Richard S. Engel was born and raised in Tidewater, Virginia where he honed his skills as a jokester among his six siblings on a small "gentleman's farm" in Norfolk County. The fourth child of Erv and Elizabeth Engel, he was always blessed with a loving Christian environment and was privileged to attend Concordia Prep School in Bronxville, NY during his teen years. He graduated from Concordia Junior College, Bronxville, NY and Concordia Senior College, Ft Wayne, IN before matriculating at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO.
During a six-year educational break, Rick worked as a Financial Planner for a local investment firm and then as a Juvenile Probation Officer for the City of Virginia Beach, VA. He returned to seminary and graduated from Concordia Seminary in 1977 then served as sole pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Easton, MD until June, 1995. In that capacity he also founded the Hospital Chaplaincy Corp at Memorial Hospital, served as president of the Talbot County Mental Health Association, President of the Talbot Hospice Foundation, President of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and President of the Talbot Association of Clergy and Laity. During that time he also commenced doctoral work at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.
In July, 1995 Pastor Rick began ministry at Grace Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, FL where, with a growing church and school, he has been blessed to serve alongside a wonderful staff, faculty and numerous lay leaders. He served Grace for many years and now is the Pastor Emeritus.
Pastor Rick was married in August 1967 to his college best friend, Sandy. They are blessed with four grown children: Chris (wife Gina), Director of Economic Development for the City of Charlottesville, VA; Tara (husband Paul), fifth grade teacher in Roanoke, VA; Josh (wife Katie), engineer for Whiting-Turner, Baltimore, MD; and Janna (husband Steve), interior designer in Charlottesville, VA. They are also blessed with ten grandchildren.
Pastor Rick has a passion for East Africa and plans regular mission trips to work with Maasai evangeslists in northern Tanzania.