While attending school at Southwestern Junior College at Keene, Joe dated a girl from Beaumont named LaVon Stephens. They both, like many students, had to work their entire way through school. After he finished junior college, they married and went to Union College for Joe to finish his last years.
After college, he worked in publishing work for almost two years then served as a pastor in Louisiana, Maryland, and Wisconsin before coming back to Texas and pastoring the Fort Worth First Church for six years. Then Joe worked a number of years in the Trust and Wills department at the Texas Conference Office.
About two years ago his wife, LaVon, had a strong conviction that they should make a donation for the Worthy Scholarships Students Fund at Southwestern Adventist University while they were still living. They made that scholarship a student gift. Soon after making the gift, she died. Joe is so thankful that she saw her dream come true before she passed away a year ago.