2017 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Sorted by Announced Date

Betz to Serve Brush Valley Community

Announced: 06-25-2017

About Kim Betz
Kim has been appointed to the Brush Valley Community, serving its four churches --  Brush Valley, Brush Valley Calvary, Mount Tabor and Robinson Evangelical. Kim is from Diamondville United Methodist Church, where she served God previously by teaching youth and teen Sunday School. Diamondville United Methodist Church was built in the late 1800's by her family and two others who settled there when they came from Germany. Kim married her husband Paul in 1989 and have one son Tyler, 25, who will be married this coming September. Tyler and fiancé Sara have two daughters, Hannah 4½ and Sienna 4.  Kim was a member of the goodwill circle in Diamondville, which helps provide veteran, nursing home and community needs through their fundraisers. She also has served as PPR committee secretary and church board member. Her outreach for seven years has been as an active member of Son Day in the Park. They do fundraising all year to provide one day of free Christian music, free kids activities and free food in Clymer each August. Kim completed Licensing School this year and will continue her education while serving the Brush Valley Community.
About Brush Valley Community

The Brush Valley Charge of the United Methodist Church is located in picturesque Indiana County.  It is composed of four churches, each with its own unique ministry and outreach to the community and world around it for Jesus Christ.  The largest of the four churches is the Brush Valley United Methodist Church, a very active church with a weekly attendance of about 75.  Currently the church has an active United Methodist Men's group, United Methodist Women's group, two different weekly Bible study groups, and an active choir that practices weekly.  The Brush Valley UMC also houses a daycare during the week and is active with the Ramps of Hope ministry, participates in the Family Promise network, and supports the local food pantry and homeless veterans shelter.  Social activities at the church include church dinners, “The Cookie King” contest, and Trunk or Treat.  Last year the church hosted a community Thanksgiving dinner.  Calvary UMC offers an active Sunday School and a Saturday morning Men's Breakfast. Robinson Evangelical UMC has a great range of ages in attendance with a good representation of youth and a modern church facility.  Mt. Tabor, the smallest of the four, still attracts around 50 children to their annual Vacation Bible School.  The churches also share ministry such as clothing collection and have an annual joint dinner.    


Ent To Serve at Glasgow Larger Parish

Announced: 06-18-2017

About Harry "Mick" Ent
Harry “Mick” Ent has been appointed as the preaching associate to the Glasgow Larger Parish on the Johnstown District.  Mick, wife Pamela and daughter Sandy live in their own home at Treasure Lake in DuBois, Pa.  Both Mick and Pam were raised as Methodists.  During the early years of their marriage, they attended an Independent Christian church where Mick taught Sunday School and preached at evening services and nursing homes.  In 2012, the Ents returned to the United Methodist Church and as Mick was feeling a call to preach, he began taking Lay Servant Classes.

As a member of the Hazen UMC on the Indiana District, Mick served as a Local Lay Servant with the Good Shepherd Parish, preaching every Sunday in any two of its six churches from June 2014 to July 2015.  When Mick became a Certified Lay Speaker, he served the Grampian Charge as a Supply Pastor for the next two years.   Mick completed Licensing School in Spring 2017 and is ready for this next leg of ministry in making disciples for Jesus Christ. 
Mick also brings a lifetime of experience, including over 20 years of working in the building maintenance department of the DuBois Regional Medical Center.  Mick also served in the United States Air Force from 1960 to 1964.
 
About Glasgow Larger Parish
The Glasgow Larger Parish (Beaver Valley, Blandburg, Fiske, Pleasant Hill and Utahville UMCs) is located in the northern tier of the Johnstown District.  These five small churches have a big heart for sharing Christ’s love with their communities. Whether it is Vacation Bible School, a Community Thanksgiving Dinner, a Women’s Day Apart or welcoming campers from nearby Prince Gallitzen State Park, the people of the Glasgow Larger Parish are committed to providing ministry in this beautiful corner of God’s world!   The Parish has seven Lay Servants who help Senior Pastor Preston Hutchins and the Preaching Associate bring the word of God to the “Three-Side” (Fiske, Pleasant Hill, Blandburg) and the “Two-Side” (Utahville and Beaver Valley).  Although each of the five churches maintain their own church building, the Larger Parish provides opportunities for shared ministry. 
 

Melikant to serve Homestead Ave., Johnstown

Announced: 06-18-2017

About Janet E. Melikant
Janet will be the newly appointed pastor at the Johnstown: Homestead Avenue United Methodist Church effective July 1, 2017.  Janet grew up in Portage, Pa., and has been married to Michael Melikant since 1983.  Janet and her husband enjoy their family which includes three grown children and their spouses, as well as four wonderful granddaughters!  Having attended Cambria Rowe Business College after her high school graduation, Janet returned to school as an adult and earned a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Mount Aloysius College.  She has worked as an occupational therapist and therapy manager at Conemaugh Hospital, various skilled nursing facilities and a home nursing agency.  Janet has been a member at the Summit Chapel United Methodist Church in recent years.  Hearing a call into ministry, Janet entered the process to become a Certified Candidate for ministry, as well as completed Licensing School in Spring 2016.  She is excited that she can live out her passion to “serve our great God and love people” at the Homestead Avenue Church.
 
About Johnstown: Homestead Ave.
The Homestead Avenue United Methodist Church celebrated its 125th Anniversary in May 2017, marking the church’s long history of sharing God’s love with the people of Johnstown.  This faithful congregation has a Ministry and Mission Team which continues to find new ways to reach out into its ever-changing community – recently a Community Block Party was held in order to connect with their neighbors.  One of Homestead Avenue’s long-standing ministries is the Clothes Closet, a place where people can find gently used clothing for their families.   The church is proud to have an active choir which has participated in District music festivals in recent years.    Bible Study is an essential part of their ministry, including a Sunday morning adult class as well as mid-week opportunities, taught by both pastor and laity.
 

Randolph Appointed to Millvale UMC

Announced: 06-11-2017

About Diane Randolph
Diane is a 2017 M. Div. graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with an intensive in Missiology and  a graduate certificate in Urban Ministry. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Christian Ministry Leadership from Geneva College. Most recently, Diane served a year of seminary field education at Charter Oak UMC, where she worked closely with the church’s local and global mission initiatives. Diane has gone on mission trips to Kenya, Uganda, Africa, Jamaica, South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho, Africa.
 
The granddaughter of a Methodist minister, Diane grew up in Pittsburgh, and was raised in Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. She answered her call to ministry as a young mother of three children and served at Miracle Church of God in Christ, Aliquippa PA, as part of the Minister’s Alliance in 1994 while attending Greater Works Outreach School of Ministry focusing on clinical pastoral counseling.  She was on the team that started a counseling unit and ultimately served as a part-time Christian counselor. 
 
Diane is an ordained minister in two non-denominational ministries and served at Miracle Church for nine years in ministry leadership, preaching, and biblical teaching.  While serving as a Stephen Ministry Leader at Christ Church, Grove Farm, Sewickley, she felt God calling her to further her education. 
 
While at Pittsburgh Theological seminary, Diane sensed her calling to The United Methodist Church for the holiness of its Wesleyan theology and dedication to justice. She then began the clergy candidacy process. She enjoys preaching and teaching the Gospel in ways that invite and encourage others to live within the Kingdom of God now. 
 
She is grandparent of three small grandchildren.
 
Diane understands her call to ordained servant leadership as a sacred calling and responsibility.  She eagerly anticipates serving as pastor at Millvale and walking with the congregation to live into God’s dreams for the church’s ministry. 
 
About Millvale UMC
Millvale is in a community in transition on the verge of a potential economic renaissance. The small congregation of Millvale UMC has been meeting in rented storefront space set up as a coffee house since selling its church with a large sanctuary several years ago. The congregation is inviting, welcoming, and faithful.  Members and visitors can always enjoy a cup of coffee, breakfast pastries, and fellowship on Sunday morning before worship begins. Their stewardship and missional giving are noteworthy. In 2016, the congregation paid 110% of its 2016 Connectional Apportionments and made financial contributions to support other United Methodist ministry and mission endeavors. 
 
The congregation values traditional worship service, and offers Bible studies throughout the year. It cares for others through an active prayer and card ministry,  participates in community Lenten ecumenical worship services and Millvale Community Day.  Its mission initiatives are focused on support of a community food bank and fundraising events for the local firefighters and other community groups.
 
Millvale's lay leadership team members are dedicated and committed to rmaintaining a United Methodist presence in the community where people can learn and grow in discipleship together, find encouragement for their spiritual journey, and serve in ways that transform lives. 

Sutton Appointed to West View

Announced: 06-11-2017

About Andrew Sutton
Drew, a lifelong United Methodist, locates his sense of call to ordained ministry within the image of a bridge. He understands that to be a bridge means connecting people, listening to where they are, and creating space to map out a course for the future.  He is passionate about bridging worship experiences, communities, youth to young adulthood, the church’s past and present with God’s future, and bridging disconnected people into God’s beloved community.  
 
Since his commissioning in 2011 and ordination in 2014, Drew has lived out his call as campus minister/director of the Wesley Foundation at Louisiana State University and as an interim pastor at Ingelside UMC in Baton Rouge.  He is currently pastor of First UMC in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he led the congregation in exploring ways to align resources and better connect with their surrounding community.
 
Drew received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication; Film, Television, Video from Centenary College, a Methodist college, and has served as coordinator of technology and co-coordinator of youth and director of communications at two United Methodist churches.  He used his skills and passion for video, photography and design as producer for the Louisiana Annual Conference 2016 with the theme “Rooted and Grounded.”  
 
He received his M.Div. from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.  He has participated in advanced pastoral leadership development programs at Parker Palmer’s Center for Courage and Renewal and the Texas Annual Conference’s Advanced Pastoral Leadership program.
 
Drew is married to Elizabeth, who will be in a post-doctoral fellowship at an area hospital. They have a daughter.  Drew said he is excited to be appointed to West View UMC and looks forward to leading the congregation in conversation and discernment of where God is calling the church. 
 
About Pittsburgh: West View UMC
Located in a North Hills suburb of Pittsburgh, West View offers traditional worship at both its Saturday evening and Sunday morning worship services. Spiritual formation and discipleship growth happens through Sunday school for adults, children and youth; pastor-led Bible studies; weekly prayer meeting, and other small group ministries. Its nurture ministries include a new members fellowship, weekly prayer meeting, and Grief Share seminars and sessions.  The church rents space to a non-affiliated day care center.
 
The church connects with the community it through a summer VBS program and a monthly seniors fellowship. Its outreach revolves around an annual back-to-school supply ministry for families connected with the day care center, as well as a community-wide back-to-school rally and distribution of school supplies. Ecumenical initiatives include hosting or participating in Good Friday community worship services, collection of Bibles to assist St. Anthanasius in its prison ministry, and pastoral participation in the West View Ecumenical Association of Ministers.
     
