2018 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Sorted by Announced Date

Brauer to serve Coolspring/Ramsaytown

Announced: 06-03-2018

About Donald R. Brauer
Donald R. Brauer was born and raised on Long Island, NY. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the Navy and served as a ship's electrician aboard a rescue/salvage ship operating along the coast of Vietnam during that war.  After returning home, he worked as a laborer, factory mechanic, janitor, and graphic artist.

After receiving Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, Don attended Franciscan University and later Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  Before retiring in 2017, he served the churches of the Juneau Charge/Indiana Dist., Johnstown: Calvary UMC/Johnstown Dist., and McMasters/Turtle Creek UMC/Greensburg Dist.

Don married his wife Debbie 30 years ago in the same month and year that he graduated from Franciscan University.  They are the parents of two adult children, Abby and Paul.
About Coolspring/Ramseytown Charge

Loughman To Serve at Butler First UMC

Announced: 06-03-2018

About Hannah Loughman
Hannah Loughman is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where she received the Paul T. Gerrard award given to the graduating student who shows the most promise in pastoral care and homiletics.  She is certainly proving herself worthy of such an award. As a pastor Hannah seeks to help people see the love of God within themselves and others and the grace of Jesus offered to them on the cross.

Serving the Bridgeville and Houston UM churches the past few years, Hannah has led them in experiencing renewed vitality. “It is exciting to witness two communities from different walks of life come together letting the Holy Spirit bind them,” she says. In worship Hannah practices a heart-filled practical worship style that makes the scripture come alive for those present. Hannah looks forward to moving to Butler and will bring a mixture of energy, integrity, and intensity that inspires others to want to know God more.
 
Hannah hopes to be a bridge builder within the community and possesses a vision that the church will be a place that the entire community, not just individuals, turns to for their needs. As she puts it, “I wish for people to see that they have the love and grace of Christ within them and so does everyone else and that in the end, love really is all that matters!” 

Hannah believes that in faith it all boils down to a person’s relationship with Jesus Christ.  “A relationship with Jesus is what is necessary in this life and for the next,”
she says. 
 
Hannah and her husband Todd are the parents of son Owyn and daughter Jordyn. Hannah is the daughter of Rev. Bruce and Bonnie Judy and sister of Rev. Justin Judy and Pastor Jacob Judy.
 
About Butler First United Methodist Church
Butler First UMC is a growing community of believers where Jesus Christ changes lives. The church sees as its mission growing people to Christ-like maturity through on-going personal involvement in worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism. Butler First is one church with three campuses, each offering a different style of worship. The downtown campus offers three weekend blended traditional services – one on Saturday evening and two on Sunday morning. The Connection Center, also downtown, offers a country music-based worship called God’s Country, also on Saturday evening. Four miles north of downtown is the Crossfire campus, offering modern-style worship on Sunday morning. Although Butler has established a reputation based on different worship styles, their growth group ministries and community-based ministries are the real heartbeat of church life. Regardless of station in life, all are welcome and all can find a church home at Butler First.
 

McDaid To Serve Scenery Hill UMC

Announced: 06-03-2018

About Patricha A. McDaid
Patty’s call to ministry began while working as the church secretary at Jefferson Avenue United
Methodist Church.  Talking with the church’s pastor, John Hoffman about what it meant to
make disciples, Patty began a journey that led to her enrolling in a class entitled “Accountable
Discipleship” as part of the District Lay Servants School. Seeking the Lord’s guidance and
direction for her life, Patty reached the place, as many do, where she felt God was calling her
to become a pastor in the local church.
As a lay person at the church, while still working as the church secretary, Patty’s ministries included: Chair of the Christian Education program, Vice President and Secretary of the United Methodist Women, Church Council Secretary, Adult Sunday School teacher, Leader of Disciple 1 – 3 Bible Studies, and Lay Speaker, among others.

Patty enrolled in and graduated from Local Pastor’s Licensing School in 2015.  It was also in
2015 Patty received her first appointment to Midway and Federal UMCs on the Washington
District.  Using her God-given gifts of administration, teaching, and leadership Patty’s desire is
to carry out God’s will and to serve the people of God in the community where she is appointed
by engaging them in ministry and mission in order to demonstrate to everyone that God loves them and is always there.

Patty’s appointment to Scenery Hill is as a part-time local pastor.  Patty is employed full-time at DDI, Inc., Bridgeville, Pa where she likens her work as a “minister and missionary” to her co-workers and those whom they serve. Patty is married to Barry. The McDaid’s make their home in Washington, PA.  When contacted about her upcoming appointment Patty’s first word was “Awesome!”  Patty is grateful to serve the Lord through The United Methodist Church!
 
 
About
Located on historic Route 40, surrounded by some of the most beautiful farmland you’ll see
anywhere in Western Pennsylvania, Scenery Hill United Methodist Church is a church with a
rich history and a heart to make Jesus known to others so they can experience the redeeming grace and love of God and the difference it makes in a person's life. Like many local churches in Western Pennsylvania, Scenery Hill may have fewer people in attendance than it once had, but those who attend faithfully do all they can to continue to be a presence for Jesus in the community, especially for those in need. 

The congregation is blessed with gifted lay speakers and there is a hunger to engage the community in missions.  The same hunger is expressed for Bible study and preaching that transforms lives.  To a person, those who make up the Scenery Hill church community know what it means to work hard and to give the Lord their best.
 

McIlvaine to Serve Muhleman Memorial

Announced: 06-03-2018

About Steven C. McIlvaine
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will appoint Steven C. “Steve” McIlvaine, to serve at Muhleman Memorial UMC, effective July 1, 2018.  This is Steve’s first appointment since completing Local Pastor Licensing School in March of this year.
 
Steve became associated with Trinity UMC in Erie at age 5.  As his family moved, he became involved in other United Methodist churches in Clarion and Shippenville. Since 2012, he has been a member of Murrysville UMC. He credits his active involvement and participation in Murrysville’s youth, prayer, and outreach ministries as helping him grow in love of God and that love grow in him. 
 
He enjoys Bible studies for the opportunities to learn and understand the basis for his faith in God and to share fellowship with others in a small group setting.  He enjoys participating in all types of outreach ministries and going on mission work trips.  Recently, he led a mission trip to Spirit Lake, ND, where the team painted and helped the Dakota Tribe build handicap ramps.  
 
Steve has a heart for children and persons struggling with addictions because he wants them to know that God’s grace is for them, too. 
 
He is employed in the custom wood products industry, specializing in kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. His hobbies include house renovation projects and working on cars. 
 
Steve and his wife Rebecca are the parents of four children and the grandparents of two. They value time with family.  
 
About Muhleman Memorial UMC
Since1914, Muhleman Memorial has been at its present location in the diverse community of North Braddock known the "Birthplace of Steel" because Andrew Carnegie opened his Edgar Thomson Steel Works there in 1875.  After the closure of the steel mills in the 1980’s, North Braddock became an economically distressed area, but glimpses of revitalization are beginning to appear. 

The congregation is an aging, small worshipping community that welcomes everyone, including persons in a nearby group home. There is a wonderful, caring spirit in the congregation. While most members live nearby, a few travel a distance to attend. 

The congregation gathers for traditional worship service on Sunday at 10 a.m. and is intentional about including all participants in worship. Its strengths include Bible studies and hospitality.  The congregation faithfully continues to collect food, clothing, and Christmas packages for Deborah House, a shelter for women and children in Braddock.
 
The congregation desires for its church to again become an active center of community life. Its goals are to reach out and minister to its neighbors; remain a strong nurturing place for members, friends, and guests; increase membership; and become financially sustainable.  It currently seeks to partner with area UM churches and other faith communities in ministry and community outreach.
 

Thomas to Serve at Baldwin UMC

Announced: 06-03-2018

About Ginger Thomas
Ginger A. Thomas, an Elder in North Carolina Conference, will begin serving as Associate Pastor at Baldwin Community UMC on July 1, 2018.   Rev. Thomas relocated to the Pittsburgh area five years ago and is currently appointed to extension ministry with Fully Alive Retreat Ministries in Pittsburgh.
 
A graduate of Duke Divinity School, she has received additional training in Spiritual Formation and Clinical Pastoral Education. She is a gifted preacher and received Duke Divinity School’s Jameson Jones Preaching Award. 
 
One of her principal ministry strengths is spiritual formation.  She has served as retreat team leader in The Upper Room Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation, facilitated a Spiritual formation workshop at Mifflin Avenue UMC, and at women’s retreats.
 
Her excellent administrative skills were honed as Associate Pastor of Epworth UMC (Durham, NC) Co-Pastor of Trinity UMC (Louisburg, NC) and Co-Pastor/Pastor of the Congregation at Duke Memorial UMC (Durham, NC).  She has developed a thriving young adult ministry.
 
In Pittsburgh, Rev. Thomas has served as Coordinator of Worship Activities for Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church. She also has served as a children’s Sunday School teacher and a Bible study leader at Fox Chapel Faith UMC.
 
Rev. Thomas enjoys a cup of coffee, journal writing, singing and listening to music, completing a crossword, reading novels, and creative crocheting. She and husband Roger Owens, Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality and Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, are the parents of three children.  
 
She looks forward to meeting and being in ministry with the senior/lead pastor and people of Baldwin Community.  

 
About Baldwin Community UMC
Baldwin Community UMC, a large suburban church in Pittsburgh's South Hills, has a heart for urban ministry and community outreach.  Its strengths include worship, discipleship formation, pastoral care, community outreach, strong volunteerism, and outstanding laity leadership.
 
It offers traditional worship services at 5:30 pm on Saturday, where Communion is celebrated weekly, and on Sunday at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.  The Chancel Choir provides an outstanding music ministry at the 11 a.m. worship service.  The 9:30 Sunday worship service, called “Engage,” is focused on unique music, imagery, intercessory prayer, discussion, and small groups to spark spiritual passion and connection with community.
 
Baldwin’s vision as a “sending forth” church is centered in a “Connect, Grow, Serve, Go” discipleship plan.  Pastor-and laity-led Bible studies, small group ministries, Sunday school for persons of all ages, youth ministry, and adult and children youth music programs are other parts of the congregation’s discipleship formation ministry.
 
Baldwin Community collaborates with Eighth Avenue Ministry in Homestead and United Methodist Church Union’s school reading and youth mentoring ministry. It engages the community through its Neighbor Helping Neighbor program that offers minor repair and building services, clothing ministry, community kids’ VBS, and Food Pantry.  Other community and ecumenical endeavors include participation in the South Hills Interfaith Movement, hosting the Developed Local Ministerium, and cooperation with Whitehall Library, Brothers Brother, and Daily Bread (Northside).
 
The congregation supports The Nyadire Connection (TNC), which partners with the people of the  Nyadire United Methodist Mission in Zimbabwe to support a hospital, orphanage, nursing school, preschool through high school education, teacher’s college, farm, and renovation of six rural clinics.
 
Baldwin Community’s national and global mission activities include supporting Bread for the World, sending work teams to Red Bird (KY), and providing financial support of other local, national, and global organizations.
 
Its goals include launching more small group ministries and expanding its food ministry known as The Lord's Pantry Ministry.
 

Walker to Serve Bridgeville, Houston UMCs

Announced: 06-03-2018

About Brenda Walker
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will appoint Brenda K. Walker as Senior Pastor at Houston First UMC and Bridgeville First UMC effective July 1, 2018.   Pastor Brenda’s personal mission statement is “Inspired by the Spirit, I seek to create safe spaces for others to explore their faith through art, worship, study, and fellowship.” 
 
Brenda’s gifts include discipleship, preaching, worship design, administration, and mentoring.   She is comfortable leading traditional and contemporary worship experiences.  She considers it a privilege to have been able to guide people in their exploration of faith in single and multiple-point charges in suburban, urban, and large and small church ministry settings.
 
One of her strengths is the ability to engage with people of different ages, experiences, and cultures. Inspired by her belief that God is calling her to lead the church in making connections with a diversity of people and making new disciples, Brenda is intentional about developing personal relationships with laity leaders, creating age-diverse leadership teams, collaborating on new ideas, and providing opportunities for reflection.  She has served as an interim pastor in a cross-cultural setting at Chinese Community UMC in Oakland, CA.
 
Brenda is a life-long learner whose spiritual disciplines are prayer, meditation, study, and service.  She is passionate about meeting, connecting, and engaging new people, sharing God’s story of grace and unconditional love, and helping a diversity of people grow in their faith.
 
She effectively empowers and equips lay people in leadership and builds and is intentional about creating space for conversation.  Recently, she designed and facilitated an event named “Dinner and Conversations of Faith” to encourage discussion about difficult topics in a relaxed safe environment.
 
During her ministry as an ordained Elder, Brenda has designed successful stewardship campaigns for capital improvements and to meet operating expenses; facilitated training for volunteer teams; initiated and fostered community partnerships to provide weekly low-cost meals; and launched a weekly youth gathering in partnership with parents from the community.  In her current appointment, she organized an annual Christian education event with an average attendance of 80.  
 
Brenda is the mother of two adult sons who live in the Pittsburgh area.  She is an avid reader of all literary genres and also enjoys movies, cycling, and hosting gatherings at her house.
 
About Houston First /Bridgeville First UMCs
Houston First UMC, begun as a branch of the Canonsburg Methodist Church in 1894 in the Washington County  borough of Houston, is a welcoming, caring, and growing congregation “centered on faith in Jesus Christ.”  The congregation has a strong focus on children and youth and is blessed with strong, gifted, and generous lay leadership. 

Its blended worship service on Sunday at 11 a.m., enhanced by an awesome music minister, has a wonderful Spirit-filled rhythm. The congregation’s expanding children and youth ministry includes their worship on Sunday and VBS. 
 
Lay-lead and pastor-led Bible studies; a mentoring ministry; small group ministries; adult, family, women’s, men’s, and senior citizens programs and fellowships, and an active UMW round out opportunities for discipleship formation and growth. 

The congregation’s community involvement extends beyond its small geographic borders. 
It participates in Meals on Wheels, Poverty Circles and Interfaith Hospitality Network programs; builds handicap accessible ramps; and does small building and repair jobs as part of its “neighbor helping neighbor” ministry.  The congregation’s dedicated volunteers perform work for area organizations.
 
In addition, the congregation responds to needs of others through its clothing, feeding, Food Pantry, and health and support ministries.  It supports local, national, and global charitable organizations, and The UMC’s Advance Specials, as well as being engaged in other mission work.

Bridgeville First UMC is located in one of Bridgeville’s three principal residential areas, surrounded by a thriving business district.  Many of the community's 5,116 people are life-long residents and there is a growing number of young families. It is a welcoming congregation, where all people can discover their faith and discipleship, experience the joy of Christ’s love, and grow in their Christian faith.
 
Bridgeville First's strengths include active adult and older adult ministries, committed laity, and community outreach. The people of Bridgeville First value the importance of service and stewardship as an expression of thankfulness to God.
 
Discipleship is nurtured during a Saturday 6 p.m. contemporary worship service, a 9:15 a.m. Sunday traditional worship service, Sunday school at 10:15 a.m., pastor-led Bible studies, prayer gatherings, and a shoe-box ministry for shut-ins.  They value working together in the Spirit of Christ to nurture everyone regardless of differences.
 
Bridgeville First engages the community through its clothing ministry, the community food pantry, Angel Tree, and water ministries, racers-for-tots and parent’s day out programs,  At Christmas, it adopts families. The congregation also collects flood buckets and assists flood victims.  
 
The congregation hosts, supports, and partners with a new non-denominational church plant called Beloved, which shares its space, and seeks to collaborate with other churches. 

Pogany to Serve Eighth Ave./W. Homestead/Swissvale

Announced: 05-27-2018

About David P. Pogany
David P. “Dave” Pogany will begin serving as Associate Pastor at Eighth Avenue Ministries/West Homestead/Swissvale-New Day Charge on July 1, 2018.  Since 2011 Dave has been serving as  Associate Pastor at Baldwin Community UMC. 
 
Dave is familiar with Homestead and the wider Mon/Steel Valley. He attended nearby Whitaker UMC.  In 2016 and 2017, he was involved in Eighth Avenue’s ministries when Baldwin Community shared him to further its vision as a “sending forth” church and a strong support for Eighth Avenue.
 
For Dave, pastoral ministry is about being the “hands, feet, and voice of Christ,” making disciples for Jesus Christ and caring for people’s spiritual, emotional, and material needs. He finds joy being in ministry with all people and standing with the poor, the addicted, and those in recovery programs. One of his ministry skills is youth ministry. 
 
His strengths include preaching and teaching. He is comfortable leading traditional and contemporary worship services and small group gatherings.
 
Dave relates well to laity and clergy because he is an effective listener. His non-anxious presence is a gift for pastoral care and for creating space for meaningful conversation with people of different ages, races, ethnicities, and perspectives.
 
