Founder Michael Koehler began the CJA in 1994. It was begun as Christian jugglers met at the IJA festival and agreed there was a great need to network Christian jugglers. Michael founded the organization and led it until 1997. Nathan Dorrell became the new president 1997-2002. David Cain stepped into the reigns as president 2002-2005. In the Fall of 2005, Nathan Dorrell came back as president and led the CJA until early 2008. Then Jesse Joyner served as president through 2009. Currently, LaMar Yoder serves as president. Please pray for him as he guides this association!
I became a member of the CJA in 1996 as soon as I heard about it. After the 2nd issue I received, Michael contacted me about being the president. I had sent in numerous pages of christian juggling routines & stories for him to pick from for the newsletters.He felt like I would be the one God wanted for the job and I took that over. the 1st newsletter I took charge of was spring 1997 issue (vol 2 issue 4). The DC Baptist Convention played an integral part in the CJA at that time because I was a missionary there. They wound up printing & mailing the next issues at no cost to the CJA and I was able to keep members in the roster even though they didn’t renew their dues because of this. I remained president until the Summer of 2002 when nominated and elected David Cain.
Then I was president again Summer 2005 – Spring 2008 when Jesse Joyner was nominated and elected president. In order to keep costs down, I asked the members that were able to to receive email versions of the newsletter.
I was born in Mountain View, CA May 19, 1972. My family moved to TN early in my life. I went to Motlow State Community College in 1990-1992. I served as a summer missionary in Knoxville, TN (1990) where I began using juggling in ministry. I graduated from Tennessee Tech University in 1994 and then served as a missionary in Washington, DC for 2 years (1995-1997) where I juggled on the National Mall to share the good news while I was dressed as Uncle Sam during the warm seasons. During my time there, I was introduced to the DC juggling club and I heard about my IJA convention. I attended in 1997 for the very frst time, the 50th anniversary of the IJA. I had never seen anything like it. While there, David Cain recommended that I compete in the 3 ball open and explained the rules to me. I thought he was crazy for telling me to compete but God rewarded me and I walked away 2007 3-ball champion of the IJA. I have also won other juggling awards. I attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX from 1997-2001. While there I married Kathy (in 2000). I graduated with my MDiv in 2001. We now live in TN and have 6 kids and serve full time using juggling in ministry and our children all take part in the juggling and circus arts. Our family travels around the world when we are able doing missions and evangelism. I spend much of my time designing/creating ministry tools for others to use to share the Good News.
David Cain has been a juggler and a Christian for thirty years and was the one who originally suggested that a Christian Jugglers Association should be organized. He grew up in Middletown, Ohio and has lived there all of his life. He can juggle up to nine balls, eight rings, and eight clubs and is no stranger to world records as he currently holds over twenty Guinness book world records. He also has won 15 gold medals in the International Jugglers Association Stage and Numbers Championships. David taught his two children Ethan and Isabel, to juggle and they share in his ministry. He has written nine books about creative ways of sharing the gospel and has been working in full-time ministry as the Juggler For Jesus for 16 years and has ministered with Billy Graham, Focus On The Family, and thousands of local churches. www.christianjuggler.com
Jesse is one of the few people in the world who have completed a marathon while juggling. He has also juggled a running chainsaw while managing to keep all toes, fingers, and limbs. Yet neither his wife nor one of his prospective life insurance underwriters liked that feat.
Jesse learned how to juggle 3 beanbags from his friend Tim when he was 11 years old. He loved the challenge so much that he got every book he could from the library about juggling. Then one day in high school, some classmates found out Jesse could juggle and they convinced him to perform in the variety show – and Jesse was thrilled that people actually clapped for machete juggling and ladder balancing. One thing led to the next, and soon Jesse found himself street performing in Jerusalem, sharing a stage line-up with comedian Sinbad, and being employed as an entertainer for Paramount Parks. His credits have included television, radio, a halftime show for the Washington Mystics, and some gold and silver medals at the World Joggling Championships (running and juggling at the same time).
Jesse went to college (Taylor University, Indiana) and seminary (Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky), studying the Bible and pastoral ministry. During that time, he realized he could teach kids and families about the Bible using the juggling routines he had developed. So in 1999, Jesse started a “juggling ministry” that taught the message of the Gospel in this creative way. He later served a term as the President of the Christian Jugglers’ Association and has also held memberships with the International Jugglers Association and the Fellowship of Christian Magicians. He has had the privilege of performing for audiences in over 30 states and on 3 continents.
Now, Jesse continues to travel with his show, doing about 130 presentations a year. He cherishes his time at home with his family – Sarah, his wife, and Keziah Grace, their daughter. Sometimes, Sarah and Kezzie travel with Jesse to his shows, but other times they like to just hang out at home. Sarah is a professional counselor (LPC) in the Richmond, Virginia area where the Joyners make their home. Jesse’s other interests include fixing up their 1925 home in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood, playing the piano, and pushing his daughter on the swing.
LaMar lives in Goshen, IN. He started juggling in 4th grade and performed in his high school talent show twice. It wasn’t until his first year of college at age 25 that he discovered what is possible in juggling. For many years he was an average juggler, and never went past juggling three of anything.
After getting his hands on an instructional video that forever changed his juggling, he started building the numbers. He even traveled to Las Vegas and spent a week being trained by some of the finest and technically skilled jugglers in the world.
Towards the end of summer 2009, LaMar started performing and developing his show. He has performed for various camps, colleges, churches, nursing homes, birthday parties, weddings, and parades. His show can include the juggling of: Balls, Rings, Clubs, Knives, Torches, and various other things that you would not expect to see juggled. He keeps his show clean and fun for the whole family. You don’t want to miss it!!