Joshua J McNeal was born and raised under the big sky of Montana. He always knew that he loved to write but never would have guessed where God would take him with it. Whenever a story or poem was given as an assignment, he would get excited because the art of story-telling and creativity came very natural. But writing books never crossed his mind until later.
Music was his interest all through school. He sang from a young age but his love for music sprang forward in the fifth grade when he began playing the trumpet. For the next nine years, he immersed himself in the music program. Trumpet playing and singing in choirs was where you could find him at school. And when it came time to graduate, he had to list what he was going to do after high school.
The only problem was he didn’t know. So he made it up. He’d attend the local university and major in music or English. Music because that’s all he knew. He still can’t explain why he put down English except he loved to write. His writing mainly would consist of songs for the next few years. God eventually led him to Frontier School of the Bible in 2003 where he spent three years delving into the Word of God. He joined the singing ensemble group where he had the privilege of taking two missionary trips to Italy singing a cappella Christmas carols.
It was also there he met, Danielle. They became instant friends but wouldn’t enter a relationship together until November of 2007. They were married in July of 2008 in Mars Hill, Maine. Their first son Regan was born in September of 2009 and Myles soon followed in December of 2010. Simon came later in April of 2015.
Joshua graduated from Frontier in 2006 and immediately began serving back at his home church in Montana. He was originally brought on as youth pastor but ended up also serving in music, on the council, in the library, and as pulpit supply.
Writing was still a passion although he had never really acted upon it. He continued writing songs and the occasional holiday drama for church. But in 2009, a strong desire to write a novel took over. He knew that Jesus taught the crowds many times using simple stories that they could relate to. God worked through him and his novel, “At the Corner of 6th and North” was completed. He called Westbow Press and self-published the novel. He is currently working on his second novel with the goal of getting it traditionally published.
Planning on going back to school for creative writing, God opened his eyes in April of 2014 for a greater cause. In one moment at the Rocky Mountain Bible Mission’s Shepherds Conference, God called him to be a rural pastor. Josh quickly pursued the calling and by the last Sunday of that year, he was hired as pastor of Mountain View Chapel in Twin Bridges, Montana.
He continues to use his gift of writing to reach people beyond his community for the furtherance of Christ’s kingdom.