Pastor Jeff Ruby – Senior Pastor
Phone: 480-948-1234 Ext 1104
Pastor Ruby was born in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, and moved to Arizona at the age of five. He graduated from West High School in Phoenix, received a B.A. in Political Science from California Lutheran University and a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. He served as pastor-developer and first pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and senior pastor at several churches in Phoenix before coming to La Casa in 2006.
Pastor Ruby is married to Susan, who has worked in the business and education fields. They are the parents of two children. As senior pastor, he is responsible for the spiritual and administrative oversight of the congregation and staff. He serves as the primary Sunday morning preacher. Pastor Ruby will mark thirty years as an ordained pastor in 2018.
Pastor Susan Ramsay- Associate Pastor
Phone: 480-948-1234 Ext 1105
Pastor Ramsay grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Butler High School. She completed both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education at Edinboro State College, Edinboro, PA. In 2000, she and her husband moved from Pasadena, Maryland to Surprise, Arizona. In 2007, Susan retired after 20 years in business aviation to pursue a call to ministry. She served at Spirit of Grace Lutheran Church in Surprise while pursuing a Master in Divinity at Fuller Seminary. Susan serves on the Steward and Alumni Council at Fuller Arizona. She has also served in Spiritual Care at Boswell Medical Center, Chaplaincy at Sky Harbor Airport, and Chaplaincy at the local and national levels of the Military Order of the World Wars. Susan and Fred have six grown children and eight grandchildren in the United States and abroad. Both feel very blessed to be part of the La Casa family.
Pastor Matt Knopf – Associate Pastor
Phone: 480-948-1234 Ext 1109
Pastor Matt was raised in sunny Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Theater Arts, concentrating on youth education. He then continued his education at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning his Master of Divinity degree. Upon graduating from seminary he served as a missionary pastor in Atlacomulco, Mexico. Since then, pastor Matt served as a parish pastor in Logansport, Indiana, and then in Fremont, Nebraska. He has served as a course instructor of Christianity and Lutheranism in the Religion and Philosophy department at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska. His hobbies include Biblical Archaeology and the study of early Judaism and Christianity. He is passionate about sharing God’s Word with people in engaging ways and he feels blessed to serve as an Associate Pastor at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church. Pastor Matt is married to his beautiful wife, Jessica.
Pastor Joel Bjerkestrand – Visitation Pastor
Phone: 480-948-1234 Ext 1133
Pastor Joel was born of missionary parents in India and moved to Illinois at age twelve. He graduated from high school in Peoria, Ill., and from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minn., where he met his wife, Sue. Pastor Joel received his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. Pastor Joel and Sue have two grown children and four grandchildren, all living in the Phoenix area. Sue retired in 2013 as a third grade teacher at North Ranch elementary school in the Paradise Valley School District. Pastor Joel served one congregation in California and three in the Phoenix area before retiring from full-time ministry after 32 years. In 2011 he began his work at La Casa de Cristo as Visitation Pastor, visiting shut-ins and those hospitalized. Pastor Joel also teaches Sunday morning adult education classes, preaches occasionally, and is invited frequently to speak to groups within the congregation. After retiring from full-time ministry he received training to become a certified life coach and was also an adjunct professor at Western International University for six years. Through his On the Way Ministry, Pastor Joel officiates at weddings and funerals for those who don’t have a church home/pastor.