Joel Gatlin is the Pastor of Hope Church in Hattiesburg. He was born in Hattiesburg and grew up in Columbia until the age of 12. Life and ministry took him and his family to Baton Rouge, LA and Houston, TX, where he served in student ministry. He moved back to Columbia in 2001 to serve as an Associate Pastor.  
Joel’s father had a vision for the city of Hattiesburg, so he founded Hope Church in 2007. In 2012, Joel, his wife Emily, and their 3 children came full time to Hope. The heart of Hope Church is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. 
Along with being in ministry for more than 17 years, Joel also has 12 years of banking and finance experience. He has taught church administration at Jackson College of Ministries and has been a guest speaker at The University of Southern Mississippi discussing “Ethics in Business”. He regularly meets and consults with local business owners to discuss leadership and good business practices. Currently, Joel is serving the community as Chaplain for the Hattiesburg Police Department.