An interdenominational unifier
Woman dedicated to mission work and faith connections
What would happen if all of the 180 churches in Newton County were unified in evangelizing the unsaved and in pooling their resources to meet the needs of the people?
Joy Jackson, member of The Church at Covington, was burdened to tears when her pastor shared statistics from a survey that showed approximately 60 percent of the people in Newton County are unchurched and claim to have no church affiliation. Realizing that God was challenging her to action, Jackson is exploring ways to unify efforts to connect people to churches and to encourage churches to support and fund each other’s ministries.
For the past three years, God has been revealing increments of a vision to Jackson of how to bring the churches together. Inspired by the positive response from her women’s ministries group when she presented the plan, she is organizing a dinner to be held at the Turner Lake Complex to share the same information with representatives from other churches.
Jackson will invite a pastor, or paid staff member, along with one lay person from every church in Newton County.
The purpose of the meeting is to develop a committee of fundraisers, servants, intercessors, contacts, organizers and resource finders in hopes of changing the un-churched statistics over the next five years.
As a follow up, Jackson is planning a BUG Fest next spring – “Believers United in God” for church families to come for a day of Christian music, message and praise at Lake Varner.
“I have always felt that my ministry was nursing and medicine,” she said. “This vision that God has brought to my heart and life was totally unexpected.”
As a visual reminder of her mandate from God, Jackson has a large map of the county and has placed a thumbtack to identify the churches.
Since door-to-door visitation has become unpopular due to safety concerns, Jackson is looking for ways to connect people to a local church. She believes that people resist church involvement because of peer pressure, lack of Godly influences in their lives, apathy and cultural influences.
“I enjoy my day-to-day relationship with Jesus,” she said of her 25year relationship with Christ. “No matter how badly I feel, no matter what someone says to me, I can cuddle up with Jesus, sing a song and keep a smile on my face. I want other people to have the same joy.”
Jackson was raised in a Christian home but confesses that she never really understood the concept of salvation. Since the age of 13, Jackson had become depressed due to the death of her father and had turned to drugs and alcohol to fill that void.
The high school principal told her mother that Jackson would never amount to anything.
At age 24, she was driving under the influence with nine people in her vehicle when she ran into an embankment on Interstate 20.
Realizing that God spared her and her friends, she accepted an invitation to attend a Christmas play that presented the reality of heaven and hell.
As she watched the play intently, she realized that God had a purpose for her life and responded to the pastor’s invitation to pray.
“When I got up from the altar, the desire to curse totally went away,” she explained describing the transformation that took place when she accepted Christ. “I never drank another drop in my life, and I was on the way to being an alcoholic.
“The desire to drink totally left my body. The only thing that didn’t leave me was cigarette smoking. Six months later, God convicted my heart through a little 5- year- old, and I never smoked a cigarette since then.”
After graduating from Rockdale County High School, Jackson received Basic EMT and Paramedic training from DeKalb Technical College.
She worked full time while attending nursing school at Georgia Perimeter and graduated with an associate’s degree in nursing and in emergency medicine.
Over a period of 10 years, Jackson received her BSN and MSN with a family nurse practitioner certification from Georgia State.
A resident of Newton County, Jackson is currently an LPN Instructor for DeKalb Technical College and works as needed for Gwinnett Medical.
She served as a paramedic for Rockdale EMS for seven years. During her 14 years of employment at Rockdale Hospital, she worked in the ER and ICU.
She also served as a nurse manager on the medical, surgical and oncology unit, and as administrative supervisor on the night shift.
Jackson at one time worked for Phoenix Air Care.
After her mother died, Jackson was a traveling nurse for Preferred Health Care for five years, taking a new assignment every 13 weeks across the United States.
With a heart for missions, Jackson’s team helped to build a hospital in Africa, a store-front addition to a single mother’s home in Peru to help her provide income and joined the Convoy of Hope in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina.
During the trip to Mississippi the group delivered free food and gave physicals.
Jackson serves on an annual mission trip to Kentucky to work with a youth mission and a small Christian school.
In addition, she has served on two mission trips to Haiti, three to Honduras, two to Guatemala and one to Peru. She worked as a volunteer at the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation’s Camp Oo-u-la for severely burned children and has been a volunteer for Faith Works.
Jackson is active in leadership at The Church at Covington where she has served as co-director in the mission’s department.
She is also involved in organizing the church’s American Red Cross blood drives, and is responsible for preparing the church and building in the event of a disaster.
For more information, contact Joy Jackson at email@example.com.
Church at Covington member Joy Jackson surrounded by a diverse selection of musical instruments that she has acquired on her many mission trips around the world.