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How Greater Joy Came to Be

How “Greater Joy” Came to Be:

While matriculating at American Baptist College in Nashville, TN, God began to speak to Pastor Z. about His “Church”. The revelations and inspiration were coming at a furious pace during these days. With prayer and consideration, thinking these truths and were the basis for a book or a sermon series, Pastor Z. faithfully took notes and meditated on what was being shared with him. Little did he know God was giving Him the blueprint for Greater Joy and would be calling him back to San Antonio to organize the church.

Back in San Antonio a short time later, Pastor Z. was naturally struggling with the vision God gave him and seeking direction for what to do next. One Sunday after attending his home Church, Greater Love, Pastor Z. was with wife and family in the car headed home when God clearly spoke to him, instructing him to pay a visit to a local Pastor he had just met weeks before. Here Pastor tells the story in his own words:

“I was leaving Greater Love that Sunday morning and for days had been struggling with what I felt God was telling me to do. My words: “God you cannot be serious, start a church???”. Leaving my home church that Sunday, not 2 miles down the road I turn around and my wife and children were asleep in the car, with only the sound of the wheels thumping on the road echoing in the vehicle. In this moment I clearly heard God tell me to go visit a local Pastor I had met weeks before, Rev. Gary Patterson, Berean Bible Fellowship.

Of course, I argued with God.
 “Why do I need to go see this guy, I barely know him!” I pleaded with God.
 “Go tell him what I’ve told you to do” God spoke clearly.

So I went to Rev. Patterson’s church and as I was pulling up he was walking into his office building and saw me get out of the car and waved me in, almost as if he was expecting me.

I told Rev. Patterson “I don’t know why I’m here telling you this, but God told me to come tell you that He is ordering me to start a church. I know we just met and barely know each other, but I know God told me to tell you that, so there you go.”

Pastor Patterson leaned back in his chair and smiled and said “You don’t know who I am do you?”

“No sir I don’t” I replied.

“I’m the Area Director for New Church Starts for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, I help people start churches. That’s what I do.”

So that is how God divinely instructed and confirmed to Pastor Z. what He was requiring of His servant. Since that day in 2004 people’s lives have been changed, souls have been saved, the Gospel has been preached and God has been glorified.

We are not through by any means, there’s still work to do and it must be done while there is yet day, “…for the night comes, when no man can work.” (John 9:4)

Meaning of the name:
“Greater Joy” comes from 3rd John vs. 4 which reads “I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in truth.”

Our desire is to, as our mission statement says “Walk in the truth of God’s word”, those truths that convict and sting, as well as those truths that lift us up and encourage us. Any time the word is preached or taught at Greater Joy, you can trust that the standard of the one delivering the word is to be prepared and armed with truth. Each lesson and sermon should be delivered with prayerful consideration to the truth that God seeks to reveal to His children.

Church Inception:
2nd Sunday in August, 2004, in San Antonio, Texas, founded by our Senior Pastor Adam Zarb-Cousin.

Greater Joy Music Ministry

"It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the ... instruments of music, ... that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God."   II Chronicles 5:13-14

The GJ Music Ministry, under the leadership of Bro. James Williams, is striving for excellence in leading our congregation in praise and worship, singing songs to glorify and magnify the name of Jesus. We aim to touch and help open the hearts of God's people to give Him the praise that He deserves so that we can receive the many blessings He has in store for us. The music ministry uses a variety of music to accomplish this task, including contemporary, gospel, urban, and  Southern Baptist genres. Our dynamic music ministry currently comprises of our praise team, the GJ choir, and the youth chorus. Because our Father in Heaven has given us His best, we make it a priority to give Him our best. We rehearse each Saturday at 3 p.m. and on some Thursday evenings, directly after bible study. Biblical education is extremely important to our ministry, therefore, ALL music ministry members MUST attend bible study. If you feel you've found a home in Greater Joy and have been given the gift of song, praise, worship, or musical instrumental talents and you want to be a part of our wonderful music ministry, please contact Sis. Alicia Jones at (210) 617-8198.

Heartwarmers Ministry

 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”  Matthew 25: 35-36

The Heart Warmer ministry is the embodiment of its name.  It represents the heart of Greater Joy Ministries and an important goal, which is to be a living example of the heart of God.  It is that person at the door, greeting you with a smile or warm embrace,  handing you a tissue when needed, or stopping by for a visit when you are ill, be it at home, or in a hospital.  The GJ Heartwarmers attend to the needs of its members and visitors during Sunday worship service and Thursday evening bible studies; handing out programs, acknowledging visitors, providing direction and assistance in whatever way needed, to make sure that visitors and members alike get the best and most comfortable worship experience.  Our ministry however, is not limited to Sunday service or Thursday studies.  We make ourselves available to assist all other ministries and events, including those off campus and involving other churches or causes. We provide support during major (and minor) life events, and host the quarterly birthday/ anniversary celebration along with several other events throughout the year.  There is no contained list of the function of the Heart Warmers, which is what makes our ministry so great and so unique.  To put it simply, we are all about reaching people through the love of God.  Whatever your need may be, don’t hesitate to ask a heartwarmer.

The Greater Joy Heart Warmers have become a household name, not just at Greater Joy, but even in the community. We realize that our purpose is greater than us and that ministry is not confined to a building or specific group of people.  We are currently comprised of 5 standing members although everyone at Greater Joy understands and appreciates our purpose and supports us whenever we need additional assistance.  We have mandatory ministry meetings quarterly and in between, as needed.

Whether Heart Warming sounds like the perfect ministry for you or you are interested in becoming active in the church and don’t quite know where you fit in, we encourage you to contact us.  You can reach us via e-mail at GJCHeartwarmers@gmail.com or call/text Sis. Leia Watson at 210-725-4277.

Deacons Ministry

" Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business." Acts 6:3

Deacons are a vital part of God's church and were appointed to take care of the church, the body, and affairs of a local church.  Since being appointed in the book of Acts, Deacons have been responsible for much of the organizational structure in the church and still today, lead many processes during church service.  The Bible is clear about the character of a Deacon layed out in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, that requires them to be "dignified", "honest", and hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.  This is the character of the Deacons at Greater Joy.  A ministry that serves in a manner that God intended. Ordained Deacon serves in communion service, baptismal service, weddings, funerals and ordination services. They also serve in sensitive areas within the church.