The Rev. Michael L. Poole, Jr. was ordained a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2004. He has served congregations in Southern Ohio, Staten Island, Union, NJ, and Long Island, NY. Michael led six trips to New Orleans, LA for recovery efforts following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He holds a Basic Police Chaplain certification through the International Conference of Police Chaplains. He has a Certificate of Specialized Training for Spiritual Care in Crisis Intervention through the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. Michael received his Disaster Chaplaincy Training through the National Disaster Interfaiths Network. Michael serves as a Ready NY Emergency Preparedness Presenter for NYC Emergency Management. He is also a trained Intentional Interim/Transitional Pastor through the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP).
Michael has been studying martial arts since 1991. Michael holds a Second Degree Black Belt in Beisho Karatedo since July 2014. He received his First Degree Black Belt in Kobudo (Ancient Okinawan Weapons) in July 2015. Michael also studies Tai Chi, Qigong and Hung Gar. He has received instructor certification through Beisho; Tai Chi for Arthritis through the Arthritis Foundation; Tai Chi for Energy, Tai Chi @ Work, and Tai Chi for Fall Prevention through the Tai Chi For Health Institute. Michael was an instructor at the YMCA, teaching classes in tai chi and self-defense from 2013 – 2015.
Michael is the co-founder of “Potlucks to End World Hunger”, a grassroots hunger initiative in the ELCA. Michael is also the founder of “Kilts 4 Kause”, a program for testicular, prostate, and colo-rectal cancer awareness. In 2014, he spent, a “Kilted 50 For Charity” year, wearing a kilt everyday; raising awareness, advocacy, action and funds for ELCA World Hunger and the American Cancer Society. He has turned Kilted 50 For Charity into a charitable foundation.
Michael was an adjunct faculty member of Urbana University for three years, teaching in the areas of philosophy, ethics, and religion. Michael is a retired police officer and served ten years in the Ohio Army National Guard as a military police officer. He authored a book, Gospel for the Law: A Daily Devotional for Law Enforcement (2005).
Michael graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbus State Community College in Columbus, OH; receiving an Associate in Applied Science in Law Enforcement. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Criminology from Capital University in Bexley, OH. His Master of Divinity degree is from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Bexley, OH. Michael completed his Master of Sacred Theology degree at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, with a focus in preaching and worship. His thesis was “A Proposed Four Year Thematic Lectionary the Contains the Entire Canon.” Michael is currently pursuing post-graduate work at Moravian Theological Seminary in Moravian Studies. He attended The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH for two years, majoring in Theatre.
Michael plays bagpipes in his spare time. He is married to the Rev. Dr. Tracy A. Pryor.