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CBC alumni perspective: Joel Labertew

Name: Joel Labertew

Graduation Year: 1994

Major: Pastoral Studies

Current Position: Lead Pastor

City and State: Normal, Illinois

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

Over the last 20 years, my wife, Angela (Cornish ’95), and I have served in ministry roles such as youth pastor, college pastor, founder/lead pastor, and staff pastor in AG churches in Illinois. Since 2014, we have served as lead pastors at First AG in Normal, Illinois. In addition, I am currently serving on the Illinois Presbytery.

What is your favorite memory from CBC?

The countless adventures with friends like barn swinging, McSalty’s Pizza, and burgers at Ebbets Field.

How did CBC help you identify/develop your calling?

I honed the foundational spiritual disciplines that have kept me walking with the Lord. I also found my spouse! 

How did your experience at CBC prepare you for life after graduation?

I felt equipped with the most foundational skills – preaching and organizing ministry. My roles in student government were perhaps the most helpful.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

Place yourself in roles of leadership, service, and teamwork. Those skills will need to be honed for years to come.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire a new graduate?

I am looking! I would look for someone with good conversational skills and a warm temperament. I would look for an individual with a wide variety of leadership experiences in non-curricular settings like sports, ministry teams, etc. Also, I would look for someone who doesn’t mind a cold, Midwest winter.