Pastor Joe Wood
The greatest day of Pastor Joe’s life was Good Friday of 1985. That’s when he became a Christian. He was 13 years old. He was on a youth trip to Panama City, Florida when a college student engaged him in a conversation about his relationship with Jesus. Pastor Joe realized that even though he had been baptized, confirmed and often attended church, he did not have a personal relationship with Jesus.
While on a sidewalk not far from the beach, Pastor Joe prayed to the LORD admitting his sin and thanking Jesus that He died on the cross to pay for his sins. Joe also asked the risen Jesus to be the LORD of his life. Joe experienced immediate joy and great peace as the LORD entered his life.
Pastor Joe sadly admits that he did not follow Jesus wholeheartedly after his salvation. However, he also likes to point out that God was faithful to him during his good times and bad times, through his faithfulness and rebellion. Pastor Joe’s life points to the reality and veracity of Philippians 1:6 which says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Pastor Joe says, “My life is an expample of God’s kindness, forgiveness, grace, love and power. On my own, I am nothing, but God is great!”
Pastor Joe graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. in December 1999 with a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies and a Master of Divinity, and he graduated from Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Ga. Spring 1994. He became full-time pastor of Riverside Baptist in April 2002 and is the first to pastor the church.
In past church work, Pastor Joe has served as a youth minister, worship leader and pastor of internationals. He also worked for one year in Indonesia as an English teacher and has been on many short-term mission trips to Europe, Central America, Africa and Southeast Asia. Pastor Joe values his international experiences believing they have opened his eyes to the greatness of God and the beauty of diversity.
He and his wife Mayra share a passion to see all people worshiping Jesus Christ. “Let the peoples praise you, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.” (Psalm 67:5).