I am Reverend Joseph A. Shoop, an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. Most people call me Joe or Pastor Joe, but I prefer to be called Joe. I am 59 years old and have been a pastor since 1997. Prior to that, I was a Physicist working in industry as a Research Associate and Laboratory Supervisor. God called me right out of the lab and into the pulpit. I am a traditional pastor, conservative in my theology. I play guitar, alto saxophone (rarely), and love to sing (all the time).
My wife and I both love to sing in a choir. My hobbies include woodworking, gardening, board games, computer games, and reading science fiction books. My drug of choice is coffee. I tend to purchase green coffee beans and roast them myself. I have four coffee trees growing in my office, covered in coffee berries. Do not get me started talking about the intricacies of roasting coffee and different coffee flavors unless you want to get a lecture. If I get started talking about coffee, I tend to talk until your eyes glaze over. I have a questionable sense of humor, reveling in puns.
My lovely wife’s name is Debra Bucklen. We married in 1984 and have six children. Debra’s hobbies include gardening, reading, sewing, knitting, and multiple other fiber arts. She loves the mountains, flowers, feeding and watching birds, and has started feeding the squirrels too. She homeschooled all our children.
Debra and I named our two sons after Apostles, Matthew and Thomas. We named our daughters after biblical place names, Bethany, Moriah, Eden, and Lydia. My three oldest children are married. I have four grandkids, and one more on the way. My fourth Child, Moriah, has Down Syndrome. Moriah and Lydia (my youngest child) live with us.
I look forward to getting to know you all. My visitation policy is, “If you call, I will come.” My office doors will be open and you are all welcome to drop by my office. When I hear that one of my parishioners has gone to the hospital, I will go to the hospital and visit if the hospital visitation policy will let me.
May the love of Jesus surround you all with warmth and comfort!