By: Dezaray Barr
Joel Gearhart is the Congregational Care Pastor of Brookhaven Wesleyan Church in Marion, IN. He graduated from Marion College (now IWU) in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in Religion. “My college experience gave me an opportunity to develop spiritually and in the area of leadership,” Gearhart said. “The opportunities for spiritual growth were endless. Through classes, chapel, Spiritual Emphasis Week, and life on and off campus, God was clearly at work in my life deepening our relationship and preparing me as a Christian to serve Him.”
Gearhart’s call to ministry has been confirmed many times over. “While my path in ministry has lead in many directions and taken many forms, God’s guiding hand has been unmistakable. I have served as an admissions counselor at Marion College, a youth pastor, missionary pastor in Puerto Rico, a church planter in Chesterton, Indiana, an educator as Director of Church Relations at IWU, a hospice chaplain and now Pastor of Congregational Care at Brookhaven Wesleyan. My experiences at college and along the path of ministry have prepared me for what was to come,” Gearhart said.
“Brookhaven has been more than a place to serve,” Gearhart said, “it has been my church family. When I came to Marion, my wife was in the final months of a terminal brain tumor. The church was a support to me in those critical days as well as encouraging me as a single parent, and through other tough experiences God allowed in my life. It is gratifying to be able to encourage many in the church family who are going through difficult things now. The body of Christ is an awesome thing. God is Good!”
Some fun facts about Gearhart include that he is a leap year baby, so he’s actually only 16.5 years old. He met Bill Graham when he was a kid and served as National Director for Wesleyan Bible Bowl.
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.