Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.
Sorted by Announced Date
Bob Zilhaver Named Connellsville DS
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has selected the Rev. Robert Zilhaver, pastor at Lakeside United Methodist Church in DuBois, to become the Connellsville District Superintendent, effective July 1.
Bob has served for 24 years on the Indiana District, the past 14 at Lakeside. He served Timblin/Porter/New Salem churches from 1993-1997 and Brookville Evangelical UMC from 1997-2003. His tenure has included several capital campaigns; he helped two churches recover from flood damage, and most importantly reached hundreds of new people through the power of God’s Holy Spirit to enter the Kingdom by baptism and profession of faith.
Bob has been married to Amy (Andrus), a reading specialist, for more than 30 years. They are the parents of Laura, currently studying at Western Michigan University to be a band director; Sara, who works at Goodwill Industries in DuBois; Polly, who will graduate in May from Kent State University in Hospitality Management, and Robert, Jr., a sophomore at Clarion University studying to be a history teacher and playing defensive line for the Golden Eagle football team. Robert also serves as a youth director at Lakeside UMC.
Youth ministry is one of Bob’s passions. Starting as an assistant youth pastor at Clarion First UMC, his home church, he has worked in and led youth ministry at all levels of the denomination. Recently he helped the Northeastern Jurisdiction youth leadership group organize the 2016 Jurisdictional Convocation in Lancaster. He served on the planning team for the Global Youth Convocation in Berlin, Germany in 2010.
Bob and Amy have been deans of a Mini-Camp at Wesley Woods for 22 years; they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary by dining on hot dogs cooked by first-graders. Bob served eight years on the Wesley Woods board and was chair of the capital campaign to raise money for the new pool and locker rooms.
Bob helped organize and write the charter of the Indiana District Union and serves as its finance chair. He has served as registrar of the District Committee on Ordained Ministry and a member of the superintendency committee.
On the Conference level, he is the Administrative Chair of the Conference Board of Pensions, and has served on the Conference Committee on Finance and Administration, the Board of Ordained Ministry. He has good memories of work on the Conference Dialogue Team as Co-Chair with Rev. David Keller for Service of Hope at 2004 General Conference and author of RS 703 Formation of a Task Team on Homosexuality and the Unity of the UMC, and as a member of the Anti-Hate Group Task Force.
Bob has been a delegate to the 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conferences, serving as secretary for the WPAUMC delegation in both 2012 and 2016 and secretary for the General Conference Credentials Committee in 2012.
Currently Bob sits on the executive committee of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. He chairs its finance committee. Previously he served on the General Board of Discipleship and its Upper Room Division, as well the adult worker representative on the Division on Ministry with Young People. Bob is a member of the Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee and has been the Vice-Chair of the Jurisdictional Rules Committee.
Outside of the formal structures of the Church, Bob has worked in advocacy, missions, and ministry development. He is the founder and president of Partners in Alliance: A Western Pennsylvania AIDS Ministry that has served those dealing with HIV/AIDS and their families since 2000. He co-chaired the Northwest Pennsylvania AIDs Coalition. As a member of Association in Advocacy, he has helped clergy and churches resolve disputes in over 75 cases in 16 annual conferences.
Bob has led numerous work camps, including Uth 4 Missions, raised funds to build a church in India, a woodshop and seminary in Paraguay, helped Lakeside UMC work with the Rice Foundation in Honduras as well as with a new church plant in . In ministry development, he secured initial gifts and wrote by-laws for the Youth Ministry Scholarship Fund, the Timothy Fund (to assist educational expenses), the Richard Burns Evangelist Endowment, and the Bernie Shuey Local Pastor’s Fund to help local pastors on the Indiana District.
A 1979 graduate of Becker High School, an experimental school at Clarion University, Bob attended Virginia Military Institute on a four-year U.S. Army ROTC Scholarship and graduated with a degree in Physics and German in 1983. He began his ministerial studies in 1993 at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and graduated with a M.Div. in 1997. At seminary he was awarded prizes for the highest standing in pastoral care, highest average in graduating class, highest achievement in all departments, and The Fred McFeely Rogers Prize in Biblical Studies.
Prior to entering the ministry in 1993, Bob served as an officer in the U.S Army (Ret. Major) in Field Artillery. He received the Bronze Star for his service during Desert Storm; the Meritorious Service Medal for Operations and Planning for Somalia; the Humanitarian Service Medal for the Hurricane Andrew Relief Effort; and numerous other Army achievement medals.
Bob is honored to be the first District Superintendent selected by Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and looks forward to the opportunity of joining with the people of the Connellsville District to “See and Follow Jesus.”
