Dr. Joe Connelly earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Appalachian State University in 1983, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in 1996, a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Center in 2003 and a Juris Doctor from Southern University Law Center in 2015. Dr. Connelly serves as Senior Pastor for Bethany United Methodist Church and owns a law firm that bears his name. He has served as senior pastor and strategic planner for congregations and non-profits. Dr. Connelly was an Infantry and Field Artillery officer for the United States Army and served as a Chaplain for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has two grown children, Joshua and Cherish, as well as two grandchildren.