Meet New Lead Pastor
Josh Howeth and Family

 

Read on to learn more about Josh and his family

 

 

Bio

Josh was born in San Francisco, CA, on March 31, 1983, while his father was attending Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Josh and Elizabeth met at California Baptist University in the fall of 2002 and were married in Troutdale, OR in August 2006. Josh is originally a Montana native, while Elizabeth is native to Gresham, OR where they currently live. They have four children, Tucker (13), Eden (11), Gus (8), and Isla (5).

Josh graduated from Cal Baptist with a degree in Applied Theology and Elizabeth graduated with a degree in English. Josh credits his foundation in life and ministry to his friends, mentors, and the faculty at CBU.

After tying the knot in 2006, Josh and Elizabeth set off for San Francisco so that Josh could attend Golden Gate Seminary, now named Gateway Seminary. Josh served at New Life Christian Fellowship in Pacifica for the entirety of his seminary season, primarily leading in the areas of worship and youth.

With a desire to be back in the Pacific Northwest after graduation, Josh received an Associate Pastor position at Grant Avenue Baptist Church in Corvallis. Josh was ordained into the gospel ministry at GABC in March of 2012. They served there for two years before being called to plant a church with the aim of reaching Oregon State students. In the fall of 2012, they started The Branch Church and joyfully served there through the summer of 2019.

In the spring of 2019, they sensed God leading them to return to Gresham and to help pastor and transition a 13-year-old church named Gresham Bible Church. In the fall of 2019, Josh began as Lead Pastor of GBC which is where he currently pastors. Josh’s passions include raising up future leaders, preaching, mobilizing people to go to the nations with the gospel, and seeing people come alive in their identity in Christ.

Josh loves sports, playing and listening to music, reading, and roasting coffee. Elizabeth loves interior design, the sun, comedy, and pinching her kids’ cheeks. They love going out to coffee, exploring new restaurants and cities, riding bikes, going to shows (movies, concerts, comedians), and spending time with family, friends, and their kiddos.

 

Josh's Testimony

I was born on Good Friday, March 31, 1983, into an incredibly loving family. Both of my parents were raised with little to no exposure to Jesus, but early in their marriage they heard the gospel and gave their lives to Christ.

I was raised in the church, being taught about Jesus, and at the young age of six felt a conviction of my sin and prayed for God’s forgiveness, and was baptized. Growing up, I suffered from an extremely guilty conscience and often doubted my salvation.

In my early years of high school, I decided that Christianity wasn’t true and was simply a religious system of rules to keep people from experiencing life and joy. During that season I abandoned my faith completely and embraced a loose form of Agnosticism.

 

For the next five years, I struggled with severe substance abuse to the point that I left Montana State University after one semester with a 0.0 GPA. During that time, God graciously brought Crohn’s disease into my life. My parents told me that I needed to go back to college or pay for my own health insurance. I decided to go back to college, and my parents sent me to Cal Baptist University, hoping that a change of scenery would help me.

During my freshman year at CBU, through many life events and friendships, God grabbed a hold of my life and woke me up to the reality of Him. The fear of God came over me, and I surrendered my life to Christ in my dorm room in the spring of 2003.

The following summer, I was able to serve on a team in Malaysia and then at a summer camp in Big Bear, CA. I realized during this time that God had me a desire for doing full-time ministry, and I was invited into a program at CBU that trains future pastors. This academic cohort gave me an incredible foundation for my life and ministry.

After marrying Elizabeth, we spent three years in the bay area as I enrolled in seminary. During this time, God confronted me with the fact that I knew a lot of things, but they hadn’t moved into my heart. God exposed in me that I couldn’t even say out loud that I believed He loved me. He also revealed to me that I believed that I was saved by my performance even though I would articulate that I’m saved by grace alone. I became overwhelmed in that season by the grace of God and this dramatically changed not only my relationship with Him but the emphasis and approach in my ministry moving forward.

God has continued to stretch me, and at times, painfully mature me over the last 13 years during the many ups and downs of starting a family, planting a church, and transitioning a church. I’m more aware today than I ever have been that I desperately need Jesus, and without Him, I don’t know where I would be.

To check out Josh's sermons and podcasts, go to greshambible.org and click the Resources tab.