Pastor Joel's Story

Being a Southern Baptist all my life, I was exposed to missions as a small boy in “Sunbeams” studying about the missionaries far away in Africa never dreaming that one day I would be standing in front of large groups of people in South Africa and Liberia as an adult preaching the Good News. That is how God works.

Camp Caraway, Waco, & Barbados

When I was just seventeen, I had worked all summer as a counselor at Camp Caraway and at the end of that time was invited to be a part of a team to go to Waco, Texas to work for a week on a Hunger Relief Farm developed by the Foreign Mission Board in partnership with the Baylor University Agricultural department. It was an experimental farm to learn how to use every available resource in destitute areas in the world to feed the populations.

An invitation for my very first overseas short-term trip also came at the end of the summer at Caraway. The staff was asked for volunteers to go to Barbados to work at Bible College and dental clinic. This was at Christmas break during my sophomore year at Wingate College. After going there, a hunger began to go anywhere I was asked.


I was asked by the Brotherhood Commission of the SBC to go to Lima and Trujillo, Peru in 1987. I was there with young Baptist men from all over the country. We were there almost three weeks working closely with our Southern Baptist missionaries.

Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, & Liberia

After Susie and I were married, while pastoring churches, together we have been to Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Liberia. In 2001, during our NC Baptist partnership, I went to South Africa to preach for two weeks and work with the Door of Hope that saves abandoned babies from the streets of Johannesburg. There have been other trips here in the U.S. to Alaska, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

Phoenix, Arizona

The greatest and most life-changing call was to go to the northwest valley of Phoenix Arizona as appointed church planters with the North American Mission Board. We were there a little over four years and the church is still going to this day.

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Being on the receiving end of short-term teams coming to help us at least once or twice a year, we really began to understand and know the importance of those who volunteer to come and help. It was always so encouraging to know you are not alone in the work God has called all of us to.