As Dave welcomes a new season of ministry at Eighth Avenue, he quickly adds that he is grateful for the privilege of serving and being in ministry with the wonderful people of Baldwin Community UMC who have supported and encouraged him and his family.
 
Dave and his wife Jen are the parents of four sons. They live in Baldwin and he is employed by the Borough’s department of public works as a construction crew foreman.
 
About Eighth Ave. Ministry/West Homestead/Swissvale-New Day Charge

Eighth Avenue Ministry is an urban United Methodist missional congregation with a significant community presence in Homestead and the wider Steel Valley.  Its mission is to offer Jesus, join God in places where God is already working, and bring together people of diverse racial, ethnic, economic, social, and religious backgrounds to create places of belonging, acceptance, and affirmation.

Eighth Avenue began as a coffee house ministry where everyone was welcome to stop in for a cup of coffee and share conversation and fellowship.  Its ministry has grown to include weekly meetings of a men's, women's, and addiction recovery groups, Bible study, and ministry for persons transitioning back into society after incarceration, and a youth group.
 
People gather for contemporary worship services on Wednesdays and the first and third Saturday around a meal, share personal stories, and hear engaging, relevant sermons that speak to lived experiences.
 
Eighth Avenue offers healing, support, and hope through its drug and alcohol addiction recovery programs in partnership with Christian Counseling Associates. Youth acquire job skills through a leadership training program and find summer jobs through its Valley Landscaping business venture. In collaboration with other area churches and faith communities, Eighth Avenue participates in a reading and homework help program for students attending Homestead’s Barrett Elementary School.

Eighth Avenue is in covenant relationship with United Methodist and other area churches, including Baldwin Community UMC and Bethel Park: Christ UMC, its largest financial supporter.
 
West Homestead UMC is an aging, but committed, congregation in a demographically changing community with a welcoming small town feel. Its 10 a.m., Sunday worship service is traditional. 
The congregation is in the process of casting new vision to guide their ministry and mission. Their goals include partnering with area United Methodist churches and other faith communities to re-launch a youth life ministry, offer Bible studies and other small group ministries. They also plan to become involved in addiction recovery ministries, a school reading program, and the Steel Valley Prayer Movement.

Swissvale-New Day

Swissvale-New Day is a growing, diverse, caring, and inclusive missional congregation with a strong community focus and outreach programs.  It is a re-launch of the former Living Spirit Ministries. It offers a blended/contemporary Sunday worship at 11:15 am.  Discipleship formation happens through pastor-led Bible studies, small group ministries, weekly prayer meetings and praise gatherings, and a community summer VBS.  It also offers Yoga classes.

The congregation is part of Swissvale Cares, which operates a Food Pantry in partnership with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Leaders are involved in the local ministerium/clergy association and participates in ecumenical worship services and other Swissvale Borough and community fellowship events.

One of its ministry goals is to improve and expand its digital and electronic ministry to connect with those unable to attend, as well as the wider community.  

 

 


Beverly Roscoe to Lead South Fayette Parish

Announced: 05-20-2018

About Beverly K. Roscoe
Beverly K. Roscoe has been appointed to be the lead pastor of the South Fayette Cooperative Parish effective July 1, 2018.
 
Pastor Bev says she experienced a call to ministry in high school, but in the dark ages of the 1970’s, women were not often encouraged to enter into full time pulpit ministry. At the encouragement of her parents and guidance counselors, she set her sights on missions instead, and became a communications major.  Because it wasn’t God’s call she quickly became discouraged and instead spent the next 30+ years trying to figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her work experience included direct care for mentally challenged adults and service coordination for geriatric home health care. She and her husband John were specialized foster parents during this time, taking hard-to-place teens, sibling groups, and those with disabilities.  An adopted child herself, Bev says they quickly realized they were foster parent failures They wanted to share their lives and hearts with the children on a more permanent basis and eventually adoped Jessica, Maria, and Justin.

During this time, Bev was an active leader in her church, as well as volunteering with Special Olympics and Girl Scouts.

However, she continued to feel something missing in her life. She again heard God's call to ministry at 50 and after spending the next year in prayer and discernment, this time she whole-heartedly said ‘yes’.

Pastor Bev earned a degree in Christian Ministries with an emphasis in children’s ministry,  attended Course of Study at Duke Divinity School and the Course of Study Schools of Ohio, graduating from MTSO. She will be commissioned as an Associate Member at this year’s Annual Conference.

Her first appointment was as an associate on the 6-point Hyndman Larger Parish, which later became the Four Point Harmony Charge in Hyndman.  She then was appointed to Point Marion and Gans, which became part of the Two Rivers Charge with the addition of Mount Pleasant Dilliner. 

She has served on the Conference level as the chair of the former Children’s Ministry team, dean of JAM Camp at Jumonville, Board of Discipleship, Nominations, and Disability Concerns. Bev has taught inclusion and autism awareness at numerous churches and Conference events. She is VIM and ERT certified and mission trips have taken her from Connellsville to Fiji and every place in between.
In Connellsville District, she teaches Lay Servant classes, serves on nominations, and the worship committee.

Bev serves nationally as secretary for the National Fellowship of Associate Members and Local Pastors.
She identifies her gifts as administration, leadership, teaching, and preaching. Her passions for ministry include serving the least and the lost and the marginalized, especially those with special needs.
Her life verse is Eph 4:1 paraphrased, live a life worthy of the calling you have received. She says we are all called into ministry and service together.

Bev is excited about the newly formed cooperative parish. She has deep roots in this area, having lived most of her life in Uniontown.  “I understand the demographics of the area. I have seen the best and worst Fayette County has to offer," she said.  "I’m proud to be from here, and I know there is a lot of ministry we can do here together. People are lost and hurting, and we can’t afford to keep the Good News in the building: we need to faithfully find creative ways to get the Good News to those who need it the most”.

Empty nesters, Bev and John share their home with their two Labs and two cats and enjoy spending as much time as possible with their adult children and grandson JR.

In their spare time, Bev enjoys Pittsburgh sports, crafting and crocheting, while John is an active amateur radio operator. Together they like to travel, cook, camp, bicycle, motorcycle, and do almost anything outdoors.
 
About South Fayette Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry –Brownfield; Uniontown: Calvary; Uniontown: Christ; Uniontown: Community; Franklin Memorial; Gans; Hopwood; Juniata; Masontown; Mount Pleasant-Dilliner; Point Marion; Smithfield; Trinity: Fairchance; Upper Middletown—service communities in the southern part of Fayette County.. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Brownfield United Methodist Church was organized as part of the Methodist Protestant Church shortly after revival meetings were held at the Hutchinson School house in 1882.  The services were conducted by Rev. John McCarty of Fairchance and Rev. George McCollum of Uniontown.  The first building was taken over by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1889, but the church continued holding services there until 1897.  A new building with addition was built in 1926. Since 1965 they have been on a circuit with the Hopwood Church.
 
Uniontown: Calvary United Methodist Church was organized on February 11, 1894 as a Methodist Protestant Church under the leadership of Rev. David E. Minerd.  The church was originally called Minerd Chapel.  An education wing was added in 1932 and second brick education wing was added in 1956.  The church loves to reach out to a variety of community groups and is a great supporter of Jumonville.
 
Uniontown: Christ United Methodist Church has roots dating back to the fall of 1830, when the “reformer” portion of the Uniontown Methodist Episcopal Church (later Asbury) withdrew from that Church and organized a Class of the Methodist Protestant Church in the Fayette County Courthouse.The first building was erected in 1841 and was known as the “Little Old Radical church.”    This was the first congregation served by Reverend John Calvin Broomfield when he came to America in 1896 and who later became one of the two original Bishops elected by the Methodist Protestant Church at the Uniting Conference. 
 
Uniontown:  Community United Methodist Church traces its roots to the spring of 1938, when Mrs. Ethel Steward asked three members of the staff of the McCrum Community House, a Board of Missions project of the Pittsburgh Conference, to start a Sunday School in Evans Manor.  They met in a school house on West Penn Boulevard .  A charter was granted to the Evans Manor Methodist Church in 1948.  In 1998 Evans Manor and Hutchinson Churches merged to form Smock: Community.  It later became part of the Uniontown Larger Parish.
 
Franklin Memorial United Methodist Church:  About 1835 a Methodist Protestant Church was organized in Woodvale School District and a stone church building was erected on land donated by Joseph Paull.  Mr. Paull also donated the land for a burying ground, which is now the Franklin Cemetery.  A new Church was erected in 1875 and a church school addition was built in the early 1900s.  The church has a very active Sunday School and youth program.
 
Gans United Methodist Church was founded in 1905 when a group of families in the area met in a store to organize a Methodist Protestant Class.  The Church was built in 1905, the original structure is still in use.  An annex was added to the church in 1959.
 
Hopwood United Methodist Church was founded in 1828 by members who withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church to reform and join the Methodist Protestant Church.  The church being too small, members began to work for the purpose of building a new Church that was dedicated in 1901.  The basement was excavated in 1927 to construct a hall where the church often gathers for fellowship.
 
Juniata United Methodist Church was formed as a Methodist Protestant Church after services were started in the Juniata School on December 1, 1935.  The H.C. Frick Company gave the congregation permission to use one of the company houses for a Church and it was occupied in in 1936. Today Juniata is in converted store with a fellowship hall upstairs.  The congregation loves to worship and share fellowship together.
 
Masontown United Methodist Church was founded in 1819 by Andrew Long, Caleb Hanna, and Alexander McDougle.  The first location was on West Church Street with a cemetery attached. In 1820 this church was almost ruined by a violent storm.  The church was repaired and rebuilt.  It has survived a fire and stood as a testament to the resilient grace and God and the wonderful people of the community.
 
Mount Pleasant-Dilliner United Methodist Church was the northernmost church in the Methodist Episcopal Church South and often referred to as the “Dixie Church.”  The church is very active in missions and supports over 20 different missions in and outside the local area.  The church loves music and is especially known for its mission dinners.
 
Point Marion United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 through the efforts of Ambrose Dilliner, with four members.  They had no regular place of worship, but met from place to place, such as the Polly Rose house, the Mill house, and the Ferry House.  The cornerstone for the current church was laid on September 11, 1921 and was dedicated on April 16, 1922.  The church houses a food pantry and Fijian worship community.
 
Smithfield United Methodist Church:  Reverend Dennis Battee and a Mr. Stevenson organized the Society in 1819 in the home of Dr. Sackett.  James Smith, a member, had applied to the preacher on the Redstone Circuit to organize a Church and having secured a sufficient number the Society was organized.  In 1833 a Camp Meeting was held on General Alexander McClellen’s farm; the Sabbath meeting had over 3,000 in attendance. The church grew and today is a special place of worship for the community.
 
Trinity United Methodist Church was known as The Independent Methodist Church of Fairchance and was organized sometime before 1903.   A new church building was built in 1923, but was later destroyed by fire.  A new church building was erected in 1924 with an addition made in 1965-1966. 
 
Upper Middletown United Methodist Church: The church claims its origin in the Class that met in the John Jones home on Redstone Creek, which was a preaching appointment on the original Redstone Circuit of 1784-1787.  Reverend Robert Ayres preached there regularly in 1786-1787 and on his first visit on June 21, 1786 Bishop Francis Asbury accompanied him.  The record of the event, in the Ayers journal is as follows: “At friend Jones.  Heard Mr. Asbury preach from Genesis 18; 19 and Harry (Black Harry Rosier) from ‘If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.’ They both spoke very lively and close.  Lodged with Mr. Asbury and rested well.”  That same spirit is still a part of the Upper Middletown Church today.
 

Ealy to Serve South Fayette Parish

Announced: 05-20-2018

About David D. Ealy
David D. Ealy has been appointed to the South Fayette Cooperative Parish effective July 1, 2018.
David was born and raised in East Finley Township, Washington County Pa.  He attended McGuffey High School and graduated in 1979. While in eleventh grade, David attended a youth retreat at Jumonville Camp and accepted Jesus as his personal savior. He received his call into ministry that same night.  While in high school, he did some pulpit supply.  He attended Waynesburg College (now University) and received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an Associate’s degree in Christian Education. While at Waynesburg, David was inducted into the National Drama Honorary Fraternity Alpha Psi Omega. He also worked one summer at Marmon Valley Farms in Ohio as a counselor and horseback riding instructor. He also served one summer as a conference intern at Cloe, Covode and Steffy UMCs near Punxsutawney.
David attended United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio where he earned a Master’s of Divinity and a Master’s of Art in Religious Education. While in seminary, he sang with the seminary choir United Sound and was a student associate at Parkview UMC in Miamisburg Ohio and Eaton UCC.
David was ordained a Deacon in 1986 by Bishop J. Ault and later an elder under Bishop G. Bashore. He has served the annual conference in the following positions, a counselor for the Johnstown District Youth Council and the Indiana District Youth Council. He also served on the Conference Commission on Church Unity and Inter-religious concerns where David was the WPAUMC representative to the Pa, Council of Churches.
David has served the following charges in Western Pa. The Mahaffey Charge ( Mahaffey,Glen Campbell,and Smithport Umcs) in Johnstown District, Coalport Charge( Coalport, Irvona, and Glen Hope UMCs) Johnstown District, The Knoxdale charge( Knoxdale,Coolspring, and Ramsaytown UMCS) Indiana District , The Mount Morris Charge( Mount Morris, Taylorstown, and Bald Hill UMCs) Washington District, Forestville and Saint John’s Umcs, Butler District,Connellsville :Wesley and Dunbar: Franklin Memorial UMCs ,Connellsville District and the Uniontown Larger Parish ( Community UMC, Juniata Umc, Upper Middletown UMC, and Dunbar: Franklin Memorial Umc) Connellsville District’
In 2000, David married Suzanne, a registered nurse, and they are the proud parents of two cats.
 
 
About South Fayette Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry –Brownfield; Uniontown: Calvary; Uniontown: Christ; Uniontown: Community; Franklin Memorial; Gans; Hopwood; Juniata; Masontown; Mount Pleasant-Dilliner; Point Marion; Smithfield; Trinity: Fairchance; Upper Middletown—service communities in the southern part of Fayette County.. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Brownfield United Methodist Church was organized as part of the Methodist Protestant Church shortly after revival meetings were held at the Hutchinson School house in 1882.  The services were conducted by Rev. John McCarty of Fairchance and Rev. George McCollum of Uniontown.  The first building was taken over by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1889, but the church continued holding services there until 1897.  A new building with addition was built in 1926. Since 1965 they have been on a circuit with the Hopwood Church.
 
Uniontown: Calvary United Methodist Church was organized on February 11, 1894 as a Methodist Protestant Church under the leadership of Rev. David E. Minerd.  The church was originally called Minerd Chapel.  An education wing was added in 1932 and second brick education wing was added in 1956.  The church loves to reach out to a variety of community groups and is a great supporter of Jumonville.
 
Uniontown: Christ United Methodist Church has roots dating back to the fall of 1830, when the “reformer” portion of the Uniontown Methodist Episcopal Church (later Asbury) withdrew from that Church and organized a Class of the Methodist Protestant Church in the Fayette County Courthouse.The first building was erected in 1841 and was known as the “Little Old Radical church.”    This was the first congregation served by Reverend John Calvin Broomfield when he came to America in 1896 and who later became one of the two original Bishops elected by the Methodist Protestant Church at the Uniting Conference. 
 
Uniontown:  Community United Methodist Church traces its roots to the spring of 1938, when Mrs. Ethel Steward asked three members of the staff of the McCrum Community House, a Board of Missions project of the Pittsburgh Conference, to start a Sunday School in Evans Manor.  They met in a school house on West Penn Boulevard .  A charter was granted to the Evans Manor Methodist Church in 1948.  In 1998 Evans Manor and Hutchinson Churches merged to form Smock: Community.  It later became part of the Uniontown Larger Parish.
 
Franklin Memorial United Methodist Church:  About 1835 a Methodist Protestant Church was organized in Woodvale School District and a stone church building was erected on land donated by Joseph Paull.  Mr. Paull also donated the land for a burying ground, which is now the Franklin Cemetery.  A new Church was erected in 1875 and a church school addition was built in the early 1900s.  The church has a very active Sunday School and youth program.
 
Gans United Methodist Church was founded in 1905 when a group of families in the area met in a store to organize a Methodist Protestant Class.  The Church was built in 1905, the original structure is still in use.  An annex was added to the church in 1959.
 
Hopwood United Methodist Church was founded in 1828 by members who withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church to reform and join the Methodist Protestant Church.  The church being too small, members began to work for the purpose of building a new Church that was dedicated in 1901.  The basement was excavated in 1927 to construct a hall where the church often gathers for fellowship.
 