The Connellsville District, located between Monongahela and Hyndman on Pennsylvania's southern border with Maryland and West Virginia, includes 96 churches with 13,912 members in a large geographical area. Last year there were 118 baptisms and 130 professions of faith in the district, which includes two Conference camps -- Jumonville, near Uniontown, and Camp Allegheny in Stoystown. The district is known for its small membership churches and its compassionate heart. It includes most of Somerset County and and all of Fayette County, which has the second highest rate of poverty in Pennsylvania. It is the home of the Connellsville Area Community Ministries (CACM), a regional United Methodist mission agency providing assistance to people in need and partnering with other organizations to offer training to help individuals break the cycle of poverty. CACM is supported by many United Methodist and other churches and organizations in the area.
Anette Gerber Appointed to Greensburg First UMC
Anette V. Gerber, who currently serves the West Springfield and Cranesville UMCs in the Erie-Meadville District, will be the appointed senior pastor of Greensburg: First UMC, effective July 1st. A graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and Duke Divinity School, Net’s passion for ministry includes a vital spiritual life, passionate worship, intentional disciple-making and a heart for the marginalized folks in the community. Her gifts lie in vision, discernment, training and empowering leadership, systems thinking and spiritual formation. Net is married to John E. Gerber. They have three children and three grandsons. Net is excited to be partnering with Greensburg: First and doing ministry together.
First United Methodist Church of Greensburg has roots that go back to 1799 class meetings in the home of Samuel Bushfield. The English Gothic style sanctuary hosts three worship services weekly. Traditional worship experiences happen on Sunday mornings at 8:30 and 10:45, and a contemplative Ekklesia Service takes place on Saturday evenings and features a different musician(s) and the celebration of Holy Communion each week. After a five-month residential experience with About Face Church Outreach Consultants, the congregation established a SPARK Mission Team, taking seriously their motto ‘Representing Christ as a Light within the City.’ This team now has a multi-faceted outreach to shelters that are housed within steps of the church building. The church offers ministries for children of all ages. Bible Studies and classes are offered for all age groups, as well as short-term programs such as Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Additional outreach to the community includes a monthly food bank distribution, weekly Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and holiday meals. The congregation looks forward with excitement as it moves well into its third century of ministry.
John Gerber Appointed to S. Greenburg, Youngwood
Born in St. Marys, Pa., John was raised in the church, but high school years evidenced a falling away from worship. Many difficult life experiences and poor choices led John to the realization that only God could bring order, healing, and purpose to the chaos he had created. After John gave his life to Christ at age 21, he was given the opportunity to lead a number of Sunday School classes and in the process of leading, he was learning about the redemptive power of God’s infinite love, grace, and mercy. Answering a call to ordained ministry, John served student pastorates at Ceres UMC in Western Pennsylvania, and at Siler City: West End UMC in the North Carolina Conference. After earning an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from Houghton College and a Master of Divinity degree from The Divinity School at Duke University, John’s first full-time appointment was serving the good people at the Tidioute/East Hickory Charge in the Kane District for 13 years. He has also been blessed to be in ministry with wonderful people at the Wattsburg/Phillipsville Charge, the YESS God Faith Shared Ministry, and at his current appointment, the Fairview United Methodist Church. John has a passion for helping people establish a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. He believes it is essential to cultivate relationships with the people where he is appointed, both in the congregation and in the community at large. John also encourages the people he serves to form vital and meaningful relationships with God, with each other and also with those outside the church, so the love and grace of Jesus in them can add meaning, encouragement and strength to the lives of others and draw them into relationship with Jesus. John enjoys and finds value in a variety of worship styles and settings. He also enjoys working with people of all ages and walks of life, always seeking to cultivate a hunger and passion for knowing, loving, and serving the God who not only created us, but loves us more than we can ever know or imagine. John is looking forward to working with and among God’s people at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Youngwood and at South Greensburg United Methodist Church to see what challenges, possibilities, and wonders God has in store for us!
The South Greensburg United Methodist Church offers both contemporary and traditional worship services, reaching out to all ages. The church was founded in 1889, and has always been a strong spiritual presence in the community. There are two Bible Studies offered, one during the day and one in the evening. In addition, there is an Adult Sunday School Class on Sunday morning. The church has an active Youth Fellowship and charters the local Boy Scout/Cub Scout Troop. Their Mission Statement is "To Honor, Share and Grow in Christ." The congregation believes that their purpose in the community of South Greensburg is to reach out and share the love of Jesus with everyone we meet.
Youngwood: St. Paul's United Methodist Church's membership is mostly older and the relationships are deep and welcoming. One of its goals is to continue to interact with the community and hopefully attract more members and especially younger people to continue God's work through the church. The church is very prayer-oriented and strong in its mission outreaches. This connectional church knows the importance of reaching into the community and the world through ties with the United Methodist Church and the local ministerium. The congregation is hopeful that its challenges can be addressed with the help of their new pastor and affiliation with the congregation at South Greensburg.
