Welcome to Fort Wayne's 420 Worship Service!
Some will choose to witness within the sounds of Church bells. But we would rather share the love of God -- just outside the gates of hell
A Little About Pastor Joe
I often tell people "I wasn't always a follower of Christ" They just have no idea how true that statement really is.
I Peter 2:12 - Live such good lives that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God...
Luke 7:40-48 - Jesus answered him....
“Simon, I have something to tell you.” "Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Some people like myself have been forgiven for so much, guess that's why I love the Lord Jesus and talk about the Word of God so much. Those that have been forgiven for little loves little. But I Love God very much. - Pastor Joe
For many years Pastor Joe owned at least a dozen entertainment services. We were into everything from singing telegrams to exotic dancers. Along with all the drugs and parties that went along with that life. And then one day......
A new man was Born!
I would cry out to God each night "God, please help me to get out of this life before I end up in jail or worse. Please help me God to change and be a better person. If you get me out of this life I will serve you forever".
...and that is exactly what happened!
I Cor 5:17 - If any man is in Christ he is a new creation. The old things have passed away, behold everything has become new.
It was time to start my life over - and start working for Jesus!
Some might say that the Halo is just hiding the horns! When I started to follow Jesus and preach the gospel, my life really took off with one adventure after another! Everywhere I go I tell people how God saved me and turned my life around. I haven't regretted my walk with Christ for one moment, even though it hasn't always been easy, but it's been so much fun!
After leaving my old life behind, I couldn't wait to start sharing the gospel with people. It started at my first part time job I got working in the dish room at Zaxby's restaurant. I started a small photo album with an employee on one side of the page, and a Bible verse (just for them) on the other side of the page. I had everyone stand in the same place when I took the picture. They had no idea just who was working in the kitchen with them.
The Action Man
was officially retired.
Chevron Gas Station
When my new life started, I kept my mind and body busy. I would work 2 and 3 jobs at a time so when I got home at night I was so tired I didn't even think about the party life any longer. Working 3rd shift at the Chevron gave me time to study my Bible and talk with my regular customers about where they stood in there own walk with Christ. I gave each of my friends a verse of scripture and wrote them down on paper and hung them in the cooler. I recently visited that store and ask the clerk if I could look in the cooler to see if there was anything left of my Bible verses. His face lit up and he told me he often would go in the cooler and read those verses himself. Praise God! Those pieces of paper have lasted for years. I guess the cold dry air has preserved them. I also took pictures of my new friends and built another photo album along with the Bible verses I assigned to each of them.
Isaiah 55:11 - so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Memory Verse Cards
When I first devoted my life to following Christ, I would often find myself thinking way too much about my old life. My party life. I ask a preacher once how I could get over all the bad thoughts I still had bouncing around in my head. He told me our mind was like a sponge, it could only hold so much and for many years now I had soaked it completely full of bad images and thoughts. I needed to replace all that junk with better Godly images and thoughts. He recommended that I start memorizing Bible verses and assured me there was only enough room in my head for so much. I started with 10 and then went to 20. Before long I was at 100 and then 200. Over the next few years I would have memorized 750 verses from God's Holy Word. He was right, by the time I was finished I could hardly remember anything from my old life and the Action days.
Romans 12:2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The Adventure Really Begins!
After being faithful to God for a little over a year, reading and memorizing his Word, and going to Church every time the church doors were open, one adventure after another seemed to just fall out of the sky for me. My mind and body were changed. My desire was for God, and sharing the gospel with others. The Bible says you will find God when you seek him with all your heart. He was so wonderful to me I just wanted to share this life changing event with anyone that would listen. I continued to be faithful to God and he guided me from one adventure and place to another. After my conversion, I have zig zag off the track a few times (no body is perfect), but God is always forgiving, merciful, and is always willing to take me back into his loving arms. He loves me so much that if he had a refrigerator in heaven, my picture would be on it. That goes for anyone! The way of God folks is good, so much better than the old life ever was!!!
Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I'm a Pilot - I can fly
The coolest way I ever shared the gospel of Jesus with others was from a small airplane. One day while flying around the Panacea airport, I noticed a group of people fishing out on some nearby point. I landed my plane, grabbed a handful of Jesus tracks and headed back for the sky. I climbed up to around 500 feet and dived straight down on top of the small group fishing. When I pulled out of my dive I let go of all my tracts. Probably broke about 25 FAA regulations that day, but what a story.
When I got to visit Las Vegas - I was passing out tracks on the main strip. Funny, the guys were giving me porno flyers, and I was sharing the Love of Jesus! I visited the only real church I could find on Sunday morning. I kid you not they were raffling off a Harley Davison motorcycle to raise funds. Only $5 got you in the drawing. They also passed the offering plate around twice.
Mark 16:15 - He said to them, “Go into all the world. Preach the good news to everyone.
I got to spend a couple of weeks on the largest cruise ship on the waters (at that time). I attended the Sunday morning worship service and made a point to show up early for good seats - I mean, there were about 5000 souls on board. Only 17 people showed up for a Joel Olsten service on the big screen. Can you imagine, 17 out of 5000 were interested enough to attend Church. Had so much fun in Mexico, maybe more than I should have! Each morning I would show up for breakfast, go walk the track and study my Bible verse cards, and then back for another breakfast again... The guys at the restaurant knew me by name. No joke!