Juniata United Methodist Church was formed as a Methodist Protestant Church after services were started in the Juniata School on December 1, 1935.  The H.C. Frick Company gave the congregation permission to use one of the company houses for a Church and it was occupied in in 1936. Today Juniata is in converted store with a fellowship hall upstairs.  The congregation loves to worship and share fellowship together.
 
Masontown United Methodist Church was founded in 1819 by Andrew Long, Caleb Hanna, and Alexander McDougle.  The first location was on West Church Street with a cemetery attached. In 1820 this church was almost ruined by a violent storm.  The church was repaired and rebuilt.  It has survived a fire and stood as a testament to the resilient grace and God and the wonderful people of the community.
 
Mount Pleasant-Dilliner United Methodist Church was the northernmost church in the Methodist Episcopal Church South and often referred to as the “Dixie Church.”  The church is very active in missions and supports over 20 different missions in and outside the local area.  The church loves music and is especially known for its mission dinners.
 
Point Marion United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 through the efforts of Ambrose Dilliner, with four members.  They had no regular place of worship, but met from place to place, such as the Polly Rose house, the Mill house, and the Ferry House.  The cornerstone for the current church was laid on September 11, 1921 and was dedicated on April 16, 1922.  The church houses a food pantry and Fijian worship community.
 
Smithfield United Methodist Church:  Reverend Dennis Battee and a Mr. Stevenson organized the Society in 1819 in the home of Dr. Sackett.  James Smith, a member, had applied to the preacher on the Redstone Circuit to organize a Church and having secured a sufficient number the Society was organized.  In 1833 a Camp Meeting was held on General Alexander McClellen’s farm; the Sabbath meeting had over 3,000 in attendance. The church grew and today is a special place of worship for the community.
 
Trinity United Methodist Church was known as The Independent Methodist Church of Fairchance and was organized sometime before 1903.   A new church building was built in 1923, but was later destroyed by fire.  A new church building was erected in 1924 with an addition made in 1965-1966. 
 
Upper Middletown United Methodist Church: The church claims its origin in the Class that met in the John Jones home on Redstone Creek, which was a preaching appointment on the original Redstone Circuit of 1784-1787.  Reverend Robert Ayres preached there regularly in 1786-1787 and on his first visit on June 21, 1786 Bishop Francis Asbury accompanied him.  The record of the event, in the Ayers journal is as follows: “At friend Jones.  Heard Mr. Asbury preach from Genesis 18; 19 and Harry (Black Harry Rosier) from ‘If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.’ They both spoke very lively and close.  Lodged with Mr. Asbury and rested well.”  That same spirit is still a part of the Upper Middletown Church today.
 

Farls To Serve Sheraden/McKees Rocks Charge

Announced: 05-20-2018

About Roberta Farls
Roberta L. Farls, a Certified Lay Minister, will begin serving as associate pastor at the McKees Rocks: Christ/ Sheraden Charge, effective July 1, 2018.  Roberta returns to these churches after leaving in 2016 to serve at Muhleman UMC.

Roberta’s personal mission is to live Christ-like and to walk alongside of others as they seek to know God more deeply and live fully into their unique calls to ministry.  Her strengths include administration, organization, collaborative leadership, and consensus building.  Roberta has strong relational skills that help her engage, interact, and relate with people of different ages, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, economic stations, and perspectives.
 
Her gifts of active listening, empathy, caring spirit, and professional experience as a paramedic enable her to provide excellent pastoral care.
 
Roberta understands preaching as helping people apply scripture to their daily lives and lived experiences and see God’s presence in theirs and others’ lives.  She accomplishes this with a conversational preaching style that integrates contemporary events, relevant illustrations, and humor.
 
Roberta focuses on possibilities for ministry and creatively develops ministries that nurture the worshipping community and engage the surrounding neighborhood.  She is an abstract thinker who can understand and translate difficult and complex concepts. 
 
Roberta currently serves on the Pittsburgh District Committee on Ministry.  She is employed by "WorkCare” as an Occupational Health Technician/Paramedic at the Shell PA Chemicals construction site, Monaca, PA.  In her free time, Roberta enjoys cooking, baking, and family time.  She lives in the McKees Rocks area and looks forward to again working with the Sheraden and Christ Church congregations and being in ministry in the community.  
 
About McKees Rocks: Christ Community/Sheraden Charge
Sheraden UMC is an urban, multi-generational, racially diverse congregation that has had a strong community presence in the Sheraden neighborhood of Pittsburgh since the late 1880’s. The church’s roots are in a sewing group formed in the early 1880’s that expanded into an interdenominational religious mission whose Methodist members ultimately founded The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Sheradenville that is Sheraden today.  In 2011 Sheraden and McKees Rock: Christ Community UMC came together as a charge. 
 
Sheraden's traditional/blended Sunday worship service, anchored in relevant, contextual preaching, is at 9:45 am with Sunday school at 10:00 am.  In July and August, the Sheraden and McKees Rock: Christ Community congregations come together for one Sunday worship service at 10 am.
 
Sheraden’s strengths include a committed lay leadership team, an energetic congregation, and thriving community outreach and engagement. ItsTuesday evening community KIDZ Klub—offering a safe place for homework help, tutoring, computer access/use, computer skills training and recreational activities—is well attended, as is its community VBS. 
 
In partnership with United Methodist Church Union, it offers a summer feeding program for children and youth. Other community outreach includes a monthly community meal, a weekly meal in collaboration with McKees Rock: Christ Community, Food Pantry/Cupboard, and Caring and Sharing Thrift Shop that provides clothing and other small household essentials.  Sheraden participates in the Lazarus Fund that provides emergency rent and utilities assistance.  Through its Hope For Tomorrow ministry, children learn social, etiquette and entrepreneurial skills.
 
The congregation actively participates in the West End Christian Ministry and other ecumenical ministries through its financial support, volunteering, and service.  The congregation’s capable lay leadership and members are committed to a vision of becoming an even more vital Christ-witness in the community. 
  
McKees Rock: Christ Community UMC is a diverse church with a focus on community and service  in the McKees Rocks community of greater Pittsburgh. The church's history reaches back to 1888. In 1974 the McKees Rocks Presbyterian Church and Christ Community Church of McKees Rocks became federated as one congregation operating under both the United Methodist and Presbyterian USA denominations.

In 2006 McKees Rock: Christ Community became a charge with nearby Sheraden UMC and, together they offer a wide array of community ministries.  The congregation is especially known for its hospitality, community outreach, and genuine welcome of everyone.

Traditional worship service is on Sunday at 11:15 am, and is built around relevant, contextual preaching.  In July and August, the McKees Rock: Christ Community and Sheraden congregations come together for one Sunday worship service at 10 am.
 
Discipleship formation occurs through pastor-led Bible studies and other small group ministries. Its Communion Visitation Ministry maintains connection and community with persons unable to regularly attend worship services.  It offers an opportunity for parolees to be involved in the life of the church and ministry in the community.  
 
The congregation's community engagement is centered around Meals on Wheels, community VBS, Food Pantry, and hosting a weekly community dinner.  Its Kindness of Strangers Thrift Shop provides clothing and small household items.  It hosts a summer children/youth meal program in partnership with United Methodist Church Union. It supports other community service agencies through donations and volunteers. The church's dedicated lay leadership team and hard-working congregation remain focused on their mission to bear Christ to their community and make disciples for Jesus Christ.
 

Gordon to Serve Sykesville: Grace UMC

Announced: 05-20-2018

About Drew Gordon
Drew was born in McKeesport and grew up on the South Allegheny side of Elizabeth in Allegheny County.  He’s bounced around Pennsylvania and West Virginia during his 28 years as a radio broadcaster. A self-described “big kid,” Drew began his service to Christ as a Sunday School and Bible Study leader, primarily for youth and young couples, and would team with his wife Jenny to help with Vacation Bible Schools.  He noticed God’s call to something more, when he started taking classes at Indiana District Lay Servant Ministries School.

Drew has been active in Lay Servant Ministries as both a student and a teacher and has served as a speaker, teacher, singer and musician in United Methodist churches for the last 14 years.  After becoming a Certified Lay Speaker, he felt further called and encouraged to serve as a Local Licensed Pastor. He attended the Spring Licensing School in Manorville and received his certificate in April 2018.

Drew married his best friend Jenny in June 1996, and they have three children (hers, mine and ours) Robert, Emily and Andrea, and one granddaughter, Melody.

 
About Sykesville: Grace UMC


Grace United Methodist Church has a long history on East Main Street in Sykesville, Jefferson County. The first building was completed in 1887. The present brick building was erected in 1895. Many changes have been made through the years, including building a parsonage in 1904, a brick annex in 1920, and handicapped restrooms in 2012..

The church members are very active in the church and the community through many organizations such as Salvation Army (compassion fund, Treasures for Children and the Kettle Drive at Christmas), Lion’s Club, Red Cross blood drives, and area food pantries. The church is currently helping a couple get a ramp so he can get in and out of his house. The UMW hosts an Election Day Salad Lunch, an annual soup sale, and a Spring Banquet that include the whole community. A weekly Discipleship Bible Study has been led by the pastor. Due to pastoral changes in Sykesville, the local ministerium has not been active, but efforts are being made to include the other three denominations in joint efforts such as re-starting  the food pantry in Sykesville, community projects, special services, etc.

The church is praying for more children and their families to come to the church to learn about God and become disciples. It offers weekly Children’s Sunday School and special events such as the Easter Egg Hunt, Winter Carnival, and Operation Christmas Child.

 


Grahams Appointed to Emlenton Charge

Announced: 05-20-2018

About Jim Graham
Jim Graham was raised in West View, PA, the seventh of eight children.  Jim attended St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church as a youth and served as a lector during his high school years.  His desire to travel led him to enlist in the United States Navy after he graduated from high school.  He enjoyed his Navy career so much that he stayed for 20 years, retiring as a Chief Petty Officer in 2002.  Along life’s journey, he met his wife Suzan when he was stationed in Denver, CO, and they will celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary in July.  Jim and Suzan have two sons, James Jr. (JJ) and Ryan, both of whom have left home to seek God's will for their lives.  JJ recently moved to Denver, CO for an electrical apprentice job and Ryan is a combat medic in the Pennsylvania National Guard, living in Slippery Rock, PA.  Jim and Suzan are also the proud parents of four rescue dogs and five rescue cats.
 
Jim was first led to ministry in the early 2000's when he was attending Grace Bible Church in Virginia Beach.  God chose a path of preparation by using him as an elementary Sunday School teacher, Small Group Leader, and VBS assistant in Virginia, and Christian Education Director, Children's Church teacher, Kid's Club leader, adult Sunday School teacher, and Communion Steward when he relocated to Pennsylvania in 2005.
 
Jim’s family began attending Harrisville UMC in 2011, and he wanted to get involved and make a positive difference.  God led him to serve on the Outreach Committee, Sunday school teacher, Friday Evening Prayer Partners leader, delegate to annual conference, and Lay Leader.  It was at Harrisville where God led Jim to become a Certified Lay Servant and it was at the 2016 Annual Conference where God called Jim to become a Licensed Local Pastor.  His wife Suzan is also a Certified Lay Servant who has been called to become a Licensed Local Pastor.
 
Jim’s experience as a Certified Lay Servant and his call to ministry enabled him to serve his Christian brothers and sisters at Barkeyville UMC in an extended capacity while their pastor was recuperating from a medical condition.
 
Jim earned his Bachelors of Science degree in General Information Technology from Capella University and his Masters of Science degree in Performance Improvement from Grantham University.  He works for the U.S. Government as a Program Analyst and plans to retire from that career in November 2020.
 
Jim believes his ministry extends beyond the church building and he has served his community as a youth baseball and football coach; youth soccer association board member, referee, and coach; and Bible teacher for Centershot youth archery.  He sees these activities as an outreach to show the love of Jesus Christ to the community, and unchurched kids and their families. Jim also cares deeply for all of God’s creatures and is always on the lookout for homes for rescue pets.
 

About Suzan Graham

Suzan M. Riga Graham will serve as a supply pastor and associate at the Emlenton Charge.  Suzan grew up in Colorado with her brother and mother. She lost her father two weeks before her ninth birthday. She has always been an over achiever and determined to be remembered by those who know her. She graduated 7th in her high school class and thought she wanted to be a doctor. God had other plans, of course.

She met her husband of 27 years at college in 1990. They married and moved to Norfolk, VA in  December of 1992, when she was seven months pregnant, and lived there for 13 years. In January of 2006, she moved to Western Pa for her husband's job.and has made Slippery Rock her home. They have two grown boys James -  James, 25, lives in Parker, Colorado and Ryan,22, lives in Slippery Rock. Both boys are successful in their own lives and still have their childhood faith. Someday Suzan and her husband, Jim, hope for daughters-in-law and grandchildren.

Suzan is self described as a Jill of all trades and master of none. She has worked in many professions from janitor to safety/ dispatcher for Maersk Lines with over 200 truck drivers under her wing. She has been a paraprofessional substitute, secretary of two churches, a LifeMatters healthy relationships presenter at the Alpha Omega pregnancy center in Slippery Rock, sales associate at Lane Bryant and Children’s Place, counter help at Simplified meals by Ginger in Slippery Rock, and a direct care provider for seniors and special needs adults through Capital Healthcare.

Suzan’s passions are music, children, animals, and helping people to make Jesus their best friend for life. Her ministries over 25 years at various churches include; nursery work, children’s church, Sunday school, numerous VBS weeks in whatever task was needed, music ministry, outreach committee chair, youth ministry, mission trips, women’s retreats, Special needs ministry, Lay servant ministries, and others.

Suzan’s community activities over the past 25 years include: USS Mississippi family support group President, t-ball and soccer coach, Centershot archery participant mentor, Soccer and Wrestling school Boosters president, classroom room mom, school prayer mom, and Mom’s taxi service for more than just our own two.

Suzan is a member at Harrisville UMC and also serves at First Church in Butler youth ministries. Her call to ministry came in a very short time over the past year and a half. As she puts it: "God didn’t really give an optional time frame, he said “now.” and here I am." Life with Jesus is a roller coaster; filled with anticipation, whips, curves, and many upside down hanging memorable moments. People are not a project; they are an investment of time, love and care."

 
About Emlenton Charge
The Emlenton Charge consists of the Emlenton, Old Zion and Big Bend United Methodist Churches in the Franklin District. The churches actively engage in outreach through a local food pantry and in other mission activities. A Bible study is held on a weekly basis and the churches offer Vacation Bible School. A prayer breakfast is held bi-monthly at a local restaurant. They also participate in community and ministerium worship and fellowship activities. 

Hassen Appointed to Ebensburg Network

Announced: 05-20-2018

About Deborah Hassen
Deborah Hassen will serve as an Associate Pastor at the Ebensburg United Methodist Church, effective July 1, 2018.  Deb will be the primary preacher at the Patton: Trinity United Methodist Church.  Patton: Trinity UMC will be part of the Ebensburg U.M. Network, joining Saint Michael UMC, Lilly UMC, St. Francis University “Overflow” ministry, and the Doe Valley off-road ministry. Within the last year, Deb answered a call into ministry and is currently in the Candidacy process with plans to pursue the Licensed Local Pastor track.
 
Deb currently works at the Cambria County Association for the Blind and Handicapped in Johnstown.  She has been an active member of the Ebensburg U.M. church where she sings in the Praise Band, serves as the Nursery Supervisor, teaches the 1st-3rd Sunday School class, and participates in the annual church Mission Trip.   Deb lives in Ebensburg and has 3 grown children and 1 grandchild.
 
About Ebensburg U.M. Network - Patton: Trinity UMC
The Ebensburg U.M. Church is a growing, vital ministry that over the course of the past several years has planted and adopted several churches and/or ministries.  Currently, the Network includes the St. Francis University “Overflow” ministry with an on-campus worship service every Sunday morning; the Doe Valley off-road ministry, a unique outreach to persons outside of the local church; and two small membership churches in the area, Saint Michael UMC and Lilly UMC  The purpose of the new ministry plants and church adoptions is to infuse the DNA of vital ministry and increase the number of disciples in the name of Jesus Christ.
 
The newest partner in the network is the Patton: Trinity United Methodist Church. This church will join the Ebensburg Network effective July 1, 2018 when Deborah Hassen steps in as the primary preacher.  Located in the town of Patton, Trinity U.M. is best known for its children and youth ministry which includes a puppet ministry, Sunday School, Children’s Church, annual Vacation Bible School and a Youth Group.  Also notable are the Christmas and Easter Cantatas in which people from both the church and community participate.  The church has a strong lay leadership that is looking forward to partnering with Deb and the Ebensburg team as they strive to provide a positive Christian witness in their town and beyond.
 

