Our Mission

The mission of Lea Joyner Memorial United Methodist Church is:



Our Vision

In 2018, as a result of the Church Transformation Process, Lea Joyner created a Vision Statement to guide our ministry as we seek to live out our Mission. We believe that this Vision encapsulates who God is calling us to be as a church.

Lea Joyner is an ever-growing community of disciples who:

Invites our neighbors,
To transform their lives through Jesus with us,
So that we can serve others with Christ’s Love,
And create leaders for the sake of God’s mission.
Key Words: Invite, Transform, Serve, Lead
Invite: Lea Joyner is uniquely situated in North Monroe to reach thousands of people in our nearby neighborhoods with the message of Jesus Christ. Working together as a congregation, we can invite them all to Know Jesus with us!
Transform: The reason that we invite people to Know Jesus is because we believe that he is the only one with the power to transform our lives. This transformation is ongoing, therefore we expect that every person at our church to be in some form of group that will help us become the men and women that God has called us to be.
Serve: As our lives are transformed by Jesus, we will want to serve people with the same love that we have received from Jesus Christ. Our hope is for every person at Lea Joyner to be involved in some form of service to others, whether it’s right here in our community or all throughout the world.
Lead: As God blesses Lea Joyner Church with an expanded outreach and ministry growth, many more leaders will be needed. We intend to create intentional processes that help people discover God’s gifts in their lives and put them to use in and through our church. 

Our History

Rev. Lea Joyner began Southside Methodist, mostly because, as her District Superintendent told her, “No other church will have you.” Lea was the only female pastor in Louisiana at a time when Methodist churches didn’t ordain women. In June of 1952, the conference gave her a vacant lot with no people, no building, and half the money normally given for new churches. Lea persevered, however, bringing 126 members into the church over the next two months.
Over the next 33 years, Lea’s church grew to include over 2,000 members! At the time of her death, it was the largest church in the country being pastored by a woman. Lea’s emphasis at Southside was on evangelism and witnessing “to the lame, the lost, the lonely, and leper of all Monroe.” She was a regular fixture at St. Francis Hospital, where she served as volunteer chaplain for anyone in need. Lea was also regularly called upon by wives to drag their husbands out of the bars and preach to them about Jesus. She was instrumental in bringing over 20 people into full-time pastoral ministry. One of the most successful outreaches was the “Fisherman’s Club” that met every Wednesday night to visit local families.
Lea was murdered on March 12, 1985, at the Southside Church. This was devastating to the church. Many of the members were no longer willing to make the drive down to the church after she was killed. Soon her death, the church voted to change their name to Lea Joyner Memorial United Methodist Church.
In 1992, Lea Joyner UMC moved to its new location under the leadership of Rev. Joe Solomon. The church grew steadily at the new location, necessitating a Gym and a 500-seat Sanctuary to be built. The church’s current mission of “To Know Jesus And To Make Him Known” was adopted in the 1990’s.
This video was produced in June 2017 for the 65th anniversary of the founding of the church and the 100th anniversary of Rev. Lea Joyner’s birth: 

Our Beliefs

We are a United Methodist Congregation. We believe that our faith is lived out in our relationships. We believe that celebration is more important than condemnation. In fact, we believe that God really doesn’t care about your past flops, fumbles and failures, so neither do we. God cares about you, and expects us to as well. So we do no judgment or questions asked.

United Methodist Information

The People of The United Methodist Church: Help people in their community, Accept you for who you are, Offer a place to belong, Care for and support each other, Show respect for other religions, Support people facing difficulty, Welcome diverse opinions and beliefs, and Guide others to find deeper meaning. We believe in God and each other.