J. Howard Olds, a native of Owen County Kentucky, began pastoring United Methodist churches at age eighteen. During his college years he served a “two point charge” called Renaker/Sadieville. As a seminary student he pastored Woodlawn Methodist Church near Bardstown. Following ordination Howard served Eminence UMC, Crestwood UMC, Trinity Hill UMC in Lexington, and St. Paul UMC in Louisville. In September 2000, he was appointed Senior Pastor of Brentwood United Methodist Church in Brentwood Tennessee, a 7,000 plus member congregation in the Tennessee Conference. He retired on June 30, 2008.

Howard earned his Bachelor’s degree from Asbury College, his Master of Divinity Degree from Asbury Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Lexington Theological Seminary. He served on numerous denominational and community boards and agencies throughout his career including Trustee at Lindsey Wilson College. He wrote and produced weekly “Faith Breaks” in Lexington, and Louisville. In Brentwood he continued to write these inspirational moments which were aired on WSIX Radio in Nashville. Howard also wrote two books: Faith Breaks: Thoughts on Making It a Good Day, and Laughing and Crying Your Way through Cancer. He is the co-author of the book Led to Follow.

Howard married his childhood sweetheart Sandra Lewis, who taught elementary school in Kentucky for many years before her retirement in 2001. They have two married sons, Wes and Brad, one grandson Caleb and two granddaughters Ella and Carrie.

Howard & Sandy Olds, September, 2007

Detailed Biography

J. Howard Olds
Born: September 4, 1945
Place of Birth: Owen County, Kentucky

Married: Sandra Lewis Olds, September 19, 1964

Wesley Howard, July 26, 1970
Bradley Stewart, September 4, 1974


  • Owen County High School, Owenton, KY, 1963
  • Asbury College, Wilmore, KY, B.A., 1966
  • Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY, Master of Divinity, 1970
  • Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington, KY, Doctor of Ministry, 1977

Additional Studies

  • Clinical Pastoral Education, Kentucky State Hospital, Richmond, KY, 1968
  • Clinical Pastoral Education, Methodist Evangelical Hospital, Louisville, KY, 1974
  • Academy of Preaching, Board of Discipleship, U.M.C., 1988-1990


  • Deacon, The United Methodist Church, 1967
  • Elder, The United Methodist Church, 1970

Churches Served

  • Renaker-Sadieville Churches in KY – 1964-1965 (Student)
  • Woodlawn-Beech Fork Churches in KY – 1966-1970 (Student)
  • Eminence UMC, Eminence, KY – 1970-1975
  • Crestwood UMC, Crestwood, KY – 1975-1984
  • Trinity Hill UMC, Lexington, KY – 1984-1991
  • St. Paul UMC, Louisville, KY – 1991-2000
  • Brentwood UMC, Brentwood, TN – 2000-2008


  • Outstanding Young Men of America, 1974
  • Outstanding Young Men of America, 1975
  • Oldham Countian of the Year, Crestwood, KY, 1983
  • Harry Denman Evangelism Award, KY Annual Conference, 1983
  • Who’s Who in American Religion, 1991
  • Honorary Doctorate from Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, KY, 2008
  • Heroes, Saints, & Legends Honoree from Wesley Village, 2008

Articles and Books

  • Church School Magazine, 1974, 1976
  • Junior High Adventure, 1987
  • Interpreter Magazine, 1991
  • Circuit Rider Magazine, 2000
  • Faith Breaks: Thoughts on Making It a Good Day, 2004
  • Led to Follow, 2008 (co-author with Cal Turner, Jr.)
  • Laughing and Crying Your Way through Cancer, unpublished manuscript

Media Experience

  • WVLK Radio, Lexington, KY, Daily 60 second radio spots, 1984-1991
  • WHAS Radio, Louisville, KY, Daily 60 second radio spots, 1991-2000
  • WKYT-TV, Lexington, KY, 30 second T. V. spots, 1984-1991
  • WAVE-TV, Louisville, KY, 30 second T.V. spots, 1991-2000
  • WSIX Radio, Nashville, TN, 60 second radio spots, 2001-2008
  • WTVF-TV, Nashville, TN, 30 second T.V. spots, 2001-2002
  • WKRN-TV, Nashville, TN, 30 second T.V. spots, 2003-2004
  • WSMV-TV, Nashville, TN, 30 second T.V. spots, 2006-2008

Community Service

  • Kentucky-Indiana Planning Agency – Committee Chairman, 1973
  • Governor’s Commission on Correctional Institutions – Chairman, 1977
  • South Oldham Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad – E.M.T. and Chaplain, Crestwood, KY, 1975-1984
  • Past Member of Rotary Club and Lions Club in Lexington and Louisville, KY and Brentwood, TN
  • Blue Grass Red Cross, Board Member, Lexington, KY, 1987-1989
  • Canaan House for Mentally Ill Homeless, Charter member, Board of Directors, Lexington, KY, 1988
  • Lexington Community Kitchen, President, Board of Directors, Lexington, KY, 1988-1990
  • Mayor’s Task Force on Homeless in Lexington, KY, 1989-1990
  • Jefferson County Task Force on Teenage Pregnancy, Louisville, KY, 1997-1999
  • Mayor’s Task Force to End Gun Violence in Louisville, KY, 1999-2000
  • Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, Brentwood, TN, 2000-2008

Selected Past Denominational Services

  • Kentucky Conference Council on Ministries – Vice Chairperson
  • Kentucky United Methodist Disaster Response – Chairperson
  • Vision 2000, Kentucky Conference – Chairman 1990
  • New Life for a New Century, Kentucky Conference – Chairperson
  • Jurisdictional Conference Delegate 1996, 2000
  • Delegate to General Conference, 2000
  • Kentucky Wesleyan College, Owensboro, KY – Trustee
  • Kentucky State Wesley Foundation, Frankfort, KY – Board Member
  • Wesley Methodist Village, Wilmore, KY – Board Chair
  • Southeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy
  • Kavanaugh Life Enrichment Center, Crestwood, KY – Board Chair
  • Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, KY – Trustee