Helmbold to Serve Evergreen Charge

Announced: 05-20-2018

About Penny Helmbold
Penny accepted Christ at age 5 and at that time received a call to missions.  She grew up in the church, being involved in everything she could.  After high school, she attended St. Paul Bible College (now Crown College) in Minnesota, where it was revealed to her that her mission field would be right at home. After college, she married and raised four beautiful children (ages 25, 23, 20, and 18). Divorced for six years, Penny and and her youngest child, who will be a high school senior, currently live in Titusville.  Penny is going through the steps to become a licensed local pastor and is currently assigned to the Enterprise UMC.  She is looking forward to the move to Grand Valley and being able to serve God beside many new friends.   She previously served at Hydetown and Tryonville.
 
 
About Evergreen Charge

The Enterprise UM Church is located in the southwest corner of Warren County on Route 27. This warm, inviting congregation has a wonderful family atmosphere where everyone is made to feel welcomed and the love of Christ is freely shared. They are known as a place of hope end encouragement in their community while they also share in commitments to missions.
 
The Grand Valley Church is located right next door to Wesley Woods along Route 27. In their community they are known as the place to go if you need help. In this church you will find people who love Jesus Christ and who readily share their Savior’s love with all that they meet. They enjoy singing new songs as well as old hymns. They support mission, ministry and faithfully pay their connectional apportionments.
 
The Sanford Church is a next-door to Wesley Woods. This warm, family congregation does a tremendous job caring for one another and those in the community who are in need. They also have some tremendous pie bakers. When they hold a pie auction, don’t come late or the pies may all be sold. They invest in ministry and are steadfast in meeting their connectional apportionments.
 

Lambert to Serve South Fayette Parish

Announced: 05-20-2018

About Debra L. Lambert
Debra L. Lambert has been appointed to the South Fayette Cooperative Parish effective July 1, 2018.
Debbie was raised in the Masontown United Methodist Church, where she remained a member until she felt called to the ministry. Her path to the pulpit began when she became a lay speaker.  Her pastor kept encouraging her to pursue the local pastor path but she resisted for a long time.  Her pastor continually asked her “are you ready yet?”  She finally told him she would step out in faith and if this was God’s will the doors will open and if not they would close and she would be OK as long as it was God’s will.  She completed Licensing School on April 11, 2015

Debbie never dreamed that God’s plan for her would involve being a pastor, but she put the journey in His hands and has been enthusiastically serving as an associate pastor in the Uniontown Larger Parish, which encompasses Upper Middletown, Community, Franklin, and Juniata churches, since July 1, 2015.

When she was appointed, Debbie asked a wonderful friend and pastor if he had any advice for her.  He told her to remember these three things, preach the Gospel, deliver the Sacraments, and love your people. She has taken his advice and put it into action.  Debbie has also been blessed by God with the gifts of showing mercy, pastor/shepherd, and administration.

Before entering the ministry, Debbie held a variety of jobs including banking, training, and collections. She was also a care giver for her amazing mother for several years.  Fueled by her passion for cooking, she even did a brief stint as a restaurateur. She was initially devastated that the restaurant failed, but if it hadn’t, she would have never become a pastor. God always has a plan.   

After graduating from Albert Gallatin High school, Debbie married her high school sweetheart, Larry, and was blessed with an awesome family. Forty years, two kids, one fabulous daughter-in-law, and two grand kids later, Debbie couldn’t be happier or more grateful to serve the Lord and minister to His people.
 
 
About South Fayette Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry –Brownfield; Uniontown: Calvary; Uniontown: Christ; Uniontown: Community; Franklin Memorial; Gans; Hopwood; Juniata; Masontown; Mount Pleasant-Dilliner; Point Marion; Smithfield; Trinity: Fairchance; Upper Middletown—service communities in the southern part of Fayette County.. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Brownfield United Methodist Church was organized as part of the Methodist Protestant Church shortly after revival meetings were held at the Hutchinson School house in 1882.  The services were conducted by Rev. John McCarty of Fairchance and Rev. George McCollum of Uniontown.  The first building was taken over by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1889, but the church continued holding services there until 1897.  A new building with addition was built in 1926. Since 1965 they have been on a circuit with the Hopwood Church.
 
Uniontown: Calvary United Methodist Church was organized on February 11, 1894 as a Methodist Protestant Church under the leadership of Rev. David E. Minerd.  The church was originally called Minerd Chapel.  An education wing was added in 1932 and second brick education wing was added in 1956.  The church loves to reach out to a variety of community groups and is a great supporter of Jumonville.
 
Uniontown: Christ United Methodist Church has roots dating back to the fall of 1830, when the “reformer” portion of the Uniontown Methodist Episcopal Church (later Asbury) withdrew from that Church and organized a Class of the Methodist Protestant Church in the Fayette County Courthouse.The first building was erected in 1841 and was known as the “Little Old Radical church.”    This was the first congregation served by Reverend John Calvin Broomfield when he came to America in 1896 and who later became one of the two original Bishops elected by the Methodist Protestant Church at the Uniting Conference. 
 
Uniontown:  Community United Methodist Church traces its roots to the spring of 1938, when Mrs. Ethel Steward asked three members of the staff of the McCrum Community House, a Board of Missions project of the Pittsburgh Conference, to start a Sunday School in Evans Manor.  They met in a school house on West Penn Boulevard .  A charter was granted to the Evans Manor Methodist Church in 1948.  In 1998 Evans Manor and Hutchinson Churches merged to form Smock: Community.  It later became part of the Uniontown Larger Parish.
 
Franklin Memorial United Methodist Church:  About 1835 a Methodist Protestant Church was organized in Woodvale School District and a stone church building was erected on land donated by Joseph Paull.  Mr. Paull also donated the land for a burying ground, which is now the Franklin Cemetery.  A new Church was erected in 1875 and a church school addition was built in the early 1900s.  The church has a very active Sunday School and youth program.
 
Gans United Methodist Church was founded in 1905 when a group of families in the area met in a store to organize a Methodist Protestant Class.  The Church was built in 1905, the original structure is still in use.  An annex was added to the church in 1959.
 
Hopwood United Methodist Church was founded in 1828 by members who withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church to reform and join the Methodist Protestant Church.  The church being too small, members began to work for the purpose of building a new Church that was dedicated in 1901.  The basement was excavated in 1927 to construct a hall where the church often gathers for fellowship.
 
Juniata United Methodist Church was formed as a Methodist Protestant Church after services were started in the Juniata School on December 1, 1935.  The H.C. Frick Company gave the congregation permission to use one of the company houses for a Church and it was occupied in in 1936. Today Juniata is in converted store with a fellowship hall upstairs.  The congregation loves to worship and share fellowship together.
 
Masontown United Methodist Church was founded in 1819 by Andrew Long, Caleb Hanna, and Alexander McDougle.  The first location was on West Church Street with a cemetery attached. In 1820 this church was almost ruined by a violent storm.  The church was repaired and rebuilt.  It has survived a fire and stood as a testament to the resilient grace and God and the wonderful people of the community.
 
Mount Pleasant-Dilliner United Methodist Church was the northernmost church in the Methodist Episcopal Church South and often referred to as the “Dixie Church.”  The church is very active in missions and supports over 20 different missions in and outside the local area.  The church loves music and is especially known for its mission dinners.
 
Point Marion United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 through the efforts of Ambrose Dilliner, with four members.  They had no regular place of worship, but met from place to place, such as the Polly Rose house, the Mill house, and the Ferry House.  The cornerstone for the current church was laid on September 11, 1921 and was dedicated on April 16, 1922.  The church houses a food pantry and Fijian worship community.
 
Smithfield United Methodist Church:  Reverend Dennis Battee and a Mr. Stevenson organized the Society in 1819 in the home of Dr. Sackett.  James Smith, a member, had applied to the preacher on the Redstone Circuit to organize a Church and having secured a sufficient number the Society was organized.  In 1833 a Camp Meeting was held on General Alexander McClellen’s farm; the Sabbath meeting had over 3,000 in attendance. The church grew and today is a special place of worship for the community.
 
Trinity United Methodist Church was known as The Independent Methodist Church of Fairchance and was organized sometime before 1903.   A new church building was built in 1923, but was later destroyed by fire.  A new church building was erected in 1924 with an addition made in 1965-1966. 
 
Upper Middletown United Methodist Church: The church claims its origin in the Class that met in the John Jones home on Redstone Creek, which was a preaching appointment on the original Redstone Circuit of 1784-1787.  Reverend Robert Ayres preached there regularly in 1786-1787 and on his first visit on June 21, 1786 Bishop Francis Asbury accompanied him.  The record of the event, in the Ayers journal is as follows: “At friend Jones.  Heard Mr. Asbury preach from Genesis 18; 19 and Harry (Black Harry Rosier) from ‘If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.’ They both spoke very lively and close.  Lodged with Mr. Asbury and rested well.”  That same spirit is still a part of the Upper Middletown Church today.
 

Mark Blair to Serve South Fayette Parish

Announced: 05-20-2018

About Mark R. Blair
Mark R. Blair has been appointed to the South Fayette Cooperative Parish effective July 1, 2018.
Rev. Mark R. Blair was raised in a Christian home where the instruction given at the church was reinforced by his parents at home. As children his mother made all the children gather around for "Bible Time" even if homework was not finished. No excuse was good enough to be excused except being sick or dead. Because of the influence of the church and his parents Rev. Blair knew at the young age of 10 that he needed Jesus. At Revival that Fall, he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. Then a week before his 16th birthday Rev. Blair’s father passed away and he blamed God for taking him.

For nearly three years he railed at God in anger until he matured enough to realize how insignificant he was in the big picture and how BIG and Powerful our God is! At the age of 17 he married his love, Eileen and they have been married 42 years this August 30th.  They have 4 children 3 girls and 1 boy but lost their oldest daughter 8 years ago. They also have 5 grandchildren.
 
Before receiving his calling Rev. Blair was a contractor and was happy and successful in that line of work. He was involved in his home church and served on just about every committee the church has, but God wanted more from him. When other contractors or their employees would confess their deepest and darkest sins to him he says,  “I didn't know why they were sharing such things with me. As I began to sense maybe God was involved in that activity I began to make excuses why I could not or should not be what He wanted me to be. God kept pushing and pulling so I became a local Lay Speaker, but that wasn't good enough though I still wasn't ready to give in. So God started working on my wife too! She began having dreams that I was going to be asked to speak at a church. In the dream she had the name of the person that would call, the name of the church and the time of their worship service. The next day or a few days later I would get that call with every detail matching.”
 
“The struggle continued and my wife and I talked many times over three years about what to do and how one could be sure if it was a calling for ministry. Finally I was given a vision of my own death three  nights in a row. Each night I died and went to the river that flows from the throne of God. On the other side stood my earthly father and my baby brother that died at 14 months when I was still a child myself. There he was a full grown man, yet I knew who they were. Then a pure white light in a human shape floated out and its voice said the same three phrases Peter heard at the lake shore over the three  nights. This got my attention so I asked my pastor how to know if God was calling me. He began to laugh till I told him this was a serious inquiry. He said he wasn't laughing at me he was laughing about the ways and the length of time God uses to get the people he wants. He said he had been expecting me to come talk with him for quite some time but he didn't say anything to me about it because he was inclined to let God to the pushing, pulling and kick in the pants and said " well, here you are! I think you just answered your own question!" He told me to write a letter to the District Superintendent and get signed up for college.”
 
The following week Rev. Blair went to the college to find out how much it would cost to take two courses plus books. There was no room in his budget to afford classes. He told his wife when he got home and the phone rang during their conversation. It was the bank where he had his business loans as well as his mortgage and the bank wanted to combine the loans at a lower interest and save the Blairs the exact amount he needed for college. God helped many more times through the years of college and at the Garrett Evangelical Seminary, and is still working on him and his family, providing their needs through 24 years of ministry. It is his hope that we can work together to grow the kingdom of God until our time is up and then praise God in his courts! 
 
About South Fayette Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry –Brownfield; Uniontown: Calvary; Uniontown: Christ; Uniontown: Community; Franklin Memorial; Gans; Hopwood; Juniata; Masontown; Mount Pleasant-Dilliner; Point Marion; Smithfield; Trinity: Fairchance; Upper Middletown—service communities in the southern part of Fayette County.. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Brownfield United Methodist Church was organized as part of the Methodist Protestant Church shortly after revival meetings were held at the Hutchinson School house in 1882.  The services were conducted by Rev. John McCarty of Fairchance and Rev. George McCollum of Uniontown.  The first building was taken over by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1889, but the church continued holding services there until 1897.  A new building with addition was built in 1926. Since 1965 they have been on a circuit with the Hopwood Church.
 
Uniontown: Calvary United Methodist Church was organized on February 11, 1894 as a Methodist Protestant Church under the leadership of Rev. David E. Minerd.  The church was originally called Minerd Chapel.  An education wing was added in 1932 and second brick education wing was added in 1956.  The church loves to reach out to a variety of community groups and is a great supporter of Jumonville.
 
Uniontown: Christ United Methodist Church has roots dating back to the fall of 1830, when the “reformer” portion of the Uniontown Methodist Episcopal Church (later Asbury) withdrew from that Church and organized a Class of the Methodist Protestant Church in the Fayette County Courthouse.The first building was erected in 1841 and was known as the “Little Old Radical church.”    This was the first congregation served by Reverend John Calvin Broomfield when he came to America in 1896 and who later became one of the two original Bishops elected by the Methodist Protestant Church at the Uniting Conference. 
 
Uniontown:  Community United Methodist Church traces its roots to the spring of 1938, when Mrs. Ethel Steward asked three members of the staff of the McCrum Community House, a Board of Missions project of the Pittsburgh Conference, to start a Sunday School in Evans Manor.  They met in a school house on West Penn Boulevard .  A charter was granted to the Evans Manor Methodist Church in 1948.  In 1998 Evans Manor and Hutchinson Churches merged to form Smock: Community.  It later became part of the Uniontown Larger Parish.
 
Franklin Memorial United Methodist Church:  About 1835 a Methodist Protestant Church was organized in Woodvale School District and a stone church building was erected on land donated by Joseph Paull.  Mr. Paull also donated the land for a burying ground, which is now the Franklin Cemetery.  A new Church was erected in 1875 and a church school addition was built in the early 1900s.  The church has a very active Sunday School and youth program.
 
Gans United Methodist Church was founded in 1905 when a group of families in the area met in a store to organize a Methodist Protestant Class.  The Church was built in 1905, the original structure is still in use.  An annex was added to the church in 1959.
 
Hopwood United Methodist Church was founded in 1828 by members who withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church to reform and join the Methodist Protestant Church.  The church being too small, members began to work for the purpose of building a new Church that was dedicated in 1901.  The basement was excavated in 1927 to construct a hall where the church often gathers for fellowship.
 
Juniata United Methodist Church was formed as a Methodist Protestant Church after services were started in the Juniata School on December 1, 1935.  The H.C. Frick Company gave the congregation permission to use one of the company houses for a Church and it was occupied in in 1936. Today Juniata is in converted store with a fellowship hall upstairs.  The congregation loves to worship and share fellowship together.
 
Masontown United Methodist Church was founded in 1819 by Andrew Long, Caleb Hanna, and Alexander McDougle.  The first location was on West Church Street with a cemetery attached. In 1820 this church was almost ruined by a violent storm.  The church was repaired and rebuilt.  It has survived a fire and stood as a testament to the resilient grace and God and the wonderful people of the community.
 
Mount Pleasant-Dilliner United Methodist Church was the northernmost church in the Methodist Episcopal Church South and often referred to as the “Dixie Church.”  The church is very active in missions and supports over 20 different missions in and outside the local area.  The church loves music and is especially known for its mission dinners.
 
Point Marion United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 through the efforts of Ambrose Dilliner, with four members.  They had no regular place of worship, but met from place to place, such as the Polly Rose house, the Mill house, and the Ferry House.  The cornerstone for the current church was laid on September 11, 1921 and was dedicated on April 16, 1922.  The church houses a food pantry and Fijian worship community.
 
Smithfield United Methodist Church:  Reverend Dennis Battee and a Mr. Stevenson organized the Society in 1819 in the home of Dr. Sackett.  James Smith, a member, had applied to the preacher on the Redstone Circuit to organize a Church and having secured a sufficient number the Society was organized.  In 1833 a Camp Meeting was held on General Alexander McClellen’s farm; the Sabbath meeting had over 3,000 in attendance. The church grew and today is a special place of worship for the community.
 
Trinity United Methodist Church was known as The Independent Methodist Church of Fairchance and was organized sometime before 1903.   A new church building was built in 1923, but was later destroyed by fire.  A new church building was erected in 1924 with an addition made in 1965-1966. 
 
