Pastor Joel was born in Colorado and grew up in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area. He initially experienced God during his teenage years, but it wasn’t until college that Joel resolved to following the Way of Jesus.
He was studying music at the Lawrence University Conservatory in Wisconsin when God began to stir Joel’s heart to be a part of a new work in his own generation. He began working with youth and college students at his local church followed by a pastoral internship in New Mexico. Following college, Joel began pastoral ministry at an interdenominational church (Christ’s Church) in Roswell, New Mexico, where he spent six years as pastor of youth and worship arts. During this time he had the privilege of developing a ministry which involved over a hundred youth and a leadership community of young adults, cultivating the worship team, and leading teams of students and adults into other countries to serve the poor and be exposed to God's all-encompassing heart for people.
Having felt God’s call to a new season of ministry, in the Fall of 2001 Joel accepted the call to join the pastoral leadership of the Westside Vineyard, with a specific emphasis for young adults. Joel, then, in 2002 led a team of young adults who started our Sunday evening alternative service (Altaer) with a vision of seeing young adults raised up and released... empowered and equipped.... to be the church in their generation. As Pastor of Emerging Generations, Joel facilitates the Altaer evening service and leads our communities of younger adults. He also leads our Youth Pastors and teams of youth leaders in serving the spiritual needs of our middle and high school students.
Joel's wife, Shannon, studied music at Baylor University and the University of Texas, and she currently enjoys her career as a private voice coach and piano instructor. She also enjoys partnering with Joel in ministry, leading worship, and shares his passion for reaching the emerging generations. Joel and Shannon have two children — a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Kaylee.
Visit the Altaer website!
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