Joshua H. Barnes
A Short-Ish Bio
I grew up in Advance, North Carolina—the son of an engineer and a school teacher. As a boy, I did what most boys did then and there: I played in the woods behind our neighbor’s house; fished for small brim in the local creek as it emptied into the Yadkin; barely tolerated middle- and high school; and played sports along the way.
After graduation, I spent six years in Wilmington, receiving both undergraduate and graduate degrees in English from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In graduate school, I discovered both a passion and a gift for teaching, which seemed to firm up things for me vocationally: I would make a career in the classroom.
In the summer between my first and second years of graduate school, a confluence of events, conversations, and questions led me irretrievably down the path to ministry in the church. I realized that if the Gospel were true—if the Father had in fact poured out his love for the world in the crucified and risen Son—then nothing else mattered. This realization accompanied a growing conviction that the whole of my life had prepared me for the work of ministry. So I took the next logical step: I applied to Divinity School.
Would you believe, they let me in?
In Divinity School, the pace of life stepped up considerably. By graduation in 2017, I had pastored two churches; met and married my wife; became a Duke basketball fan; spent our first year of marriage living in a college freshman dorm; and studied theology in Germany for a year. All along the way, the Lord brought into greater focus the kind of work to which he called me. I was to utilize my passion and gift for teaching to help his people marvel at him—to ponder the things of God with joy and wonder. At the same time, the Lord called me to enter into a deep and meaningful relationship with his people, so as to communicate his peace and presence and love to the children of God. Taken together, both kinds of work—teaching and relating—have proven to be the cornerstone of a particular calling in the church. As I look back now, I realize that this call has echoed down the hallways of my life, urging me on from one moment to the next to now—to you. The call, it seems, is to be a pastor, and I’m beyond thrilled that I get to be yours.
Director of Preschool programs
I have been a member of Hopewell United Methodist Church since my marriage to Randy 36 years ago. We have two boys - Justin and Daniel. With a degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration, my experiences involve working as a Kindergarten assistant, Lead Teacher, Group Leader, Program and Bus Routing Coordinator. My hobbies include reading, running obstacle races and paddle boarding. I am looking forward to working with the parents and teachers in my new role as preschool director.
Director of Youth Ministry
We are currently in search of a part-time (20 hrs/week) director of youth ministry, and welcome anyone who would like to apply. If you are interested in applying, click here for a list of preferred qualifications and responsibilities, as well as a short description of the ministry context. For more information, or if you have any questions beyond those addressed in the job description, you may inquire here.
–Pastor Josh Barnes