Joe is the husband of one incredibly beautiful and supportive wife and partner, Nancy, the father of two wonderful children and the grandfather of absolutely the world’s cutest granddaughter. When Joe is not engaged in ministry activities at the church, he enjoys hanging out with Nancy, kicking back on his patio. He also enjoys practicing, singing and playing electric blues.
On some Sunday afternoons you might find him at a blues jam in Richmond, Illinois, at Red’s Steakhouse and BBQ. If you make the trip to hear him play, Joe says there is only one rule, you cannot tell anyone he is the pastor of a church. He likes being just Joe or Smokin’ Joe as they sometimes call him. He also says he won’t hear any good jokes once people find out he is a pastor.
Joe started his faith walk as a Roman Catholic, and journeyed through agnosticism and atheism.Then after finding faith again, he test drove a variety of Christian ministries from coffee houses, to half way houses, intentional Christian communities, playing bass for a travelling contemporary Christian evangelistic music group in college. Eventually Joes says he backed into the Presbyterian tribe where he has been camped out ever since.
Joe has been on a theological experiential journey with God as well. He considers himself primarily as trying to be a faithful follower of Jesus. He would classify his current theology as ecclectic. He identifies more closely now with what some people call progressive or emergent Christianity. Which because of his faith journey, he says it allows him to be conversant with the various segments of Christianity from fundamentalists to way out on the edge progressives. Joe says that through the years he has learned to draw fewer and fewer lines in the dirt. “I am a lot more willing to see God at work in a lot more ways, in a lot more people than I could ever imagine, and have learned to affirm it and celebrate it as much as possible.”