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Originally from Ohio, the Rev. Joe Payne dedicated 25 years to pastoral ministry in the Un

Originally from Ohio, the Rev. Joe Payne dedicated 25 years to pastoral ministry in the

United Methodist Church before retiring in June 2023 and moving to Ramsey to live

close to family. Joe holds a Masters of Divinity degree from United Theological

Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where he earned the Musical Arts Award upon graduation.

While initially pursuing a career in music with a Bachelor of Music in Applied Vocal

Performance, Joe shifted gears during graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati

College Conservatory of Music. Opting to embrace music as an avocation, he

performed in various settings, including musical theater, opera, and professional vocal

ensembles. In addition, Joe directed a church choir for four years, maintained a voice

studio, and while serving as pastor, served as interim choir director in two of his

appointed churches.

A significant setback occurred in 2019 when a brainstem stroke partially paralyzed his

left vocal chord, concluding his soloist career. Despite this, Joe is exceedingly grateful

to otherwise enjoy full health. He figures if Beethoven was able to compose the Ninth

Symphony while deaf, he can certainly serve as Champlin’s interim choir director! Joe

and his wife, Linda, are pleased to have found a spiritual home at Champlin UMC, and

consider this opportunity to be an unexpected blessing.

Outside his professional pursuits, Joe is an advocate for mental health awareness and

suicide prevention. His other interests span gardening, running for holistic health, and a

profound commitment to family, including his wife Linda, his adult children, and seven


Joe Payne, Interim Choir Director

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