Fr. Joel Hatfield is a long-time resident of Dallas in the Lake Highlands area. He is originally from the Kansas City, Missouri area.
After graduating from Liberty High School, he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at William Jewell College and earned a master's degree in church music from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Fr. Joel served as a music minister in churches in the Kansas City area and spent two years teaching choral and vocal music at Prairie Bible College in Alberta, Canada.
Fr. Joel has spent the last twenty-five-plus years working in the Information Technology field. Currently, he is a consultant with the local division of a multinational consulting firm, working with clients in the DFW area. Before this, he spent fourteen years with a national K-12 education company developing and supporting literacy and math DFW for at-risk children.
As a "recovering" Baptist, Fr. Joel entered the Episcopal Church in 2005 as a member of St. Luke's, Dallas. He and his wife were confirmed, and their daughter was baptized during their time there. He served in the music ministry, as a vestry member, rector search committee member, worship committee chair, and as cantor, lector, and eucharistic minister. In 2010, he and his family became members of St. James, Dallas; again serving in the music ministry, and as cantor, lector, eucharistic minister, and catechist preparing youth and adults for confirmation.
It was about this time that he began his discernment process for Holy Orders in earnest. He became an aspirant in 2014, was named a postulant in 2015 by Bishop Paul Lambert and was named a candidate for ordination in 2018. He was ordained to the diaconate on June 2, 2018, and ordained to the priesthood on January 5, 2019, by Bishop George Sumner. His theological training included his seminary studies, courses at the Stanton Center for Ministry Formation and the Neuhoff School of Ministry at the University of Dallas. His Clinical Pastoral Education experience was with The Terrell State Hospital.
Fr. Joel continues his keen interest in all things related to music and liturgy. He is a Fellow of the Fraternity of St. Cecilia, an international social and learned society for church musicians.
He has been married to Dianna for twenty-nine years. They met while serving as counselors at a children's music camp. Dianna is a lifelong resident of Dallas (mostly). She is a graduate of Lake Highlands High School and earned her bachelor's degree in education at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas. Dianna is an experienced educator and has taught for many years at Scofield Christian School.
Their daughter Hannah is a sophomore at Dallas Baptist University where she studies music education. Her goal is to become a middle school choir director.