Upper Middletown United Methodist Church: The church claims its origin in the Class that met in the John Jones home on Redstone Creek, which was a preaching appointment on the original Redstone Circuit of 1784-1787.  Reverend Robert Ayres preached there regularly in 1786-1787 and on his first visit on June 21, 1786 Bishop Francis Asbury accompanied him.  The record of the event, in the Ayers journal is as follows: “At friend Jones.  Heard Mr. Asbury preach from Genesis 18; 19 and Harry (Black Harry Rosier) from ‘If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.’ They both spoke very lively and close.  Lodged with Mr. Asbury and rested well.”  That same spirit is still a part of the Upper Middletown Church today.

Olson to Serve South Fayette Parish

Announced: 05-20-2018

About Diane B. Olson
Diane B. Olson has been appointed to the South Fayette Cooperative Parish effective July 1, 2018.
Diane’s earliest memory of church is sitting on her grandpa’s lap in the balcony during the Christmas Eve service at First Church, Erie. 

"First Church is home to me,” she says. “It was there that I not only learned about God and His love, but where I was also nurtured and drawn out of my introverted self.”  Through participating in clown ministry and a variety of church musicals and plays, Diane discovered she had a voice. Her very first sermon was delivered from the pulpit at First Church and “when I stepped up into that pulpit, I felt God’s love surrounding me and knew I was home.”
 
She was blessed to grow up in Erie and has many fond memories of being at the beach with her Mom and grandparents, no matter what the season!  Diane has worked at the YMCA, First United Methodist Day Care Center, the Erie County Library, Evergreen Shelter for Women and Children, and the Erie City Mission.  A proud graduate of Seton Hill University, Diane earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies/Theology, minoring in Psychology and Computer Science, while serving as a Resident Director, Campus Minister and Assistant Manager of the college bookstore.  During her college summers, she was part of the summer staff at Camp Allegheny, Jumonville, and Wesley Woods.
 
Diane’s personal mission statement is: to accept people as they are and where they are and encourage and give them opportunities to grow as disciples of Jesus. As a Licensed Local Pastor, Diane has served Erie: Henderson, Erie: First, Union City: Parade Street/ Spartansburg, and Hopwood/Brownfield UMCs.  Her favorite part of ministry is “never knowing what to expect – God always seems to have a surprise in store for us!”  Through her ministry with kids, Diane has learned to remain a kid at heart, as she tries to live out Mark 10:14 “Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom.”  Because “God says: I like youngsters.  I want people to be like them.  Youngsters – twisted, humped, wrinkled, white-bearded – all kinds of youngsters, but youngsters.  There is room for no one else.” (Michel Quoist)
 
About South Fayette Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry –Brownfield; Uniontown: Calvary; Uniontown: Christ; Uniontown: Community; Franklin Memorial; Gans; Hopwood; Juniata; Masontown; Mount Pleasant-Dilliner; Point Marion; Smithfield; Trinity: Fairchance; Upper Middletown—service communities in the southern part of Fayette County.. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Brownfield United Methodist Church was organized as part of the Methodist Protestant Church shortly after revival meetings were held at the Hutchinson School house in 1882.  The services were conducted by Rev. John McCarty of Fairchance and Rev. George McCollum of Uniontown.  The first building was taken over by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1889, but the church continued holding services there until 1897.  A new building with addition was built in 1926. Since 1965 they have been on a circuit with the Hopwood Church.
 
Uniontown: Calvary United Methodist Church was organized on February 11, 1894 as a Methodist Protestant Church under the leadership of Rev. David E. Minerd.  The church was originally called Minerd Chapel.  An education wing was added in 1932 and second brick education wing was added in 1956.  The church loves to reach out to a variety of community groups and is a great supporter of Jumonville.
 
Uniontown: Christ United Methodist Church has roots dating back to the fall of 1830, when the “reformer” portion of the Uniontown Methodist Episcopal Church (later Asbury) withdrew from that Church and organized a Class of the Methodist Protestant Church in the Fayette County Courthouse.The first building was erected in 1841 and was known as the “Little Old Radical church.”    This was the first congregation served by Reverend John Calvin Broomfield when he came to America in 1896 and who later became one of the two original Bishops elected by the Methodist Protestant Church at the Uniting Conference. 
 
Uniontown:  Community United Methodist Church traces its roots to the spring of 1938, when Mrs. Ethel Steward asked three members of the staff of the McCrum Community House, a Board of Missions project of the Pittsburgh Conference, to start a Sunday School in Evans Manor.  They met in a school house on West Penn Boulevard .  A charter was granted to the Evans Manor Methodist Church in 1948.  In 1998 Evans Manor and Hutchinson Churches merged to form Smock: Community.  It later became part of the Uniontown Larger Parish.
 
Franklin Memorial United Methodist Church:  About 1835 a Methodist Protestant Church was organized in Woodvale School District and a stone church building was erected on land donated by Joseph Paull.  Mr. Paull also donated the land for a burying ground, which is now the Franklin Cemetery.  A new Church was erected in 1875 and a church school addition was built in the early 1900s.  The church has a very active Sunday School and youth program.
 
Gans United Methodist Church was founded in 1905 when a group of families in the area met in a store to organize a Methodist Protestant Class.  The Church was built in 1905, the original structure is still in use.  An annex was added to the church in 1959.
 
Hopwood United Methodist Church was founded in 1828 by members who withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church to reform and join the Methodist Protestant Church.  The church being too small, members began to work for the purpose of building a new Church that was dedicated in 1901.  The basement was excavated in 1927 to construct a hall where the church often gathers for fellowship.
 
Juniata United Methodist Church was formed as a Methodist Protestant Church after services were started in the Juniata School on December 1, 1935.  The H.C. Frick Company gave the congregation permission to use one of the company houses for a Church and it was occupied in in 1936. Today Juniata is in converted store with a fellowship hall upstairs.  The congregation loves to worship and share fellowship together.
 
Masontown United Methodist Church was founded in 1819 by Andrew Long, Caleb Hanna, and Alexander McDougle.  The first location was on West Church Street with a cemetery attached. In 1820 this church was almost ruined by a violent storm.  The church was repaired and rebuilt.  It has survived a fire and stood as a testament to the resilient grace and God and the wonderful people of the community.
 
Mount Pleasant-Dilliner United Methodist Church was the northernmost church in the Methodist Episcopal Church South and often referred to as the “Dixie Church.”  The church is very active in missions and supports over 20 different missions in and outside the local area.  The church loves music and is especially known for its mission dinners.
 
Point Marion United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 through the efforts of Ambrose Dilliner, with four members.  They had no regular place of worship, but met from place to place, such as the Polly Rose house, the Mill house, and the Ferry House.  The cornerstone for the current church was laid on September 11, 1921 and was dedicated on April 16, 1922.  The church houses a food pantry and Fijian worship community.
 
Smithfield United Methodist Church:  Reverend Dennis Battee and a Mr. Stevenson organized the Society in 1819 in the home of Dr. Sackett.  James Smith, a member, had applied to the preacher on the Redstone Circuit to organize a Church and having secured a sufficient number the Society was organized.  In 1833 a Camp Meeting was held on General Alexander McClellen’s farm; the Sabbath meeting had over 3,000 in attendance. The church grew and today is a special place of worship for the community.
 
Trinity United Methodist Church was known as The Independent Methodist Church of Fairchance and was organized sometime before 1903.   A new church building was built in 1923, but was later destroyed by fire.  A new church building was erected in 1924 with an addition made in 1965-1966. 
 
Upper Middletown United Methodist Church: The church claims its origin in the Class that met in the John Jones home on Redstone Creek, which was a preaching appointment on the original Redstone Circuit of 1784-1787.  Reverend Robert Ayres preached there regularly in 1786-1787 and on his first visit on June 21, 1786 Bishop Francis Asbury accompanied him.  The record of the event, in the Ayers journal is as follows: “At friend Jones.  Heard Mr. Asbury preach from Genesis 18; 19 and Harry (Black Harry Rosier) from ‘If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.’ They both spoke very lively and close.  Lodged with Mr. Asbury and rested well.”  That same spirit is still a part of the Upper Middletown Church today.

Timothy Rogers to serve South Fayette Parish

Announced: 05-20-2018

About Timothy M. Rogers
Timothy M. Rogers has been appointed to the South Fayette Cooperative Parish effective July 1, 2018.
Pastor Tim grew up in the Oakland-Dempseytown United Methodist Church in Franklin District, where he experienced the length and width of the conference traveling as a youth and receiving Jesus Christ as his Savior at Wesley Woods Camp.

His wife Shirley grew up nearby at Sandy Lake, Pa.  sharing her faith at her church. After graduating from Oil City High School, he attended Grove City College and feeling the call to be a pastor he attended Asbury Theological Seminary, spending a few years in Kentucky. 

He returned to Pennsylvania in March of 1984 and was appointed to Valier Charge. He enjoyed the friendliness of the churches while preaching, teaching, leading camp events and sharing the Good News of the Gospel. His call has led him to work with all ages in the country and city locations. Through the call to discipleship he has asked many young people and adults to take the mercy and love of the Gospel beyond the walls of the church by serving in mission and asking, "How can we serve the community today?" The Rogers have traveled with members, young and old to mission work across the conference, New Jersey and West Virginia.
 
This year Tim and Shirley will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and time of sharing ministry together. They have a grown daughter and two granddaughters. They cherish their families and the experience of traveling to Israel, across the United States, relaxing by the ocean and enjoying all parts of Pennsylvania.
         
Pastor Tim has served the Valier Charge, Jackson Center Charge, Addison Charge, Benezette Charge including Sterling Run and Sinnamahoning churches. He has served Uniontown-Christ and Trinity Fairchance and is currently serving at  the South Uniontown Cooperative with Uniontown - Christ, Trinity Fairchance, Hopwood and Brownfield Churches.
 
About South Fayette Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry –Brownfield; Uniontown: Calvary; Uniontown: Christ; Uniontown: Community; Franklin Memorial; Gans; Hopwood; Juniata; Masontown; Mount Pleasant-Dilliner; Point Marion; Smithfield; Trinity: Fairchance; Upper Middletown—service communities in the southern part of Fayette County.. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Brownfield United Methodist Church was organized as part of the Methodist Protestant Church shortly after revival meetings were held at the Hutchinson School house in 1882.  The services were conducted by Rev. John McCarty of Fairchance and Rev. George McCollum of Uniontown.  The first building was taken over by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1889, but the church continued holding services there until 1897.  A new building with addition was built in 1926. Since 1965 they have been on a circuit with the Hopwood Church.
 
Uniontown: Calvary United Methodist Church was organized on February 11, 1894 as a Methodist Protestant Church under the leadership of Rev. David E. Minerd.  The church was originally called Minerd Chapel.  An education wing was added in 1932 and second brick education wing was added in 1956.  The church loves to reach out to a variety of community groups and is a great supporter of Jumonville.
 
Uniontown: Christ United Methodist Church has roots dating back to the fall of 1830, when the “reformer” portion of the Uniontown Methodist Episcopal Church (later Asbury) withdrew from that Church and organized a Class of the Methodist Protestant Church in the Fayette County Courthouse.The first building was erected in 1841 and was known as the “Little Old Radical church.”    This was the first congregation served by Reverend John Calvin Broomfield when he came to America in 1896 and who later became one of the two original Bishops elected by the Methodist Protestant Church at the Uniting Conference. 
 
Uniontown:  Community United Methodist Church traces its roots to the spring of 1938, when Mrs. Ethel Steward asked three members of the staff of the McCrum Community House, a Board of Missions project of the Pittsburgh Conference, to start a Sunday School in Evans Manor.  They met in a school house on West Penn Boulevard .  A charter was granted to the Evans Manor Methodist Church in 1948.  In 1998 Evans Manor and Hutchinson Churches merged to form Smock: Community.  It later became part of the Uniontown Larger Parish.
 
Franklin Memorial United Methodist Church:  About 1835 a Methodist Protestant Church was organized in Woodvale School District and a stone church building was erected on land donated by Joseph Paull.  Mr. Paull also donated the land for a burying ground, which is now the Franklin Cemetery.  A new Church was erected in 1875 and a church school addition was built in the early 1900s.  The church has a very active Sunday School and youth program.
 
Gans United Methodist Church was founded in 1905 when a group of families in the area met in a store to organize a Methodist Protestant Class.  The Church was built in 1905, the original structure is still in use.  An annex was added to the church in 1959.
 
Hopwood United Methodist Church was founded in 1828 by members who withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church to reform and join the Methodist Protestant Church.  The church being too small, members began to work for the purpose of building a new Church that was dedicated in 1901.  The basement was excavated in 1927 to construct a hall where the church often gathers for fellowship.
 
Juniata United Methodist Church was formed as a Methodist Protestant Church after services were started in the Juniata School on December 1, 1935.  The H.C. Frick Company gave the congregation permission to use one of the company houses for a Church and it was occupied in in 1936. Today Juniata is in converted store with a fellowship hall upstairs.  The congregation loves to worship and share fellowship together.
 
Masontown United Methodist Church was founded in 1819 by Andrew Long, Caleb Hanna, and Alexander McDougle.  The first location was on West Church Street with a cemetery attached. In 1820 this church was almost ruined by a violent storm.  The church was repaired and rebuilt.  It has survived a fire and stood as a testament to the resilient grace and God and the wonderful people of the community.
 
Mount Pleasant-Dilliner United Methodist Church was the northernmost church in the Methodist Episcopal Church South and often referred to as the “Dixie Church.”  The church is very active in missions and supports over 20 different missions in and outside the local area.  The church loves music and is especially known for its mission dinners.
 
Point Marion United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 through the efforts of Ambrose Dilliner, with four members.  They had no regular place of worship, but met from place to place, such as the Polly Rose house, the Mill house, and the Ferry House.  The cornerstone for the current church was laid on September 11, 1921 and was dedicated on April 16, 1922.  The church houses a food pantry and Fijian worship community.
 
Smithfield United Methodist Church:  Reverend Dennis Battee and a Mr. Stevenson organized the Society in 1819 in the home of Dr. Sackett.  James Smith, a member, had applied to the preacher on the Redstone Circuit to organize a Church and having secured a sufficient number the Society was organized.  In 1833 a Camp Meeting was held on General Alexander McClellen’s farm; the Sabbath meeting had over 3,000 in attendance. The church grew and today is a special place of worship for the community.
 
Trinity United Methodist Church was known as The Independent Methodist Church of Fairchance and was organized sometime before 1903.   A new church building was built in 1923, but was later destroyed by fire.  A new church building was erected in 1924 with an addition made in 1965-1966. 
 
Upper Middletown United Methodist Church: The church claims its origin in the Class that met in the John Jones home on Redstone Creek, which was a preaching appointment on the original Redstone Circuit of 1784-1787.  Reverend Robert Ayres preached there regularly in 1786-1787 and on his first visit on June 21, 1786 Bishop Francis Asbury accompanied him.  The record of the event, in the Ayers journal is as follows: “At friend Jones.  Heard Mr. Asbury preach from Genesis 18; 19 and Harry (Black Harry Rosier) from ‘If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.’ They both spoke very lively and close.  Lodged with Mr. Asbury and rested well.”  That same spirit is still a part of the Upper Middletown Church today.
 

Bowser to Serve as Army Chaplain

Announced: 05-13-2018

About Timothy Bowser
Rev. Timothy (Tim) E. Bowser was born and raised in Clarion County, PA. At the age of 12, he became a member of the Perryville United Methodist Church (the same church he was baptized in when he wasa few months old). Four years later he started to discern a call to pastoral ministry, the same time that his father, Pastor Richard E. Bowser, was finishing licensing school and received an appointment in the WPAUMC.
 
After graduating from Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School, Tim went on to Clarion University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Liberal Studies with minors in History and Psychology. He then went on to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (serving as a student pastor) and graduated with his M.Div in 2007.
 
Tim has always felt a call to serve others, and for some, it was no surprise that he would become a pastor. However, he has always felt a greater calling to serve not only those in the church, but those outside the local church. For 15 years (including the years as a student and commissioned pastor), he has served the local church and their communities. But he always felt as if he should and could be doing more. This past year God began to place another call in his life, one which has been a lifelong dream.
 
On June 6, 2018 Tim will report to Chaplain Basic Officer Leader Course (CHBOLC) at Fort Jackson, SC, where he will train to become a US Army Chaplain. Tim will attend the school with rank of Captain (03) and will be commissioned to Active Duty upon arrival at CHBOLC. After graduation, Tim will be stationed at Fort Bragg, NC where he will serve as an Army Battalion Chaplain of the 2nd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division.
 
Tim is one in a long line of family members who have served in the military; both of his older brothers were born on Army installations.  He has always had a deep respect and admiration for the men and women, and their families, who serve this great nation. He is excited and looks forward to serving these brave men, women, and their families in what is an extraordinary, yet humbling call from God.
 
