Joel Proffit - Assistant Pastor, Speaker, Singer/Songwriter, Avid Outdoorsman, Creator of The Tract Rack
A country boy, Joel grew up hunting the hardwoods and swamps, and fishing the farm ponds of rural Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Typical of many, his love for the outdoors was handed down to him through his heritage.
Thankfully, Joel was not only handed a love for the outdoors. His parents, Doug and Shirley, also passed on a love for the Lord. It was at a young age that Joel realized his need of a Savior, and trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and an eternity in Heaven.
As he grew, so did his passion for the outdoors. Early on, his game consisted mainly of whitetail deer and squirrels. Bass were his first love when it came to fishing as they were prevalent in local farm ponds. Joel continued his outdoor passion through college in the north woods of Wisconsin.
It was at college that Joel first began a ministry geared strictly toward the outdoors. The ministry was called the Northland Sportsmen, and it concentrated on the hundreds of salmon fishermen who congregated on the shores of tributaries connecting to Lake Michigan.
With graduation from college came marriage to his lovely wife, Stephanie, from Cody, Wyoming. Joel and Stephanie are blessed with 3 children: Savanna, Fisher, and Cedar.
In 2009, with the Lordís leading, Joel and Stephanie moved their family to Wyoming to take a youth and music position at Cody Bible Church. In a town known for its hunting and fishing activities, how could this not be a prime opportunity to use the outdoors for ministry? Working together with a great team of volunteers, Joel resurrected a Cody Bible Church Beast Feast which has grown by 50 attendees each year. Also, Joelís past involvement in an annual Sportsmanís Retreat, led him to begin the Cody Bible Church annual Sportsmanís Retreat at a camp in the Bighorn Mountains.
Being involved with youth provided many opportunities to minister to young people through the outdoors. Whether hunting elk in the frigid back country, deer on the lush river bottom, or fishing for rainbows and cut throats on the Buffalo Bill Reservoir or Shoshone River, Joel has used the outdoors to minister to a host of young people.
With his passion for outdoor ministry, The Tract Rack was created in the beginning of 2013 as a resource for churches, organizations and individuals seeking to reach the outdoors world with the Gospel. The Tract Rack offers relevant, attractive, and concise literature needed in todayís world for outdoor ministry. www.thetractrack.com
Currently, Joel continues to lead worship at Cody Bible Church, but has resigned as youth minister and has taken on a role with Polestar Outdoorsóa Christian, non-profit, outdoors youth mentoring organization. Visit www.Polestar-Outdoors.org
Joel has been blessed to be successful in hunting the East, Midwest, and Western United States for whitetail deer, mule deer, elk, turkey, and small game. He has had the opportunity to fish in each of those regions and be highly successful catching trout, steelhead, salmon, bass, etc.
Romans 1:20 tells us that Godís attributes are clearly seen and understood by Godís creation! What better way to be able to share Christ with the world than through the outdoors. Joel is excited to see how the Lord will continue to use him in Godís Great Outdoors!
Gerryís Note: I had the chance to meet and visit with Joel Proffit in North Platte, Nebraska at Maranatha Bible Camp. He had driven nine hours to sit down with me and share about The Tract Rack ministry he started. During that time together it was clear from his conversation, plus the willingness to drive through snow storms both ways to hookup with me, of his relationship with the Creator God. Additionally, I could sense Joel's commitment to win the lost souls of sportsmen to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
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