the Bible and engaged in the worship life of the church since childhood. I was baptized as an elementary age girl, but had my own children baptized as infants as an expression of my faith that God chose them before they had even thought about choosing GOD. As I have gotten older and come to understand the meaning and spiritual realities behind the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, my faith has been nurtured by these signs the Christ gave to us that are enacted by the Holy Spirit to confirm Jesus’s work and promise. The church needs all of the gifts God has given to her—the word, the Sacraments, and the spiritual gifts given to each member—to enable us through the power of the Holy Spirit to build and further God’s kingdom as Jesus calls us to do. This is our purpose and work, to make Christ known and to build his kingdom, until he comes to finally consummate that kingdom to the glory of God.
College: Bryan College, BA Christian Education
Seminary: Fuller Seminary, M. Divinity
Ordination Date: October 30th, 2005
Cont. Education: Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, D. Ministries (Outreach and Discipleship)
Name: Joy Woodcock Laughridge (Pronounced Lockridge)
Born: Durham NC
Children: Vanessa (7) and Virginia (10)
Hobbies/Activities: I love all social activities, eating, parties, games, and anything else you do with people! I enjoy the arts and creative expression- mostly as an observer but I like to participate when I can. I was a "band nerd," in the drama club, I can play GCD chord songs on the guitar, and I like to draw and paint and create. I love live music, theater productions, movies, art museums, and good books. I like to be active doing outdoor activities like going to the beach, running and walking, and I've recently dabbled in learning how to play golf (I have a loooong way to go). I also have a to admit that I really like to shop for clothes.