Professions of faith and receipt of new members have increased in the last year. The church is strategically located in close proximity to a new housing development and has a significant opportunity and potential to grow by engaging this new and changing community and providing an inviting and welcoming a place of  worship, connection, spiritual growth, and discipleship-making.

Courtemanche to serve Fishertown Charge

Announced: 06-04-2017

About Tai S. Courtemanche
Rev. Tai Courtemanche will begin serving the Fishertown Charge (Johnstown District) on July 1, 2017.  Tai grew up in Zelienople and was active at the Harmony-Zelienople United Methodist Church.  She attended West Virginia Wesleyan College and earned a degree in Christian Education.  Upon graduation, she moved to Wheeling, WV and worked as the Director of Christian Education at Christ UMC for over six years and was very involved on the Conference level with youth.  Returning home, Tai served on the ministry staff at First U.M. Church in Butler for a time. Feeling God’s call to move deeper into ministry, Tai enrolled at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and earned a Masters of Divinity degree in 2012. 
 
In 2010, Tai re-connected with Sean Courtemanche, a former classmate at West Virginia Wesleyan.  In 2012, Sean and Tai were married and moved to Maryland to be closer to his family.  Sean has been working as a high school math teacher at a Catholic school in Washington, D.C. As Tai accepts this appointment at the Fishertown Charge, she and Sean are excited about answering God’s call for her to serve in full-time ministry in the WPA Annual Conference.  One of the great joys of this new appointment in Bedford County is that the Courtemanches will live in a location that is an equal distance from both families, placing them squarely in the center of family love and God’s heart!  
About Fishertown Charge
The Fishertown Charge is comprised of three faithful congregations - Sloan’s Hollow, Pine Grove and Mt. Union United Methodist churches – located in beautiful, historic Bedford County.  Although these three churches are on the geographic eastern edge of the WPA Annual Conference, the congregations are centered firmly in living out the commission to make disciples for Jesus Christ.  The churches have a heart for missions, locally and around the world.  Meaningful worship, Christian fellowship, Bible Studies, cell groups, and outreach are some of the important focuses of ministry.  The people of the Fishertown Charge are excited about welcoming Rev. Tai and Sean Courtemanche to their communities and working in ministry partnership with them! 

Harrison To Serve Middletown, Jeannette: Gethsemane

Announced: 06-04-2017

About Linda G. Harrison
Linda Grace Harrison has been active in the Church all of her life.  She has served in a variety of ministries including Sunday School, preschool church, youth groups, music ministries, and Bible studies. Linda began her professional life as a teacher for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, where she taught for 20 years.  After that, she taught for two years in a Christian School as she began her seminary studies. Those studies took Linda to Wilmore, Kentucky, where she earned her Master of Divinity degree at Asbury Seminary in 2011.  Linda also holds Master of Education Degrees in Elementary Education and Educational Administration from the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her Bachelors of Arts degrees in Russian, German, and Spanish Languages and Literature.  She has also completed post-graduate studies in counseling at Duquesne University.

Serving as a pastor brings Linda great joy and excitement.  She enjoys caring for people and helping people to deepen their relationships with Jesus Christ.  Her gifts include: encouragement, preaching, teaching, and evangelism. In her free time, Linda enjoys reading, walking, and playing the piano and the organ. She shares her home with four special cats, and loves spending time with them. Linda is thankful for a new opportunity to serve and is excited to begin a new chapter in her ministry and her faith journey. 
About Middletown, Jeannette: Gethsemane
Jeannette: Gethsemane
Built in 1901, the former EUB church, Gethsemane, stands as a beacon of hope in a community that has strengths despite challenges over the years. The "Jesus kneeling" stained glass window in the sanctuary is a constant reminder to the people of the church of the importance of prayer and placing their faith in Jesus. The congregation sees itself as a visible presence of hope and possibility in the community. The congregation is small, family friendly and strong in outreach and building relationships within the community and with other local churches.
 
Middletown: 
Built in 1896, with a log building prior to that, this former EUB congregation sees itself as a relational community of believers. They work together with other churches and support a number of outreach including a local food panty. With Bible studies, adult Sunday School classes, and a strong United Methodist Men's group, this small congregation has a big heart for Jesus. 

Siciliano Appointed to Point UMC

Announced: 06-04-2017

About Shane Siciliano

Shane Siciliano recently earned dual graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.  As he enters active ministry in the United Methodist Church, he brings with him a wealth of community outreach and mission experience. In the Mon Valley, he organized the Annual HIV/AIDS Awareness walk in October 2016, as well as various other HIV/AIDS Awareness events including a dinner and a cookout.  He also helped to manage a free tax site that saved Mon Valley residents over $1 million in refunds.  He has participated in mission trips to Ocean Springs, MI (post-Katrina), South Africa and Lesotho.  He has also been active in various outreach efforts in the Pittsburgh area, including ministries to homeless youth, particularly in the area of literacy.

Shane also has been active in various ministries on the Conference level.  He has been a staff member for the Conference Youth delegation, has volunteered at the Parish & Community Development Coffee Shop at Annual Conference, and will begin service in 2017 as a member of the Conference Sessions Staff.  He has also been elected to serve on the Conference History & Archives Commission.

About Point United Methodist Church
Point United Methodist Church is located outside Schellsburg in the Bedford County section of the Johnstown District.  The church and adjacent parsonage are on scenic Church Road, a lovely setting where deer, eagles, and other wildlife can often be spotted.  The small congregation is proud of their deep spiritual heritage and community presence.  In addition to Sunday morning worship, Bible study, fellowship groups and a bi- monthly nursing home outreach are vital parts of their ministry.  Annually, the church co-sponsors a week long Mission Festival with the neighboring Fishertown United Methodist Charge.  Throughout the year, mission support is an important emphasis for the congregation.  Also, every Fall, the Point U.M. Church hosts 3 days of Revival services featuring various speakers, recently including several of our Conference-approved evangelists in recent years.  Many in the congregation are life-long members of Point U.M. Church and are excited to see what God is going to do next in their ministry!
   
 

Amy Jun To Serve Verona/Rosedale/Aspinwall Community

Announced: 05-28-2017

About Ea Kyoung (Amy) Jun
Amy became active at an early age in the local church where she shared her gift of singing, ultimately becoming a praise team leader. In addition to singing, Amy’s gifts include preaching, teaching, and discipleship.  She received her call to ordained ministry in early adulthood and acknowledges that C. S. Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity, has influenced and shaped her understanding of Christian faith and motivates her to respond daily to the call to discipleship. Her principal passion is proclaiming the future kingdom of God and its transforming potential in the present. She focuses on spiritual formation, building relationships, and encouraging, challenging, and praying for people to experience God’s kingdom in everyday life through a change of heart.  

Amy’s home church is Mt. Lebanon UMC, where she has preached at regular, summer, and special worship services; assisted with celebration of the Sacraments; and served as music and song leader during Vacation Bible School and Kid’s Praise Ministry.  She has also preached and conducted worship services at Crossroads (East Liberty), led summer retreats for young adults, facilitated college-aged small group discussions, and guided Bible studies. 

A graduate of Korean National Open University, Amy has completed all of her course work at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and will receive her Masters of Divinity in 2018. She will be commissioned as a Provisional Elder at the 2017 Annual Conference.  Amy and her husband, Rev. Jong Man Lee, a pastor of the Korean Methodist Church that worships at Mt. Lebanon UMC, have an adult daughter and son. 

With joy, humility, and deep commitment to her sacred call to ordained ministry, Amy is excited at becoming pastor of these three churches.  She is eager to build relationships and share her gifts to help lead others into deeper spiritual connection with God and with one another through spirit-centered worship and learning experiences. 
 
About Verona/Rosedale/ Aspinwall: Community Charge
Each congregation shares a common love of God and commitment to community engagement and mission; yet, they are distinctive.
 
Verona
The church bears the name of the community in which it is located.  The congregation is welcoming, mission-oriented and diverse in theology, ethnicity, expressions of faith. The community regards the church as a place for help and hope. It provides emergency help for families through its Children’s Advocates Mission, and offers meeting space for Narcotics Anonymous and other groups, houses counseling services for abused persons, a HOPE Center, and Twin Boros' Health Ministries. Verona has a traditional worship service, Bible study ministry, growing Sunday school, and active Prayer Net.
 The congregation lives into its motto that “everyone can be great because everyone can serve” by operating a clothing ministry, emergency food pantry, summer and Christmas Bible schools for children and youth, and a Christmas toy drive.
Its ecumenical ministry revolves around participation in worship and Communion services at an area nursing home, partnership with the Oakmont Ministerium and area churches to host community dinners, summer lunch and fun camp, and weekly Lenten services, soup dinners, and Bible studies.
 
Rosedale
Rosedale, located two miles from Verona UMC in the much larger suburban community of Penn Hills, offers a traditional worship service. Bible study, a prayer fellowship/chain, and Esther Circle form the nucleus of discipleship formation and nurture ministries. Outreach iincludes sharing a monthly worship and Communion service at an area assisted living facility, conducting an annual boot drive for the local volunteer firefighters, housing the Rosedale Community Food Bank, and assisting the local Vietnam Veterans group. The church is a member of the Verona Ministerium and works with member churches to have Lent, Maundy Thursday, Easter Sunrise services.

Community: Aspinwall
 
Community is a merger of the former Blawnox and Aspinwall churches and is located in suburban Aspinwall on the Allegheny River.  It joins Verona and Rosedale to form a new charge this year.  Facing challenges after a long history of community engagement, the congregation’s principal strength is a faithful, dedicated, and committed group of people.  Like Verona and Rosedale, Community’s members and friends gather for traditional worship service, Sunday school, and Bible study.  Relationships are built and nurtured at monthly fellowship gatherings following worship.

The church’s nurture and outreach initiatives include a prayer ministry and a day care that has been in existence for over 40 years.   It collects food for the local food bank and participates in the North Hills Community Outreach’s ministries. It is participating sponsor with other faith communities of a monthly Men’s Saturday Breakfast fellowship. Reaching, attracting, and retaining young families and children is one of the congregation’s goals.
 

Kirby Appointed to Lakeside UMC

Announced: 05-28-2017

About Bob Kirby
Dr. Bob Kirby, a certified Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist (TIIMS), professional coach, and ordained elder, will bring a coaching approach to his appointment at Lakeside UMC in DuBois. With a career spanning more than 45 years, Bob Kirby worked in the public and private education sectors, gained extensive retail and wholesale business expertise, developed a referral-based residential real estate business as a broker, founded and ran five businesses, and then followed a call to the ministry. For 15 years, he has led small, medium, and large congregations with multiple staff as an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church.

