Joel is a native of Henderson, N.C. He attended Kerr-Vance Academy K-12, graduating in 1999. Joel completed his undergraduate studies at East Carolina University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a Minor in Political Science. Joel is also a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, earning his graduate degree, the Master of Divinity (Pastoral Ministry w/ Biblical Languages), in 2010 and his post-graduate degree, the Master of Theology (Th.M.) in 2015. Joel's research project for the Th.M. focused on the Epistle of Jude and its contribution to the formulation of Christology in the early church, utilizing apocalyptic works, such as 1 Enoch, as lenses through which the Old Testament was interpreted in early Palestinian Christianity.
Joel is passionate about preaching and teaching. Upon graduating with the Master of Divinity, Joel received 2 awards from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary: The Joe B. Brown Preaching Award for Excellence in Preaching and the Nannie Bruce Nelson New Testament Award for Excellence in New Testament Scholarship. He was ordained in 2014 by All Nations Church in Raleigh, NC, where he served as the Minister of Education for 3 years. He has been serving New Life Baptist since July of 2017. Joel desires to see Henderson and Vance County impacted with the gospel of Jesus Christ
Joel is also passionate about serving in overseas missions. He has served on multiple short-term mission trips in Africa and South America. He served for 2 weeks in Kenya, Africa with Central Baptist Church in 2009. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Victory International, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 organization, based out of Raleigh, NC. Joel has served on multiple trips to Guyana, South America through Victory International. Since 2015, Joel has been to Guyana 4 times and has a love for the country and the Guyanese people. In addition to his involvement in the local church and international missions, Joel is also active in the community through his involvement in various community organizations. Joel currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for both Community Partners of Hope (CPOH), which oversees the operation of the men’s homeless shelter and the Hope House in Henderson, and the Rotary Club of Henderson. Joel is married to the love of his life, Kristen Beckham, since April 13, 2019.