Joel’s Story

Joel Thrasher, Missions Strategy Leader

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I’m a Georgia boy. Born and raised in the Northwestern corner of the state. Kathy and I met while in college, and were married in 1982. Our daughter, Brittney, came along in 1986. But, our greatest delight are our 2 granddaughters. What a joy. I guess I should mention education. Degrees are from Jacksonville State University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. My resume is simple. I’ve only served in 2 locations – 8+ years in Anniston, Alabama, and 25+ years with GBA. Beyond family, my other loves include travel, reading, and Alabama football. Roll Tide!

My journey to faith began while in college. Growing up I had been a good kid, but decided to enjoy my new found freedoms once I hit JSU. Thankfully, it didn’t take long to realize that I wasn’t having nearly as much fun as the advertisers said I would. I began looking for something different. I didn’t know what, just different. As it turns out (or was that providential) there were a couple of guys living in the same apartment complex as me who invited me to a Bible study. And I went. Most the folks there were involved in Baptist Campus Ministry. And they invited me. And I went. It was out of my BCM experiences that I came to understand that I was never going to be good enough, and the answer I was looking for is Christ. I prayed for Christ to forgive me and take control of my life. A lot happened very quickly it seems. The call to missions was another struggle. I was a follower of Jesus, and growing in my faith, but I still had my plans for my life. My senior year of college was a fight – my will versus God’s will. Thankfully, I finally gave up the fight. And it has been an incredible journey of ministry.

As Missions Strategy Leader, I am responsible for a laundry list of ministries including Mission Partnerships, Church Planting, Day Camps, Crisis Centers, Disaster Relief, Demographics, Prison Ministry, Multihousing, Literacy, Ministry Kits…and I’m sure there is something I am missing. I love what I do!