Joel Engle is a Christian recording artist living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He has recorded the #1 song "Shadow of Your Cross" and the top 10 songs "Louder Than The Angels" and "Be A Father To Her."
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As a young boy growing up in San Francisco, Joel Engle never knew his father. His mother raised him the best she could, managing to provide by working a nine to five job at an oil company. Tragedy struck when, at the age of 11, Joel found his mother lying on the kitchen floor after suffering a stroke. She died soon after, leaving Joel in the care of his elderly grandparents. Just three years later there was even more upheaval when Joel's grandfather died and his grandmother went to live in a retirement home. "Life was basically miserable and I was constantly afraid," reflected Joel. "I was consumed with thoughts of what was going to happen to me. I felt alone, unloved, and unhappy." At the age of 14, there was no other option for Joel but to check himself into the local Baptist Children's Home.
At the age of 16, Joel met some close friends of his house parents by the name of Dale and Nadine Engle. A bond was formed and soon after he not only moved in with them, but became part of the family by taking their last name. It was a landmark year for Joel, including his realization that Christ was the only one that would never leave him. From then on, with his hope firmly planted, there was no looking back.
In fact, Joel found himself staring at an old, brown upright piano in his new room at the Engle household. "I just stared at it because I couldn't play anything much except for the infamous Chopsticks, and Silver Bells" Joel laments. "I longed to use my talents for Him. I prayed, 'God if you will give me the ability to play the piano, I will never sing a song or write a song that doesn't glorify your name!'" Joel's boldness and surrender were soon rewarded.
Joel went on to study music and theology on scholarship at Oklahoma Baptist University. While there, he met and eventually married his wife Valerie. After college, he toured with Dawson McAllister student conferences for three years, playing in front of crowds upward of 500,000 per year. Then in 1997, Joel and wife Val, who shared his heart for ministry, started Spin360, a modern worship resource that provides worship leaders with songs, chord charts, sheet music, and other tools (currently over 9,000 churches worldwide utilize Spin360). Joel's piano and vocal talents were also simultaneously being put to good use with many camp dates, conferences, and outreach opportunities with the Billy Graham Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Student Life. Later, he had three girls and a boy of his own. His first child is a girl, Elizabeth.
All the while, Joel was making his own independent album releases to go hand-in-hand with the ministry dates he was active in. "I had to go through a huge healing process over my growing up years," Joel said. "The songs I was writing became natural expressions of how God delivered me from the wounds of the past. There are so many Christians today who live in pain secretly that I want to give hope to by showing how God healed me."
Joel has been the opening act for GMA Dove Award winners Casting Crowns, TobyMac, Rebecca St. James, Third Day, MercyMe, and others.
On November 15, 2007, a bulletin posted from Joel's MySpace site indicated that he would be "retiring from Christian music in September 2008." His purpose in this was to "transition into church planting." Joel planted the church in Keller, Texas which is called "The Exchange," and it is a "Bible-based, missional" and "culturally relevant," citing that the need for the church is based largely on population growth in the area. He has recently opened a teenage ministry called "Echo". He has written a book with a similar name and concept: The Exchange: Tired of Living the Christian Life on Your Own? published by Threads, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources.
In 2012, Engle received the Performance In Excellence award from his alma mater Oklahoma Baptist University.
On June 3, 2013, Joel accepted a job at ChangePoint Church in Anchorage, AK as Pastor of Preaching & Vision. He will share Sunday teaching responsibilities with teaching pastor Dan Jarrell and provide executive leadership to the Celebration and Communication departments. He is now in the process of moving his family from Texas to Alaska.