We Are City of Joy

Our Vision

To see the gospel of Jesus Christ so transform the city of East St. Louis and the surrounding areas that multitudes of souls are rescued and established in the faith, prevailing cultural brokenness is healed, families are restored and new churches are started near and far.

Our Values

  • Loving (Triune) God
  • Loving All People
  • Biblical Truth
  • Passionate Prayer
  • Apostle’s Gospel

our aims

Because the gospel of Jesus Christ is of “first importance” (I Cor. 15.1-4) in all of Christian life and service, please pray that City of Joy would increasingly be given to these gospel aims as a means of carrying out our God-given mission, vision and values.

Gospel-saturated worship

For all eternity the blood-bought church from every tribe, language, people and nation will behold and bless Jesus Christ, the slain and resurrected Lamb, and the Father who sits on the throne (Rev. 5). We long for this glorious reality to shape everything that we do in our worship gatherings and in all of life.

Gospel-centered preaching

The preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of all Christian life, worship and service.  It is through the preaching of the gospel in the power of the Spirit that God saves, grows and equips His people to display His worth in the church and in the world (Rom. 1.16-17, 16.25).

Gospel-aligned living

The gospel is not only the basis by which the believer is powerfully saved, but also the means by which the believer is progressively sanctified (I Cor. 15.1-2).  One way to describe this progressive sanctification is that the Spirit of God takes the word of God and gradually aligns the believer’s desires, thoughts, words and actions with the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Gospel-infused praying

Because of the gospel, saints have been welcomed into the presence of God and have received the spirit of adoption by which we cry out “abba father” through prayer (Hebr. 4.14-16, Rom. 8.15). 

Gospel-powered evangelism and discipleship

With the Lord’s help, we will not be ashamed of, but joyfully spread the gospel of Jesus Christ because the gospel itself is the very power of God to save sinners and to strengthen Christians (Rom. 1.16, Rom. 16.25).

Gospel-driven community

Through faith in the gospel, the Holy Spirit has placed each individual believer into the blood-washed church of Jesus Christ (I Cor. 12.13) and has given to each believer a spiritual gift(s) “for the common good” of the body of Christ (I Cor. 12.7). The same Holy Spirit has also made believers “one” in Christ Jesus and has created deep, spiritual “unity” among this family of faith (Eph. 4.3-4).

Gospel-motivated good works

Saints have been saved by grace through faith in Christ, not as their own doing, but as a free gift from God. Our great salvation is not a result of works, so that no one may boast, except in the cross (Eph. 2.8-9, Gal. 6.14). Furthermore, we are works of God, created in Christ Jesus for good works to display His goodness and grace in the world (Eph. 2.10, Matt. 5.16).

Gospel-enabled ethnic harmony

Jesus Christ purchased a people from every tribe, language, people and nation to be a kingdom of priests to God. (Rev. 5.9). Jesus Christ is the sole person and power that enables true racial reconciliation and relational peace to flourish within His church (Eph. 2.14-19).


Gospel-equipped leaders

The Lord Jesus Christ, through the gospel, reveals the greatest example of servant-leadership on the planet as He came not to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many (Mk. 10.45). 

Gospel-shaped families

Because the gospel informs the way a family functions and pleases the Lord in their neighborhood and world, we long to see families who allow the gospel to shape their roles and relationships within the home (Eph. 5.25-6.4).

we believe in


We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31,32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32


We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.

Genesis 1:1,26; John 1:1,3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19,20; Ephesians 4:5,6

We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He perfectly foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal, visible return to earth.

Matthew 1:18–25
; Luke 1:26–38; John 1:1, 20:28; Romans 9:5, 8:32; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21–23; John 20:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6–8 & 6:9,10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; I Timothy 3:16


We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.


We believe that man was created by God in His own image; that he sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice and therefore under condemnation. We believe that those who repent and forsake sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become new creatures, delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life.
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and assembled for worship, fellowship, work and witness. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary mission of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.

Ephesians 2:19–22
; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19–21; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23–25
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow men; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to experience for himself and others the full blessing of maturity in Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:31
; Romans 12:1–3; Hebrews 12:1–2; John 14:15,23-24; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 Corinthians 9:6–9; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 1:9–10
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water into the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Christ for the commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgement, the eternal joy of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked.

Matthew 16:27
; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–10; Revelation 20:4–6,11–15