Pastor Joel Rissinger has been in full-time ministry since 1992. In this capacity, he has led several congregations through major transitions. He is also the founding pastor of Mill Pond Church in Newington, Conn.

“PJ” as he’s often called, is a speaker, teacher, and coach for several organizations. He is a presenter for the “Perspectives” missions course, and the Prepare-Enrich marriage counseling program sponsored by Life Innovations, Inc. In addition to his pastoral and speaking duties,  Joel is a chaplain for several corporations in New England, where he coaches and encourages employees, offering spiritual guidance in the workplace.

Pastor 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. 

Joel has shared his passion and experience in five compelling books: "The Crucified Church," "The Crucified Couple," "Whole 4 Life," "Communicate to Lead," and his latest volume, "Walking To...and With, Jesus."

Joel and Karen Rissinger

Joel and Karen Rissinger founded Mill Pond Church in their Newington, Conn. living room in 2006, with 15 people—mostly teens—in attendance. Today, Mill Pond is a vital part of the Newington community, ministering to those who come to Christ through its outreach programs. Mill Pond and the Rissingers actively help and encourage the launch of other churches in furthering the gospel.

Karen is a school psychologist, having earned her masters degree in school psychology from the University of Hartford. Like Joel, she completed a bachelor's degree in theology at Ambassador University, and together they have helped hundreds of couples through their popular “Marriage Time-Out” retreats, Iron Sharpens Iron Seminars, individual counseling and other public ministry. 


The Rissingers have been married for 31 years and have two adult children, a marvelous son-in-law, and one gorgeous granddaughter.