Joel Holls was born in 1950 and spent most of his childhood in Long Island, New York. After high school he attended college at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York, where he received his Associate in the Arts Degree (A.A.). He then went on to Concordia Senior College in Fort Wayne, Indiana to complete his Bachelor in the Arts Degree (B.A.). While attending college in Bronxville he met his future wife, Susan Holls, and they were married in 1972. Susan Holls was a grade school teacher for over 30 years, and has recently retired.
After graduation Pastor Holls continued his path into the Lutheran ministry by attending seminary at Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated with his Master of Divinity Degree (M. Div.) in 1976, which included one year of Vicarage at Messiah Lutheran Church in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. After which he completed his two year Pastorates at Trinity Lutheran Church in Covington, Michigan. In 1978, Pastor Holls received his first calling and became the Pastor for Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
In 1981 he was called upon again and became the Pastor for Nazareth Lutheran Church in Buffalo, New York. Nazareth also had a full Lutheran parochial school from Nursery through 8th grade. From 1981 through 1985 Pastor Holls also served as the Principal of that school. In 1985 he spent a term as an Adjunct Professor at Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada.
In 1991, Pastor Holls accepted the call to Bethany Lutheran Church in Trenton, New Jersey. Bethany also had a Lutheran parochial school from Kindergarten through 6th grade where he spent 2 years as its Administrator. In 1993 he also helped lead a second parish at Faith Lutheran Church in Dayton, New Jersey. Services were held at both locations each Sunday.
On September 3, 1995, Pastor Holls accepted the call to Angelica Lutheran Church in Allen Park, Michigan and joined their family of faith. He continues to lead their congregation today. In 2001, Pastor Holls completed his Master of Sacred Theology Degree (S.T.M.) at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Pastor Holls has 3 grown children: David, James and Jill, as well as 2 grandchildren: Rilee and Olivia. He is a member of the Allen Park Rotary Club, and is Chief Chaplain of the Allen Park Chaplain Corps – which assists the local authorities when counseling or religious services are needed during accidents or tragedies.
Pastor Holls retired as Angelica’s pastor at the end of 2013. He now assists other congregations as an interim pastor, aiding them while they transition between full-time leadership positions.