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BGAV Ministerial Scholarship Recipient: Joel Elmore

Posted: 12/12/18 at 1:00pm.

Joel Elmore is a member of Waverly Place Baptist Church in Roanoke, VA. He is a student at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is studying pastoral care.

Joel is one of the 2018-19 recipients of a BGAV scholarship for ministerial education funds. He explains that his faith was tested during the spring of his senior year of college, when he became seriously ill with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. He was completely paralyzed and could not even open his eyes. He was hospitalized for a month and then stayed at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for four months. Since then, he has recently graduated college and can run with leg braces!

Joel’s father is a BGAV pastor, and his mom works for the Virginia Baptist Foundation. He is grateful for the prayer support his family received following his diagnosis. “I have met many people in Virginia who diligently prayed for me even though most had never seen me,” he explained. “In the future, I hope that the Lord will use this life-changing experience so that I can help others who also have had unusual struggles.”

Joel is interested in working in a BGAV church as an associate pastor with a focus on counseling, and he would eventually like to work with other BGAV churches, he said, “to improve their counseling methods, create strategies for working with people who have learning disabilities, and heighten sensitivity to those with physical challenges. In addition, I would like to encourage my church to be involved in Baptist campus ministries, disaster relief, and state/foreign missions efforts.”

He commented further in regard to his calling: “While fighting back after Guillain-Barré Syndrome, I felt affirmed in my call to ministry. I learned just how complex problems like my illness can be, because they affect every area of your life. From the education that I receive in seminary, I hope to help individuals struggling with extreme circumstances find their hope and joy in Christ while assisting them in navigating such complex circumstances. I want to walk alongside people and help them see Christ in all things.”

Through Cooperative Missions offerings, the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) provides scholarships and ministerial education funds for eligible Virginia Baptist students who need aid in financing their education. BGAV Scholarships and Ministerial Education Funds can help students earn an undergraduate degree, pursue undergraduate or graduate education in preparation for vocational ministry, or access training and continuing education opportunities.

Once each month, we are featuring a current-year scholarship recipient on our blog to help our readers get to know these promising students. Please pray for them as they study and seek to discern God’s will for their lives.