About U. S. Army Chaplain



 

Ent to Lead Glasgow Larger Parish

Announced: 05-13-2018

About Harry "Mick" Ent
Harry “Mick” Ent has been appointed as the Senior Pastor at the Glasgow Larger Parish on the Johnstown District.  Since July 2017, Mick has been serving as the Preaching Associate at the Parish and is excited about stepping into this new role.  Mick, wife Pamela and daughter Sandy have been living at Treasure Lake in DuBois, Pa., but will move into the Parish parsonage this summer.  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.  After 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 has been taking classes through the Course of Study. 

Mick 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 four years in the United States Air Force (1960 to 1964).
 
About Glasgow Larger Parish
The Glasgow Larger Parish (Beaver Valley, Blandburg, Fiske, Pleasant Hill and Utahville) 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 several Lay Servants who help to bring the word of God to the “3 Side” (Fiske, Pleasant Hill, Blandburg) and the “2 Side” (Utahville and Beaver Valley).  Although each of the five churches maintains its own church building and reaches out to its communities, the Larger Parish provides opportunities for shared ministry.

Jones to Serve UM Charge for Christ

Announced: 05-13-2018

About Jillian S. Jones
Jillian Jones was born Jillian Schweigert in Blairsville. Her parents raised her and her sister 
in the United Methodist Church, with her church family being a large part of her life. She began exploring ministry in college after finishing lay speaker school. She went straight from graduating Saint Vincent College in English with a concentration in Creative Writing in 2015  to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where she is still a student and set to graduate Spring 2019.
 
She has a heart for Deaf and disability ministry in the church. She started learning American Sign Language in 2016. She was the Deaf Ministry Intern at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community in the South Side of Pittsburgh for two years. There she taught very basic ASL, hosted Silent Game Nights in ASL and provided pastoral care for the Deaf community in her church.
 
She’s happily married to Justin Jones and together they have a son Josiah, born in April 2017, a dog and two cats. She enjoys board games, reading and the color pink.

 
About United Methodist Charge for Christ

The churches of this cooperative ministry include Cochran’s Mill, Elderton, Mt. Zion, Rural Valley and Whitesburg in southern Armstrong County. The congregations have worked together the past 11 years proclaiming the gospel through Vacation Bible School, Kids Club, local mission projects, helping those in need in their communities, all with their eyes on Jesus Christ. They look forward to what God brings them in the future.
 

Jude Urso To Serve Monogahela First UMC

Announced: 05-13-2018

About Jude Urso
From as far back as he can remember, Jude Urso has been aware of “God’s call on his life.”  From childhood others in his life confirmed what Jude “knew in his own heart.”  At the same time, Jude also knew “he didn’t want to be a pastor”.  It turns out (as it often does), God had other plans!  As a student attending Mercyhurst University, God’s plans also became clear to him.  Jude describes his experience this way: “While I was working on my degree at Mercyhurst University the call became stronger and stronger. I went on a mission trip to Mexico City the summer before my final year of college.  When I got there the only room available was with the youth pastor of the group.  He was the one who helped me understand that God was calling me into ministry and that I had no other choice, but to answer that call.”  Soon afterward Jude was licensed as a student pastor in the Conference and enrolled in seminary. The rest is history.

It’s also a history in which Jude describes seeing “the Lord work in amazing ways” in his life, the life of the churches and communities he has been privileged to serve, and the people God entrusted to him as their pastor.  Reaching beyond the walls of the church as it’s often known, Jude has served as a firefighter, as an Eagle Scout providing adult leadership in the scouting program, served on community boards and agencies, and actively participated in local clergy ministeriums and ecumenical services and ministries.
 
One of Jude’s strengths is he loves people.  Preaching, teaching and administration are also strengths that Jude brings to the table.  While not as young as he once was, Jude also has made it known he still has what it takes to stay up all night at youth events. Jude’s pastoral ministry appointments include: Bethel and White Oak UMCs, Hickory Grove UMC, Creekside and Tanoma UMCs, Creekside and Trinity UMC, where he served as Trinity’s youth pastor, and Windover Hills UMC.  Jude presently serves in an Extension Ministry appointment at Jumonville as the Director of Business and Operations. In addition to his ministry in the local church and as part of the Conference’s Camping and Retreat Ministries, Jude has also served as a member of the Conference Sessions Team and on the Conference Council on Finance and Administration.
 
Jude is married to Emily. Together they have three beautiful daughters – Mary,13; Sarah,11, and Rachel, 5. Emily is employed at the Ringgold Middle School, is in her senior year at California University and is a gifted musician. Sarah and Rachel are aspiring dancers and Mary is active in Girl Scouts.
 
About Monongahela First UMC
Monongahela, Pennsylvania’s second smallest chartered city, has been described as a “rising star” in Washington County and the Mon Valley. More and more people are calling Monongahela home, especially young people. A city of an estimated 4,300 persons, Monongahela is an active community hosting between 60 and 110 community-centered activities each month. Located in the heart of the city, Monongahela First is the largest Protestant church in town. Known for its outreaching love and the high value church members place on relationships, Monongahela First looks ahead committed to find creative ways to meet people “where they are” while continuing to “change the world by making disciples of Jesus Christ who make more disciples”. The church has a growing discipleship program with a new adult Sunday school class and plans to launch a beginners Sunday school for grades K-2 this fall.

The church building serves as the site for both the church’s food pantry and the community food bank.  Mon First is also one of several churches in the community that works to dismantle racism and address injustice and oppression in the Mon Valley and beyond. When asked what kind of church they believe Jesus is calling them to be in the next five years, church leaders responded by saying, “More mission-centered and mission-based; relevant; more community active and engaging; being a part of the community at-large, including providing leadership in the community beyond the walls of the church; more open to who and what God sends us; having a deeper and better understanding of the gospel and a more Christ-like “outreaching” grace for all.”
 

M. Kiefer to Serve Conemaugh First

Announced: 05-13-2018

About Marjorie L. Kiefer
Rev. Marjorie L. Kiefer will serve as the appointed pastor at the Conemaugh: First United Methodist Church effective July 1, 2018.  She will also serve as a Preaching Associate with the nearby United for God Cooperative in Johnstown. 
 
Marge is a lifelong resident of the city of Johnstown. She attended the Conemaugh Valley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and was employed by Conemaugh Hospital as a Registered Nurse for 17 years. Sensing a call to ministry she explored Parish Nursing and completed a Parish Nursing training program.  In 2000 she began serving as the Parish Nurse for the Six United for God Cooperative. In 2004 she was appointed to the Cooperative as a Licensed Local Pastor and served as an associate pastor for nine years.   
 
Marge attended the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Related Professions in 2006.  She attended the Course of Study School of Ohio: West Virginia Extension and completed Course of Study in 2013.   One of Marge’s passions in ministry is helping others grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. She is gifted in teaching and leading small groups.   Marge is married to Frank Kiefer.  Together they have raised a family and are enjoying the blessings of grandchildren. She enjoys reading, crocheting, and riding bikes.
 
About Conemaugh First UMC
Located in Conemaugh Borough, this small membership church has a long history of service in its community.  Sunday morning includes Bible study during the Sunday School hour and a worship service that features a choir, children’s ministry, and a newly added multi-media system.  The church is very responsive to the community in which it exists, helping families in times of crisis and opening its doors for fellowship and worship events.  Recently, the church sponsored a clothing ministry and helped 75 persons receive needed clothing.  On Good Friday, the church has held a passion play, sharing the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection with members and guests. 

The church has a community prayer ministry in the community, with prayer boxes placed in several locations so people can share prayer needs. The prayer requests are brought to the worshipping community and individuals are encouraged to take home requests and pray for the people who left them.  The church continues to work for and pray for revival. 

Oliver to Serve Erie: Trinity UMC

Announced: 05-13-2018

About Roseanne Oliver
Growing up a foster child raised in a Christian family and trained in an AME Church, Roseanne Oliver says that being a Methodist is a part of her DNA. Shaped by the teachings of Jesus, and formed through servant leadership from the time she could talk, Roseanne was being prepared for the mission of God in the World.  

She received her call to Pastoral Ministry in 1995. Retiring from her career as a Realtor, and excited to return to school in preparation for service, Roseanne earned a BA in Religion and a BA in Africa and African American Studies at Wright State University in Dayton Ohio. After graduation, while she was packing to move on to Seminary, Roseanne received a call from the University Urban Studies Department, inviting her to stay and complete a Master of Public Administration (MPA). While the two-year MPA program delayed her entrance into Seminary, she believes that the skills she acquired were designed to enhance her ministerial skills in the community. Roseanne entered seminary, where she earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Payne Theological Seminary, Wilberforce, Ohio. While at Payne, Roseanne completed her CPE Certification at Kettering Hospital in Kettering, Ohio.

Ordained an Elder in the AME Church, Roseanne served as an Associate Pastor for six years on the campus of Payne Seminary. She served as Senior Pastor to churches in the Marysville, and Kenton Ohio areas, as well as Monessen and West Newton, Pa. Roseanne worked on many committee as well as serving as Chair of Xenia/Springfield and the Ohio Conference Organization of Women in Ministry.
After transferring to the UMC, Roseanne became a member of Laketon Heights, UMC, Pittsburgh, where Rev. Judith Winston Thomas is Senior Pastor. In her spare time, Roseanne teaches in the local community elementary schools and works summers in inner city camps with an emphasis on combatting “summer slide” in disadvantaged communities. She is passionate about preaching and teaching God’s word. Well-known for her contagious evangelism, her love of music and creative preaching, Roseanne enjoys traditional, contemporary and blended worship services. Her passion for ministry includes community outreach, the elderly, and the elimination of homelessness in our communities.
Roseanne often thinks… “there are people right outside the walls of our local churches who need healing and who are lonely. We have in our hands good medicine from the Great Physician to dispense—it is a gospel message that heals hearts, changes lives, and reconciles sinners to a merciful Savior.”
 
About Erie: Trinity UMC
Trinity Church traces its history back to the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Church began its life as the Wayne Street Methodist Church of Erie. In the early 1960’s the congregation made the decision to move from its land-locked urban location to a part of the city which was growing quickly, the neighborhood in which Mercyhurst University is located. The new structure was completed in the fall of 1963 and consecrated on November 17, 1963 by Bishop W. Vernon Middleton. At a later point an addition of a gym/multipurpose room was completed.
 
The congregation is strongly Bible-based, mission-minded and guided by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.   They reach out to the community in a number of creative ways, including Friendship Ministries, an organization that ministers to adults who are mentally and physically challenged. They have a good working relationship with the Erie United Methodist Alliance, a ministry that seeks to makes homelessness in the region rare and brief.  They also have recently conducted a number of outreach ministries to children and youth.
 
Trinity Church is comprised of loving and caring people, who are ready to discover their future as the Body of Christ!
 

Lenk Appointed to Mt. Joy Charge

Announced: 05-11-2018

About Gene Lenk
Born in Anderson, SC, Gene Lenk and moved to PA at the age of five. His father finished seminary and the family moved to Shippenville to be the pastor of Emanuel Lutheran Church when Gene was nine. He grew up in the church learning about Jesus from an early age. He was older when he answered the call to active ministry, which like so many, he avoided until he could no longer say no.  "God has blessed us beyond measure with his grace and mercy and that is why I serve," he said. "My story is all about Christ’s love for all of us, no matter what we have done.  Christ still loves us and there is nothing we can do to stop him."

Gene earned a BS degree from Clarion University in Business Management with a double major in management and marketing, has done MBA course work in personnel management, has a permanent Certification in Education, and is currently enrolled in the Methodist Course of Study, with expected completion in the fall of 2018.  Advance Course of Study is on the horizon with a goal of being ordained as an Elder.
 
Gene and his wife Melanie were married in 1972. They have two married daughters, Jeannie and Megan, and four grandchildren: Lexi, Cole, Bryanna, and Hanna.  They have made Knox their home since 1976.
 
He has served as senior pastor to the Emlenton United Methodist Ministries since July 1, 2015.  This ministry includes Big Bend UMC, Emlenton UMC, and Old Zion UMC.  Previously he served as an associate at the Redbank Valley Charge. Gene has served as a  Certified Lay Minister,  a Certified Lay Speaker, a Stephen Minister, and worship leader.  He has also served in almost every church leadership position, including Council, SPRC, Finance, Worship, and Lay Delegate to Annual Conference.
 
"I am excited to be able to share the word of God, to share the Good News of Jesus and of salvation that he has made available to the world.  I am anxious to be about the work of the Lord, teaching, preaching, healing, encouraging, discipling, and loving as we discover the gifts of the Spirit given to us and how we can meld those gifts together to become the church that God intended for us to be," Gene said. "I love worship, I love to sing, I enjoy bringing honor and glory to our God, and I look forward to exciting the congregations of Mt. Joy Charge to help me raise the rafters as we praise our Lord, our Savior, and our King."
 
About Mt. Joy Charge
The Mount Joy charge consists of Mount Joy UMC, St. Petersburg UMC and Foxburg UMC. The churches all participate in Bible Studies, support the local food bank and help their neighbors in need. The churches recently began worshipping together during Lent with other United Methodist churches nearby. Fellowship dinners are held on a regular basis in the churches as they invite the communities to join them. Vacation Bible School is a highlight of the summer as the churches reach out to the children in their area. On holiday weekends, the churches help to offer coffee and cookies to holiday travelers at an exit of Interstate 80 . The charge continually reaches out to schools and nursing homes in the area. The people of the church strive to create faith communities that are rooted in the Gospel and living lives that embody the Spirit of Christ.
 

Ackley-Killian to Serve Heckathorn UMC

Announced: 05-06-2018

About Deborah Ackley-Killian
Deborah Ackley-Killian is returning to active ministry from Family Leave that began after her husband, Rev. Earl Killian, contracted meningitis and encephalitis that resulted in permanent consequences and complications. Earl died in March from end-stage renal disease and received the promise of restoration and resurrection.  For the last two decades, Deborah served in a ministry of care-giving presence as wife, mother, friend and pastor.

"Our lives are shaped by the sacred vows we make before God and one another," she said. "On a hot humid summer day, my parents brought me to First Bethel United Methodist Church where I was baptized and nurtured in the faith. On an unseasonably warm winter day, I pledged to honor and keep Earl Killian in sickness and in health. As Advent began on a snowy November day, we promised to raise our infant daughter, Grace, in a Christian home and to lead a life of faith before her. On hot rainy days in Grove City, Earl and I both promised to serve the Lord in a Ministry of Word and Sacrament."

Deborah is a graduate of Adrian College and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Their adult daughter Grace is a student at Harvard Divinity School and Tufts University in Boston.

In active ministry, Deborah served Goodwill Industries as a chaplain and four local congregations--Walton, Warren Grace, Johnstown Christ and New Castle Epworth-- as pastor. She has served on the Board of Ordained Ministry, the Wesbury Board of Directors, Camp Allegheny Board of Directors and several District Committees on Ministry. For several years, I was dean of the Nature Quest Mini Camps at Camp Allegheny. She was elected as a delegate to Jurisdictional Conference in 1996.

Throughout the years of Family Leave, the Killians participated in the life of faith at Mt. Lebanon UM Church where Deborah served as Stephen’s Ministry Coordinator, Confirmation Coordinator, Samaritan Ministries Cooperation, Youth Director Mentor, Adult Sunday School teacher and guest preacher. She also substituted at Asbury Heights and South Hills Partnership. She currently serves as part of the ministerial team at South Hills Partnership (Carnegie, Fairhaven, Hilltop and Spencer churches) preaching at monthly Communion Worship and providing pastoral care. She also serves as a chaplain at Gracious Living Personal Care Center in Castle Shannon.

"As my husband Earl has entered into a new life of joy and resurrection in the Church Triumphant, I too enter a new personal and professional lifestyle awaiting the future with joy and hope as I return to active ministry at Heckathorn Church," she said. 
About Heckathorn UMC
Heckathorn UMC is located in Seneca, PA in the northern Franklin District. The church is blessed to have a multi-generational ministry. While many members have been part of the Heckathorn congregation all of their lives, there is ministry happening for children with a weekly weekday ministry throughout the year and the Sunday morning WOW (Worship our Way) children’s church.  The youth group meets regularly and the youth group members are active in many facets of the congregation’s ministry.

Heckathorn UMC is a member of the CHRISTAR cluster of United Methodist Churches in the area surrounding Seneca. The cluster hosts a weekly, “Free Skate” for the community at the local Roller Skating Rink during the school year. In addition, the congregation participates in a clothing ministry, a ramp building ministry, supports a food pantry, sponsors mission trips, hosts Vacation Bible School and helps their neighbors in need.

Brink to Serve Sheffield, Barnes UMCs

Announced: 05-06-2018

About Douglas M. Brink
When Douglas Brink came to know the Lord as his Savior and redeemer in the spring of 1973, he knew that God had plans for him and would use him one day. After graduation from high school, Douglas joined the US Army and served as a senior military policeman in the United States, Korea and Germany for 11 years. Douglas wanted to make the military a career, but with cutbacks in the armed forces, he had to follow a different career path.