Phil 4:12 - I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
I memorized almost 300 Bible verses that week.
The Middle East
Morocco, Egypt, and India - I purchased my own copy of the Quran, and studied with many Muslims in thier back yard so to speak. I had to be careful because in some countries talking about Jesus will land you in jail, I somehow found a way. One day I was standing in line flipping through my Bible verse cards when an Emom (Muslim Pastor) came up to me and ask what I was doing. I told him I was memorizing scripture, but also told him I just got my first copy of the Quran. He proceeded to tell me how MY Bible was full of errors, and could not be trusted. It seemed to be the them at all the hostels and hotels I stayed in. I listen to him for a half hour, and by this time we had a crowd of fellow Muslims. When he finished, I boldly said "My Bible was written and compiled over 1,500 years, it has 40 different authors, written on three continents, and all the stories were witnessed by thousands of people. When your Mohamed - blessed be the name etc. - went out to the dessert and spoke to the angel that gave him the Quran, did anyone else ever go with him or actually see this great heavenly angel or or you basing your eternal future on the testimony of one man?" At this point - thank God - my ticket window opened up and I had to go. I thought they were going to stone me!
Galatians 1:8 - But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!
The best part about my trip to Venice, was my hotel room window. Each afternoon when I would return from exploring the city, I would grab my guitar, and perch myself out on a small window balcony, and sing songs to the gondoliers passing by below. I was singing my praise songs about Jesus to all who passed under me. Everyone passing by took pictures of this guy playing his guitar, even had a few clap and say "Praise the Lord!"
Psalm 100:1-5 - Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
I was blessed to be able to walk where the Apostle Paul probably walked when he was in a Roman prison. I was able to visit several places that were once used as jails and often thought about Paul being locked up in this dirty damp dungeon. When I visited the Colosseum I thought about all the Christians that were fed to the lions for there faith. I am never ashamed to preach or talk about Jesus when I think about what the early Church followers had to endure.
Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes..
If God Stranded Me....
on a deserted island, it would only take me about three days before I started preaching to the palm trees.
Romans 10:15 - And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Music & Praise
I believe music is our greatest way to Praise God! I just love what the Bible says in Psalms 150 - Praise him with all kinds of interments. Music and Praise is so important to me. If you gave me a $300 car I would be happy, but would have a $500 sounds system in it as soon as I could. Years ago I was the music director at the same Church where my mother played the piano. It made my heart so happy to look over and see my mother praising God with me on stage.
Nehemiah 8:10 - ....for the joy of the Lord is your strength!
Guatemala Mission's Work
For six years I got to share the love of Christ as a full time clown! I was a local celebrity, even made the national news paper one time. I enjoyed spending time and teaching children about God through magic, juggling, and my clowning skills. I miss Guatemala so much and would return in a heart beat.
I Cor 10:31 - So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, (juggle, clown around, or do magic tricks) do all to the glory of God.
I just love to make people laugh!
Along with being a clown, building beds and homes, another thing that I loved to do was make popcorn for the children. This soon turned into a ministry all it's own. The children would line up and wait for the popcorn clown guy to show up to the village. They lived in the land of corn, yet popcorn was a special treat! Thank you everyone that transported popcorn and blowers down to Guatemala.
Matthew 19:14 - Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Shortly after arriving in Guatemala, I was ask to design and build a set of bunk beds that we could include with the new homes we were building. Praise God, from that day on I got to build hundreds of beds shelves tables and ended up living in a wood shop for awhile. I got to see so many children get the very first beds they ever owned. I loved working with wood and making little kids dreams come to life.
Psalms 149:5 - Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds.
For almost 3 years I was married to the sweetest, most wonderful woman in the world. It was the best time of my life. We traveled, we did missions work and shared the love of Jesus with so many. The Lord blessed us in so many ways. Miss you babe, wish you would come back home.
Job 1:21 - The Lord gave, and now the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
One day I believe God spoke to me and gave me a vision concerning a stuffed teddy bear that was destine for the trash. I am so glad I followed his voice and built this little bear, and now I carry it around with me almost everywhere I go. Most would say it's foolish (I am a clown), but this bear has made me more friends, opened so many doors, and shared God's Word with so many people. Please check out her face page and read the entre Abby story under "who are we" at the top of this page.
I Corinthians 1:27 - But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
The 420 Worship Service
God gave me a vision to love and be a minister to those of the 420 culture. Not exactly what I was praying for, but when the Lord leads, I usually follow. We are currently looking for donations and volunteers to help out with this ministry.
Proverbs 29:18 - Where there is no vision, the people perish...
Joe Loves Everybody - often said of me, when someone leaves the room or building, I always say "Love you guys!" or "Love you brother!" I believe when we get to heaven we will all say this to each other. I guess I'm just getting ready now. So if you hear me tell you I love you on the way out the door, don't take it the wrong way -