[Meet Your AM] Churches ‘working together’ a goal for Joe Garner

JUDSONIA, Ark. – With a pastor’s heart and a love for the local church, Joe Garner has served as an associational missionary for more than 20 years.  

 Currently, he serves at Calvary Baptist Association. 

 Garner grew up in the Delta in the Helena-West Helena area. He married his wife, Pam, in 1986 and was saved in 1991. He got involved in church and in 1997 became a bi-vocational pastor.  

In 2000, Garner was called to the associational missionary role for the Arkansas Valley Baptist Association. He served there until February 2014.  

He then went to work for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention as Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief director. During this time, he also served as an associational missionary liaison and interim associational missionary.  

In July 2014, he left the state convention to become pastor at First Baptist Church in Brinkley, where he served from August 2014 through July 2019.  

He then became the associational missionary for Calvary Baptist Association. One of his goals in the role is to get churches working together to reach the area, the state, and nations for the Lord.  

“That is what we strive to do. Be mission minded in our actions and our intents and share the Gospel. We have a lot of churches that want to be individualized but they need to be together,” Garner said.   

He described Calvary Baptist Association, comprised of 34 churches, as very healthy and diverse with good and loving people.  

 “There are a lot of opportunities here for pastors and people who want to serve and we’re growing. Right now, we are in a season of revival. All our churches are beginning to report healthy numbers,” he said. “It is phenomenal what God is doing right now in this area.”  

 Garner and his wife are blessed with two children and three grandchildren. A couple of his hobbies include hunting with his son and enjoying the outdoors.  

“I enjoy nature, getting out and getting around and seeing what the Lord gives us,” he said.  

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