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Creator’s Corner: Joe L Barnes Shares Lesson On ‘Altar’ Of God


NAME: Joe L. Barnes

OCCUPATION: Christian Singer-Songwriter

LOCATION: Atlanta, Georgia (by way of Kentucky)

HOW ARE YOU USUING YOUR GIFT TO INSPIRE THE COMMUNITY? “[Community] is so important. I moved where I am in Atlanta because of community. To be attached to my mentor, my spiritual father and the community is really, really important. Some of the best songs come out community because we’re by design communal people; we’re made for community. We need people around, because if it’s just us and no one else or we’re surrounded by all the same perspectives and thoughts, you’re not inspiring or impacting anyone. You need to be around people that sometimes challenge your thoughts — the Bible talks about iron sharpening iron! It’s all necessary.”


When considering the journey of Christian-based singer-songwriter Joe L. Barnes, a Kentucky native currently residing in Atlanta, it’s easy to become a believer in the notion that anything is possible when hard work and dedication are applied to the process. From his work alongside Maverick City to curating a solo career for himself, the worship leader at Shepherd’s Tent in Covington, Georgia is gearing up for many more great things in the near future. On the songwriter side for example, he’s able to flex his skills through the varied view of other equally talented musicians of his genre like he did in co-writing “In Spite of Me” with Tasha Cobbs Leonard back in 2020. Another great example is “Not Holding Back” in collaboration with JJ Hairston from 2021, in addition to “Ruins” alongside his Maverick City Music compadres that same year. The latter collective was even recognized by the 2020 GMA Dove Awards with a “Gospel Worship Recorded Song of the Year” nomination for their inspiring fan-favorite hit, “Promises.”

In one of his latest offerings, a truly uplifting 2024 single titled “Altar,” everything from the conviction in his voice to the passion in his eyes seen from the lens of the official music video makes it quite clear that his mission to serve the Lord through song was one that has always been in the making. Who could’ve predicted all of this when he was just a 16-year-old driving back and forth from Kentucky to Atlanta, writing songs in the backseat with his brother as his biggest critic and collaborator? How could Joe have known himself that when he wrote his first album at 18 years old, a project titled Not In Vain that still remains shelved to this day, those words would be a testament to an even greater path towards success? God did, that’s who!