Pastor Jeff Ruby – Senior Pastor
Phone: 480-948-1234 Ext 1104
Pastor Jeff 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 Jeff 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 Jeff will mark thirty years as an ordained pastor in 2018.
Pastor Susan Ramsay- Associate Pastor
Phone: 480-948-1234 Ext 1105
Pastor Susan Ramsay grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Butler High School. She completed both bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Edinboro State College in Pennsylvania, and worked on a doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2000, she and her husband Fred moved from Maryland to Arizona while Susan continued to work in business aviation.
In 2007, Pastor Susan left a 20-year career in business aviation to pursue a call to ministry. While working on a Master of Divinity degree at Fuller Seminary, she served in pastoral ministry at Spirit of Grace Lutheran Church in Surprise. That experience led to a chaplaincy role at Boswell Medical Center, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, and the Military Order of the World Wars. Shortly after being called to La Casa in 2016, Susan was ordained.
Today, she gladly shares in the duties of pastoral care and occasional preaching. Pastor Susan also enjoys working with small study groups and small group ministries, such as Outreach Worship, Stephen ministry, Alpha, Veterans Ministry, Naomi’s Daughters, DivorceCare, and Prayer ministries.
Pastor Susan lives in Glendale and, with her late husband, has six grown children and eight grandchildren scattered across the United States and abroad.
Pastor Matt Knopf – Associate Pastor
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. 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 an Associate Pastor at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church. Pastor Matt is married to his beautiful wife, Jessica, and they have one son, Noah.
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.
Pastor Chris Tansey – Youth Pastor
Phone: 480-948-1234 Ext 1134
Back in my youth group days at La Casa de Cristo (2000-2006), I fell in love with Jesus and wanted nothing else than to help others discover and experience this amazing God. I was encouraged to go to Azusa Pacific University in Southern California, where I received a degree in Youth Ministries and Biblical Studies and then continued on to receive a Master’s in Divinity. I was then offered my dream job back in Arizona at La Casa.
I didn’t come back to AZ empty-handed though! I got to know my wife Cat while taking her on rock climbing dates in California. We’re both pretty outdoorsy and enjoy rock climbing, camping, and cycling. We’re also pretty chill and enjoy playing cards and board games, like Settlers of Catan, Bears vs. Babies, and Nertz! We’ve also entered the parenting season of life and have two wonderful daughters—one who’s almost 2 and another who’s still cookin’, expected May 2018.