Our Pastors

Rev. Joe Wendorph

Lead Pastor

Pastor Joe

Briefly tell us about you

I am a husband, father and pastor.  After meeting on a “blind date,” my wife Alisa and I have now been married for 35 Years.  We are blessed with two adult children, Cara and Rachel.  There have also been guinea pigs, mice, a dog and a cat along the way!

What is your educational background? 

I graduated from Jacksonville University, magna cum laude in 1983, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and was inducted into Psi Chi (National Honor Society in Psychology for academic achievement).  I completed a Master of Divinity in 1986 from Columbia Theological Seminary and ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the PCUSA in 1987.  My first call was to be the Area Director for Young Life’s student outreach ministry in East Volusia County/Daytona Beach.  In 1993, I completed a three-year advanced degree program in Pastoral Psychotherapy.  Changes came in 1996, as I left the Young Life staff to become the Parish Associate at Christ Presbyterian Church.  In 1998, I was called to be Associate Pastor at CPC and served until 2004. On October 5, 2005, I assume the called position as Pastor/Head of staff at Markham Woods Presbyterian Church, Lake Mary, Florida where I continue to serve.

What is your “experiential background?”

Although I was raised in my neighborhood Presbyterian Church and active in the student ministry, my faith became dynamically activated in my high school Young Life Club.  The relational style of ministry coupled with sharing the adventure of the Jesus story in its natural fullness, set me on a path toward helping people experience God’s love in Jesus Christ.  It may sound “corny” but since my youth, I’ve felt that God had something important for me to do.  I’ve been on that path ever since.

Having a sound theological education is important, however my post graduate training in Pastoral Psychotherapy had enabled me to weave Young Life’s simple message of the Gospel and a ministry of caring into a form that suits my personality and calling.  Imagine that, God using the basics of my life to form a disciple!

What is it about your faith that leads you to be a part of the ministry team at MWPC?

We don’t need scientific studies or psychological theses to tell us we long for something beyond ourselves.  Even more, we long for a loving relationship that make sense out of our being.  I have found only one answer to this longing that makes any lasting sense – it’s a relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ.  The community at MWPC creates the perfect platform to not only grow faith in God through Jesus, but to follow that up with Jesus’ imperative to reach out to a lost, hurting and all-too-often lonely world.  Markham Woods is a place where all these components of faith push forward for the Kingdom of God.

What excites you about what you do at MWPC? 

I love seeing people become energized in their faith.  The Young Life “evangelist” in me gets really excited when someone who knows little about God, faith or Jesus, discovers the real secret of a full and meaningful life.  The mentor in me loves to see someone be “called up” in their faith and become a Jesus with skin on type for someone else.  The pastor in me loves to come alongside the personal stories of people and walk with them through what Psalm 23 calls the shadow valleys of their life.  When a group of Christians forms and lives out these aspects of faith, then they are living the church.  So, I get excited as MWPC lives the Church!

What are your hobbies and interest?

I grew up a surfer, skier and adventurer.  I get energized by creating and building things, be it with my hands or with my mind.  Music, especially guitar, has also been a key outlet of expression and ministry.  However, more recently I have been enthralled with the Old Testament.  Can you believe it, the “boring” old testament?  My travels to Israel and studies of not only Jesus’ cultural setting in which he shares His Gospel, but a deeper understanding of ancient Paleo-Hebrew has opened up the full palette of colors for me in the Gospel itself.   

Why are you on the staff?  What do you stay?

God called, grew, and groomed me for His purpose.  Now, for the past 14 years, it has been to be God’s disciple, God’s apostle and God’s pastor for Markham Woods.  As long as God can use me to accomplish God’s purpose for this faith community, or, until that call, as guided by the Holy Spirit changes, I serve.


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5210 Markham Woods Road | Lake Mary, FL 32746



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