Our Pastors

Pastor Joel L. Rissinger and his wife Karen have been married for more than 31 years and have two adult children, a marvelous son-in-law, and two gorgeous granddaughters. Pastor Joel is the Executive Pastor of LifeWay Church (formerly Mill Pond Church, where he served as lead pastor for eleven years).

Pastor Joel has been in fulltime ministry since 1992. In this capacity, he has led several congregations through major transitions prior to planting Mill Pond Church. He and his wife Karen, a School Psychologist have helped hundreds of couples through counseling, their popular “Marriage Time-Out” retreats, Iron Sharpens Iron Seminars, and other public ministry. “PJ” as he’s often called, is also a speaker, teacher, and coach for several organizations and loves to serve in this capacity. Among others, this includes acting as a presenter for the “Perspectives” Missions course, and as a seminar presenter for Life Innovations, Inc., and their popular Prepare-Enrich marriage counseling program. In addition to his pastoral and speaking duties, Pastor Joel is a Chaplain for several Corporations in New England where he coaches and encourages employees, offering spiritual guidance in the workplace.

Joel has a BA in theology from Ambassador University, as well as MAs in both religion and religious education from Liberty University. He is currently a D.Min. student with the Antioch School in Ames, Iowa. Karen Rissinger has her BA in Theology also from Ambassador as well as a Masters in School Psychology from the University of Hartford, CT.

Pastor Joel has written four books. In 2012, he wrote The Crucified Church, a book that shares lessons from his church planting experiences in New England. He focuses on how to renew impotent, biblically deprived churches into spiritual active, Christ-centered churches. More information can be found here. In 2015, he released The Crucified Couple, a book that seeks to improve relationships. Instead of seeking how to get what we need from our partner, The Crucified Couple challenges readers to “sacrifice for success.” The goal is to learn to give and to trust God to give us more than what we need. More information can be found here. In 2016, he wrote Communicate to Lead.