Joey Bishop didn’t graduate from Howard Payne University with the intent of becoming a football coach or a teacher — roles he went on to fill at Victory Life Academy.

Bishop, a 1997 graduate of Bangs High School, graduated from HPU with a degree in Christian studies with the hope of becoming a youth minister. Bishop fulfilled that goal and become the youth pastor at Victory Life Church.

Bishop’s presence at the church evolved to Victory Life Academy, where Bishop became the assistant coach, and later head coach, of the recently established Warriors six-man football team.

Bishop, who has been at VLA since 2006, stepped away from coaching and now teaches fourth and fifth-grade Bible and junior high science.

Some day becoming a pastor is “still on the table,” Bishop said, but for now, he feels called to be at VLA. While he is no longer the youth pastor at Victory Life Church, he is on the youth ministry team.

Bishop was drawn to youth ministry as a college freshman. “I just felt a strong call to minister to youth and young people,” Bishop said.

At VLA, Bishop said, “the number one thing is not just education, although the education is fabulous.”

VLA also incorporates biblical character building and “we teach the word of God,” Bishop said. 

Bishop enjoyed his years as the Warriors head coach and “pouring into their lives. I definitely enjoyed being with the kids. We had a lot of good times.”

Bishop said he sees his job as a ministry.

VLA has a great staff that’s doing a great job of educating its students, Bishop said. He has enjoyed seeing some of his former students go on to become doctors, lawyers and pastors, and one recently became a state trooper.

Bishop and his wife, Angela, who teaches at Woodland Heights Elementary School, are the parents of a son, Seth, 9, and daughter, Caris, 6. Their children attend VLA and “they absolutely love it here and are doing very well,” Bishop said.