Our Pastor & Pastoral Residents

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Pastor Joel was born and reared in a pastor’s home in Milwaukee, WI and was first drawn to trust Jesus as a twelve-year-old boy. He earned a B.A. Bible and a few years later a M.A. Theology. While in his college years he met his wife, Tara. They married in 2000 and now have five children, four boys and one daughter.

Before he was called to the pastorate of Grace Life he served as a youth pastor for seven years and assistant pastor for two years. Since July 2012, Pastor Joel has served as the pastor of Grace Life. He desires to see people who have never known Jesus to become followers of Jesus. In God’s providence, Grace Life has become the first church home to many people who have trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior.

He enjoys watching football, coaching his kids sports teams, spending time with his family, and running.

If you haven’t done so yet, please watch this introductory video. It will give you a window into the people of Grace Life.

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Ben Akatsa hails from Nairobi, Kenya. He currently resides in Richmond, TX with his wife of 8 years, Anita, and their two boys Ethan and Zachary. Ben was drawn to Christ while attending children’s church in Nairobi where the children’s pastor mentored and discipled him, and helped to make the scriptures come alive. Because of that experience, he sees children’s ministry as such a very vital ministry in the church.
For the past twenty years he has been involved in music ministry in different capacities. When he graduated from high school, he served as a keyboard player for a choir, a traveling minister, and a local congregation. Later, he  served as band director, a worship leader, and most recently as a keyboardist. He sees worship through the avenue of music, and scripture, as two powerful transformation agents used by the Holy Spirit to do some of  His deepest work in the heart of man.
An undercurrent of his life’s philosophy is that life can only be rightly lived when rightly viewed, and that an eternal perspective is an indispensable part of this right view of life. He holds a BA in Music, and is currently working on a Masters in Theology at the Houston campus of Dallas Theological Seminary. He enjoys playing piano, connecting with people around scripture, watching movies, spending time with Anita and the boys, and learning the truths of scripture.

Chris Kehoe grew up near Philadelphia, PA. God called Chris to Himself when he was 10 years old. Chris had diverse interests growing up: chemistry, electronics, athletics, and even education. God gave Chris the clear call to ministry his Senior year of high school. Chris earned his B.A. in Pastoral Theology and studied Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). Chris has had the opportunity to use these gifts to serve God in Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Chris and his wonderful wife, Dorothy, have been married for two years. They enjoy reading, walking, watching movies, and talking in coffee shops. Chris loves to preach and teach the teens and children!