In 2001 a member of Northside invited me to church. I was in college at the time. I had recently left a position as an interim youth minister at a church in another city. I was learning what college life was like and was on a journey to find a faith that was my own. When I walked in that Sunday morning, I didn’t realize what this church would become to me. Before I left that service, I had decided that I was home. The people welcomed me with a love and compassion that I had never seen before. I also found a family on that day. As time passed, I served in youth ministry. This was where I was introduced to my wife, Jessica, who also served there. Northside is where I grew up spiritually. Northside gave me a place where I could learn, grow, raise my son Kai and daughter Ashlynn, fail, and succeed in ministry. In 2010, after serving in many various ministries, I answered the call to pastor students. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed life with and ministry to our students and passed the torch in 2020, feeling as if the Lord was preparing us to take the lead of a church.
We weren't sure where the Lord was calling us and had no timeline, but felt strongly that He was calling us up. I stepped up to co-pastor with Aaron Bequette in 2022 as the Lord was moving him to other things as well. In February of 2023 I was blessed to become the lead pastor. My roles at Northside have changed and grown almost as much I have over the past 20+ years, but one thing remains constant. Northside is my home. Wherever I go, whatever life brings, I know that I have a family of believers standing with me, praying for me, encouraging me, being patient with me, and cheering me on. I can honestly say, that I have never seen a place like this. It’s an honor to serve here as a pastor, and an even bigger honor to call this place home.
administrative pastor and Principal of NCA
I was first introduced to Northside at the age of four by my aunt. I don't remember much about those years except that Northside was always a safe place. We moved a lot for my Dad's work and weren't in East Texas long. We returned when I was in third grade and I was enrolled at Northside Christian Academy. Before the year was over, we had to move again. However, Northside still held a special place in my heart. My family moved back the summer before my freshman year. I spent my high school years at NCA and graduated in 1996. My high school years were a time of tremendous spiritual growth and formation for me. I memorized a lot of Scripture and spent a lot of time searching for God's will in my life. I also began to learn how a love of music could lead to ministry as I began serving on the worship team while I was in high school. I continued to serve as I was able through college (I attended LeTourneau University in Longview) until I graduated in December of 2000.
In May of 2001, Northside hired me to be NCA's principal and the worship leader at Northside. In June of 2001, I married my Northside high school sweetheart, Shelly, and we started down this wonderful road of life and ministry together. Twenty-one years and five children later, we joyfully serve side by side at Northside, a place we are glad to call home.
elder/pastor - panola christian fellowship
In 2005 I was invited to a friend’s home for dinner, which turned out to be a Small Group that was gathering as an extension of Northside. I instantly connected with several people in this group, and it wasn’t long before an invitation to join them on a Sunday morning was extended. Within a few weeks I decided to take them up on it, and the moment I walked into the sanctuary I felt like I was home. From that point forward God has called me to be a part of this place, and I have grown immensely through the journey. I am blessed to be a part of a body where I have never had to question if they truly loved me and were for me, even in the midst of hard lessons I have had to learn along the way. In 2016, I answered the call to pastor Panola Christian Fellowship under the covering of Northside. Easter Sunday my wife and I received a warm welcome from a great group of people nestled in a beautiful setting in the Old Panola community. The past 14 years have been full of growth and joy in service alongside a body of believers that desire to exemplify Christ.
In 1973, I followed a pretty, red-headed, freckle faced girl to Northside not knowing what to expect. What I, a confused and hurt, teenage boy, found was unconditional love and a pastor that loved me because I was a child of God--even though I pushed adults away from me. That love from the pastor and the people changed me and my life. In 1975 Brother Billy Shoffner married Carrie and I in the old building. I was mentored and shown what a man of God should be by Bro. Billy and other men of the church. I have served as a Board Member of the Church for a longtime, becoming a Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, and later an Elder. I am proud to serve the church and the school as an Elder Board member. Carrie and I have 2 married children, both were married at Northside, and we have three precious grandchildren.
My wife, Melissa, and I have been married since 1991 and we have two wonderful adult children, Sarah and Andrew, and two amazing children-in-law, Levi and Janie. God has really done incredible things in our lives as we have walked with Him through many seasons of life. And our journey of faith in Jesus Christ really began as young adults right here at Northside Christian Center. Melissa and I found Northside in 1991 when we were two lost and confused young adults dating and trying to find our way out of the party world we had been a part of for all of our teenage years. When we walked in the door, we didn’t just find a place to “go to church.” We found our “church home.” We were married here at Northside in 1991 by our founding pastor, and my spiritual father, Bro. Billy Shoffner. We lived in Longview at the time while I was finishing college at LeTourneau University, and we commuted back and forth to attend worship services and serve however we could.
After graduating and working for a year as a flight instructor for LeTourneau, God began stirring something in my heart and preparing Melissa and I for a BIG change of direction in our lives. In the summer of 1993, Bro. Billy asked me to come on staff as the Principal of our Christian school and the Youth Pastor. God confirmed that this was His will for our lives, and…well, here we are! There are so many twists and turns and hills and valleys and bumps on our journey – too much to share in this space. But God, in His amazing and unique way, has led us here to worship Him and serve Him alongside brothers and sisters in Christ whom we love deeply. We are here not because I was hired in as a pastor, but because this is HOME. This is the place God has called us to serve Him and His church, and we are so grateful to have spent the last years here growing and co-laboring together in Christ to build His Kingdom with others whose faith journeys have led them here.
I've been at Northside since my mom became a member around 1987 and served as the church secretary for many years after that. Even when I moved away for college, I always considered Northside my church home. When I moved back to Beckville and began to date my future wife, Kathy, we immediately began to attend Northside again. The people here taught and showed Kathy and I the love of Christ and encouraged us to try and repay that love by recommitting our lives to Christ. Putting God first within our life together was the greatest decision we ever made and it was the only way if we wanted our marriage to flourish. Northside was where we got baptized together. This church has offered a great place for Kathy and I to continue to grow in our relationship with Christ and raise our two daughters, Hannah and Caroline. As I have continued to grow and serve the Lord, He has been gracious enough to allow me to serve him in greater capacities through Northside. I currently teach an Adult Sunday School class and serve as an Elder within the church. We love Northside and there is no other place that I would rather serve.
Assistant principal of NCA
I currently serve as the Children's Director for Sunday Morning Worship services at Northside Christian Center (NCC). I am also the Assistant Principal at Northside Christian Academy (NCA), a long-term ministry of Northside. I recognized from an early age that God was calling and equipping me to minister in a teaching capacity. Still, to this day, I appreciate the importance of perpetual learning, and I desire to share my zeal for personal and spiritual growth with others, especially with young people. I came to Northside as a young girl and was raised in the faith here. After graduating from NCA, I pursued a degree in education, married my high school sweetheart, and returned to Northside to give back to the ministry that had been so instrumental in my own life. Pastor Scott and I, along with our 5 children, thank God for the opportunity to serve in life and ministry together here at Northside.