Julie Kolacz Appointed to United Methodist Community Charge
True to its name, United Methodist Community is made up of six churches (Beallsville UMC, Centerville UMC, Marianna UMC, Mt. Zion UMC, Scenery Hill UMC, Taylor UMC) on or near historic Route 40 in Washington County “united” in their desire to make Christ known in the communities by proclaiming through word and deed the transforming message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Best known for the warmth of their welcome, generosity, acts of kindness and serving others without being asked, UM Community is missional in its outreach, Christ-centered in worship and strategic in its partnerships with other area churches, service agencies and groups. Like many churches in Western Pennsylvania, UM Community has a growing vision to help children and young adults experience the love of God for themselves, while providing opportunities and care for those who have faithfully served the church and community all their lives. The Charge is served by both a full-time and a part-time pastor. The Charge offers both traditional and contemporary worship expressions, including a Saturday evening service.
Kathleen Schoeneck Appointed to Turtle Creek, Pitcairn
After serving for a number of years in ministry, Kathleen transferred from the Presbyterian Church USA to Western Pennsylvania Conference in 2011, and was received into Full Membership in the WPAUMC in 2016. Kathleen has served Johnstown: Christ and Park Avenue UMCs; Allegheny River West Bank: Natrona Heights Grace and Creighton Janes/Walter Chapel; and is currently working with the saints in ministry at the Penn Center East Charge: Penns Woods, Center Avenue in Pitcairn and First UMC in East McKeesport. Kathleen, and her husband Ed Schoeneck, pastor of Monroeville UMC, are the proud parents of daughter Elisha. Kathleen Schoeneck has a passion for small church ministry and empowering laity. She is excited to be serving both McMasters UMC of Turtle Creek and Center Ave. of Pitcairn. Both churches strive to minister to the prospective communities. She looks forward to helping them both discern what the call of the Holy Spirit is for mission and ministry in these two connected neighborhoods.
Center Avenue United Methodist Church is a small family oriented congregation located in the heart of Pitcairn. They have been happy to be a part of the Penn Center East Charge and are looking forward to their new charge. Outreach to the community of Pitcairn is something that CAUMC is known for, especially their involvement with the Pitcairn Food Bank and a senior highrise community. The adult Sunday School class, weekly prayer group and Confirmation class are a few of their active ministries. With faith, trust and perseverance, CAUMC has begun and continues to grow, despite the need to worship in a fire hall. Their motto has been “The Church is the people, not the building”. Center Avenue United Methodist Church continues to keep the heart and hope of Christ visible in Pitcairn.
While the people of McMasters UMC have increased in age and declined in numbers, they have a heart for the people of the valley in which they live. They are involved in the local ministerium and community worship services and events. They have a monthly movie night and regularly host a community meal at the church. Their present ministry at a local senior citizen high rise is an outreach that is appreciated and successful in the community. Their primary goal as a church is: “To make McMasters Church a community that truly reflects the Kingdom of God through intentional outreach to those who have been pushed to the margins of society.”
Ben Zimmerman Appointed to Allegany Headwaters Charge
Bill Blair Appointed to Indiana Grace UMC
Cyndi Bloise Appointed to Jefferson Hills
Deborah Kociban to serve Templeton Charge
Erica Wellner Appointed to Marion Center UMC
John Emigh Appointed to Dempseytown: Oakland UMC
John Emigh has been appointed to serve Oakland UMC in Dempseytown. John’s grandfather was a pastor/evangelist in the Methodist church, so he was raised by a P.K. mother who brought the children up deeply involved in the church. Some of his best spiritual memories are of the little three-point charge his grandfather pastored (in Central PA Conference) and of attending many revival services with his grandfather. John and Amy were married in 1991. John has served churches in Derry, Greenville, Karns and Oil City.
Oakland is a church that worships 160 or more folks every Sunday with a full sanctuary. The youth have to set up folding chairs in the lobby and watch from there. They have recently remodeled the entrance of their church to make room for all the people before and after worship. They have an active ministry with children and youth, reach out to their community, and support a Celebrate Recovery group. Mission is very important to them and they travel locally, nationally and globally to work for the Lord.
Matthew Williams Appointed to Johnstown: Calvary
Randy Landman Appointed to West Newton/Herminie Charge
The West Newton Church was established Feb 28, 1839 and the current structure built in 1880. FUMC West Newton's music ministry is alive with an accomplished organist playing a pipe organ that was installed on Oct. 29, 1905. It was purchased for $3,000, of which $1,250 was given by Andrew Carnegie. The pipe organ is registered by the Organ Historical Society as being an antique still in use with original parts. The bell choir, established in 2013, plays in the West Newton Church and in several churches in surrounding communities. West Newton has a praise team as well as a chancel choir. FUMC West Newton is connected to the community through its Angel Tree project with the local elementary school, a Boy Scout troop, Meals on Wheels and missions led by the United Methodist Women. Quilters meet every Tuesday make quilts with the proceeds donated to the Trustees or the church. The church also has a scholarship fund that provides grants to any member seeking to further their education beyond high school.
