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Our Pastor

Pastor Jay A. Ford, D.Min.

“Galilee” — What a wonderful name for a congregation! The name is connected to so many wonderful Biblical images and stories so intimate and foundational in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and the Church. And having been to the Galilee area of Israel/Palestine myself in 2006, I have wonderful memories, images, and stories of my own that easily come to mind which now inform my life in ministry. Jesus made of Galilee a center for ministry and spiritual formation. It was there that Jesus did the bulk of his ministry. It was there that Jesus preached and taught and healed and performed miracles. It was there that Jesus personally called people into discipleship and attracted curious followers. It was there, in responding to the needs of others, that signs and wonders pointed to the presence of God in Christ. I look forward to revisiting all of those stories now in the context of this Galilean community in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, as they inform and shape us in ministry together for Christ.”

Prior to joining Galilee in the spring of 2012, Pastor Ford served for 18 years as Senior Pastor at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in San Mateo, California. Prior to that he was the Associate Pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in Fresno, California after having served as an Associate Pastor in Sauk City (St. John’s Lutheran) and Merrimac (Immanuel Lutheran), Wisconsin. Ordained in 1982, Pastor Jay is a certified pastoral counselor (through the AAPC/ACPE – American Association of Pastoral Counselors/Association of Clinical Pastoral Education), has a Master of Divinity degree from Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Care & Counseling through San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Raised in Southern California, Pastor Jay is a graduate of California Lutheran University where he met his wife Julie who is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice. They have two adult children, and three grandchildren. Pastor Jay enjoys sports, is a certified scuba diver, has been a long time friend of Bill Wilson, and holds a black belt in Hakko Ryu Jujitsu. He loves music, and plays guitar, and is trying to find time to learn the banjo. In California, he became a certified emergency response team (CERT) member, and obtained his amateur radio license (KI6MQD), participating in SCARES (the South County Amateur Radio Emergency Service).

“My wife Julie and I both have parents who were born in Wisconsin, so we feel a sense of belonging already.  But even without that, the welcome we have received from the Galilee congregation and the Pewaukee community has been exceptional. The vision I have been given for this community is that Galilee Lutheran Church be “a center for ministry and spiritual formation,” just as it was for Jesus in the Holy Land.  We have felt God’s guidance throughout the process that has brought us here. And we look forward to seeing the unfolding of the plan God has in mind for this Galilee area.”