Father Joel was born and raised in Indiana. Originally part of the Baptist Church, his family joined the Evangelical Orthodox Church (EOC) in 1986. The entire community converted to Orthodoxy and joined the canonical Orthodox Church in America in the summer of 2002, under the direction of the late Archbishop Job.
In the summer of 2004, Joel joined Archbishop Job in Chicago to serve as his subdeacon for the return trip of the Tikhvin Icon to Russia. He then continued to serve with Archbishop Job for the remainder of 2004.
In 2006 Fr. Joel met his wife-to-be, Theressa (Tessi), who was a catechumen living in Texas at the time. With Archbishop Job’s blessing, Fr. Joel moved to Texas to be with her where they both attended St. George the Great Martyr. They got married the next Spring at St. Anthony the Great parish in San Antonio and had their first child (Mara) at the end of January, 2008. They moved back to Indiana to be near family where they had their second child (Winifred) in the summer of 2008 before heading to seminary in the fall of 2009. Fr. Joel had the opportunity to travel to Greece and visit several monasteries on Mt. Athos (Άγιον Όρος) with a professor and several classmates in the summer of 2010. Joel and Tessi had their third child (Liam) in April of 2011 and Joel was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Grace, Bp. Matthias on the Feast of St. Herman, Dec. 13, 2011.
After graduating from St. Tikhon’s Seminary in May, 2012, Fr. Joel and the family moved to St. Thomas the Apostle community in Springfield, MO. With the blessing of Bp. Matthias, then Deacon Joel worked to establish a new mission in Rolla, MO for the next year and a half. After 9 months of visits to Rolla to hold a Typika prayer service every Saturday, Bishop Alexander (Golitsin) ordained Fr. Joel to the Holy Priesthood.
After a miraculous series of donations and a matching donation campaign, Fr. Joel and family were able to purchase a home with 5 acres of land and move to Rolla permanently. Work is now underway to convert a 1200sq/ft detached garage into a worship space, and hopes for the future are to build a permanent temple on the 5 acres of land.