Christ The Rock’s Elders have announced that Pastor Joel Zeiner will serve as CTR’s next Lead Pastor. He will begin his new role following our current Lead Pastor Curt Drexler’s retirement in October 2021.

Pastor Joel is well-known to our CTR family. He served CTR students as our Youth Pastor for six years, and was our Reach (missions) Director for five years. For just over three years, Joel has been our Director of Weekend Services, a Teaching Pastor, and a member of our Senior Leadership Team. But Pastor Joel first became part of Christ The Rock long before serving on staff.

About Pastor Joel: Pastor Joel first became part of Christ The Rock long before serving on staff. Joel began following Jesus during his high school years, and his family began attending Christ The Rock at that time. After graduating from Appleton West High School in 1995, Joel attended UW-Fox Valley and UW-Milwaukee.  During his college years, he also served and studied at Youth With A Mission in Denver, Colorado, where he felt a call to full-time ministry. Upon completing his undergraduate studies, he enrolled in seminary, earning his Master of Divinity degree from Yale University.

While his education is an important aspect of his qualifications for being Lead Pastor, our Elder team also looked at his character and heart. The Elders deeply respect his love for the Fox Valley, and his commitment to the mission God has for Christ The Rock Community Church.

Pastor Joel is also a devoted husband and father. Joel and his wife Jenn have been married for 11 years, and they have three children, Finnleigh (9), Ainsley (7) and Bode (4).

What to Expect in the Months Ahead

CTR’s Elders and Senior Leadership Team will continue sharing details about the Leadership Transition process with you. Next steps include realigning some of our current staff hours to ensure that all our needs are covered, which may include hiring a position to bolster oversight of the business side of the church. At each stage, those decisions and changes will be shared as soon as they are clarified.

Meanwhile, Lead Pastor Curt Drexler and the Elders will be working with Pastor Joel to create a seamless handoff of responsibilities. As part of the transition, Curt will mentor Joel for the next 8 months, after which time, Joel will begin his new role as Lead Pastor in October 2021.

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