J.T. was born in Puerto Rico. He lived in several places growing up, including Puerto Rico, California, West Virginia, Texas, Connecticut, Singapore, and Switzerland. After graduating from Katy High School, where he met his future wife Angela, he attended Baylor University. He graduated with a degree in International Studies with a minor in Chemistry followed by a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Houston-Victoria, a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Individual Differences from the University of Houston, and a doctorate of ministry degree from Newburgh Theological Seminary. Dr. Spoede has over 20 years of experience working in a variety of roles in churches, as a counselor, and working for K-12 and university settings. He holds many credentials and licenses, including a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S), a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a National Certified School Counselor (NCSC), a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC), a certified teacher, as well as being a licensed and ordained minister. For the last 20 years J.T. has served on various committees and boards for his church, professional associations, and not-for-profit organizations, including Operación San Andrés.  J.T. and Angela have three children.