Joel Meeker is a pastor, writer, editor and administrator. He serves as regional director for the French-speaking regions of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association (a position he’s had for over 20 years). He is also chairman of its Ministerial Board of Directors.
While a teenager, he discovered a love and desire for traveling the world when he taught English to Laotian refugees for six months in Thailand.
After completing a degree in theology at Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, he married his best friend, Marjolaine—they’ve now been married for over 30 years—and moved to France to begin his pastoral career. They served congregations on the Mediterranean seaboard for three years and in the Alsace-Lorraine region for six. During their time in Europe, they gave birth to their two daughters.
While in Alsace, Joel earned Licence and Maîtrise degrees in French literature at the University of Strasbourg. When he returned to the United States, he completed two additional years of post-graduate studies in French literature at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Joel travels internationally about half of each year to fulfill his current responsibilities in French-speaking countries around the world. His regular travels include current hot spots like the Congo, Burundi and Cameroon. He serves on the board of Smile Rwanda, an NGO that provides training for dentists and free dental supplies in Rwanda. As a columnist for Discern magazine, his articles often reflect an international perspective.
As a scuba enthusiast, he has dived on the Great Barrier Reef, the wreck of the SS President Coolidge in the South Pacific, and dive sites in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Red Sea and Indian Ocean. He’s an amateur military historian and has guided battlefield tours throughout Europe. He also enjoys African wildlife photography.