Joel Newton was born in Florence, Alabama, and grew up near the small town of Anderson. He graduated from the University of North Alabama in Florence and from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Joel served in various churches in Texas, Wyoming, Tennessee and Illinois before coming to Woodland in March 2002.
Joel has been married to his wife Cheryl for over thirty years. They have two children. Emily and her husband Joe live in Peoria. James is a student at Huntington University.
Joel enjoys hiking, reading, baseball (coaching or watching) and football (watching only).