After his service, Douglas held a variety of jobs, including installing fire alarms in New York City corporate facilities and Atlantic City casinos. In all of his jobs, he developed a variety of skills and through them all, he met lost souls and led others to Christ.

His best job, he says, was working as a shepherd for his wife's uncle in Somerville, New Jersey. The 600-acre spread just 40 miles west of New York City was the largest sheep farm east of the Mississippi river with nearly 2500 sheep. Dealing with that many sheep made scripture references really come alive for him and provided great illustrations in preaching. When urban sprawl and other factors intruded on his life, Doug once again answered God's call and returned to his roots of Western Pennsylvania to begin the process of ministry.

He Douglas completed licensing school in 2007 and later graduated from Course of Study at MTSO. His first appointment was to the Cherry Tree Charge of the Johnstown District. After nearly eight years, he moved to his current appointment at the Mt. Joy Charge in Franklin District.  As senior pastor there, he brought the three churches into a real working relationship with each other and also with two  ecumenical groups. The relationships led to combined services and a pulpit exchange that resulted in strong bonds with their communities.

Douglas believes that if the church is not outside of its buildings and working with local organizations in making communities better places to live, then the church is not alive. The Charge has provided free coffee along the rest stops of Interstate 80 during the holidays, helped raise funds for struggling fire companies, and supported local schools. The St Petersburg church provides a free spaghetti dinner every month for the community and Foxburg may be the only church that uses a hotdog cart as an outreach along the Allegheny River trails.

Douglas proudly calls himself "Circuit Rider" because he loves the excitement of traveling to the many different churches and bringing the Good News of the Gospel to the people of our rural areas because "they are the church."
 
 
About Sheffield, Barnes UMCs
Sheffield UMC is on scenic Route 6 just east of Olmsted Manor and in the center of the Allegheny National Forest. The congregation continues to reach out in ministry and mission to their community and beyond. One example is their “Be Ye Kind to One Another” (BYKOTA) ministry where they take meals to people in the community each month. They also host a dinner each month, inviting everyone in the community to enjoy a free meal together at the church. The Ruth M. Smith Center, a National Mission Institution of United Methodist Women is also located in Sheffield.

Barnes UMC is in the heart of the Allegheny National Forest at the intersection of Route 948 and 666. They partner with Sheffield in BYKOTA and the monthly community dinners. They support missions locally and globally. Barnes is a warm, inviting, family-oriented church with all generations present at worship. In 2017 they received the highest number of new members in the Kane District relative to their average worship attendance.
 

Gramling to Serve South Fork: Wesley

Announced: 05-06-2018

About Denise Gramling
Denise Gramling will serve the South Fork: Wesley United Methodist Church effective July 1, 2018.  Denise’s call into ministry has been a gradual one.  She first volunteered in the church as a communion steward and eventually began programming and running the electric piano when the organist was not in church.  She then began serving as the worship liturgist and eventually added preaching to her responsibilities.  It was at this point that Denise realized that God was calling her into ministry.  As she answered the call, she entered into the Candidacy process and started to work on her Master of Divinity degree at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
 
As she completed her third year of seminary, her father had a major stroke.  Denise put her seminary career on hold as she returned home to help her mother, sister and brother take care of her father.  During this time in her life, Denise experienced the deep presence and comfort of God, and recognized the blessing of family as her family pulled together to care for her father.  After the death of her father in 2013, Denise then endured a bout with cancer, once again being grateful for the love and support of her family.  Denise credits her family for teaching her the true meaning of Christian love.
 
For the last several years, Denise has been active in the Wilmore United Methodist Church, where her mother Phyllis has been serving as a retired Licensed Local Pastor.  Denise has been the Lay Leader and earlier this year re-entered the Candidacy process.  Denise believes that she is staying within God’s will as she re-starts the process.  She hopes to   complete her Master of Divinity at PTS.  As she begins her ministry at the South Fork: Wesley United Methodist Church, Denise is hoping to faithfully serve others and God in gratitude for what the Lord and her family have given her.
 
About South Fork: Wesley UMC
South Fork: Wesley is a small congregation with a big love of the Lord!  Located in the heart of South Fork, the church has a 10:45 A.M. worship service that features Spirit-filled praise singing and preaching.  A small choir adds their voices to the praise.  In recent months, some new young families have joined the church, and subsequently, a few babies have been baptized!  Prior to the worship service, an adult Sunday School meets and studies the Bible together.  In addition to Sunday School, there is also a mid-week Bible study that has been led by the pastor.  For many years, the church has held a mid-week prayer and healing service, an opportunity for the community of faith to gather around those who are in need of God’s grace and healing touch.   The church leadership is praying that more young people will come to the church and continue the great legacy of faith that has been present in Wesley church for many years!
 
 

Henderson Appointed to Uniontown: Asbury UMC

Announced: 05-06-2018

About Donald Henderson
After graduating from Asbury College in 1982, Don Henderson met and wed Lori in the Oil City area. Don was commissioned as a Surface Line Officer in the US Navy. After five years of service and three children, they returned to Oil City and served the Bethel/Plumer charge while Don studied at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. After seminary, Don and Lori served the Shawnee Charge in Bedford County for 13 years. In 2006, they moved to the Good Shepherd Parish in Indiana District, where they have served since. Their three children are married and have given them four granddaughters. Another grandchild is due in July. 
 
Don and Lori's ministry has emphasized a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In their view, evangelism and discipleship are of utmost importance in the church. Empowered by prayer, praise and understanding of the Bible, their churches have sought to reach out globally and locally in missions. Through prayer, teaching, preaching, hands on work and leadership, Don and Lori seek to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
About Uniontown:Asbury UMC
The church was the central point of the original Redstone Circuit of 1784. The widow Ann Murphy moved to her farm about one mile west of Uniontown in 1781.  There was occasional Methodist preaching in Uniontown by Robert Worster and John Todd between 1777 and 1784.  When Richard Owings laid out the nucleaus of the Redstone circuit in the fall of 1783, its starting point was the Murphy home and when Jon Cooper and Samuel Breeze arrived in 1784 to organize the Circuit, Uniontown was the place they commenced.  Asbury was the site for the first three district conferences west of the mountains in 1788,1790and 1792 .  Today Asbury has a traditional morning worship and an informal Sunday evening service where a meal is served to the community.
 

Lindahl to Serve Templeton Charge

Announced: 05-06-2018

About Craig Lindahl
Craig Lindahl was born and raised in Bradford, PA and from the age of two weeks attended church at the Cole Avenue Evangelical Covenant Church.  When he was eight, his family became members of the Asbury United Methodist Church.  At the age of 12, during a week of youth events at Camp Mission Meadows in Dewittville, NY, Craig gave his heart, mind, and soul to Jesus. It was about this same time that his father, Ron Lindahl, entered the process to receive Elder’s Orders.
 
While in Bradford, Craig spent the bulk of his time in outdoor pursuits with Boy Scout Troop 448, and in musical activities, including Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, the Bradford Citizen’s Band, as well as musical festivals and local entertainment endeavors.  Craig continues this activity as the percussionist for his Charge’s praise band “The Eldertones.” 
 
After graduation, he attended Clarion University and later served two years as Camp Conestoga Boy Scout Camp TREK director, leading their high adventure experience.  Next, Craig began a career with the sporting goods chain Eastern Mountain Sports. Starting out as a seasonal sales associate, he worked his way up to managing a store in Pittsburgh. However, the Holy Spirit was speaking to him and guiding him away from a career that suited his love for outdoor adventure.  While attending church with his soon to be fiancé at Strongsville United Methodist Church, he finally listened to and accepted his call. He told God, “I give in, I’ll be what you want me to be.”

Since that time, Craig married Cyndy Crook, who is a high school science teacher. They have two children Emma (12) and James (7).  In 2006, Craig graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Business Administration. In 2007, he graduated from Licensing School, and began serving the United Methodist Charge for Christ based in Elderton, PA as the associate pastor. 

On June 1 of this year, Craig will graduate from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree and a Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry.  He will begin his Provisional Membership in the Conference in June as well.  Craig serves as the Armstrong County Ramps Program Coordinator and as a Dean of the Western PA Conference Algonquin Canoe Camp.
 
About Templeton Charge
The Templeton UMC charge consists of three churches -- Templeton, Widnoon and Kellersburg. Located north of Kittanning in a beautiful country setting,  Cherry Run Family and Youth Camp is only a few miles away. There is an active and supportive laity team that helps to bring God’s word and love to the congregations and community. The people are very active in several outreach programs in the community, including lunches for the sick and elderly, pancake breakfasts, Creekside dinners, and Christ Stock, a homeless outreach program, and are involved in several worldwide missions trips as well. They have a growing youth group, along with an adult Sunday school and bible study group that meets weekly. The vision is to meet the needs and minister to our community and spread God's living word to all. 

Shaughnessy to Serve Cochranton UMC

Announced: 05-06-2018

About Terry Shaughnessy
Terry Shaughnessy was born and raised in Franklin, Pennsylvania and was brought up in First United Methodist Church of Franklin, where he was a member until becoming a clergy member of the Western PA Annual Conference.  After graduating from Franklin High School, Terry attended Clarion College (now Clarion University) for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He served with helicopter squadrons based in San Diego for eight years.   Upon discharge from the Navy Terry completed his B.S. In Human Resources Management through Pepperdine University in Los Angeles. He returned to Franklin and worked as a sub-contract buyer for Joy Manufacturing until the company experienced an economic downturn.  At that time, Terry's job was eliminated.

Encouraged by a dear friend who was Director of Christian Education at First UMC Franklin and through prayerful discernment, Terry enrolled in the Master of Christian Education program at Duke Divinity School. During his first assignment as an intern at Duke's Chapel UM Church in Durham, he received the call to pastoral ministry. The call was confirmed by his acceptance into the Master of Divinity program at Duke and an appointment as a Student Local Pastor to the Mt.Tabor-Riverview Charge in the Durham District of the North Carolina Annual Conference.

After graduation from Duke in the spring of 1986 Terry returned to Western PA for his first full-time appointment at the Eastbrook UMC and subsequent ordination as an Elder by Bishop James Ault in 1988.  From there he was appointed to First UM Church in Union City, where he served for 15 years. After leaving Union City First Church, Terry served at Grove City Grace, Washington First, and Erie First UM churches until his retirement from full time ministry December 2012.

While serving churches in the annual conference Terry also served  on the Board of Directors for Wesley Woods and Olmsted Manor as well as on the Board of Ordained Ministry for the Erie-Meadville District as both secretary and registrar.

After his retirement Terry moved to Zephyrhills, Florida, where he was involved in New Walk Church as lead usher for one of four worship services, as a member of one of five prayer ministry teams, and officiated weddings as needed. Terry was also a volunteer Chaplain at Florida Hospital of Zephyrhills. He  was asked to serve as interim pastor for First United Methodist of Seffner in the Florida Annual Conference in January, 2016, then was appointed in June 2016 as the (part time) pastor. He will leave that post, giving up the sunshine and warm winters of Florida, to return to ministry in the Erie-Meadville District, where he will be closer to extended family and friends and will once again have to put winter tires on his car.

Terry has enjoyed long-distance bicycling and travel to Alaska for halibut fishing and is an avid Duke basketball fan. (He lived one of his bucket list dreams by attending the 2017 season Duke/UNC game at Cameron Indoor Stadium when Duke beat Carolina).
 
About Cochranton UMC
Cochranton Church was organized in 1839 by Reverend William Patterson as part of the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, starting with 12 families as members. The first church building on Pine Street was built in 1843 at a cost of $900.  The current building on East Adams Street was built in 1891 at a cost of $8,000 and was remodeled in 1957. An educational wing was added in 1962.
 
The congregation reaches out in several ways, sometimes alone and sometimes in partnership with other congregations or community partners.  They work with the Salvation Army, support a food pantry, and participate in a community fair.  In addition, they join in with the local ministerial association to offer worship services throughout the year, including an annual community Christmas music extravaganza!  They hold Election Day luncheons, support the Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Child program.They have opened their doors to host Narcotics Anonymous and have become active with Ramps of Hope.  One of their Lay Servants has even been recruited by another congregation in town to serve as their interim leader while they search for a new pastor!
 
 

Stone Appointed to Greenville First UMC

Announced: 05-06-2018

About Laurajane C. Stone
Laurajane C Stone graduated from Oil City High School, Westminster College and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She is married to Charles Stone, a general contractor, and they have three children: Jackson, Thatcher and Gideon. Raising her children to be compassionate and caring Christians is one of her biggest responsibilities. She believes it takes a village or multiple villages to raise children. Her children are a blessing to their family and a strong driver in her ministry to people of all ages. Laurajane has a teaching background and has worked with young elementary and middle school students. 

Laurajane currently serves Cherrytree UMC and Worden Chapel UMC, a two-point charge. Her second and third sons were baptized within those charges. Previously she did a seminary internship at Bakerstown UMC with Pastor Mark Stewart where she focused on music ministry, preaching, new worship events, a women’s breakfast on Good Friday and starting a young adult group. She was also a preaching and Bible Study pastor at Sugarcreek Charge (Oak Hill, Reno, Lupher Chapel and Sugarcreek UMC) during her last year of seminary.

Laurajane grew up at Trinity UMC in Oil City and was married there. Her eldest child was baptized there. She and her family reside in Franklin School District in Venango County. Laurajane looks forward to serving God in a new city with new people. Her children are ready to worship with new friends and her husband is looking forward to worshipping in a new sanctuary.
 
About Greenville First UMC
First UMC is located in the heart of Greenville. The church offers two worship services on Sunday morning -- an informal time of worship held in the Fellowship Hall, followed by a traditional service in the sanctuary. Bible studies are held weekly. The United Methodist Men gather regularly for a breakfast meeting and the United Methodist Women host an annual ladies’ dinner in the fall of the year. The congregation supports UMCOR and other missions in the community including the Good Shepherd Center and others throughout the country. Because of their large church building in a central location, the congregation is happy to share its space with the Boy Scouts, a baton group and Zumba classes

Lawler Appointed Pastor at Fairview/Nebo Charge

Announced: 05-01-2018

About William (Bill) Lawler
Growing up in a home where attending church was an important part of family life, Bill Lawler found himself there on a regular basis. At 7 years old, Bill went with his mom and dad on a visit to the home of  a woman who was a part of their Claysville UMC church family. Throughout his childhood Bill visited with the woman often. Each time she told Bill he was destined to become a minister. 
 
At 14 years of age Bill responded to an altar call to give his life to Christ. At 15 he preached his first sermon on Youth Sunday.
 
As an adult Bill has worked and served as a firefighter/EMT, volunteered as a coach with Special Olympics, coached basketball and volleyball, and served as Competition Coordinator for the Washington County Special Olympics program. Bill has also worked as a job developer for mentally handicapped individuals, a physical therapy technician, and as an operations manager in the oil and gas industry.
 
In 2004 Bill enrolled in Lay Servant's School and later became a Certified Lay Speaker. God continued to call Bill by name, but Bill continued to ignore God’s call. He took more Lay Servant’s School classes and had the opportunity to preach and lead worship in several area churches. In 2007 during the singing of the hymn, “Here I Am Lord,” Bill said “yes” to God, but it wasn’t until several years later that Bill reached a point where he was able to “be all in”. Reminded of his response years earlier when singing “Here I Am Lord,” Bill met his wife Karan for lunch. She said to him, “You have received your call.  You’ve been boxing with God for a while and you will not win.”  Karan and Bill are the proud parents of Charley,10. and Lehman, 6.
 
Since 2017 Bill has served Fairview/Nebo UMCs as a Supply Pastor. Bill graduated from Local Pastor Licensing School April 28. and began an appointment as a part-time Local Pastor at the Fairview/Nebo Charge on May 1, 2018.  In addition to serving as pastor at Fairview/Nebo, he also leads devotions and worship at Senior Life in Washington.
 
 
About Fairview/Nebo UMCs
Fairview and Nebo United Methodist churches are “small but mighty” congregations nestled in the beautiful hills of Greene County.  Both congregations are warm and inviting and look for ways in which they can both welcome new people and introduce people to Jesus and the difference Jesus can and will make in their lives. The churches are mission-minded and mission-driven.  They possess a hunger for God’s Word and do all they can to share God’s good news in however they can.
 

Simpson Appointed to Mapletown

Announced: 05-01-2018

About Lanfer Simpson
A lifelong resident of Greene County, Lanfer was not “raised in the church”, but thanks in large part to his grandparents, he was introduced to the church at an early age. Like many others, as a young adult Lanfer strayed both from the church and the God he had learned about. But God never strayed from him.  Realizing that while his life was “empty” (without Christ!) it was Christ who had “emptied himself for him,”  in 2007 Lanfer gave his life to Christ, whom he now serves as Lord and Savior.
 
