Pastor Jeff Ruby – Senior Pastor
Phone: 480-948-1234 Ext 1104
Pastor Jeff Ruby was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Arizona at the age of five. He received a B.A. in Political Science from California Lutheran University and a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Seminary. He served as pastor-developer and first pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Virginia, and senior pastor at several churches in Phoenix before coming to La Casa in 2006.
Pastor Jeff is married to Susan, who has worked in the business and education fields. They are the parents of two children. As the senior pastor, he is responsible for the spiritual and administrative oversight of the congregation and staff. He serves as the primary Sunday morning preacher and teaches weekly classes on campus most of the year. Pastor Jeff enjoys walking, sports (Go Diamondbacks, Cardinals and ASU) , history and reading.
Contact Pastor Jeff
Pastor Matt Knopf – Pastor of Innovation and Creative Teaching
Phone: 480-948-1234 Ext 1109
Pastor Matt Knopf was raised in Tempe, 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. He then served as a parish pastor in Logansport, Indiana, and Fremont, Nebraska. Pastor Matt has served as a course instructor of Christianity and Lutheranism in the religion and philosophy department at Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska. He continues to teach Bible, religion, and archaeology courses through Arizona State University’s Osher Institute. He also currently serves as a course instructor at Huntington University in Peoria, Arizona teaching Bible and Christianity classes. His hobbies include Biblical archaeology and the study of early Judaism and Christianity. Pastor Matt is passionate about sharing God’s Word with people in engaging ways and he feels blessed to serve as a Pastor at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church. Pastor Matt is married to his beautiful wife, Jessica, and they have two children; Noah and Grace.
Contact Pastor Matt
Pastor Joel Bjerkestrand – Visitation Pastor
Phone: 480-948-1234 Ext 1133
Pastor Joel Bjerkestrand 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.