A gifted teacher with a master's degree in business management, a master of divinity degree, and a doctorate in church leadership, Dr. Kirby's education coupled with his vast experience in the business world, have given him a unique and valuable perspective. His personal coaching work, as well as his coaching for organizational development and strategic planning in business and congregational settings, promises a positive impact at Lakeside.
Bob knows that the critical key to moving forward is to gain clarity in our personal lives and in our organizations. As we better understand who we are and what we believe we are to accomplish, we will have uncovered the vital elements that will successfully move us ahead to be all we were created to be.
About DuBois Lakeside UMC
Located in Clearfield County in the City of DuBois, Lakeside celebrates 125 years of ministry in the name of Jesus Christ in 2018.  The church worships with two traditional services Sunday morning and two informal services (serving weekly communion) Sunday morning and evening.  The church has active youth, evangelism, and outreach programs. Lakeside has an energetic children’s program and a Mother’s Day Out Preschool.  Lakeside strives to “Share God’s Love Everyday with Everyone” through the power of the Holy Spirit. 
 

Chandler Wolf Appointed McKeesport Associate

Announced: 05-21-2017

About Chandler D. Wolf
Chandler Wolf, currently pastor of Calvary UMC in McKeesport, will continue serving in that city as an associate on the new McKeesport Charge. Chandler earned his Master of Divinity degree at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1977. In his ministry, he has served in many urban settings. He has been Director of Programs for East End Cooperative Ministries, Director of Bethany House Ministries in Northview Heights and St. Clair Village public housing communities in Pittsburgh, and has served as a pastor for Church of our Savior in Northview Heights and at Henderson UMC in Erie.

Chandler also earned a Master of Public Administration at the University of Pittsburgh and retired in 2016 from the Allegheny County Dept. of Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. He previously has worked for the Pittsburgh Housing Authority as a contract/development manager. He and his wife Sheila have four adult children. 
About McKeesport Charge
With the blessing of our Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koi Koi, the Rev. William B. Meekins, Jr.  has been appointed as the lead pastor at the new McKeesport Charge. The charge will include Beulah Park, Calvary, Christy Park, First, Kephart, and Wesley UMCs. With Rev. Meekins experience and leadership, the Pastor Chandler Wolf will bring both pastoral and community ministry experience to the Charge. The six churches will explore together how best to engage in shared ministry and revitalization in the McKeesport area. Each of the churches has strengths on which to build as they face the challenges of reaching people in a once-bustling city seeking to rebound from economic losses brought on by the decline of the coal and steel industry.  This shared ministry is expected to not only strengthen the ministries of the churches working together, but also bring hope to the people of McKeesport as they build relationships and make disciples for Jesus. 

Csonka to Serve Nicklin, Center UMCs

Announced: 05-21-2017

About Paul Csonka
Paul will be appointed to serve the Nicklin and Polk: Center UMC’s.  Paul comes from the Greenville: First UMC.  He is a retired teacher and businessman from Greenville, PA.  Paul is on fire for Jesus and desires to bring people to the Lord.  He is passionate about worship, healing and altar calls.  He has served as a lay person at First Church for many years before feeling the call into ministry. 
About NIcklin UMC and Polk: Center UMC
Polk: Center UMC sit along Route 965 outside the community or Polk.  It has served the Lord faithfully since 1844. The congregation gathers 37 folks on for Sunday morning worship and is active with their sister church in Vacation Bible School.  Whenever word is received by the congregation that a family or individual in their community is in need, they respond through prayer and monetary and food assistance.  They love the Lord and their community.

Nicklin UMC has nearly doubled in worship attendance in the last 10 years. The congregation has a choir that sings on Sunday.  They host many dinners and fellowship times throughout the year.  It is a strong church with good lay leadership and a number of lay speakers. They collect clothing and feed those who are hungry
 

Ed Wagner To Serve Dunlo, Sidman, Beaverdale Charge

Announced: 05-21-2017

About Edward I. Wagner
Ed Wagner has served as a part-time licensed local pastor at the Johnstown: Homestead Avenue United Methodist Church since 2011. Prior to this appointment, Ed served at the Conemaugh: First UMC from 2003-2006.  Before he entered ministry, and between these two ministry appointments, Ed was an active lay person at the Oakland UMC in Johnstown. Ed has completed 15 classes in the Course of Study at the Methodist Theological Seminary of Ohio and looks forward to graduation in the near future!  
Ed has been married for 28 years to Sue, a licensed social worker employed at Conemaugh Hospice.  Ed and Sue have three children: Son Matthew and his wife Carrie live in Chicago; son Jonathan recently graduated from Grove City College, and daughter Julia is a sophomore at Westmont Hilltop High School in Johnstown.
Ed is stepping out in faith as he accepts this new appointment at the Dunlo, Sidman, Beaverdale Charge on the Johnstown District.  He is leaving his full-time secular work in the economic development field to assume the role as a full-time licensed local pastor.  God has been tugging at Ed’s heart for the past several years to enter full-time ministry, and trusting fully in God’s providence, Ed has said yes.  He is excited about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with new partners in ministry and seeing what God can do in the Dunlo, Sidman and Beaverdale communities!
 
About Dunlo, Sidman, Beaverdale Charge
These three small churches are located east of the city of Johnstown.  Dunlo and Sidman have been yoked as a charge for many years; Beaverdale joined the Charge in 2012.  All three churches are very active in the Forest Hills Ministerium and participate in the missions and ministry of this ecumenical cluster of churches.  Each of the churches on the charge strive to be engaged in ministry to make disciples for Jesus Christ.  Dunlo has hosted a Super Saturday ministry for many years, providing a monthly outreach to children in the community.  Sidman has an active youth ministry on Sunday evenings that aids in the faith development of teens.  Beaverdale has a weekly Tuesday evening ministry for community children and youth that includes a meal and faith-based activities.  The congregations on the charge look forward to a new phase of ministry as they welcome Ed Wagner as their appointed pastor!    
 

Jackson Appointed to Valier Charge

Announced: 05-21-2017

About Lois Jackson
Lois will be appointed to the Valier Charge, serving its three churches -- Valier, Frostburg and Hamilton. Lois is from Widnoon United Methodist Church, where she served God by teaching Adult Sunday school, leading praise and worship, and holding several positions on the Church Council. She has also been an active member of United Methodist Women, serving as local unit secretary and Indiana District communications director and treasurer. Her most recent mission endeavor has been traveling to Pittsburgh and to distribute clothing and other items to the homeless and offer prayer and encouragement. Lois completed Licensing School this year and will continue her education while serving the Valier Charge.
 
About Valier Charge
The Valier Charge This charge has been a charge for over 100 years. The people of the three congregations currently have a Bible Study, rotating their meeting among the churches each one month. They have worked together on Bible School, and charge wide projects. Currently they have a garden to provide vegetables to those who may not be able to garden and those who may not have access to fresh produce.
 
Hamilton UMC – Hamilton is in a small village. It is in the village of Hamilton (No. 8 Road and Hamilton Markton Rd meet there). There are a few businesses – a vault/septic tank company, and one that makes sandpaper. In the church’s side lawn is a monument listing all the men and women who died serving in the military during WWII.
 
Frostburg Hopewell UMC – Frostburg is a small village on Rt. 536. It is a former coal mining town, and currently has a mining related business in its midst. The congregation also had a pottery business at one time. The Community Building was built many years ago by the church, and is maintained by the church. It is a place for church and community events. The Frostburg Women’s group meets there and also helps maintain the building.
 
Valier UMC – Valier is a small village near the Jefferson/Indiana county line. It has a Pizza/sub shop in the building that at one time was the general store with the town’s post office. The charge parsonage is next to the church. The ‘charge’ garden is next to the church.
 

Lj Stone to Serve Cherrytree, Worden Chapel

Announced: 05-21-2017

About Laurajane L. Stone
Laurajane, or Lj, is appointed to serve Cherrytree and Worden Chapel UMC’s.  She grew up in Oil City, PA in Trinity UMC. After graduating from Oil City High School, she attended Westminster College to study elementary education with a concentration in math and science. Graduating in 2005, she moved back to Oil City and taught for two years in the elementary schools of Venango County and was a middle-level math teacher at the Oil City Middle School. Finally accepting her call into ministry, she enrolled at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in September of 2007.  Lj married her husband Charlie in July 2009 and has two sons. Jackson is 4 years old and Thatcher is 2. They are both going to be big brothers at the end of December this year! Lj graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in June 2015. She then took time away from school and ministry to care for her two young boys. She and her family are excited for her to enter back into the ministry of preaching, where she can use her gifts and talents from God to further His kingdom on earth.
The Stone family resides near Barkeyville, PA and looks forward to serving Christ in Venango County in the Franklin District this coming year.
 
About Cherrytree and Worden Chapel UMCs
Among the historic churches in the Franklin District, Worden Chapel dates back to 1879 and Cherrytree, a former United Brethren and then Evangelical United Brethren congregation, dates to 1878. Cherrytree is a strong small church with 12 persons attending.  They pay their connectional apportionment and support missions as they are able.  They are vibrant in faith, worship and witness in their community.
Worden Chapel hosts dinners for their community, has a picnic pavilion and holds a “Meet Your Neighbor” event for families in the summer. The average worship attendance is 17 and the people are faithful in worship and service.
 

Nicklas Appointed to Greenville Calvary

Announced: 05-21-2017

About Carl NIcklas
Carl will be appointed to serve the Calvary UMC of Greenville. He is a principal at a Christian School in Sharpsville, PA and a Christian counselor.  Carl has been assisting with preaching and worship at the Old Salem UMC in the Greenville area for the past year.  He is formerly from the Church of God denomination.  Carl brings a heart for the Lord and people in recovery.
About Greenville Calvary UMC
Calvary is a former Evangelical congregation with a strong sense of their history.  They reach out to their community with an after-school program for children in the neighborhood.  This program is led by faithful lay leadership with the pastor bringing a message.  They feed the children during this after-school program and hold many dinners.  Twelve persons have gone into the ministry from the Calvary congregation.  Currently the church worships with 58 people and participates in a food pantry and Vacation Bible School.

Rendulic Appointed to Heartland Crossroads

Announced: 05-21-2017

About Matthew Rendulic
Matthew J. Rendulic grew up in Northwestern Pennsylvania in an independent Baptist Church, the son of faithful parents who recognized God’s call on his life at an early age. He attended Mercyhurst University in Erie, earning bachelor’s degrees in Religious Studies and Applied Music. He then went to Westminster Choir College in New Jersey and earned both a Master of Arts and a Master of Music degree. He then continued his education at Princeton, where he received a Ph.D. in Sacred Literature. Matt has experienced the faith through interest and participation in a number of Christian traditions and was ordained through the Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ.  He has been a pastor, an independent church consultant and church musician.  He also holds a Pennsylvania Private Detective license and has worked for the Nordstrom retail company as a Financial Private Investigator. 
 Matt began to serve Heartland Crossroads as a musician and is ready now to move into a pastoral role, bringing him full circle to the call that God placed on his life as a child.
 
About Heartland Crossroads
The Heartland Crossroads Cooperative Parish is more than a multi-point charge!  It is a structure which allows the participant churches to maintain their own identity and history.   At the same time it enables them to join their best qualities together in the spirit of cooperation. Overseen by the senior pastor, Rev. Bob Klingler, the leadership team organizes all the congregations to make sure that meaningful ministry is accomplished. Each church contributes its own unique strengths to the group, and each church is served by a team of pastors and other leaders, who also contribute their unique giftedness to the whole parish.  Since originally organizing a number of years ago, each church is now stronger and more vital.
 
