On Sunday, October 17, Christ The Rock attenders and our Elder Team prayed over our new Lead Pastor, Joel Zeiner. While his staff position as Lead Pastor is new, Pastor Joel has been part of CTR for more than 20 years, first as a new Christian, and later as a staff member.

Pastor Joel grew up in Appleton. When he was a teenager, he accepted Jesus Christ while attending a family camp at Green Lake Conference Center. He started attending Christ The Rock with his family when he was in high school.

After graduating from Appleton West, Pastor Joel earned a degree in Comparative Religion from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2001 then went to seminary at Yale Divinity School, where he received his Masters of Divinity in 2005.

Joel first joined the church staff as a Youth Pastor in 2005. Then he became our Missions Pastor in 2014, and as such, became part of our Senior Leadership Team. In 2019, his ministry focus shifted, and he began serving as our Teaching Pastor and Weekend Services Director. Joel accepted the role of Lead Pastor when it was offered by the elders in early 2021.

Joel and his wife Jenn have been married for 12 years, and have three children, Finnleigh (10), Ainsley (8) and Bode (5). He loves spending time with his family, and also enjoys golf, fishing, biking, canoeing, and reading. He also serves on various boards for the YMCA of the Fox Cities, where he is a life-long member.

In addition to his educational qualifications, Pastor Joel’s ministry is fueled by his love for Jesus, and his love for this local church and the Fox Valley. He is passionate about introducing people to the Gospel, and seeing them grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.

We are excited to see what God has in store as Pastor Joel begins serving as our Lead Pastor — and as always, we invite you to pray for him, our Senior Leadership Team and and our Elder Team as they lead us.

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