Joel Hemphill is listed in the credits for the following albums:
Joel Wesley Hemphill was born in Fresno, California, August 1, 1939 to Beatrice Brown Hemphill and Rev. W.T. Hemphill.
Joel spent his childhood from the age 5 in West Monroe, a small paper mill town in Northeast Louisiana where his father was pastor and founder of a local church. From his earliest memories the music of the church was an important part of his life. Exciting, exuberant, heart-felt singing and preaching laid the foundation that Joel's life is built upon.
Dad Hemphill, Joel's father, a very compassionate and caring man loved to sing. He sang when he was happy and he sang when he was sad. He owned the finest Martin guitar and carried a guitar pick in his pocket at all times, even though he could not play. But he was prepared to have one of his children, including Joel to play whenever he wanted to sing.
When Joel was in his teens, he became one of the church musicians playing the electric guitar and later, after answering his call into the ministry, became a young associate pastor, serving under his father.
On June 28, 1957, just one month before Joel's 18th birthday and immediately following High School graduation Joel & LaBreeska married after a brief courtship. LaBreeska was singing in an evangelistic team with her Uncles Rusty & Howard Goodman and her Aunt Vestal. Their travels had brought them from their home in Evansville, Indiana to northeast Louisiana holding numerous revivals in neighboring towns, which also included Joel's home church in West Monroe.
Shortly after they married Joel & LaBreeska began to launch out into evangelism. Their singing in addition to Joel's preaching became a very important part of Joel's ministry and helped to create a demand at out of state functions such as youth camps, camp meetings and Christian School graduations.
In 1961 just one week before the birth of Candy, their third child, knowing it was a time to settle down, they accepted the pastorate of a small church in Bastrop, La. only 25 miles from W. Monroe. For 10 years they and their children Joey, Trent, and Candy enjoyed a very rewarding and active life of ministry revolving around their home church. However, after about 5 years of pastoral involvement, Joel became restless and discontent with their outreach. The local radio station where they were ministering didn't prove to be very far-reaching, so time was set aside for fasting and prayer and seeking God to enlarge their ministry. Days of fasting, going to the church lying on their faces praying for a greater anointing and gifts immediately brought a gift that neither Joel or LaBreeska had consciously sought for-Songwriting. And within a year it was not unusual to hear one of Joel's songs, sung on radio or T.V. be the various gospel groups that were popular at the time. His first songs were recorded by the Happy Goodman Family, LaBreeska's maternal family, (her mother Gussie Mae was sister to Howard, Rusty, and Sam). Songs such as "Not in a Million Years", "The Eyes of Jesus", "Pity the Man", "I Found a Better Way", "He Filled A Longing", etc.... The gift was so graciously handed to Joel and God sealed it by causing groups such as, The Blackwood Brothers, The Speer Family, The Gaithers, The Florida Boys, The Cathedrals and others, to record the songs that He inspired Joel to write.