The original member congregations -- Conneautville: Valley, Franklin Center, Hickernell and Palmer -- will be joined this year by Albion: Calvary and Espyville. The pastoral team also will be expanded to include two part-time associate pastors. These churches at the “heartland” of our region recognize that they, and indeed all of us, are at a “crossroads” moment in our connection when creative use of resources and people can lead us into a more vital, vibrant season of life and ministry.

Robison Appointed to Greenville

Announced: 05-21-2017

About Theresa A. Robison
Theresa A. Robison, who currently serves the Espyville UMC in the Erie/Meadville District, will be appointed pastor of Greenville: First UMC, effective July 1st. Theresa is a graduate of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary/Early Childhood Education, and Ashland Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity in Spiritual Formation. Theresa’s passion for ministry includes teaching others about the love of God, and giving them opportunity to learn to love God and others. In that way, they are reaching out in that love by becoming and making disciples and through outreach into the community.  In addition to the church she serves, she has worked full time as a Customer Service Agent for Amazon.com. 
 
About Greenville: First UMC
First UM Greenville is a congregation that worships in two services every Sunday, one contemporary and one traditional.  They reach out to their community through a Food Pantry, an associate pastor of visitation, an annual Trunk or Treat Fest and Vacation Bible School.  The congregation also holds men’s breakfasts.  The church has been on a charge with Greenville: Calvary, but now will have their own pastor while continuing share a visitation pastor, secretary and music director.
 

Wade To Serve Heartland Crossroads

Announced: 05-21-2017

About Gary Wade
Gary Wade grew up in the Albion area and attended Northwestern School District. He also attended Erie County Technical School and graduated in 1990. Following high school, he served our nation in the United States Marine Corps for four years.  After his honorable discharge from the Marines, he attended Pennsylvania College of Technology and graduated with an associate’s degree in Heavy Equipment Operations and Mechanics. He has worked for Sarvis Equipment and currently works at Elk Creek Township. Gary and his wife Brenda have been married for 16 years. They are the parents of two children, ages 12 and 15.
 
About Heartland Crossroads
The Heartland Crossroads Cooperative Parish is more than a multi-point charge!  It is a structure which allows the participant churches to maintain their own identity and history.   At the same time it enables them to join their best qualities together in the spirit of cooperation. Overseen by the senior pastor, Rev. Bob Klingler, the leadership team organizes all the congregations to make sure that meaningful ministry is accomplished. Each church contributes its own unique strengths to the group, and each church is served by a team of pastors and other leaders, who also contribute their unique giftedness to the whole parish.  Since originally organizing a number of years ago, each church is now stronger and more vital.

The original member congregations -- Conneautville: Valley, Franklin Center, Hickernell and Palmer -- will be joined this year by Albion: Calvary and Espyville. The pastoral team also will be expanded to include two part-time associate pastors. These churches at the “heartland” of our region recognize that they, and indeed all of us, are at a “crossroads” moment in our connection when creative use of resources and people can lead us into a more vital, vibrant season of life and ministry.
 

Barb Bailey to Serve Bentleyville UMC

Announced: 05-14-2017

About Barb Bailey
A native of Punxsutawney, Barb made a commitment to Christ to serve Him and His church at age 10.  Barb relocated to West Virginia with her husband Ron where she responded to God’s call on her life to enter into full-time Christian ministry.  Ordained as an Elder in the West Virginia Annual Conference in 1998, Barb served several churches until her retirement in 2013.  A graduate of Fairmont State University with a B.S. in Psychology, Barb earned her Master of Divinity in 1996 at Methodist Theological School in Ohio.  She also earned a Master of Mental Health Counseling in 2011 from Waynesburg University, where she taught Introduction to Psychology and Introduction to New Testament classes as an Adjunct Professor from 2011-2016.  Barb is a member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and is assistant spiritual director at the West Virginia Institute of Spirituality. Barb looks forward to “returning to her first love – parish ministry.”  Her passions include worship and liturgy, pastoral care and counseling, and working with young people.  Looking forward, Barb’s hope is to share in ministry together with the congregation so that in and beyond the walls of the church, Christ may be known more deeply and personally in people's lives. 
 
About Bentleyville United Methodist Church
Located just off I-70 in Washington County, Bentleyville United Methodist Church’s desire is to “make Christ visible” through its witness of outreaching love while equipping the congregation for ministry.  The friendly congregation at Bentleyville is known in the community for its food ministries to persons in need and Sunday morning worship that is Christ-centered and lay-led. The warmth and personality of the congregation makes everyone feel welcome and at home.  The church has an active United Methodist Men’s group and United Methodist Women’s group, weekly Bible studies, and summer Vacation Bible school. The congregation at Bentleyville also knows how to have fun together and laugh.  Guests find it a joy simply to be there.  The church’s hope for the future is to welcome new members while continuing to grow spiritually.  As a congregation, members look ahead with anticipation to what God will accomplish in them and through them as they work collaboratively to share Christ with the world. 

Bud Davis Appointed to Redbank Valley UM Ministry

Announced: 05-14-2017

About Derwood (Bud) Davis
Bud has been part of the Redbank Valley United Methodist Ministry (RVUMM) since its inception in 2008.  When this ministry was formed he was a member of the First United Methodist Church in New Bethlehem PA.  While part of the RVUMM, Bud became a Lay Speaker in 2010 and in 2014 he was called into ministry.  Bud is currently serving two of the seven churches within the RVUMM: New Salem and Putneyville United Methodist churches and will now be senior pastor.

Bud has a strong faith and a loving heart for Jesus Christ.  Bud believes that, along with God’s power and grace, his work ethic, dependability, and commitment to spreading the Gospel of Christ has served him well in his ministry.  Bud believes in the power of prayer and the thing that lifts him up and revives him the most is the blessing he receives when he visits someone who is homebound or hospitalized.  He says “When I visit with someone and pray with them I always leave feeling good and rejuvenated.  That’s what I believe ministry is about”.    
About Redbank Valley UM Ministry
Redbank Valley Ministry is made up of seven United Methodist churches: New Bethlehem First, Fairmont City, Leasure Run, Hawthorn Calvary, Oak Ridge, New Salem and Putneyville.  These churches collectively have over 220 people in worship on a Sunday. They will be served by a full-time pastor and a part-time pastor, with lay speakers assisting in leading worship.  These churches in the valley and hills around New Bethlehem and the Redbank Creek serve their communities well through worship, Sunday School, Bible Study, a Food Bank, a Coffee House and Vacation Bible School.  They reach out in local missions and travel to Pittsburgh, Mechanicsburg and even New York City to feed the hungry and do mission work. 


 

Foos Appointed to Pleasant Unity

Announced: 05-14-2017

About Kimberly L. Foos
Kim Foos is a lifelong member of Arona United Methodist Church in the Greensburg District. Serving the Lord has always been her dream job, and she is excited to begin this journey. Kim is currently a student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and has just completed Licensed Local Pastor training. Her husband Steve and her children, Abby, 7, and Alex, 8, along with her extended family, form an amazing support system. Kim spent several years working as a church secretary, and she is ready to combine that behind-the-scenes knowledge with what she has learned so far in seminary. Kim loves sharing the Word of God with others. 
 
About Pleasant Unity UMC
Located at the intersection of Pa Routes 130 and 981 in the rural community of Pleasant Unity, the church members pray and care for one another as family. The congregation is strong with people of all ages worshipping, praying and working together in ministry. The people love singing. They reach out to the community with the light of Jesus Christ to spread the word and make disciples for our Lord. 

Jennifer Craig Appointed to West Springfield/Cranesville

Announced: 05-14-2017

About Jennifer J. Craig
Jennifer J. Craig was born and raised in Clifton, NJ, minutes away from Manhattan.  She attended Mount Aloysius College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.  She and her husband Todd have five children, three sons and two daughters ranging in age from 11-22.  Jennifer has a wide variety of interests and talents.  She is a gifted writer and has worked in a hospice program as a bereavement counselor and director of volunteer activities.  She even drives a school bus! She is full of energy and enthusiasm.  Jennifer believes strongly in unity among Christians. Jennifer currently serves as the associate pastor of the Glasgow Larger Parish in the Johnstown District.

 
About West Springfield/Cranesville Charge
West Springfield and Cranesville United Methodist churches are on the northern tier of the Erie-Meadville District, minutes from the southern shore of Lake Erie. The congregations have worked together on a two-point charge for many years.
 
West Springfield traces its history to 1800 when a circuit rider from Ohio was invited to come to the new settlement and preach there.  It is the “mother church” of the original Erie Circuit. The first church, built of round logs and covered with clapboard, was the first church building in the territory of the Erie Conference. Today West Springfield is a caring congregation, dedicated to the community in which they live and looking forward to the future guided by the Holy Spirit.
 
Cranesville UMC traces its history to 1835 when Methodist Societies in Cranesville and Wellsburg joined forces to create a strong congregation.The building has seen a great number of modifications through the years, many of them done by the church members themselves! Cranesville Church is a warm and loving group of people who love their church and envision a bright future.  They are dedicated to missions and work to spread the love of God in Christ to everyone!
 

Kurt June Appointed as Ebensburg Associate

Announced: 05-14-2017

About Kurtis June
Kurtis June will be appointed to Ebensburg United Methodist Church as an associate pastor.  Kurtis was born in Corpus Christi, TX, raised in Hudson, NY, and moved to Pennsylvania in 1992. He is a recent graduate of licensing school and plans to continue his theological education and training while serving in this new role at Ebensburg UMC. 
 
Kurtis will conduct the bulk of his ministry at Doe Valley OHV, an EUMC satellite campus, in Cairnbrook, PA.  Over the past few years Kurtis has been leading people to Christ through his example and teaching in the Doe Valley community. 
About Ebensburg UMC -- Doe Valley OHV Campus
Doe Valley OHV is a campground for campers operating off-road vehicles, primarily Jeeps.  Ebensburg UMC's campus there is a unique ministry, a new and exciting way to reach new people in new places in Western Pennsylvania.  Kurtis has recently been named the chaplain for the campground, which has never had an official chaplain in its history.  Kurtis will join the EUMC ministry team of the Rev. J.R. Virgin and the Rev. Matthew Scott at Ebensburg UMC. 

