The Reverend Joseph W. Casteel was born and raised in Cumberland, Maryland. The son of a minister, Joe was active in the church from the time he was a very young child. After graduating from Allegany High School, in pursuit of becoming an optometrist, he enrolled as a pre-med student at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia. In the second year of study, Joe realized his uncomfortable certainty with the scientific discipline required for an optometry degree. Taking some time to reevaluate, he took a job with The Prudential Insurance Company. His fast-paced success in sales moved him into management within several years. Within four years, he decided to open his own business as an independent agent.
A few years after he opened and operated his own business, he began to struggle more intensely with a call to ministry.
From his early teens, Joe sensed a call but resisted it. “I just wanted to be a faithful disciple and not be tied to the church vocationally.” After a long wrestling match with God one day at the top of Dan’s Mountain in Western Maryland, “I lost that match and came down the mountain convinced of my future path,” he reports.
Completing a Bachelor of Science in Sociology degree from Methodist University in Fayetteville, he completed his Master of Divinity Degree from Duke University. His post-graduate work has been in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Joe completed the American Association of Pastoral Counselors Training Program in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a graduate of the Robert H. Schuller Institute for Successful Church Leadership. In February 2020, he became a certified Transitional/Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist in The United Methodist Church.
Joe is an ordained Elder in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and has served churches in Grantsville, Maryland, Wilmington, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Roxboro, Robbins, Siler City, Hampstead, Elizabeth City, and Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. He has been an active leader in the District and Conference Ministries and Missions.
He is married to the Reverend Doctor Kimberly Carlson, Lead Pastor of Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. Joe and Kim, enjoy spending time with their 4 children and grandchildren. He loves to travel, enjoys woodworking and loves excellent food. Other than God and family, his two great loves are seafood and Duke Men’s Basketball.