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Meet Senior Pastor 
Joel Limerick


Rev. Joel Limerick's life is a testament to a journey of faith, education, and service. Born on November 4th, 1973, in Philadelphia, PA, he embarked on a path that would lead him to become a Reverend and a successful business owner.


Joel's educational journey took him through Georgetown Preparatory School in Rockville, MD, where he laid the groundwork for his future pursuits. He continued his studies at Morehouse College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1995. During his time at Morehouse, he underwent a profound spiritual transformation, moving from his Roman Catholic upbringing to embrace Jesus Christ and receive baptism into the Baptist Church under the guidance of Rev. Dr. Lawrence Carter.

Returning to Morehouse in December 1996, Joel preached his trial sermon and became the first person to receive a preaching license from the college's Martin Luther King International Chapel. His theological studies further advanced at the Yale University School of Divinity's Master of Arts in Religion program from 1997-1999. In December 2023, he completed the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies program at Lancaster Bible College.

In June of 2003, after catechization and examination by Rev. R. Clinton Washington, Joel was ordained to the Gospel Ministry by his father in the ministry, Rev. Dr. Emil Thomas. His ministerial journey included roles as the Youth Minister for Zion Baptist Church and Jerusalem Baptist Church. He also served as the Minister to Youth and Young Adults for First Baptist Church under Pastor Frank Tucker.

Joel's commitment to both spiritual and professional growth is evident in his role as the Executive Pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church under Senior Pastor L.B. Jones II from 2016 to 2023. He joined Pilgrim Baptist Church in July 2016, alongside his wife, Dr. Emily Limerick, MD. He and his lovely wife have had four amazing children since joining Pilgrim, Lila, Olivia, Benjamin and Theodore.

Beyond his pastoral duties, Joel is the owner and manager of an information technology company, a venture that has flourished under his leadership. Since 1995, the company has grown from 12 to over 45 employees, providing information management solutions to various government agencies.

Throughout his journey, Rev. Limerick holds onto the Christian principle embodied in John 13:35, emphasizing the importance of love within the Christian community. This principle serves as the foundation for his understanding of the Christian life and the Church, guiding him in his roles as a pastor, husband, father, and entrepreneur.


Meet First Family

Rev. Joel Limerick, Dr. Emily Limerick, MD

Olivia, Ben, Theodore, & Lila (left to right)

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