Les Hutchins to Serve Latrobe Bethany UMC

Announced: 05-14-2017

About Leslie A. Hutchins Jr.
Rev. Les Hutchins Jr. has been appointed pastor at Bethany UMC, effective July 1, 2017. Les has been the senior pastor of the three-point Fishertown Charge in the Johnstown district since 2013. Ordained an elder in 2014, he is dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Les and his wife Delores have been married 26 years and are natives of Washington Pa., where family members still reside. Les served as a staff member at John Wesley UMC, was licensed to preach in 2006 and served Speers and Dunlevy UMCs while attending California University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He served as senior pastor of the Faithful Followers Charge on the Indiana District while attending United Theological Seminary, where his concentration was church renewal. Les is the Western PA Conference Secretary of Global Ministries, serves on the Commission on Religion and Race, and is a section leader at Annual Conference. He has a passion to empower and equip the people of the church to share the love of Jesus Christ and carry out the great commission in the local community and the world. Les is humbled by his new appointment and looks forward with great excitement and enthusiasm to serve the Bethany UMC and Latrobe community in new and challenging ways.
 
About Latrobe Bethany UMC
Bethany UMC has dedicated 114 years to serving Jesus Christ and helping others to know Him. In 1903, the church was planted in the south side of Latrobe, Pa., as a part of the United Brethren denomination. The church continued to serve as an Evangelical United Brethren congregation, and, since 1968, as United Methodist.

Bethany embraces the commission set forth in Corinthians 1:27-31, “You are the body of Christ and each one of you are a part of it.” The church spreads the love and teachings of Jesus Christ outside the walls through an active Community Connection team, which hosts block parties, Christmas caroling, and “Into the Fields” disciple training. Bethany’s people serve and support mission teams and numerous outreach programs which help local and world initiatives. Bethany Church has an active “After School Club” ministry, and Vacation Bible School. It offers Bible-based teachings through Sunday school classes for all ages, Bible study offerings and small group studies. Music has always been at the heart and foundation of the church, and worship services offer a blend of traditional hymns and contemporary pieces. The church cares and ministers to one another through prayer teams and a Care Team ministry. 
 

Meier To Serve New Alexandria UMC

Announced: 05-14-2017

About Beth A Meier
Beth A. Meier will be appointed to the New Alexandria UMC in addition to Saltsburg First UMC, where she currently serves. Beth experienced the call of God on her life while in her teens. While earning her bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies at Grove City College, she received the call to be a pastor. Female pastors were not yet well received, so she was discouraged in pursuing ministry. She followed various paths in life, but none fulfilled that longing deep inside. A few years ago, she heard God’s voice once again and obeyed. Beth became a Licensed Local Pastor in 2015, and was assigned to Saltsburg First United Methodist Church in November 2015. She is currently enrolled full-time at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Beth has three wonderful children and three amazing grandsons. She loves serving God as a pastor and knows she is where God would have her to be. Preaching, teaching and caring for her church family are her gifts in ministry.
 
About New Alexandria UMC
The United Methodist Church of New Alexandria was formally established in 1876 and has been an integral part of the Christian community working together to make disciples for Jesus Christ.  The church is very mission-minded and is dedicated to supporting community needs and outreach programs.  Over the years, they have maintained a strong focus on ministering to children, with weekly Sunday School and community Bible School and church camp ministries.  The congregation includes gifted musicians who share their talents through special music and community choir performances.  The church is also known for its annual peach festival held by the women each summer.  Then central theme promoted by church parishioners is to love one another, promote happiness, and welcome everyone to share in the good news of the gospel.
 

Alsdorf To Serve Diamond Evangelical

Announced: 05-07-2017

About Jerome A. Alsdorf
Jerome A. Alsdorf was born and raised on a dairy farm in Northwestern Pa. He and his wife Lisa are parents of two daughters, ages 4 and 1. He has been working in ministry at Titusville First UMC for the past 10 years, serving as a youth and contemporary worship leader.  Jerome enjoys hunting, fishing, music and being with his family.  His appointment at Diamond Evangelical UMC will allow him to continue his work at Titusville First, where imets well loved and appreciated.
 
About Diamond Evangelical UMC
Diamond Evangelical UMC was founded in 1859 as part of the United Brethren tradition, meeting first in a schoolhouse until 1868 when the church building was constructed.  A significant renovation and expansion was completed in 1954 and another in 1979.

Diamond Evangelical is a giving church; when a call goes out for a need, the people respond quickly to see that it is fulfilled. The church is filled with dedicated people who work hard to be the Body of Christ.
 
The congregation looks forward to working together on a new vision with new direction and guidance. They enjoy fellowship and find great meaning in mission involvement. Their choral music program is strong. Each year they sponsor cantatas at Easter and Christmas. Those special programs reach many in the community.
 

Lawler Appointed to Nebo/Fairview Charge

Announced: 05-07-2017

About William Lawler
Shaped by his family and the local church all his life, Bill was told at a young age he would someday “grow up to be a minister.”  At 14, he committed his life to Christ and, at 15, as part of the church’s “Youth Sunday," preached his first sermon. Like many, Bill spent much of his life doing other things all the while resisting God’s call on his life until now.  Describing his call to serve the church as a pastor, Bill describes it this way, “I’ve been boxing with God for a long time. I know now I’m not going to win.”  Bill is a Certified Lay Speaker and presently serves as an unpaid chaplain for an area senior care center.  Previously, Bill was a worship leader and speaker at an assisted living facility while also serving as worship leader and speaker at a truck stop ministry in the Washington District. Bill’s passion for ministry extends to dramatic presentations of the Gospel and serving on the church’s Staff Parish Relations Committee.  Bill is asked often to speak at churches on both the Washington District and neighboring Districts. When he’s not serving the local church, Bill also gives himself to working with the Washington County Special Olympics, serving at Jumonville as a Discovery Camp leader and coaching girls basketball.  Bill is married to Karin, who he describes “as my best friend.”  Together they have two children, daughter Charlie, 9, and son, Lehman, 5.  Bill is in the beginning stages of the candidacy process and looks forward to attending the June Orientation to MInistry event at Annual Conference this summer.
 
About Nebo/Fairview Charge
Nebo and Fairview United Methodist churches are set in some of the most beautiful parts of Greene County on the Washington District.  Self-described as “very rural and five miles from the nearest gas station or grocery store," week in and week out the Charge seeks to bring God’s light and love to the world and take God’s Word into the communities they serve and beyond.  Committed to welcoming and serving others so that Jesus’ outreaching love and compassion may be made known through their witness, the churches look to a future that will find them reaching more people with the Good News of Jesus.  Known especially for their outreach, the strength of their prayers and the ways in which the congregations offer hope to those who are hurting and a “safe haven” in the midst of life’s storms, both congregations are devoted to serving Christ, following wherever He leads and being like Him in every way. 

Butterfield Appointed to West Middlesex

Announced: 04-30-2017

About Earl Butterfield
Pastor Earl has been in the ministry for nine years. He has been appointed to the Dunlo and Sidman churches from 2008 to the present, and in 2012 the Beaverdale church was added to the charge. Earl believes that he was called into ministry to make disciples for Jesus Christ and uses Matthew 28:18-20, The Great Commission, as the basis of his ministry.  He is very involved in the churches he serves through worship, Bible School, Bible Studies and youth group. Earl serves on the Johnstown District Committee on Ministry. He is the chairperson for the fellowship of Licensed Local Pastors and Associate Members and by virtue of this office serves on the Conference Board of Ministry. In his current community, Earl is the Fire Chief of the Dunlo Volunteer Fire Department and is also a member of the Board at Arbutus Park Manor.  He and his wife Beth have two grown children, four grandchildren and one great granddaughter who is the apple of their eye.  
 
About West Middlesex UMC
West Middlesex UMC worships an average of 65 persons on a Sunday. The church has a strong music ministry with a choir directed by a college professor and accompanied by an accomplished pianist. The congregation also sings contemporary praise songs during weekly worship.This congregation sits in the center of town and is a vital part of the community. The people are active in the Shenango Cluster of UM Churches and also join with other churches in their town for VBS and other projects.
 

Penny Helmbold Appointed to Enterprise UMC

Announced: 04-30-2017

About Penny S. Helmbold
Penny S. Helmbold came to know Christ at age 5 and has been active in the life of the church in a multitude of ways ever since. Penny is the mother of four, ranging in age from 17-24.  She is also the grandmother of a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old.  She holds an Associate of Arts degree in human services from the University of Pittsburgh.  She volunteers with “Love in the Name of Christ” in Titusville and participates in the programs of several other churches and organizations.
 
About Enterprise United Methodist Church
Enterprise Church traces its roots back to 1862, when a pastor serving nearby realized that the Village of Enterprise lacked worship services.  The building has been in continuous use since construction in 1870. The congregation is vibrant and growing.  They are deeply involved in the community, supporting several missions and ministries of outreach, including a soup kitchen, Wesley Woods, Love Inc., a local retirement home, a community VBS and several others.  The people learn and grow through an active Sunday School and ongoing Bible Study.
 

Belknap Appointed to Little Cooley, Teepleville

Announced: 04-23-2017

About Denny R. Belknap Sr.
Denny is a lifelong resident of the Erie area. He graduated from McDowell High School, attended Case-Western Reserve University for Architectural Engineering and served in the U.S. Army before purchasing a construction business from his father in 1975. He operated the company until his retirement in 2006 and did additional study at the Behrend College of Penn State University.
 
Denny has been active at Erie Lakewood UMC as chair of the Trustees, Lay Leader and as a member of several other committees.  He answered a call to ministry first as a Certified Lay Minister, then as a Local Pastor.  He received training to serve as an intentional interim and has served as interim pastor for 12 churches in the Erie-Meadville District.  Most recently he has served as associate pastor of Heartland Crossroad Ministry, a cooperative parish in which four churches participate.

 
Denny has been active in district leadership roles, serving as chair of the district Board of Trustees and Committee on Buildings and Location and as member of the Board of Directors of the Erie United Methodist Alliance.  He is also vice-chair of the district corporation board. He and his wife Rae Lynn have three sons and five grandchildren,
About Little Cooley and Teepleville UMCs
The Little Cooley and Teepleville churches are set in rolling hills and farmlands northeast of Meadville in the Erie-Meadville District. 
 
Little Cooley UMC traces its roots back to the Evangelical United Brethren tradition, being organized in 1860. The congregation built the church they still occupy in 1867; it has been in continuous service ever since. Members of the church find meaning in helping those in need and enjoy a stellar reputation in the community as caring, loving people. They participate in “Release Time,” so that public school children can receive a spiritual education. They also support the ministries of the Wesbury United Methodist Community for senior citizens.
 
Teepleville Church was organized in 1877 by the Methodist Episcopal Church and met in a school house until the church building was completed in 1882 for a cost of $1,800!  It has been in continuous use ever since. The congregation joins with other Christians in the community to provide “Camp Venango for Jesus,” a wide-ranging summer educational opportunity for the young people of the area. The members of the congregation are dedicated to their savior and to their church!
 

