Joel was born again in 1987 through the preaching ministry of Pastor Byron McEachern, who at that time, was the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Americus GA.  Joel’s family had begun attending there, and Joel responded to the preaching of the gospel by trusting the Lord as his personal savior.  Shortly after that, Joel’s family relocated to North Carolina, and most of his growth as a young Christian was at the Faith Baptist Church in Faith, NC, where he grew under the preaching ministries of Rev. Jake Honeycutt and Dr. Charles Brawley.
After graduating high school, Joel attended the University of NC @ Wilmington where he graduated with a B.A. in Theater and Communication studies.  It was there that he met his wife, and after dating for three years, married Kimberly Walker in the fall of 1998.  A little less than a year into their marriage, God called Joel to the ministry, and he relocated to Lynchburg VA where he enrolled in the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.  While at the Seminary, Joel was involved in a traveling evangelism and worship ministry, and discovered that he had been called to preach/teach God’s word.   He served as the Graduate Assistant to the preaching professor, Dr. Luke Kauffman, who had a tremendous impact upon Joel to teach Bible exposition, verse by verse through books of the Bible.  Joel completed an M.A.R. and an M.Div, before returning to Wilmington NC to start a church.
After a few years as a church planter in Eastern North Carolina, Joel enrolled at Luther Rice Seminary in Atlanta where he continued his theological research and study, especially in the area of preaching, under Dr. Tony Guthrie.  Joel accepted the call to lead a denominational church in Athens GA, which was close by the Seminary and relocated to GA where he served the local church and dedicated himself to completing a D.Min, which he finished in 2010.
Not long after finishing his degree, Joel was called to serve a denominational church in Newnan GA and served there for three years.  Joel left the church in early 2014, and the season to follow would signal a significant turning point in his approach to ministry.
Joel had become familiar with Calvary Chapel through Calvary Satellite Radio and friends who were Calvary Pastors.  Although not yet a Calvary Pastor, he began to visit Calvary Chapel churches and was invited to attend the 2014 Deep South Pastor’s Conference at Calvary Chapel Stone Mountain.  It was there that God began to work in Joel’s heart to draw him into the Calvary Chapel movement.  He left that conference with the Lord’s leading to start a Calvary Chapel Church in Newnan.
Around the same time, a family in the community asked Joel to lead a small group Bible study in their home, and Joel agreed.   Word spread about the Bible study and the group began to grow.  In just a few weeks the group was moving furniture so that extra chairs could be brought into the room, and still, people were sitting on the floor to simply study the Bible together.  In time, Joel shared with the group that he was being led to start a Calvary Chapel in Newnan and invited the group to pray about being a part of this new work.
Not long after that, Joel stumbled upon a small vacant chapel that was for lease only a few miles away.  The landlord welcomed the new church and Calvary Chapel Newnan had its first public service in September of 2014.  Joel was affiliated as a Calvary Chapel Pastor by Pastor Sandy Adams of Calvary Stone Mountain in April of 2015.
The church began to grow, and after two years the chapel was full.  A second service helped to alleviate a space crisis while the the search for a new facility began.  After two years in multiple services, the Lord brought an opportunity to relocate to Savannah Street in downtown Newnan, which is the current meeting location of the Newnan Fellowship.
Presently, Joel serves as the Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Newnan.  In 2015, Joel was offered a teaching position with Calvary Chapel University, and continues to teach part time in the Biblical Studies department at Calvary Chapel University, where his focus is on training Pastors and Church Leaders.