Maas was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and raised in Prospect Park, a small borough 15 miles west of New York City. The borough was populated by Dutch immigrants who sailed from Holland to America via Ellis Island. His father was Cornelius Maas (1892-1975), who arrived in America in 1901 from the Dutch island of Texel. He is a descendant of Leonardus Maes (born 1662). The name Maes was later changed to the Dutch spelling Maas. His mother, Akke Nawijn (1894-1977) arrived on Ellis Island in 1907. She was a descendant of Firmin Navin (born approx. 1725), a French Huguenot, who fled to Holland to escape persecution in France which continued after the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Maas has testified that he felt acall from God at the age of three to serve God as a missionary.
Maas graduated from Zarephath Bible Seminary in 1954. He had also completed the requirements for ordination in the Pillar of Fire Church at the age of 18, and was ordained by Bishop Arthur K. White in August, 1954, one of the youngest ever to be ordained in the church. While a student at Alma White College, he served as
editor of the denomination’
He also worked on the campus radio station, WAWZ, and produced his own music program, Inspiration Time. After receiving his B.A. degree from Alma White College in 1958, he was appointed by Bishop White as pastor of the Cincinnati, Ohio. Pillar of Fire Church, and also as principal of Eden Grove Academy. During his tenure in Cincinnati, he envisioned starting a radio station similar to the Zarephath station, WAWZ. He contacted Rev. Russell Croucher, the manager and chief technician WAWZ, and together they made plans that led to the application to the FCC for a new FM station to be located on the Eden GroveAcademy campus. The application was approved in 1961. In honor of the leadership and counsel of Bishop White to Maas, the call letters of the new station were named after the initials of White, WAKW.
Following his tenure in Cincinnati, he joined the Wesleyan Methodist Church, and
was later ordained an elder. He served as conference official in the position of Tithing Secretary. He served as the principal and business manager of Allegheny Wesleyan College, a school affiliated with the conservative holiness movement. He was a Professor of Religion at Hobe Sound Bible College from 1961-1963. In1967, Maas received a M.Ed. degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and was granted advanced standing for his Ph.D. He later served as director of the Wesleyan Missionary Council.
While on a world tour for the Council, he spoke at a convention affiliated with the Indian Pentecostal Church of God. It was conducted in the Indian eastern state of Andhra Pradesh in a primitive area near the Bay of Bengal There he saw many malnourished children, homeless widows, and sacrificial pastors and evangelists laboring under great difficulties with little support. It was there that he received a challenge to care for these impoverished people. In 1977, with the help of several American Christian business leaders, he founded Worldwide Faith Missions. This organization has been instrumental in building 25 Children’s Homes in India, and has over 100 member churches. Maas serves as International President and of the organization, whose website is www.worldwidefaithmissions.org. He has appeared as a guest on many television shows, including the 700 Club and100 Huntley Street. While serving as a co-host of the latter program, he \interviewed Dr. Mark Buntain, founder of Calcutta Compassionate Ministries. Dr. Buntain built the Mission of Mercy Hospital which cared for many of the dying people from Mother Teresa’s ministry. Buntain arranged for Maas to spend a day with Mother Teresa to discuss their mutual ministries in India It was during that day-long visit that Mother Teresa shared her call from God and subsequent ministry of 50 years to the dying people of Calcutta. She related to him how God had spoken to her that her ministry would be to help the dying of Calcutta “to die with dignity.”
Since 1975, he has served as editor of "Mission of Mercy Magazine", a monthly publication about missionary work in Asia. He maintains offices in Ohio and Chonburi Province, Thailand, and recently concluded an exploratory tour of Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, China and Burma (Myanmar).
Maas received intensive theological education under leading scholars including Rev, I.L. Wilson and Bishop Donald Justin Wolfram, and studied religion and Judaism in the doctoral program at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and at the University Of Pittsburgh Department Of Religious Education under Dr. Aaron Kessler and others. He has served as an advisor on Wesleyan theological and doctrinal disputes for the Wesleyan holiness movement. He was a founder and theological contributor to the Aldersgate School of Religion. He did extensive research on the Wesleyan doctrine of entire sanctification, researching aorist tense readings in the Greek New Testament. These findings are published in his book, Holiness for Humanity. He has contributed writings to Wesleyan holiness organizations.
Maas received a commendation from the White House for his efforts in humanitarian work in India and his input in resolving the strained relations between the United States and India. These tensions came as a result of Henry
Kissinger’s visit to Pakistan to arrange the official visit of President Richard to China. Maas met with government officials on several occasions, and was honored with a letter of recommendation from Bob Maddox, White House Special Assistant for Religious Liaison for President Carter, who wrote a letter of recommendation, "This is to introduce Dr. Joe Maas, President of Worldwide Faith Missions of Canton, Ohio ...I appreciate the Christian commitment and compassion of Dr. Maas (Signed, Bob Maddox, Special Counsel for Religious.Laison)
79) Who’s Who in the Midwest.
He is featured in the spring, 2006, edition of PITT Magazine, the alumni publication of the University of Pittsburgh. His biography is included in the 2009 edition of Marquis Who's Who in the World. Maas has received awards for his humanitarian efforts in honor of his service for humankind in India, including a Key to the City of Mobile, Alabama. He was featured in a documentary film about his achievements in India. Many of his opinions have been published in Thailand’s two English-language newspapers, Bangkok Post and The Nation.