Community champions: Joyce Bryant
Serving the community at Life Church
By Rebekah Martin
Photos by Rachel Howard and Contributed
Joyce Bryant wears a lot of hats in her job at Life Church. She’s been the office manager there since January 2016, and it’s a job for which she said the Lord has been preparing her for her entire life.
The wife, mother and grandmother said she loves her job, in which she gets to show the love to Christ to her church family and community daily.
Her office is located in the back of Warehouse Coffee – the coffee shop on Main Street that was opened as a ministry of Life Church almost four years ago. She can often be found sharing a smile and a cup of joe with the shop’s customers.
“It’s opened a lot of ministry opportunities for us with people who we might not have come in contact with otherwise – people who might be afraid to walk through the doors of a church,” Bryant said. “Maybe they’ve been hurt in the past by the church somehow. This just makes it a super comfortable setting for us to invite people in for a conversation and a cup of coffee. It’s a non-confrontational place where we can meet people where they are on their spiritual journey.”
Bryant said the team she’s surrounded with is one reason she enjoys her job so much.
“We have a great team, and we all work so well together,” she said. “It’s a really good mix of personalities, and we all have one goal, and that’s to further the kingdom – to see people come to know Christ and know firsthand the difference He can make. We also want Him to use us to make a difference in our community.”
That is the goal of Life Church, Bryant said: to unite the community in love for one another and seeing the Gospel spread.
“If we all put our hands to the plow and work together, we will see unity in our community, and that’s our goal at Life Church,” she said. “We want to build and cultivate relationships with believers and reach those who aren’t believers yet.”
That goal is one Bryant said is attainable in Hartselle because of the people and the size of the community. “One thing I find so unique about our community is that people seem to really love where they live here, and it shows in many aspects of life,” she said.
A few years ago, Bryant said she had no idea she would be where she is now. “Back when I was in my mid-20s, I always thought I would like to work at a church. I didn’t think then that I would ever have the opportunity to do that, but I can see now that each season in my life has led me to this one,” she said.
Before joining the staff at Life Church, she worked on the family farm she owned with her husband. The farm, located in Danville, had been in her family for more than a century. With no plans on changing her career trajectory, Bryant said she was handling the finances of the farm, where they had poultry houses and beef cattle. In 2015, though, the opportunity to sell the farm and the house became available, and after much prayer, the couple decided to set out on another path.
They sold the farm in July 2015 and built another house off Indian Hills Road. “None of the kids wanted the farm, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to get out if we wanted to,” she said.
Looking back on the past few years, Bryant said she is amazed by the path God has led her family on. “It is amazing how His hand is always there, guiding and directing our path … to see what the result will be if you’re willing to submit in obedience,” she said.
Bryant is the mother of Lacey, Quinn and Ethan. She has a son-in-law, Caleb, and a 6-month-old grandson, Ezra. “My life is my church, my community and my family,” she said. “What’s great, though, is that they’re all tied together.”