Dr. Joseph W. Daniels, Jr. is a husband, father, pastor, author, prophetic imaginer and leader of a Relevant, Enthusiastic, Authentic and Loving church movement. Joe has dedicated his life to growing the kingdom of God. For the past 27 years, he has done so as the lead pastor of the Emory United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. During three of those years (July 2013 to June 2016), he did so in a dual role: as lead pastor of Emory and as the District Superintendent of the Greater Washington District of the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. During Joe’s time as a superintendent, denominational studies revealed that the Greater Washington District was one of the only districts in the Northeast Jurisdiction showing growth in all of the key metrics. During his leadership at Emory, the congregation has grown from an average of 55 people in weekly worship attendance to 400.
The church is currently engaged in a $56 million, 99-unit affordable rental housing, commercial and congregational development project that will provide hope to many individuals and families desperately needing an affordable place to live in a region that is arguably one of the top five most expensive in the country. Emory seeks to be a “REAL Church for Real People” and strives to lead people to WHOLE lives. It has been acknowledged numerous times for its role in changing lives and changing communities. The church has been awarded the “Kim Jefferson Northeast Jurisdictional Award” for effective urban ministry representing the United Methodist Church and has been recognized as a key resource center for the “Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century” effort of the United Methodist Church.
Joe holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary (2000) in Washington, D.C. He is also a 1991 graduate of Howard University School of Divinity, and has earned a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in the areas of Public Communication, Psychology, Journalism and Public Affairs from The American University (1982, 1984) in Washington, D.C. He is very active in community affairs, serving as co-chair of the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) as well as with other organizations and agencies. He also teaches at Wesley Theological Seminary in both the Urban Ministry and Practice of Ministry and Mission programs.
Joe has been called upon for mission service to churches in Zimbabwe and South Africa, providing training for pastors and laity in the area of congregational and community development. Instructing groups on how to establish strong neighborhoods, Joe’s commitment to a spirit of “peace on earth” is not confined to the Brightwood (D.C.)community, the city of Washington D.C. or the United States of America. He fully believes that there can be healthy, wholesome, economically stable families and communities all over the world.
As a sought-after speaker, preacher, mentor and author, Joe inspires and equips others to see the possibilities God has for them and their communities. To that end, he has written four books: Begging for REAL Church (2009), The Power of REAL (2011), Walking with Nehemiah (2014) and co-authored Connecting for a Change (April 2019). He has been happily married to Madelyn since 1985; they are the proud parents of two young adults, Joia and Joey, and a daughter-in-law, Tiffany.