Joe Gruber was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He said yes to Jesus when he was 5 years old and spent most of his life involved in Foursquare churches. He became distant from God in his teenage and early young adult years.

Joe started skateboarding when he was in high school and eventually accomplished his dream of being professional. He did that for 5 years. About half way through his career he found himself broken and struggling with addictions. It was during that time God pursued him and broke through with His love and goodness. Joe had a powerful encounter with God when he was 22. He was set free and filled with the Holy Spirit and has been following Jesus ever since.

He married his best friend Katrina; they’ve been together for 24 years. Katrina works in the medical field where for almost 20 years she has enjoyed serving and loving her staff and patients. She has an amazing gift of hospitality and loves people well.

They have a 23 year old daughter who lives in Portland. She goes to PSU and is majoring in music. She is studying to get her master’s degree so she can teach at a college level. When she’s not in school she’s a server at a local restaurant and enjoys leading worship.

Joe has consistently served as both a volunteer leader and as a staff pastor in a local church capacity for over 20 years. He has worked for several nonprofits as well, one of which he spent several years managing the youth and young adults ministries for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

He’s also worked as a manager/director in a variety of departments in both small and large for-profit businesses – departments that include human resources, staffing, payroll, marketing and graphic design.

Joe enjoys skateboarding, running, basketball, riding bikes, and reading. He’s a big pro and college basketball and football fan too.

He’s currently on staff at Hope Church in Santa Cruz, CA as the associate/campus pastor. He’s been in that role for 4+ years and is in the process of moving to Portland, OR to plant a church in South Waterfront.

His favorite part of life is enjoying his wife and daughter, both of which he considers God’s greatest gifts.