Under the pastoral leadership of Pastor Elisha R. Lawson Jr., Jesus Outreach Center (JOC) was born in March 1986 in Heilbron, Germany. The ministry started at an American military chapel. However, God blessed the ministry with a vision of “a church for all people and not just the military”. He provided a building in the German community that seated roughly 100 people.
JOC grew rapidly in two years. Again, God spoke to Pastor Lawson about expansion and instructed him to add "World" to the original name. Pastor Lawson firmly grasped God's vision, leading to transformations in the thoughts and beliefs of the ministry and congregation. Jesus World Outreach Center (JWOC) was birthed!
God continued to increase the ministry in every aspect. JWOC moved into a facility that held more than 300 people. Services were consistently at full attendance. In addition to the enlarging of the ministry, his wife, Phyllis, was installed into the office of Pastor.
In 1993 it was time to move on. The ministry in Heilbronn was left in the very capable hands of another pastor. Nearly ten years later, God did it again! JWOC relocated to the heart of Heidelberg. The church was housed in a more spacious location which sat 700 congregants. The ministry continues to grow and has an even stronger anointing to serve others.
Today JWOC has a diverse, active congregation. The church bears witness with several covenant churches in Germany and the United States, and provides regular outreach mission support to the Philippines, India, Kenya and Uganda. Jesus World Outreach Center continues to press on, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ with a mission and a mandate to save Heidelberg!
Reaching People to Reach the World
At Jesus World Outreach Center I’ve grown spiritually and realized how important it is not just to know the word but to apply the Word that I know. God really showed me things that I had to change and he gave me strength to move forward even when I didn’t always do it perfectly. He strengthened me by putting great leaders in my life that I can look up to and receive spiritual guidance and wisdom. I knew that I could rely on them to tell me the truth about myself and what I needed to do because of what they used to go through and how they overcame it. The great things about being challenged are that you grow and you are taken out of a state of complacency and comfort.