Pastor Joe W. Rucker Jr. was born February 6, 1967 in Memphis, TN to Joe “Papa Joe” Rucker Sr. and Linda McKay. Joe was the eldest child born of this union and has been holding steady in the position of leadership ever since. He graduated from North Miami Beach High School in 1985. Joe went on to graduate from Bethune Cookman University in 1990 with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. In constant pursuit of knowledge, he obtained a M.S. in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2000. In 1995, Joe became a licensed and ordained Minister and has been working as God’s servant ever since.
In April 1993, Joe married his wife, Adrianne McKenzie-Rucker of Freeport, Bahamas; whom he met while attending Bethune Cookman University. Three children were added to their union: Ariel, Joel (proceeded in death) and Ariana. Joe was also the proud father of two older daughters from a previous marriage: Yolanda and Naomi.
In his lifetime, Joe worked and served in many positions. He served as a Probation Officer for the State of FL, a Science Teacher in the Broward County school system, an Assistant Principal for both Middle and High School grade levels in the states of Florida and Georgia, Assistant Pastor, Radio and Commercial broadcast announcer and, most recently, an accomplished Author. During most of Mr. Rucker’s life accomplishments, he was met with health challenges that he did not allow to deter him. He took each adversity and made it work for him. He took the challenges of his heart condition and became an advocate and spokesperson for the LVAD community. He also started a ministry with his wife, Adrianne, to gain notice and support for other families that were experiencing the same hardships.
A Renaissance Man, he truly was! He had a thirst for knowledge, a love for adventure and traveling, a love for riding his Spyder, a keen sense of business, a desire to help others, a profound love for family and friends, and, most of all, a love for God.
Joe was preceded in death by his sister, Yolanda Rucker; his son, Joel, and his father, Joe W. Rucker Sr.
Joe leaves to cherish his life and legacy: his wife, Adrianne McKenzie-Rucker; four daughters, Yolanda Rucker-Pierre and [Jeff], Naomi Rucker, Ariel Jazmine Rucker, and Ariana Jade Rucker; six grandchildren, Na’Shari McCullough, Peyton Dunn, Paige Dunn, Naz’ir Pierre, Noah Pierre, and Royal Tong; his mother, Linda McKay; stepmother, “Momma G” Gwen Rucker; and mother-in-love, Agnes McKenzie; father-in-love, Joseph McKenzie, and [Cecille]; siblings, Emanuel Rucker, Shellonda Rucker, Steffen Rucker [Careen], Joann Rucker [Michael Sr.], Kristie Rucker-Williams [Rayon] and Lamech Rucker; sisters-in-love, Carnetta McKenzie and Ann McKenzie-Wilson; and brothers-in-love, J. Lorenzo McKenzie [Janet] and Julian McKenzie; and a host of family and friends.