Pastor Joel Dover was born again in 1987 through the preaching of Pastor Byron MacEarhren, who at that time was serving the First Baptist Church of Americus GA. Joel was water Baptized there and began his discipleship journey.
In 1989 Joel’s family moved home to NC and Joel sat under the teaching ministries of Rev. Jake Honeycutt and Dr. Charles Brawley at the First Baptist Church of Faith NC. These men had a tremendous impact upon his spiritual journey.
After graduating High School, Joel attended the university of North Carolina @ Wilmington where he earned a B.A. in Theater and Communications. While in college, Joel met his wife, the former Kimberly Walker of Birmingham AL. Shortly after they were married, Joel was called into the gospel ministry and relocated to Lynchburg VA where he attended Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.
While attending school, Joel served as a Student Pastor at a Denominational Church, and traveled extensively in a worship and evangelism ministry that he started. Joel also served as the Graduate Assistant to the Homiletic Chair, Dr. Luke Kauffman. While at Liberty, Joel was twice awarded the Seminary Preacher of the Year award, an honor bestowed upon him by his Professors and Peers. Joel finished his Master of Arts in Religion in 2001, and a Master of Divinity in 2003. Joel was also licensed and ordained to the gospel ministry during those years by his home church, Faith Baptist Church of Faith, NC.
After graduation from Liberty, Joel started a church in Wilmington NC which he served for three years. In 2006, Joel and Kimberly relocated to Athens, GA where Joel served a Denominational church and began his studies at Luther Rice Seminary. Joel graduated with His Doctor of Ministry with honors in 2010 and relocated to Newnan GA in 2011 to serve as Senior Pastor of a Denominational Church.
Joel was first introduced to Calvary Chapel by his parents, who were studying with CC teachers online at Blue Letter Bible to prepare to teach Sunday School in their Denominational church. Joel became more familiar with the Calvary Chapel Movement through acquaintanceship with a few CC Pastors, and developed a tremendous respect for the CC approach to teaching the Bible while listening to Calvary Satellite Radio.
After leaving a Denominational church in 2014, Joel began to seek the Lord about a new direction for his ministry. It was then that Joel visited Calvary Chapel in Stone Mountain GA and was first introduced to Pastor Sandy Adams. That season would signal a ministry shift for Joel. At the Deep South Pastor’s Conference in 2014, the Lord laid it upon Joel’s heart to start a Calvary Chapel church in Newnan. After 27 years, Joel left the Denomination of his raising, began the affiliation process with Calvary Chapel, and started a Calvary Chapel church in Newnan GA.
During that time, Joel had begun teaching a small group Bible study in a local home, and when Joel shared with the group that God was leading him to start a church, the majority of the group also felt God’s leadership to participate in the new work. Joel continues to lead the Calvary Chapel Church in Newnan GA, which he started from a Bible Study in 2014. Joel was affiliated as a Calvary Chapel Pastor in 2015.
In addition to leading the church, Joel also teaches in the Biblical Studies Department at Calvary Chapel University where he trains Pastors and Church Leaders. Calvary Chapel University offers online degrees, with students from around the world, and with a distinctively Calvary Chapel flavor.
Joel and Kimberly have been married since 1998, and have three children. Both are also licensed Realtors, and are a part of a family real estate business started by Joel’s parents. When not serving the Church or University, Joel assists Kimberly in the real estate business, and also enjoys fishing, woodworking, music, and gardening.