Pastor Joe Couch

Pastor Joe Couch

The deep South is a place where sports, hunting/fishing, and religion are the top three priorities – generally in that order.  Hamburg, Arkansas, where I grew up, was just such a  place.  At the age of 10, I came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.  He convicted me of my sin and the judgment to come, and called me to repent and trust in Him alone for eternal salvation: I simply responded in faith to His call.  That day forever changed me and the trajectory of my life.  Although I still enjoyed sports and hunting/fishing, He was now sovereignly leading and directing my life.  

During my senior year of high school, the Lord called me into full-time ministry and, at age 19, I became a youth pastor.  He confirmed that calling during my senior year of college while I was on a mission trip to Philadelphia, PA.  At that moment, I knew without a doubt that full-time ministry was His call upon my life. 

In  2000, I came to a deeper understanding of the love of Christ granted to me through the gospel and my heart was further opened to an awareness of God’s purpose for my existence: to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to all people of all nations.  His deep love for me demonstrated at the cross raised within me a deep love for people that overcame my innate fears and filled me with gratitude for His grace and mercy.

“I knew without a doubt that full-time ministry was His call upon my life.”

Today, I still enjoy sports (Spartan races, working out to P90X and AthleanX, playing basketball) and a love for the outdoors (hunting/fishing).  I am thankful I still get to enjoy these activities with friends and family. Over the years, I have also enjoyed reading the biographies of missionaries from the 1800’s.  Their fearless courage and love for Christ  combined with my love of the outdoors has helped to ignite within me an adventurous spirit willing to take risks and get out of my “comfort zone” in service to Christ.  The Lord has been exceedingly faithful as I’ve stepped out in His service on various  mission trips around the world – engaging people through sports, open-air preaching and street evangelism.  By building bridges of love, I have strived to share the great love of God as displayed through Jesus Christ with people of all races and religions.

In 1996, I married my amazing wife, Ruth, who God also called into ministry. She continues to walk with me on this journey despite many trials, successes and failures. We have 4 wonderful children, Mary-Catherine, Luke, Mark and Caleb, each a treasure from the Lord to us.

In the fall of 2019 while serving as an associate pastor at a church in Maryland, Ruth and I sensed God leading us to pull up stakes and relocate to central OH to shepherd His flock here. We made this transition in May 2020 and since then we have witnessed the movement of God’s hand as He seeks to reach the lost through Grace Community Fellowship of Central Ohio.  I thank God for His blessings, calling, and faithfulness in my life.

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