Lola Turnbull Appointed to East Brady/Sligo

Announced: 04-23-2017

About
Lola, currently pastor of the Benezette Charge in Kane District, is gifted in teaching. She loves to see God’s transformation in people as they study God’s Word together. She has a strong pastoral bent and celebrates the good things the church has done/is doing. Lola believes it is important to project a sense of success, vision, and hope in the church today. Her goal is to help people follow Christ and to swell the size of heaven. She believes more can be accomplished together than apart. In preaching and worship leadership, she enjoys digging into our history and resurrecting old-time traditions. She looks for fresh ways to help people see Christ. In addition to the Benezette Charge, which includes Weedville, Caledonia, Benezette, Sterling Run and Sinnemahoning, Lola's has served as pastor at Fifth Avenue UMC in New Brighton; King’s Chapel, New Castle; Christy Park, McKeesport and Bell Chapel, Buena Vista; Crafton; Clintonville Grace, Peters Chapel and Rankin Chapel. 
 
About East Brady and Sligo UMCs
Both of these churches sit in small towns and reach out to their communities. The Sligo church houses a day care center and the East Brady church provides a Bible Study in a senior high-rise across the street.  Together the churches see 87 people in worship on a Sunday.  They praise God and live out their faith through a food pantry in East Brady and VBS at Sligo, as well as many other ways.  These are friendly churches with good people who love the Lord and desire to share the love of Jesus 

Luke Whipple Appointed to Bakerstown

Announced: 04-23-2017

About Luke Whipple
Luke A. Whipple has been appointed as a full-time associate pastor at Bakerstown UMC, where he has served since 2015 as a part-time local pastor, most recently as Youth Ministry Director.  Luke gratefully acknowledges God’s providential hand, especially in the past year, as he completed seminary and he and wife Rachel welcomed their first child, a daughter. He centers his life in prayer and lives into his call to ministry by pointing others to God for rest, healing, assurance, purpose and fulfillment of life in a weary, broken, and skeptical world.  His theological perspective is evangelical and charismatic.  Teaching, worship planning and leading, healing ministry, and preaching are Luke’s gifts.  His visioning and well-developed organizational skills have led to a creative and growing youth ministry, an effective multi-media ministry, and a contemporary worship team that fashions worship experiences to fit the tenor and mood of the liturgical year.  Luke’s leadership style embraces collaboration and peacemaking.  He partners with other UMC pastors to support ministries with the poor and youth. He is committed to developing, training, and empowering laity to be discipleship-makers. He enjoys leading Bible studies with youth, young adults, and young parents and seeks to build affirming relationships with and among parishioners following the classic Wesleyan model for church community.  Luke eagerly looks forward to continuing his ministry with and among the congregation and as a partner in ministry with his wife who is Bakerstown’s children’s ministry director. 
 
About Bakerstown UMC
Bakerstown UMC has a 150-year tradition and presence in Gibsonia and surrounding suburban communities. It is a welcoming, age-diverse, forward-moving congregation seeking to learn, understand, and grow in faith and discipleship with a strong vision of community and world outreach. Traditional and blended worship experiences are enhanced by a strong music ministry of traditional and bell choirs and a praise band, as well as state of the art sound and visual equipment. Its Chapel in the Woods, dedicated to a 12-year-old girl, is an inviting place to spend quiet time, reflect on one’s relationship with God, celebrate baptisms and weddings, and have Bible study and other small group gatherings and discussions. Bakerstown has vital, growing children’s and youth ministries, creative theme-specific preschool and kindergarten summer camps, a separate Vacation Bible School, and extensive pre-school and pre-kindergarten programs that meet state standards for early childhood education. Spiritual formation, discipleship, and nurture ministries for people of all ages are available through Sunday school and small adult groups. This year the congregation will celebrate paying off the 2001 mortgage on its large, open, and inviting sanctuary.
 

Alice McClymonds to Serve Mt. Hope/Pine Grove

Announced: 04-16-2017

About Alice McClymonds
Alice M. McClymonds has been appointed to serve the Mt. Hope and Pine Grove UM Charge starting July 1, 2017.  Alice has been retired for the past two years, but has decided to once again serve God as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Her husband Seth is retired from the trucking business. They will continue to live in their home near Saegertown, Pa. Seth and Alice are blessed with four children and 16 grandchildren. (Their son Seth is pastor of First UMC in Bradford.)  Alice has served under appointment at Enterprise UMC, Shermansville UMC, Mumford Chapel UMC, Faith Geneva UMC, and Mt. Hope and Pine Grove Charge.  
 
About Mt. Hope/Pine Grove Charge
Mt. Hope and Pine Grove are two small rural churches near Meadville, Pa.  The congregations have a deep love for God and desire to reach out to their respective communities.  They both have an active UMW group that cares for others and ministers to the needy.  VBS is an important outreach program for all the children in their surrounding areas.  Mt. Hope offers a luncheon once a month where they receive an offering to support their mission outreach.
 

Mikell Named Assistant to the Bishop

Announced: 04-11-2017

About D. Renee Mikell
The Rev. Dr. Renee Mikell, currently pastor of West View UMC in Pittsburgh District, is second career clergy, having served in the Western Pennsylvania Conference for the past nine years. She is dedicated to lifelong learning and has sought to strengthen the local church through outreach, preaching, discipleship practices, spiritual growth, and fostering an inclusive awareness of God’s Kingdom at work among all people. Renee began as senior pastor at Albright UMC in 2008 while attending seminary. She has served congregations in Pittsburgh, Butler and Greensburg districts, has participated on Conference  committees and is also a member of the Alumni Council at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

While attending seminary in Atlanta, GA, she was student chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital. Renee has previously offered lay leadership for churches in Atlanta, serving as Sunday school teacher for children, planning and participating in outreach, working with teenage youth and seniors. From 1998 to 2004, she served as Transition Team Leader for the North Georgia Conference initiative to form an intentionally multi-cultural congregation. 
She served as a communications coordinator for a district UMW and received Special Mission Recognition Award from the General Board of Global Ministries.  As an elected lay leader, Renee traveled once to Port Harcourt, Nigeria where she served along with her pastor as member of a teaching and revival ministry team. She also initiated and led a daily Bible study ministry with homeless people at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.

A native of Western PA, Renee studied information science and spent 16 years pursuing a secular career. She worked as a business analyst and in business system development for Time-Warner, Turner Broadcasting; and in supervisory roles in application support analysis and automated scheduling. While in seminary in Atlanta and after returning home to complete her seminary education, she worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a Transportation Security Officer.  She is a 2010 graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary (2016) in Washington, D.C.  She also attended Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, GA after earning a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in the areas of Religion and Sociology. Her overseas travel has included trips to: Jamaica, Nigeria, Cairo, England, and most recently Zimbabwe for a six week cultural immersion project.

Renee enjoys bowling, music, reading, cooking, and travel.  As a pastor, preacher, teacher and mentor she finds joy when God allows her to witness spiritual growth and transformation in the lives of others. She also considers it an honor to participate. Renee is proud parent of two young adult sons Keenon and Kenneth.
 
About Assistant to Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi
The assistant to the Bishop handles administrative matters, sits on the Coordinating Cabinet, represents the Bishop on boards and at events when needed, and carries out many other ministry duties as assigned. 

Jodie Smith Named Franklin District Superintendent

Announced: 04-10-2017

About Jodie Smith
Jodie Smith has been appointed to serve as the Franklin District Superintendent as of July 1, 2017. Jodie, a native of New Castle, has been the senior pastor of the Redbank Valley United Methodist Ministry, a seven-church co-operative ministry in the New Bethlehem area of the Franklin District, since the co-op was formed in 2008. Jodie was instrumental in getting the churches to work together in planning, and sharing pastors in worship and leadership. The co-op under Jodie's leadership has lifted up and sent forth several people who now serve as local pastors in other churches.  Before her appointment to Redbank Valley, Jodie served White Chapel UMC from 1999-2008.

Jodie earned a B.S. degree in elementary education from Slippery Rock University. Her path to ministry included working as a secretary, legal secretary and in marketing for a manufacturing firm, all of which in one way or another prepared her for her call to ministry. Jodie received her Master of Divinity Degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained an Elder in 2005. She currently serves as the chair of the Franklin District Committee on Ministry as well as the District Superintendency Committee. Jodie’s gifts for ministry include preaching, teaching and administration. Her passion in ministry is outreach and getting the church beyond the walls of the church building, particularly to serve the homeless and those in need. Jodie is humbled by this appointment and looks forward to continuing to serve in the Franklin District and new and challenging ways!
 
About Franklin District Superintendent
The Franklin District is made up of 104 churches where nearly 6,000 people worship every weekend.  The churches are in small towns and rural areas.  They include large and small churches with just a few or many in attendance --places where teachers and farmers sit side by side in worship and fellowship.  These churches hold professors and truck drivers who all love the Lord and prayerfully live out their faith in their community and beyond. The district is the birthplace of the U.S. oil industry. Geographically, it extends from the Allegheny National Forest to the Ohio border. The historic French Creek, and the Allegheny, Clarion and Shenango rivers run through its valleys. The intersection of Interstates 80 & 79 further make the Franklin District the crossroads of Western Pennsylvania. 

Chris Morgan to serve as Interim Senior Pastor at Bethel Park: Christ

Announced: 04-09-2017

About Christopher A. Morgan
Christopher A. “Chris” Morgan has been appointed as Interim Senior Pastor at Christ UMC in Bethel Park, effective July 1, 2017. Interim appointments are sometimes made when congregations are in transition, such as at the end of a long pastoral appointment or when making critical changes in the size of staff or scope of ministry. Interim pastors are charged with focusing on specific administrative or pastoral responsibilities.  Once those specific tasks have been completed, the interim pastor may or may not be appointed to the church through the regular appointment process.

Chris has served as an associate pastor for eight years and as executive pastor since 2015. He preaches primarily at the contemporary worship service, and works with the youth ministry.  His personal mission is to share the love of God with everyone he encounters and help them to discern their gifts and God’s call on their lives.  Chris has an effervescent personality and a love for people.  He is highly relational, builds and nurtures effective ministry teams, and works well with all people. He is organized and sees administration and leadership as his principal pastoral gifts. As executive pastor, Chris’ responsibilities include managing a staff of more than 20 and overseeing Christ Church’s $3.9 million capital building and missions campaign, which is scheduled for completion on time at Easter. Beyond the local church, Chris serves on the Conference Episcopacy Committee and the Keystone United Methodist Credit Union board. Previously, he was a member of Connectional Leadership Table and served as chairperson of its Nurture Committee. He also is involved in the South Hills Interfaith Movement, an ecumenical ministry. Chris’ wife, Jennifer, is employed as a receptionist at Christ Church. They have two daughters. Chris is excited for the opportunity to continue to work with Associate Pastor Seth McPherson, a tremendous staff, and a theologically diverse congregation.  He looks forward to strengthening and growing the traditional and contemporary worship services as the congregation moves forward in its new season of expanding vision, ministry, mission, and community and global engagement.
 
