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One morning when Joe and his wife Denise moved into one of Nashville's inner-city communities, they found their neighbor, a little deaf girl, staring through the window of their front door. Denise gave her candy and the girl left, only to return with her brothers and sisters. Denise gave them all candy as well. In a week's time about fifty children came to Joe and Denise's door. But it wasn't just candy that the children wanted. 




In whatever way they could, Joe and Denise began to help these children with basic necessities, as well as with schoolwork and emotional needs. With a background in musical performance and orchestration, Joe and Denise formed a choir of inner-city children, children from their own neighborhood and others. It was at one of these choir rehearsals that they came to understand their life's purpose.


A young girl with a swollen eye came late to rehearsal and approached Joe. She had been hit by her angry, drug-addicted mother and was frightened and in pain. Joe comforted her and prayed for her. When the little girl's sister saw this, she came up to Joe and asked the question:





Before Joe could answer, another little girl walked up and asked the same question:





This continued as child after child surrounded Joe asking him the same question. Deeply moved, Joe embraced them all. That day he became "Papa Joe," and he and Denise dedicated their lives to helping children in need.

 In 2005, Papa Joe and Denise founded Elijah's Heart, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to show love and bring aid to underprivileged children and their families. Today, they are actively uniting with others throughout the country to raise awareness about desperate situations in our own nation and to inspire a great movement of love in action.

Along with his role as executive director of Elijah's Heart, co-producer of Unconditional, and author of Love or War? Choose Love, Papa Joe is an inspired teacher and loves the Word of God. Reflecting the passion and wisdom of the Lord, Papa Joe is an inspirational speaker, gifted to motivate others to fulfill their unique God-given callings. Being led by the heart and love of the Father, Papa Joe seeks to inspire people to realize and passionately grasp hold of their giftings and purpose so they too can begin to take bold steps down their very own walk of love.

Papa Joe &
Denise Bradford.
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