Berea Baptist Church Pastors and staff

Joel Collette, Senior Pastor

Joel Collette grew up a preacher’s kid, born and raised right here in North Carolina and received Jesus as Savior and Lord at the age of seven. He then surrendered to the ministry at an early age and preached his first sermon at age 14.  As Joel worked in various ministries throughout his lifetime, he began as a youth minister in several churches while in college.  God called Joel to pastor his first church in 1986 and since that time, he has pastored three churches in North Carolina. 

In recent years Joel was the Associate Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Weddington for more than eight years before moving to Arizona to work with the North American Mission Board in church planting. In addition to church planting, Joel was on staff with Joni Eareckson Tada’s ministry, Joni and Friends/Arizona, as the Church Relations Coordinator. His most recent pastorate was at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Alexis, NC.

Joel holds a bachelor’s degree from Wingate University and a master’s degree in Theology from Reformed Theological Seminary.  

Through the years Joel and Susie have ministered in international short-term missions including Barbados, Peru, Haiti, Nicaragua, South Africa, Liberia, and Honduras.

Joel and Susie have been married since 1989 and have two boys, Eddie and Samuel.

Russell T. Files, Associate Pastor

for Worship & Families

Russ was raised as a military kid. He was born in Pueblo, CO and lived in El Paso, TX, Yuma, AZ, Chambersburg, PA and Hofheim-Wallau, Germany. He holds a BA in Music from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR and an MA in Worship Leadership/Family Ministry and Discipleship from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Before surrendering to the call to ministry he served four years in the US Army Band as a trumpeter/bugler stationed in Fort Lee, VA.

He was ordained as a minister of the Gospel by Pastor JD Traylor and the congregation of Hanover Baptist Church, Hanover, IN in May 2012.

He is married to Stephanie and they have three sons: Zachary, Joshua, who attends Penn State University at World Campus, and Alexander, who attends Lake Norman High School.  

Email Russell by clicking here.