Joel Miller is pastor of Columbus Mennonite Church in Clintonville. Born and raised on a farm in Bellefontaine, Ohio, he still considers himself a farm kid living in the city.
Times of study in the Middle East and Latin America helped instill a sense of being part of a global community. In his pastoral work Joel is energized by the interplay between the inward and outward journeys - the spiritual journey toward humility, wisdom, and connection, and the social journey toward justice and peaceful relationships.
Joel and his wife Abbie have three school age daughters who keep them on their toes, and five backyard chickens who turn compost into tasty eggs.
In the fall of 2017, Columbus Mennonite Church became the first congregation in Ohio to publicly offer Sanctuary to an immigrant with a deportation order. Edith Espinal, a mother of three children and 20 year resident of Columbus continues to live within the church building. Because immigration officers have not historically entered places of worship to make arrests, Sanctuary has enabled Edith to avoid deportation and remain with her family in Columbus while she and allies advocate for her legal case. Edith's story has been widely covered in the press and has garnered widespread support across the region. The Sanctuary movement continues to grow nationally as faith communities and immigrants confront this crisis.