Begun as a United Brethren Church in 1851, Herminie UM Church is celebrating 166 years strengthening the faith of Christians in the rural Sewickley Township area. With ministry and missions as goals, the congregation strives to be active in the community. They welcome local families with an annual Back to School event, a Harvest Festival, Vacation Bible School, and an active Boy Scout Troop. Sharing Thanksgiving services with neighboring Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches is a tradition. Worship and fellowship with their sister West Newton church is becoming a valuable part of spiritual life. Enjoying both praise songs and traditional hymns allows people of all ages in the congregation to express their love of God. Learning about Christ continues in Sunday School for children and youth, a weekly adult Bible study, and with our very active Ladies Fellowship group. The church's purpose is based on Philippians 1:27, "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ."
David Coul Appointed to Murrysville
“Pastor Dave” has been appointed to serve the First United Methodist Church in Murrysville, PA, effective July 1, 2017. Dave is a second career pastor who has been engaged in active ministry since 1999. Prior to that, he served our country for 23 years in the United States Air Force. Dave supports the conference camping ministries in several ways, including serving as one of the deans for the Algonquin canoe camp and as a Wesley Woods board member. Using John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer as his benchmark, Dave continues to follow God’s guidance for his life and ministry. Dave has two older children from a previous marriage and has been married to Jane A. Elliott-Coul for 30 years. They have two children: Lindsey Myers (Drew) and David. Rev. Dave Coul believes that healthy churches grow, and it is the ministry of all believers to work to keep the church healthy. He has applied that concept to his pastoral ministry at Baldwin Community UMC, Fairhaven UMC, Good Shepherd UMC, and Knox UMC where he presently serves. The Knox congregation is building a new church, which they hope to use for worship by the end of June.
The congregation of First UMC was founded in 1832 with the original church building constructed in the heart of Murrysville in 1913. In 1959 First UMC became a one-point charge. A weekday kindergarten opened in 1960 and grew to become the First United Methodist Preschool, a vital part of the church's current ministry. With a heart for Jesus, intentional discipleship, prayer, and spiritual development, the congregation is welcoming and growing, offering many opportunities for worship, discipleship, ministry and mission for all ages. First UMC offers a contemporary worship service with a praise team and a traditional service with a chancel choir on Sundays. Child-care is offered during both services. There is a strong small group ministry, women’s ministry, outreach program, and mission involvement with local through international impact. First UMC has an exciting children’s program – King’s Kids - provides kids from age 3 to 5th grade with worship, education, Vacation Bible School and opportunities for involvement in ministry. The youth group – Encounter - meets each Wednesday in their dedicated “Annex” led by a praise team with large group teaching and small group discussions and worship. First UMC is also open and connected to the community and is home to many community groups and activities throughout the year.
Heidi Helsel Appointed to Windber: Calvary UMC
Nancy Shute Appointed to Monaca UMC
Nate Fugate Appointed to Pittsfield: Otterbein UMC
Ronald Emery Appointed to Derry/Hillside
Ronald L. Emery has been appointed to serve the Derry/Hillside charge in Derry, PA effective July 1, 2017. Ron entered ministry in 2000 after accumulating a vast array of life experiences from which to draw. He has served the Shanksville/Central City Charge, Seward, the Coalport Circuit, Eldred, and the Grampian Circuit. God has gifted him in areas of administration and placed within him a passion for worship in many contexts. He attempts to relate the common things in everyday life to the precepts in Scripture, as evidence that God's Word breathes just as real today as it did when it was written. He likes to interject subtle humor to confound the belief that it is sacrilegious to smile in church. His life adage is that it is important to walk humbly before God first, and then maintain that same posture before all others one encounters. Ron and his wife Sue have been married 30 years and have three wonderful daughters: Tyler, Morgan, and McKenna.
The Derry/Hillside charge consists of two churches in the Derry Area. Derry: First United Methodist is in the borough of Derry, while Hillside United Methodist is located nearby in Derry Township, near Ridgeview Church Camp. These two churches are active in supporting the needs of their respective communities especially in times of crisis; house fire or other disasters, etc. They also sponsor local families in need during the holidays and Derry church provides free Thanksgiving meals and delivery. Derry church supports a large children’s ministry and Bible study. Hillside supports World Vision children, a Boy Scout Troop and more. Both churches possess an active laity and are dedicated to the furtherance of God’s Kingdom through faithful worship and good works.