Introducing Joel Engle

I’ll never forget the first night I spoke with the Pastor Search Committee about the possibility of becoming a candidate as the next Senior Pastor of FBC Newnan. It was one of those rare conversations where God connected our hearts together uniquely and dynamically. Since that moment, Valerie and I have been in awe of what God has been doing in our lives and in the life of First Baptist.

When we came to visit Newnan and met with the Pastor Search Committee, we saw with our own eyes how God was positioning First Baptist Church for significant gospel impact. The things that God revealed through the ReFocus process aligned with our hearts. First Baptist Church is a great church that is ready to step into the next chapter of making disciples who can touch this world with the good news of Jesus. It is one of the great privileges of my life to be a part of this church family!

In Christ,

Joel’s Bio

Joel Engle’s life story is a testament to the transformative power of God’s grace. Born in San Francisco, Joel faced early challenges, growing up under the care of his single mother. Tragedy struck when Joel was just 11, as his mother’s sudden passing left him orphaned. He found himself in the care of his aging grandparents in Wetumka, Oklahoma.

Despite the hardships, Joel found solace and strength in his faith, particularly during the summers spent at Falls Creek Baptist Assembly. It was there, amidst the serene surroundings, that Joel made the life-altering decision to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. One year later, while attending Centrifuge camp at Glorieta Baptist Assembly, Joel surrendered his life to vocational ministry and began to use his preaching and musical gifts in the church. However, Joel’s journey continued to be marked by trials.

At the age of 14, Joel lost his beloved grandfather to a heart attack. Subsequently, his grandmother’s health declined, leading him to be placed in the Baptist Children’s Home in Moore, Oklahoma. It was within the confines of the children’s home that Joel encountered Dale and Nadine Engle, who would forever alter the trajectory of his life. The Engles, close friends of Joel’s house parents, extended their love and support to him, ultimately adopting him at the age of 16. With the support of the Engle family, Joel flourished in both speaking and music.

Throughout his teenage years, Joel embarked on a journey of spreading the  message of hope found in Jesus, traveling to various churches to share his testimony through preaching and music. Joel’s pursuit of ministry led him to Oklahoma Baptist University, where he studied music, church history, and theology on a scholarship. Joel Engle Ministries was established while he was a college student, and following graduation, he embarked on a path as an evangelist and musician, reaching millions through albums, concerts, radio, and television.

In 2007, during a successful ministry as a Christian recording artist, Joel felt the call to transition into church planting.

With his wife, Valerie, by his side, Joel founded The Exchange Church as a church plant of the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas. The church experienced remarkable growth, leading many to encounter Christ. In addition to his preaching and music ministry, Joel also is an author, penning works such as “The Exchange,” published by Lifeway, and his autobiography, “The Father I Never Had.”

Subsequent chapters of Joel’s ministry saw him called to ChangePoint Church in Alaska in 2013, where he served as the Pastor of Preaching and Vision and witnessed profound spiritual revival and growth. Returning to Oklahoma in 2020, Joel assumed leadership at Fusion Bible Church, guiding the congregation through the challenges of a global pandemic while witnessing continued growth and salvations.

In addition to many years of ministry, Joel has extensive experience in business and has an entrepreneurial spirit. He was the founder and CEO of Spin360 Music (1997-2010), a Christian music distribution company, and served as a Division Director for GroupOne39 (2021-2023), a pastoral staffing firm, and Chief Growth Officer for AM Agency (2022-2023), a prominent Christian branding company. In 2023, Joel and Valerie became business owners, launching a franchise of WIN Home Inspection, while also continuing to spread the gospel through Joel Engle Ministries. Joel’s business endeavors have extended the reach of his message of faith and redemption, providing countless individual evangelism opportunities.

Throughout his journey from orphanhood to accomplished musician, pastor, and entrepreneur, Joel Engle’s life serves as a poignant reminder of God’s redeeming love. He and Valerie, his devoted wife of 29 years, have been blessed with four wonderful children, further enriching the narrative of God’s faithfulness in their lives. Valerie currently teaches 8th grade math. Their two oldest daughters, Elizabeth and Evelyn, are students at Colorado Christian University, and their youngest children, Elaine and Ethan, are high school students.