Justin Lockhart was born on October 9th in Brooklyn, NY. He was raised in a loving Christian home by his caring parents whom he credits as a major influence in his becoming a pastor. While his parents never forced the Christian faith on him, they were very intentional about bringing him to church every week. Miller Evangelical, his home church since he was born, has served as both the birthplace and training grounds of his spiritual maturation and so it would seem that his journey to becoming a pastor was in the making before it was ever revealed to him.
At the age of 13, Justin gave his life to Jesus Christ and was baptized. It wasn’t until he went away to college that he started to go deeper in his Christian faith. Justin developed an increased appetite for the Word of God and became more serious about his prayer life. During this time, he made himself more available to God’s will and where He wanted him to be and so began an incredible journey.
Once Justin relinquished control of his life to God, the Lord opened doors and presented opportunities where he could explore various creative avenues of his faith. Through his love of music, Justin became a choir director and worship leader. One of his lesser-known interests and something he loves to do is dance, and he was able to explore this passion when God used him and his brothers-in-Christ, to form Silent Messengers, Miller’s mime ministry. Justin, throughout the years, could even be found acting in several church plays and skits.
Miller Evangelical holds a special place in his heart not only because it is the site of his spiritual growth and maturation but also, and equally important, it is where he met his beautiful wife, Sparkle. Justin truly knows that God made no mistake bringing them together because he was preparing them both for his time in the pastorate. In Sparkle, God has made a most loving and stalwart partner. Even before they were married, Sparkle served as a member of the choir, worship team and served for almost 10 years as the Evangelical Christian Youth President. She currently serves as Sunday School Superintendent and plays a vital role in our Livestream production.
A few years after finishing his undergraduate studies, Justin became a licensed minister in the Churches of Christ in Christian Union. Under this new role, he fulfilled various preaching assignments and eventually was appointed to serve as Youth Minister. He also had the opportunity to study at Alliance Theological Seminary for some time, here in New York City, and he has hopes to complete his studies in the near future. That being said, everything radically shifted for Justin when Pastor Emeritus, Rev. Bowles Taitt, announced in January 2018 that he would be stepping down as senior pastor of Miller Evangelical at the end of that year. Upon hearing the news, Justin instantly knew this was a moment of truth for him. This is because the whole idea of pastoring had been surrounding his life for some time, whether he wanted to accept it or not, but after much prayer, conversations with his wife and family, and even battles with self-doubt, he decided to apply for the senior pastor position. His perspective was, and is, “Lord, I’m available to you! Do whatever you want to do in my life!”
The Lockharts consider it an honor to serve the body of believers at Miller and abroad and Justin’s goal, as Pastor, is simple—to point the world to Jesus and help people become all that God has called them to be!