 
About Bethel Park: Christ UMC
Christ UMC is located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Bethel Park near South Hills Village. It has a large, diverse congregation and offers traditional and contemporary worship experiences on Saturday and Sunday, enhanced by an excellent music ministry through adult, children, youth, and bell choirs and a praise band.  The congregation’s GROWednesday ministry for children, youth and adults is active and vibrant, offering a food, fellowship, classes, and a communion service. Throughout the week, Christ Church offers a wide array of spiritual formation, discipleship, and nurture ministries for people of all ages, including Sunday school, state-certified children’s and adult daycares, men’s and women’s Bible studies, singles ministry, monthly adult luncheon fellowships, year-round recreation and fitness programs, and special community programs, including interfaith panels, symposiums on racial issues, homelessness, and the epidemic of drug overdoses. The congregation strongly supports outreach and mission through its participation in Volunteers in Mission, the South Hills Interfaith Movement and Family Promise. It provides substantial funding for Eighth Avenue Place’s urban ministry and partners with the UM Church Union to meet the needs of children and adults living in poverty in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.  The Nyadire Connection, a significant global partnership between United Methodists in southwestern Pennsylvania and the Nyadire UM Mission in rural Zimababwe, grew out of this congregation's work with UMCOR to renovate and support the mission hospital. Today TNC continues to work with the hospital, most recently raising funds to rebuild a network of six rural health clinics, and also seeks to meet needs identified by Zimbabweans working with children at the mission's primary and secondary schools, an orphanage, the teacher’s college, and nursing school. This Easter, Christ UMC's congregation will celebrate completion of a $3.9 million capital building and mission support campaign.  
 

Fehl to Serve Corry First UMC

Announced: 04-09-2017

About Jonathan J. Fehl
Jonathan has a passion for seeing how God is moving in Western Pennsylvania and throughout the world. Between growing up as the son of an Air Force pilot and serving as a missionary in Mozambique, he has lived on four different continents, and God has used those experiences to plant in him a heart for the world. After earning a degree in history and classics at the University of Florida, he proposed to his wife Katherine on the beach in Mozambique. They moved to Kentucky, where he earned an M.Div. and a Th.M. in World Missions from Asbury Seminary. When they moved to Pennsylvania, he served as associate pastor at Crossroads Church,  leading campuses in Bridgeville and East Liberty, as well as helping to develop leaders and ministries at the North Fayette campus. Since 2013, he has served at Bethany Church in Latrobe, where he focused on renewing the church’s love for the community and desire to reach those who are far from God. He has a passion to equip the people of the church to do the ministry of the church. Jonathan and Katherine have two sons and two daughters, ranging in age from 3 to 13.
 
About Corry: First UMC
The congregation of First UMC of Corry, PA was first established in the 1860’s.  In 1994, the congregation caught a vision to be a church equipped to meet the needs of a changing culture.  They sold their aging, landlocked building and built a new completely accessible facility with ample parking and a sanctuary equipped to support emerging worship styles. The church has a strong Sunday School, is engaged in the community in a number of ways, is technologically adept, has a long history of support for local and international mission, and embraces an active and growing youth group.  They are led by the Holy Spirit, grounded in the Scripture and willing to take risks to reach God’s people, supporting their mission statement, “Transforming the World Through the Love of Jesus Christ.”
 

Hargraves to Serve Brownsville First/California Charge

Announced: 04-09-2017

About Dawn R. Hargraves
Dawn Hargraves, currently serving in extension ministry as the Washington District coordinator of Community-based Ministry and Racial Inclusion, will serve as pastor of both California and Brownsville First United Methodist churches, effective July 1. A graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Social Work, Dawn earned an MSW at the University of Pittsburgh and worked as a social worker with Odyssey Health Care in Pittsburgh and as a community organizer for the Mon Valley Initiative before becoming a Licensed Local Pastor. Since she was licensed to serve the local church in 2011, Dawn has been an associate pastor at the Greater Purpose Charge, lead pastor at the McDonald/Noblestown Charge, and associate pastor at United Community Charge.  Dawn is a member of the Conference’s Connectional Leadership Table.  Called to ministry at the age of 10, Dawn likens it to seeing the lights of a football stadium at night off in the distance, but unsure of what she was being called to. Dawn is quick to say her life has “been transformed by God’s love” and “God’s amazing grace.”  Her gifts of administration, leadership and healing have enabled Dawn to serve well in the places where God has set her apart. She is passionate about social justice, equity, the dismantling of racism, and "others" God has created, including those who were once a part of the church but have drifted away.  Dawn and her husband Scott, whom she affectionately describes as her best friend, have two children – Talon, 15, and Lillian, 11. Scott, a.k.a. Dr. Hargraves, is an associate professor and coordinator of clinical education for the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at California University of Pennsylvania.  

 
About Brownsville First/California Charge
Located on two sides of the Monongahela River, Brownsville First and California United Methodist churches have more than the river in common. Bothhave a rich history of proclaiming Christ and his love in the Mon Valley.  Beginning July 1, they will begin a future as a new two-point charge serving the Mon Valley.  Committed to proclaiming the Good News of God’s love made known in Jesus as they care for each other and those in their communities, members of the soon-to-be-formed charge look forward to helping others experience the life-changing difference Jesus can make in people's lives.  The churches share a mission field ripe with opportunities to reach out beyond the walls of their buildings to residents of area nursing homes where they already are engaged in meaningful ministry; students at California University where members are faculty members and administrators, and people affected by the decline of the coal, steel and other industries and in need of hope for a brighter tomorrow.
 

Lee Appointed to Cooperstown Charge

Announced: 04-09-2017

About Hae Seon Lee
Hae Seon was born in Pyonteak, Republic of Korea. Three months after his birth, his parents, Seong Sang and Mi Hae ,were sent as missionaries by the Korean Methodist Church to Sri Lanka. Hae Seon grew up in Sri Lanka before attending high school in Pohang, Republic of Korea. He completed his BA in History and BA in Philosophy at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and will finish his Master of Divinity Degree at Drew University this May. He has served as youth pastor in New York at Plainview UMC and Korean UMC of Staten Island and as a seminary intern at Livingston UMC. He hopes to apply the things he has learned in his new ministry.
 
About Cooperstown Charge
This charge is made up of three churches -- Cooperstown, Franklin: Bethel and Bradleytown. These are vibrant churches with unique ministries and personalities.  Together they see over 170 people worshiping on a weekend.  There is strong lay leadership in worship and in the ministries of each church through service, witness and prayer.  Each church is a very important place in its community and serves the rural area through outreach, worship, mission, VBS, Bible Study and compassionate acts.  Together the congregations are excited to be moving into a new chapter of ministry with Hae Seon Lee as pastor.
 

Matthew Scott Appointed to Ebensburg

Announced: 04-09-2017

About Matthew C. Scott
Matthew C. Scott is a newly certified Candidate for Ministry who is in the process of completing Licensing School. Matt is on the Deacon’s track with a particular emphasis in worship leadership and missions and will start work toward a Master of Divinity degree at United Theological Seminary in the Fall of 2017.  Matt earned a Bachelor of Arts in music from Slippery Rock University in December 2015 and currently leads the praise and worship service at Ebensburg UMC, as well as the RISE service at Garfield Street UMC (part of the United for God Cooperative in Johnstown).  He also oversees the musical technology for these two worship sites. Matt is already leads the youth group at Ebensburg and is planning the church's 2017 mission trip. As Matt moves into the associate pastor position at Ebensburg UMC, in addition to his current responsibilities at the church, he will be the primary preacher at two new satellite locations, the Saint Michael’s U.M. Church and the Lilly U.M. Church.   He also will assist Senior Pastor J.R. Virgin with pastoral care and administration for Ebensburg U.M. and its four satellite locations. Matt recently completed his first six-year contract with the Army National Guard and will continue to serve in the 28th Division Band.  In June 2017, Matt will marry Alyssa, his high school sweetheart. 
 
About Ebensburg UMC
Ebensburg United Methodist Church is a vital, growing church that is effectively reaching new people for Jesus!  The church holds two worship services on Sunday morning and has a growing Sunday School.  In addition, the church has a 6:34 p.m. (Psalm 63:4) contemporary worship service on Saturday led by the Praise Band Illuminate the Way.  For the last several years, the church also has offered a Sunday morning service on the nearby St. Francis University campus where 35-40 students worship with a live praise band and worship leaders, then receive the morning message from the Ebensburg Church via livestream. Beginning on July 1, 2017, the Ebensburg U.M. Church will add nearby Lilly UMC and St. Michael UMC as part of its ministry network.  As these existing churches link up in ministry with Ebensburg, the sphere of positive mission and ministry will be extended into neighboring communities for the sake of making new disciples for Jesus Christ!  The Rev. J.R. Virgin, senior pastor, will continue to provide ministry leadership for the Ebensburg U.M. Church as well as its new and existing satellite sites. He looks forward to working with Matt Scott as the new associate pastor.   
 

Allan Brooks to Serve Chippewa UMC

Announced: 04-02-2017

About Allan Brooks
Allan K. Brooks, who has served as the Franklin District Superintendent since 2015, has been appointed as the Lead Pastor of Chippewa UMC effective May 1, 2017. Allan and his wife Cheryl, a developmental therapist currently working in mental health rehabilitation in Butler, have two daughters: Carly, who will be married to Max Marze this summer, and Maggie, who will graduate from the University of Pittsburgh main campus in May.  Allan has served churches in Pittsburgh, Warren, Fredonia/Big Bend and First UMC of Johnstown, a United Methodist Historic Landmark.  Allan was Lead Pastor at Baldwin Community UMC from 2007 – 2015, leading the congregation back to spiritual and financial health.  The church was able to move into different styles of worship in four worships times, held three capital campaigns to update their building and replaced the 70-year-old heating system.  In the 1980’s he ran the Pittsburgh Youth Basketball League for suburban and inner-city youth.  Allan has co-led camping programs for inner-city youth, taking them backpacking and canoeing.  He also served in New Jersey at Ocean Grove Camp Meeting as Director of Children and Youth.  At Ocean Grove, he was able to launch new programs, basketball outreach, beach festivals and produce Christian concerts with Third Day, Michael W. Smith, Jeremy Camp and others. He was the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference staff, implementing Safe Sanctuary policies across the state and running youth leadership events.  Allan has a  degree in theater, is on the Wall of Fame at Little Lake Theatre, has acted in many shows and also started two community theaters during his ministry.
 
About Chippewa United Methodist Church
The Chippewa United Methodist Church has been an influential presence in the Greater Beaver Falls area for more than 200 years. Since its origins as the first Methodist meeting north of the Ohio River, the congregation has faithfully sought to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Once a rural community, Chippewa has seen many changes and is now in the midst of continuing suburban growth. The people of Chippewa are resilient in their faith and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead as they face them with the Spirit and Savior who leads them.
 

Meekins to Lead New McKeesport Charge

Announced: 04-02-2017

About William B. Meekins Jr.

