James Joseph serves as the founder and visioneer of United City. In response to the call from God, he started connecting with friends and members of various churches throughout Lakeland, and began to assemble a team that would help allow God’s vision for Lakeland to materialize. This organization started as an extension of a previous annual event called Youthfest, which was intended for youth all over Florida to come and worship and serve together. With a more focused, local vision, James helped guide and restructure Youthfest into United City. James says the heart behind this ministry is:
“…the intersection of three deep loves: a love for Christ, a love for people and my love affair with Lakeland. There is a strategic role Lakeland has, locally, regionally, nationally and globally, which will best be realized when people shed their smaller agendas and larger-than life egos, and come back to the humble truth that Christ is the head of the church and we, each and all, are his body. When we can serve alongside each other, pray for and support each other’s ministries and work, share ideas and insight, then we can and will effectively transform life in Lakeland.”
Along with his many commitments to serving God, his community in Lakeland, and many other church functions, James is a Husband to Dory Joseph, and a father to Nanishy Joseph. He enjoys spending quality time with his large extended family, and values his home life just as much as his other priorities. James works full time in his family business, Joseph Motors in Lakeland, and he works with his dad and uncle as a managing partner. He works to bring Christ into the business world, and to treat others with honesty and integrity.
James attended IPC Lakeland church for a significant portion of his life and served faithfully there as a speaker, worship leader, youth pastor, children’s director, and in countless other roles. Currently he serves in a support role for various churches and ministries. .
When his peers, and other United City leaders are asked about James, their responses overflow with gratitude, love and appreciation for him. They mention his faithfulness to follow God no matter what, and his deep love for people. Many would say he is a man that can relate and communicate to any age, any race, or any type of person, and others say his sincerity, genuineness, and passion to serve Christ is rare and hard to find. With unwavering commitment, he dedicates countless hours to this ministry, and often does many things in the background that are unseen, and out of the spotlight.
James has been the driving force behind United City, he continues to labor believing that God will bring unity to the people and churches of Lakeland, and ultimately use this city to expand his kingdom.