Founder, Heartfelt Ministries
Dr. Joneal Kirby is the founding leader of Heartfelt Ministries, an internationally known women’s ministry. The mission Dr. Kirby has been carrying out through Heartfelt since 2003, is to encourage strong, authentic and faith-filled multi-generational relationships among women of faith. The programs and resources of Heartfelt focus on discipling women in God’s church, studying the Bible, mentoring in issues of faith and family, and evangelizing the lost. In 2002, Dr. Kirby realized as she was counseling and teaching in her own church, that there were some Biblical instructions specifically given to women that were not consistently or intentionally being followed. These few verses are found in the book of Titus. She read and then studied the entire book and realized that Titus 2:3-5 are instructions that Paul gave directly to women regarding their explicit responsibility in the work and organization of the church. In a letter written near the end of his life to his missionary friend, Titus, Paul sends instructions on how to teach the Believers and organize the church’s established on the island of Crete.
Here are Paul’s words regarding the work of women Believers from Titus 2:3-5 “Teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.” (Titus 2:3-5 )
After studying Paul’s writings in Titus, Dr. Kirby epdeveloped the Heartfelt Friends program and launched the first Heart Group’s in 2003 for her own congregation. Soon women from all over the country began asking her about the program. Since then she has trained thousands of women and churches on how to create their own Titus 2 mentoring program using the model of Heartfelt Friends.
Dr. Kirby is also a popular speaker for conferences and workshops as well as being featured on radio, television and internet podcasts. Her own conference, The Heartfelt Experience, is attended by thousands of women. She has written and hosted a daily radio program since 2005 and has a current listening audience of over 100,000 listeners. She also co-wrote and hosted a television Bible Study and Christian lifestyle program for Legacy Network. She and Heartfelt have been featured in dozens of interviews for radio, television and with internet hosts.
She is the author of several books: Heartfelt, a Woman’s Guide to Creating Meaningful Friendships, The Heartfelt Friends Training Manual, Heart of a Family for Mom: Common Sense Parenting with Wisdom from the Word, and Hope for Your Family: A Parent’s Guide, as well as numerous articles for a variety of publications. She has written hundreds of Bible lessons and produced twelve specific Bible studies for women’s ministry, including Be the Woman, A Study of Proverbs 31, Living the Gospel, Parables of Purpose, Nine Stories Jesus Told, and most recently Battle: Holding On in Hard Times.
Dr. Kirby is a certified parenting educator and developed a parenting workshop, The Smart Parent, which has been taught in numerous workshops in churches and communities.
Dr. Kirby has a Master’s degree in Counseling and a PhD in Marital and Family Therapy. She established her own private practice in 2002, known as the Christian Counseling Center. Her clinical training as a family counselor served to prepare her to minister to a variety of faith and life issues pertinent to women of God. Prior to this career, she worked in education teaching in middle schools and high schools, then became a school guidance counselor and later served as a high school principal. This work experience, where she served with and alongside thousands of teens and adults, were her primary influence in learning the unique, inspiring goals, needs and desires specific to a woman’s heart.
Heartfelt is forever grateful and thankful for the partnership with Kay Robertson, of A & E’s Duck Dynasty and Missy Robertson and her daughter, Mia. All the Robertson family women, Jessica (wife of Jep), Lisa (wife of Alan Robertson) and Korie and Sadie (Willie’s wife and daughter) have all been a part of Heartfelt since its beginnings at White’s Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, Louisiana. It is because of their love and support of this ministry that the Heartfelt Experience Conferences began. Dr. Kirby’s sister is Chrys Howard, mother of Korie and grandmother of Sadie. These faith-filled women have been a vital part of women’s ministry with Dr. Kirby in their home church. The Kirby’s also are close friends with Alan and Lisa Robertson. The two couples have worked together in marriage ministry for over 17 years. They teach in marriage retreats together including The Robertson Marriage Retreat Cruise to Alaska.
Dr. Kirby and her husband, Randy, recently celebrated their marriage of 43 years. Having met while at Harding College, they begin their newlywed life in 1975 and started off teaching together at Shreve Christian School in Shreveport, Louisiana. Randy’s career changed soon after their three children arrived and he has worked for Merrill Lynch for thirty-two years. Their children, are Josh Kirby (married to Kristen), Jake Kirby (married to Jamie) and Katelyn Taylor (married to Grant). Their family has expanded even more now with grandchildren- five grandboys and two granddaughters. A generational blessing for both Randy and Joneal is that both of their mothers are still an active part of their families, while both of their fathers have passed on. As a couple in ministry together since they married, they have worked in children’s and youth ministries, life group leaders, marriage ministry and Bible Study teaching. They also created an annual Marriage Retreat, which now knows national success. The Kirbys live in West Monroe, Louisiana on 130 acres of wooded land. They feel most blessed when their seven grandchildren are all there together. Which, praise the Lord, happens often.