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Rob Petersen

    Hey there! I’m Rob! (You probably already knew that since you clicked on my name just a second ago!) I am a native of Los Angeles, but I have spent most of my life in the Ozarks, specifically in Joplin, and it is a joy to be serving in ministry at a place we have always thought of as home.  My lovely wife Michelle and I have been married since 1996, and we have two great kids, Megan and Robby. We also have three cats who think they are our kids: Pumpkin, Mittens, and Bagheera. My in-laws also live with us, so it’s a full house!

    My mom and dad were divorced before I was a year old. The first time I saw my father (that I remember), I was four years old, and I had to talk to him on a phone while looking at him through glass, as he was serving time for armed robbery. He later died from a drug overdose.  I was raised in a legalistic faith by my grandmother as a child, but when we moved to the Ozarks, I lost all religious influence. I lived a rebellious life during my teens and early twenties, but through the grace of God, I came to faith in Christ Jesus in 1995 here in Joplin, where I was baptized at Park Plaza Christian Church.  A year later, Michelle and I got married. That was also the year I discovered I had a rare form of glaucoma which had already taken over 95% of my peripheral vision. Not only was I told that I could no longer drive, I also knew my career as a weather observer was in jeopardy. As I mulled over my options, I could think of nothing more rewarding than vocational ministry. So in 1998, I enrolled at Ozark Christian College.

    While at OCC, I earned a bachelors of theology with a New Testament emphasis in 2003. A couple of years later we moved to central Illinois so I could attend the seminary at Lincoln Christian University, where I earned a masters of divinity in historical theology (a fancy term for church history) in 2011.


    Early on as a Christian, I served as a volunteer youth leader and deacon at Park Plaza Christian Church.  As a student at OCC, I supply-preached, tutored other students, served as preaching minister at Berea Christian Church (Walker, MO), and served as youth minister at West Side Christian Church here in Joplin. After OCC, I spent two years as the full-time lead minister at First Christian Church of Purdy (MO).  In Illinois, I served as the full-time lead minister for Edinburg Christian Church, where we were known in town as “the church that does stuff with kids.”


    I love books, movies, music, zombies, gaming of all kinds, spicy food, and the Oakland Raiders.

    I believe every Christian ought to be in the business of making more and better followers of Jesus. It is my mission here at Villa Heights to help the young people of our community fall in love with Jesus and to share that love with others. I aim to do that through meaningful relationships, relevant teaching, and engaging activities. I have a special place in my heart for the disenfranchised, and I want to do everything I can to help all people feel at home here at Villa Heights.

I hope to see you face-to- face soon. God bless!

Feel free to drop me a line at