“Pastor Rob” as he is known to so many in the church and community, was born in Buffalo, NY, on Groundhog’s Day, 1956, and grew up in Corry, PA, the son of Bob and Sally Joy. Rob worked in his father’s construction business for 10 years out of high school, before feeling the call to ministry, which had been forming while attending worship as a kid. Rob’s early worship and Sunday school experiences were in his family’s United Methodist Church in Corry. It was there, as a child listening to the pastor’s sermons, and being shaped by the Christian education
he received there, Rob first felt called to ministry. He refused to pursue it, because, he reasoned with God, he was only a kid!
Rob married Juliann in 1990, while they both were students at seminary. She serves as pastor to Petersburg Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). Rob and Jules have three children: Nathaniel (20), Shannon (18), and Anna Sophia (10). Rob has a son Benjamin (35) from a previous marriage. Ben, who resides in Parma, Ohio, has two children: Leia (11), and Evan (10). The Joy house is also filled with the activity of their ever watchful lab/beagle mix, Angie.
Rob was ordained in June of 1991 at the Oakwood Heights Community Church, Staten Island, NY (NACCC member). Serving, since July of 2007, as the 28th called pastor to Grace Church, Rob has also served Congregational Christian churches in Wayne, MI, Kewaunee, WI, and Toulon, IL. Before being ordained, Rob was a licensed student pastor at Oakwood Heights and was a licensed pastor in Corry, PA.
Edinboro University was where Rob earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Philosophy in 1988, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Rob earned the Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary ((1988-91). His senior thesis was “The Plan of Union of 1801” while his senior emphasis was in administrative ministry. Rob was a Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies fellow while in seminary. He wrote his CFTS paper on: “The Struggle for Autonomy in Contemporary Christian Congregationalism” and upon his graduation was given the John Claxton Award from the NACCC. Rob put more tools in his toolbox for ministry by attaining the Doctor of Ministry degree (2004-07) from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His doctoral project/these was “Spiritual Practice as a Tool for Unifying a Faith Community”.
Rob especially enjoys three things in ministry: 1.) having a good one-on-one conversation, 2.) loves it when a “plan comes together” and 3.) seeing someone come to faith in Christ.