HeadshotDr. Joel W. Harder is the state minister for Oklahoma through Capitol Commission where he is shaping a culture of civility, integrity, and servant leadership among Oklahoma policymakers.

Harder is an experienced organizational leader with over 10 years working in international leadership development through local churches, nationwide nonprofits, and political arenas.

From 2009 to 2017, Harder served as an associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Alexandria overseeing education and global missions as well as organizational management and staff development. During this time, he launched an annual Faith & Work conference for young professionals in Washington, D.C. and developed leadership conferences held in Central Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe for local pastors and community leaders.

Harder earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas and a Master of Social Work from Baylor University with a specialization in church-based practice. Harder earned a Doctorate of Education from Southeastern Seminary with a research focus in e-mentoring and spiritual formation. He conducted a nation-wide doctoral research study of e-mentoring among business professionals in 2017 and has been a guest lecturer at Georgetown University and the John Leland Baptist Center for Theological Studies.

Harder lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Donelle, and their two young daughters.

Harder provides regular pulpit supply and his sermons are posted online at