By: Dezaray Barr
Josh Hilty graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in 2006 with a degree in Christian Ministries. He graduated from Wesley Seminary in 2013 with a master’s degree. Hilty is now the Executive and Discipleship Pastor of Brenneman Memorial Missionary Church in Goshen, Indiana.
Hilty shared, “In my time at IWU, I decided that I wanted to be a pastor in The Wesleyan Church. That was partly due to the influence of professors like Dr. Chris Bounds, Dr. Ken Schenck, Dr. Dave Smith, Dr. Steve Lennox, Dr. Bud Bence, Dr. Jim Lo and Dr. Keith Drury. It was also partly due to meeting my wife, Jamie, whose father is a Wesleyan minister. We met in the chorale, where Dr. Todd Guy taught me the value of discipline, hard work and attention-to-detail.” Hilty also looks back on his time at Wesley Seminary with fondness, appreciating the relationships he built with his peers.
During high school, Hilty felt a call to ministry, and God used the people of his local church to confirm that call. “I’ve been certain about it ever since,” he said.
Before serving at Brenneman Memorial Missionary Church, Hilty served at North Branch Wesleyan Church for nine years. “After sensing that my season of ministry was over, I resigned last July. My family and I spent the next five months unemployed, moving back and forth from my family to my wife’s, all over Indiana and into Virginia. We packed up the minivan 14 times to go to the next place,” Hilty said. “The testing of our faith in God over those months was more than what I had expected. God taught me that obedience does not mean ease. He was faithful, providing enough money for us to live, getting us through our youngest daughter’s broken leg our first day in Virginia (with out-of-state insurance), and reminding us with every closed door that one would open.”
Brenneman Memorial Missionary Church, where Hilty has been serving since the beginning of 2018, is multi-generational. “The uniqueness in this for me is that God led me back to my hometown and outside of The Wesleyan Church – two things I never expected,” Hilty explained. “Our church is unique in that we are being intentional about ministering to those with special needs, from updating our building, to hiring a special needs ministry coordinator. I feel like God is calling us to reach a demographic that is often ignored.”
During the major transitions in his life, Hilty has looked to the story of Abraham, both in Genesis and in Hebrews chapter 6. “God brings me back to His trustworthiness over and over through the life of Abraham,” he said.
Hilty would encourage current IWU students: “Soak up the experience and wisdom from your professors, enjoy the time you have on campus and don’t neglect carving out space to hear from God.”
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.