An Awana-Ologist (Or Something Like That)

Leadership Development - Kids //

People collect coins and saltshakers and superhero memoribilia – but for Josh Baker, Children’s Pastor at Capital Baptist Church (Annandale, Virginia),  the collection is all about Awana.

ALL about Awana.

As a kid growing up, Josh didn’t feel accepted at school.  To him, he felt like he was on the outside looking in and that made school not a very happy place. Everyone had rules for being part of their group and by the time he caught up with the rules, they had changed.

But church was different. At church everyone was welcomed and Josh could keep up with the rules. At church he felt accepted.  And because he was part of a family who attended church “every time the doors were open,” he became involved and that involvement included Awana. His parents were both leaders and that meant Awana was a big part of their life …  and it also became a big part of Josh’s life.  Their church gave out memory pins for saying verses and so Josh and his friends started competing with each other to see who could get the most pins. The goal was to cover both sleeves of their uniforms.

When Josh was 11, his dad was a presenter at an Awana Ministry Conference and Josh went along as his assistant.  For his support, he was able to get the conference workshop leader pin and was very excited that he had a pin his friends didn’t have.

That was the beginning … and Josh just kept collecting as he continued through high school, college and for the past 20 years as he has dedicated his life to reaching kids for Christ in children’s ministry. He now serves at Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, Virginia as Children’s Pastor. (We will be hearing more from Josh in the future and learn more about some of his areas of involvement – there are many!)

Josh gets his “stuff” from people who know about his collection and also from ebay. (Please don’t send Josh miscellaneous Awana memorabilia – he probably has it already because he has most everything – more than 1,700 items – and he only collects one of each item. If you have something pre-70s you feel might be a great addition to his collection, you can email us at

Here’s Josh and some of his collection …





About the Author

Life is about my love for the Lord and teaching kids about His Word; about serving at Awana (20 years); about collecting counties (every county we visit is marked on a giant map) and grandkids (6) --- and writing about it all. My latest book is How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph (David C. Cook).