William B. Meekins, Jr., has a commitment to local and global mission, inclusiveness, and connecting with God’s people across socio-economic, theological, and racial barriers. He has lived this out in many ways as a pastor, district superintendent, and leader in the Conference, the Northeastern Jurisdiction and at the denominational level. He currently sits on the United Methodist Church's Connectional Table, which works to ensure that the denomination's energy and resources are focused  on increasing vital congregations by developing principled Christian leaders, creating new places for new people, engaging in ministries with the poor, and improving global health. He also serves on the Northeastern Jurisdiction's Committee on Investigations.  Previously he served on the UMC's General Board of Global Ministries and has an extensive understanding of global mission and diverse cultures through travel to several continents. William has served the past three years as assistant to the Bishop, carrying out numerous duties and representing the office at events and with ecumenical organizations. Previously William served eight years as Superintendent of the Greensburg District and eight years as senior pastor of Garden City UMC, a racially diverse congregation in Monroeville. Early in his ministry he served congregations on Pittsburgh's North Side and has been a board member of Bethany House ministries. William also has served many years as a chaplain at area Veterans Administration facilities. William earned his Master of Divinity at Gammon Theological Seminary and currently serves as a member of its Board of Trustees. William has fond memories of his years serving in the camping program as a dean for many years. He once was a runner, but said that now he "only walks.”

About McKeesport Charge

With joy and anticipation, a new model of ministry is being launched in the McKeesport area with the appointed of the Rev. William B. Meekins, Jr as the lead pastor at the new McKeesport Charge. The charge will include: Calvary UMC, where William's late father once served as pastor; Beulah Park, Christy Park, First, Kephart, and Wesley UMCs. With William’s experience, leadership, and knowledge of the area, and the assistance of other appointed clergy, the six churches will explore together how best to engage in shared ministry and revitalization in the McKeesport area. Each of the congregations has strengths on which to build as together they address the challenges of ministry in an area still suffering from the loss of a once-thriving steel industry that provided well-paying jobs for a diverse population. The shared ministry model is expected to not only strengthen the ministries of the churches as they build relationships and make disciples for Jesus, but also benefit the McKeesport community.


Pam Ramsey Appointed Lower Burrell Associate

Announced: 04-02-2017

About Pamela C. Ramsey
Pam, who will serve as an associate pastor at Bethel UMC in Lower Burrell, describes her journey with God as a circuitous route. When she was called 12 years ago to sing with a praise and worship team, Pam had no idea where it would take her.  In 2010, Pam started Disciple Bible Class and began building a stronger relationship with God. This was her saving grace as her life quickly changed: She received a diagnosis of liver cancer, a subsequent transplant, and her marriage disolved. As Pam explains it: "At this time in my life I was so covered by my Lord, my family of Christian brothers and sister, and God’s Word, that my faith in Him lead me through the valley of the shadow of death.  My marriage had fallen apart, and it wasn't long before I had a liver transplant and again the Lord covered me through my illness. I was the recipient of what I perceived as miracles, tremendous blessings in healing. In the midst of that I heard a call from my Lord that, He has a greater plan for me.  I didn’t know what that meant, but I felt it was to continually move forward in His name, so I have." Pam completed four years of Disciple Bible Study and is in her third year as a facilitator. She has also completed four lay ministry classes, Stephen Ministries class, and Leadership Training.  She recently completed Licensing School. During this time Pam has preached as a certified lay speaker in various United Methodist churches.  In October 2016, she was hired as the Youth Director at Bethel United Methodist Church in Lower Burrell, PA. 
About Lower Burrell: Bethel
Bethel UMC in Lower Burrell is a church with a long history of ministry to children and youth.  There are Sunday school groups of all ages including elementary, middle school, and high school age students.  The Sunday evening youth group is now blessed with a new youth pastor in Pam Ramsey.  Bethel’s ministry to their youth is one of the many opportunities to make disciples who will transform the world. 
 

Terry Brown Appointed to New Ireland

Announced: 04-02-2017

About Terry T. Brown
Terry T. Brown is a licensed local pastor currently serving the Diamond / Enterprise Charge. Terry has served Diamond for six years and joined with Enterprise three years ago years. Prior to completing Licensing School in 2011, Terry was a Certified Lay Speaker and preached in many small churches throughout the Erie-Meadville District. He also taught Junior/Senior/Adult Sunday school classes for 38 years at Valley Church in Conneautville. Terry loves and appreciates the small church and its family atmosphere. His strengths are preaching, singing and teaching. A Navy veteran and retired industrial electrician, Terry and his wife Kathy will celebrate 45 years of marriage in August. They have two children and five grandsons.
 
About New Ireland/ Lake Pleasant Charge
The New Ireland and Lake Pleasant United Methodist churches are staples in the community. New Ireland was founded in 1876 and Lake Pleasant in 1871.  Both churches have their roots in the Evangelical United Brethren tradition, and both have served the community well since their birth.  They are in rural places and draw their membership from the hills and farms of the region.  The congregations are made up of people filled with a spirit of cooperation and harmony who find great meaning as they serve our Lord through serving others.
 

Tickle Appointed to Fairview UMC

Announced: 04-02-2017

About Jack Tickle
Jack Tickle has been serving as the pastor of South Greensburg UMC since graduating from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2013.  Previously he served two years as a youth minister with some pastoral responsibilities at Irwin First UMC and before that interned at his home church, Holiday Park UMC, primarily leading children and young adult ministries. Jack earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications: Emerging Tech & Multimedia with focuses on video editing, graphic design, and audio system management. He has a passion for reaching people where they are, as well as equipping and encouraging others to find their unique place in the body of Christ. He has a deep appreciation for a variety of worship styles, approaches to ministry, and engaging in ministry with people of all ages and walks of life. He believes the best way to reach people is through genuine love for all, recognizing everyone’s sacred worth in God’s eyes. This June, Jack will be ordained at Annual Conference. Jack considers his family as part of his ministry team!
 
About Fairview UMC
The Fairview United Methodist Church, in a small town west of the city of Erie and not far from Lake Erie, exists for the purpose of fulfilling the vision of Christ as stated in the Great Commission.  We are under divine obligation to make disciples, baptize children and adults, and teach them the Word of God. The church has two worship services: The Ignite Service, a contemporary service with a praise team, and a traditional service. Fairview offers a variety of opportunities for small groups to come together, including adult Sunday School and Bible study. There is a wonderful library with an abundance of material for spiritual growth. The United Methodist Women plan and promote programs and activities for the congregation. The church offers both a children’s ministry and a youth group. 
 

Bill Beatty Appointed to Warren: Grace UMC

Announced: 03-26-2017

About William "Bill" Beatty
Bill has been appointed to serve Grace United Methodist Church in Warren, PA effective July 1, 2017. Bill is a native of Kane and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Education and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Bill has served as an interim pastor at Hill Memorial UMC in Bradford, the Brockport Charge, Warren: First UMC as an associate, Christ: Bethel Park as an associate, Pittsfield: Otterbein UMC and Corry: First UMC. The four gifts that are consistently identified in Bill’s ministry are preaching, teaching, mercy and faith. He loves to preach, to lead Bible study and lead worship, and he has a love for people and a desire to see them grow into all that God has for them. Bill and Lori will celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary this June and they have two daughters, Rachel who is a freshman and Eliana who is in 7th grade.
 
About Warren: Grace UMC
Warren: Grace UMC is a place where the congregation strives “to know Christ and make him known.” The church is known for their strong music program and longstanding commitment to missions—supporting missions through prayer, finances and hands-on work. Teams make annual mission trips to Red Bird in Kentucky. Worship is a central part of life at Grace UMC which offers three differently styled services each Sunday. They also reach out into their community through a food pantry, dinners, and distribution of free hats, mittens and gloves.
 
 

Bob Ellson Appointed to Mount Pleasant

Announced: 03-26-2017

About Robert V. Ellson
Bob and his wife Jill have been members of First UMC in Murrysville for 32 years and Bob is currently appointed as the Associate Pastor there.  After an enjoyable and rewarding business career, Bob answered God’s call into full-time vocational ministry 10 years ago. Walking through the process towards ordination and being nurtured by his home church has been a joy and a blessing. Bob and Jill look forward to the next chapter in their ministry together serving God with the good people at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church.

Bob has a BA and an MBA degree from Robert Morris University and is currently completing studies at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary for a Master of Divinity degree. His wife Jill  earned both a bachelor's and master of science degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania to become a speech pathologist and audiologist. She is currently employed as a speech therapist in early childhood intervention for a human services organization in Pittsburgh. Bob and Jill have two adult children, Cassandra and Joshua, and in June they will welcome a daughter-in-law, Frankie, into the family.
 
About Mount Pleasant UMC
Mount Pleasant UMC is known as the "clock tower church" because of the 4-faced clock which towers above the town and is a landmark for the community. Mount Pleasant is a congregation of faith-filled followers of Jesus who are passionate about missions (both local and national) and engaging young families in the life of the church. They have a strong music program, are a caring and nurturing congregation, provide practical ministries to people in the church and community, and have a strong UMW presence. This active lay-driven congregation is open to new ideas and its people are excited about following God's new direction for their church.

Ed Gresick Appointed to Grampian Charge

Announced: 03-26-2017

About Edmund C. Gresick
Rev. Ed Gresick was a history teacher, enforcement officer for the PA Fish Commission and a Navy Gunner's Mate among other occupations before attending Duke Divinity School and entering pastoral ministry. He has served churches in the Kane, Franklin and Erie-Meadville districts since 1992 when he was appointed to the Mt. Jewett Charge. He later served Stoneboro Charge, Sugar Lake Charge, Franklin: Grace, and Titusville First UMC. 
 
About Grampian Charge
The Grampian Circuit consists of four churches (Saint Paul, Hepburnia, Chestnut Grove, and Curry Run) located on the eastern fringe of the Indiana District.  The churches of the charge are each proud of their history in the rural communities where they reside.  One of their strongest outreaches is the annual gently-used clothing give-away which takes place two weeks before school starts in late summer.  This event draws in large numbers of families from a 35-mile radius.  Free backpacks are also distributed to children at this time.  The charge is also active in the Community Vacation Bible School sponsored by the Grampian Ministerial Association.  Over 150 students take part, ranging in age from pre-K to 90s, with a class dedicated to adults.  The congregations have a deep appreciation of intersecting with the community as evidenced in strong participation in Relay for Life, Grampian Days planning, and other civic-oriented events.
 

Rex Wasser To Serve Lower Burrell: Bethel UMC

Announced: 03-26-2017

About Rex Wasser

Rex Wasser has a lot of experience in our Conference, having served churches in five different districts over 31 years. He grew up in a parsonage, worked on summer camp staff, and did a two-year stint as a home missionary. He served as dean of camps a Jumonville for 25 years and is a section leader at Annual Conference. Presently serving the Greenville UM Ministry, Rex is excited by the opportunities at Lower Burrell.  He has an adult son and daughter and a delightful grandson who are the joy of his life.


 
About Lower Burrell: Bethel UMC

Bethel UMC is a Christian community of faith that sees itself as active and committed, joyful, loving and caring in service. They have a strong ministry with children and youth and support a number of outreach and mission efforts. They are working to develop a vision for the future focusing on making disciples for Jesus.


 

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