Korista discovered early in life that Jesus, his wrecking love and astounding grace were worth saying yes to. Following him as closely as she could became her driving motivation. Through intentional relationships, vulnerable and authentic preaching and pastoral care she strives to lead and pastor people right where they are. Korista wants most in life to be known as a humble follower of Jesus, a loyal friend, an effective leader, a dedicated disciple and a brilliant partner and wife to her husband Ryan!
Growing up Korista moved frequently due to her dad’s career with the US Coast Guard, bringing a unique perspective of culture, home, and a willingness to view the world from others’ perspectives. Her parents instilled in her the CRAZY yet FANTASTIC idea that if God asked her then she could and should do it! Following after Jesus, Korista found herself in a number of different countries from Ghana to Guatemala to Germany. Her love of travel opened unique opportunities for God to speak His call into her heart. Korista answered this call to pastoral ministry.
After graduating from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in 2002 with a bachelors of science in church ministry, Korista moved to Grayland, WA and began her ministry career as a youth pastor. Three and a half years later, she then joined a new church team and helped plant Connection Church in Aberdeen, WA, serving as the youth pastor. Korista stepped into lead pastor of Connection Church in 2011, having never met another female lead pastor but knowing God had called her. While serving Connection Church, she also returned to school in order to further hone her ministry skills, earning Master of Arts in Theology and Culture at Northwest University in 2014.
Korista was the “single girl” when she met the “Preacher Girls” three years ago. She was not really looking to get married with more than enough on her plate leading a congregation. God however had different plans. Over social media Korista reconnected with a college acquaintance and fellow lead pastor Ryan Beaty, who planted in Houston, TX in 2011. The two became extremely close friends for months before they started dating. It only took two months of dating before they were engaged, and nine total months of being together before they were married. The two now live in Houston, TX where Korista has assumed the lead pastor role of the church Ryan planted. The two of them spend their time together watching as much Doctor Who as possible, walking around the Houston Zoo, and finding the best new restaurants in the city.
I find Korista to be a thought provoking, forward thinking, and passionate leader. Her passion for Jesus and his mission is evident whether the discussion is about overseas missions, inner city outreach, or Dr. Who reruns. The list of leaders I would willingly follow is short, Korista is on that list.
Lead Pastor New Hope, Shelton, WA
If you ever have the privilege of meeting Rev. Korista Lewis, you won’t forget her. Even though she’s still young (especially from my perspective), Korista is already a seasoned, go-for-it ministry leader with a track record of faithfulness and effectiveness. But it’s her heart the size of Texas (her newly adopted home state), her vibrant passion for Jesus and those He loves, and the authenticity that lives behind her beautiful smile, that really sets Korista apart. I’m so honored to call her my friend and ministry-colleague!
Author & Speaker
Korista Lewis-Beaty is a passionate leader with the heart of a pastor. She is engaging and practical in her approach to pastoral leadership. She demonstrates biblical insight and depth in her teaching of the Word. Korista has participated in numerous missions opportunities, ministering the gospel to various people groups.
Lead Pastor South Beach Christian Center Grayland, WA
Executive Presbyter Southwest Region, NWMN
Korista is a connector with a pastor’s heart. Or a pastor with a connector’s heart. Her many friendships and her willingness to seek (and share) counsel mean she has a broad and trusted network of friends in ministry. God’s call is so evident: I love the way she weighs opportunities and challenges to see if they align with that call.
-Dr. Rosemarie Daher Kowalski,
intercultural connector currently working to plant churches in Indonesia
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