Lanfer credits Lay Servant School as the starting point on his ministry. Speaking regularly at his home church and several non-denominational churches in Greene County, he served as a Supply Pastor on the Washington District at the Brave Charge. Later, Lanfer was an Associate Supply Pastor on the Brave/Jollytown Charge. In July 2016 Lanfer was appointed as Supply Pastor at Mapletown. He graduated from Local Pastor Licensing School on April 28, 2018, and Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi appointed him as a part-time Local Pastor at Mapletown, effective May 1, 2018.

Lanfer said he looks forward to what God has in store for him and his family. "We are excited about the opportunity to share God’s love with whomever God places in our paths. God is good,” he said.
 
When not in the pulpit, Lanfer works full-time as an assistant superintendent in production with EQT Corporation.  Lanfer, his wife Kristin and sons Landon, almost 3, and Lincoln, who recently celebrated his first birthday, are members of Fairall UMC, Washington District. According to Lanfer, Landon and Lincoln “keep both Kristin, a physical therapist for Select Rehab in Morgantown, WV, “on our toes!”
 
About Mapletown UMC
Tucked away in a small, rural community in Greene County, Mapletown UMC is church (to paraphrase Wesley) known for and committed to “Doing all the good it can, by whatever means it can, in whatever ways it can, to all the people it can, for as long as it can!”  The congregation, made up of multi-generational families and a population of people who attend for the first time only to return and keep coming, the Mapletown church family faithfully shares its faith in God, professing Jesus’ love in both word and deed in the community and beyond. Young families who seek to raise their children to know and love God find a home at the church.  So do those who seek to be a part of Christian community and grow in their knowledge and love of God through weekly Bible study, youth group, vacation Bible school, United Methodist Women and other local, national and world-wide mission initiatives and ministries, including a weekend “backpack” feeding program, weekly Bible Release program, and distributing food in cooperation with other area program and social service agencies.
 

Fayette to Serve Johnstown: Beulah UMC

Announced: 04-29-2018

About Wanick Fayette
Wanick was born in Haiti. His family immigrated to the United States when he was three years old and settled in Roanoke, VA.  Raised in the Catholic faith, Wanick memorized the scripture verse John 3:16 at a very young age, but didn’t fully understand its meaning until he gave his life to Jesus Christ as a young teen.

Growing up in the inner city, he understood that his best hope was to move out of the area and have a career that would make him financially stable.  His career aspiration was to attend college and become a doctor, and eventually be able to move his family out of the inner city so that never again would his mother have to cry over the bills again.
 
Wanick attended Liberty University and upon graduation married his beautiful wife Amara.  His intention was to attend medical school in the Caribbean. But God had other plans.  As Wanick was working at a summer camp, God spoke to him and called him into the ministry.  So instead of going to the Caribbean, God led him to “flood city”, Johnstown, Pa.  For the past several years, Wanick has been working at New Day, a Christian outreach and counseling ministry in Johnstown, helping with the after-school program.  Wanick has also been working as the Youth Director at the Franklin Street United Methodist Church in the heart of downtown Johnstown.  In 2017, Wanick joined the Franklin Street Church and began the process of becoming a Certified Candidate for ministry. 

Wanick considers himself an Evangelical Christian.  As his mentors in the faith spoke life into him and challenged him to grow in the faith, Wanick looks forward to doing the same for others in his ministry.  He has a passion for ministry outreach and believes that the neighborhood surrounding a church should experience the church’s presence in their lives in meaningful and impactful ways.  His goal in ministry is to preach and teach discipleship and help the church to put their faith into action in their everyday lives.  Wanick writes, “I love the Word of God too much to preach from behind the pulpit, it is too much to contain and stay in one area!”   

Wanick will be enrolled in the Course of Study as he begins his ministry at Johnstown: Beulah.  His intention is to become a Full Elder, so seminary is still a possibility somewhere along the journey.  In addition to his passion for ministry, Wanick’s interests include expressing his faith through rap, and managing the clothing line he has created.
 
About Johnstown: Beulah UMC
Johnstown: Beulah Church has provided excellent ministry in the city of Johnstown for over 125 years.  A former E.U.B. church, this congregation has been seeking to meet the spiritual and physical needs of its membership, as well as the surrounding community, throughout its history.  Its distinctive green dome can easily be spotted in the city, serving as a beacon of hope that the congregation builds its ministry upon.  In recent years, the church has deepened its passion for offering Christ to the community, as the immediate neighborhood has struggled with poverty, crime and drugs.

The church currently has two worship services on Sunday morning.  The 8:30 a.m. worship service is an informal praise service that is held in the fellowship hall.  A core of strong lay servants provide the morning message on most Sundays.  The 10:30 a.m. worship service is traditional and is held in the church sanctuary.  One of the distinctive features of the traditional service is that it is videotaped and then broadcast at 6:30 P.M. on the local cable access channel.  This TV ministry helps to magnify the impact the church has for many beyond the congregation.

The church has a heart for mission and supports many missions and ministries, locally, nationally and internationally.  As it strives to reach its neighbors for Christ, the church has sponsored block parties, day camps, Vacation Bible Schools, and other outreach events.  Several members of the congregation frequently engage in “prayer walks” in the neighborhood, talking and praying with neighbors.  Occasionally the church has held a “fishing” worship service in front of the church, positioned on a very busy street.   The church has ministry for all ages, including a youth ministry, Bible Studies, United Methodist Women, Sunday School classes, and the “Beuhlanders,” a senior ministry.
 

Kephart To Serve Homestead Park

Announced: 04-29-2018

About Donald Kephart
Rev. Donald “Don” Kephart, who has served the past eight years as pastor of Asbury UMC in Uniontown, will be appointed as senior pastor of Homestead Park UMC, effective July 1. 
 
Don is a leader who actively seeks laity involvement in the life of the church and strives to build consensus. Congregational care is one of his principal gifts for ministry. He is a dynamic preacher and engaging teacher who helps people apply God’s word to their lives and see their full potential in Christ.
 
As an effective administrator, Don has led congregations through change and successful capital campaigns. His entrepreneurial spirit has helped his congregations develop various new income streams in addition to offering plate giving.
 
Don is comfortable leading traditional, contemporary, and blended worship services. He has a passion for ministry with young families and describes himself as a “community pastor” who constantly seeks creative ways to engage the community. He is active in the ecumenical ministry of the Uniontown Area Ministerium and The Uniontown UMC Shared Ministries.
 
He serves on the Conference Committee of Finance and Administration and Connellsville District’s Committee on Ministry.  He has received Mosaix training for multi-cultural congregational development opportunities and currently serves on a Conference subcommittee working to develop leadership internships for Africa-Americans and other persons of color in our Conference.
 
Don was born on and grew up on the North Side of Pittsburgh. He and wife Julie are the parents of three adult children. He is a sports enthusiast who has worked for the West Virginia Blackbears, a Pirates minor league affiliate.  He enjoys bicycling and riding his Suzuki C50T Boulevard 800 Cruiser motorcycle.  He looks forward to serving at Homestead Park.
 
About Homestead Park United Methodist Church
Homestead Park UMC, established in 1966, is a multi-generational suburban church in the close-knit Borough of Munhall in the Steel Valley area. Like the area, the congregation is one with heart, soul, and the fortitude to adapt, reinvent, and push forward.
 
Worship experiences include a 6 p.m. Saturday evening contemporary service and a Sunday 10 a.m. traditional/blended worship service with a praise band.
 
Nurture ministries include pastor and laity-led Bible studies, covenant discipleship classes, small groups, membership mentoring, and Sunday school and spiritual formation classes for persons of all ages.  There is an active women’s ministry and the annual Women’s Retreat is well attended.
 
The church building also functions as a community center.  It hosts a variety of groups including Scouts, senior groups, and support groups.  Its summer VBS program is open to all children in the community. 
 
Through Sponsor a Child Ministry under Compassion International, the congregation supports children in developing countries.  The church offers a Begin-der-garten pre-school program with a top-notch staff and curriculum. 
 
The church operates a food pantry and bread and pastry ministry; provides lunches each Saturday for persons who are homeless, and has a ministry at five area nursing homes that includes providing crocheted afghans.  It connects with military personnel and college students with its Away from Home Ministry and Shoe Box Ministry.  Through its H.E.L.P.S. Ministry, a group of lay volunteers serve others by doing small repairs, cutting grass, and other help.
 
The congregation seeks to grow and live more fully into its vision as people who reflect the compassion, grace, love, justice and peace of Christ and anticipates more engagement with the community and increased cooperation with other area UM churches.  
 

Balliet to Lead Harmony Area Charge

Announced: 04-29-2018

About John Balliet
Rev. John Balliet will serve as Senior Pastor at the Harmony Area U.M. Charge (Westover: Grace; East Ridge: Harmony and LaJose), sharing ministry with Associate Pastor Gary McGarvey.  John has been serving as the Associate Pastor at the Clymer Charge, a four-point charge in Indiana County, sharing the ministry with his wife, Rev. Kendra Balliet, Senior Pastor. At the Clymer Charge, John has preached weekly, provided pastoral care, been active in the ministerium and community events, taught lay servant classes, and started a monthly men’s breakfast for the community. John lists his strengths as teaching, administration, discernment and relationship building.

Born in Pittsburgh, John is a “preacher’s kid” twice over as his father was a Methodist pastor and his step-father was a home mission’s director and church planter with the Assemblies of God. John grew up in a blended family of seven brothers and two sisters.  He credits his godly mother that the family produced four pastors, a missionary, a pastor’s wife, and two lay leaders!

John accepted the Lord as his Savior in high school, but then followed his own path. In 1991, John rededicated his life to the Lord and then served in several churches in lay leadership positions.  John confesses that for many years he ran from God’s call into ministry, but finally in 2014 he could no longer put off God’s calling on his life.

Before entering the ministry, John worked in retail, as a builder, in a healthcare facility, contract service, and educational non-profit management, specializing in training key personnel. John also owned and operated a property maintenance company and small, webhosting/design business. After saying “yes” to God’s call, John returned to college in 2015 and anticipates completing his degree in Public Relations at Geneva College in December 2018.

John and Kendra were married in January 2015, and have a blended family of three boys, two girls and two grandchildren. The youngest child, Daniel, 17, resides with them in Clymer, where he anticipates graduating in 2019 from Penns Manor High School.  Kendra is slated to graduate in May with a Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary and will be commissioned as a provisional elder at the 2018 session of Annual Conference.  John enjoys his rare, mid-week getaways with Kendra, which often includes their 13-year-old chow-chow/pug, Dixie. John also enjoys hiking, bear camp, boating, music festivals, concerts, family time, travel, Steelers’ football, and Penguins’ hockey.
 
About Harmony Area UM Charge
The Harmony Area U.M. Charge is located in the Clearfield County section of the Johnstown District.  The three churches who have been sharing ministry on this Charge for the past five years are Westover: Grace, East Ridge: Harmony, and La Jose.   Each church is a vital presence in its particular community and values forming relationships with their neighbors. While each church holds its own worship service on Sunday morning, members from all three churches participate in a Sunday evening worship service that meets at the Westover Church.

The Charge supports the ministry of United Methodist Human Services, as well as other missions locally and beyond.   The Harmony Area Charge has joined with the nearby Cherry Tree Charge for a weekly Lenten worship service. 

The La Jose church considered closing its doors about six years ago, but God had a different plan.  The church has been blessed with revival and continues to grow in the Spirit.  The church hosts a free community dinner once a month and in the summer of 2017 held their first Vacation Bible School in 11 years!

The Westover church recently did some renovations in their building and installed a handicap accessible restroom on the sanctuary level. They are located in the center of town and strive to provide ministry and fellowship for their community. The East Ridge church hosts a monthly fellowship lunch after the worship service in which all are welcome at the table.  The church has revived their Cantata ministry, welcoming people from the other churches and community to participate. A long-standing Bible study has enabled the East Ridge members to grow in their knowledge of scripture and God’s plan for their lives.  
 

 

Giles Bailey to Serve Nicklin/Deer Creek/Reynolds Charge

Announced: 04-29-2018

About Giles L. Bailey Jr.
Giles L Bailey Jr. was born in Danville, Virginia ,where the vast majority of churchgoers, as well as the Bailey family, were Southern Baptist. In order to get work, his family moved to Franklin, Pennsylvania and later became Episcopalians. Giles served in the Episcopal Church in many differing capacities. Giles would open the church on Sunday morning, then serve as the acolyte for the 8 a.m. communion service.
One morning, alone in the sanctuary, Giles yelled at God: “Who are you?” “Where are you?” Why don’t you ever talk to anybody?” The answers did not come that morning, but they were to come later.

Upon graduation from high school, Giles attended Slippery Rock State College to study teaching young people how to have a better life, especially in the areas of sports, fitness, and health. While at Slippery Rock, Giles had an experience with God through the Four Spiritual Laws and Campus Crusade for Christ ministries. Having learned to play guitar, he quickly applied this to the Christian Fellowship ministry on campus. Music ministry and leading worship continues to be a very important part of Giles’ life.

After graduation from college Giles moved back to Virginia to begin a career as an aquatic professional, teaching folks of all ages how to enjoy the water safely. Living in the suburbs of Washington DC, Giles became involved in the Jesus freak movement and the Roman Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Giles briefly considered becoming a Roman Catholic, but then became a member of a nondenominational Pentecostal church. Increasingly uncomfortable with suburban metropolitan life and missing the beauty of the rolling hills of Western Pennsylvania, Giles returned to Western PA continuing to work in aquatics and adding  competitive swimming. It was very rewarding to be involved with the “good clean fun” of families working together to be successful at “swimming faster”. Giles considered this a calling from God, but… one day… this calling left.

Asking, “Okay God, what do I do now?” Giles felt a call to pastoral ministry at a Church of God youth retreat and later a call specifically to the United Methodist Church.

For the past 20 years, Giles has found a welcome home in the United Methodist Church serving at Reynolds UMC and Deer Creek UMC. In 2013 he was graduated from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Giles and his wife of 37 years, Dottie, are empty nesters. They have two adult daughters: Jessica Bailey of Clearfield PA and Hannah Bailey of Ambridge PA.
 
About Nicklin, Deer Creek and Reynolds UMCs
Nicklin UMC has a continuing, very strong missions focus that the congregation wants to expand. Currently, they are involved in “Neighbor helping Neighbor,” through which they help with building projects for people in need in the community. The church supports national and international missionaries, sponsors mission trips, offers Vacation Bible School and supports UMCOR. The congregation is looking forward to working with the Reynolds and Deer Creek United Methodist churches in this new charge alignment.
 

Judd to Lead Erie Urban Cooperative Ministries

Announced: 04-29-2018

About Matthew Judd, Mary Stewart, Donald Blystone, Shirley Deemer, Harold Blair


















Matthew Judd, pictured at front right, has been appointed the lead pastor of the new (but yet unnamed) urban cooperative parish in Erie, effective July 1.

Matt grew up in the North Hills of Pittsburgh with St. Paul’s UMC as his home church and current Erie District Superintendent Joseph Patterson as his youth leader.  He became a Christian shortly after the death of his grandfather, then felt his call to ministry about a year later. He attended Grove City College and Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY where he earned his Master of Divinity degree. 

Matt is passionate about biblical preaching, teaching about discipleship, and youth ministry. Each of these gifts have been utilized as he served Erie: Kingsley, Cabot, and Erie: Glenwood over the course of his ministry.  He is currently working on initiatives aimed at providing opportunities for urban youth who are in poverty. These include including helping the youth get their drivers' licenses, finding summer jobs, or attending summer camp at Wesley Woods, where he is an adventure camp dean.

Matt has been married to Allison, his partner in life and ministry, for 22 years.  They have two home-schooled daughters – Anna is 18 and a freshman at Houghton College, majoring in Philosophy, and Caroline is 15, in tenth grade at the Judd Academy for the Wayward Children of United Methodist Clergy, and keeps active at the Erie Playhouse.

He looks forward to the opportunities and challenges ahead as the cooperative seeks to meet the spiritual, relational, and physical needs of the people of Erie.

About Harold Blair

Harold Blair (at back left in photo) grew up in a Wesleyan Methodist parsonage, living first in Brownsville, Pa, and then in Akron, Ohio.  He graduated from Kansas City College with both a liberal arts degree and a bachelor’s degree in theology.  Following graduation, he served two Wesleyan Methodist churches, one in Western Pennsylvania and the other in New York State.  Harold speaks of this phase of his life as his early "Moses" stage, in which he attempted to do ministry on his own strength with less than desirable results.  Disillusioned, he left ministry and the church, entering into a desert stage of spiritual existence.  Not much went right during that period of his life. After losing his marriage, home and job, Harold turned back to God in desperation, finding not a burning bush, but  true peace and a never-before-experienced sense of God's awesome love.  Shortly thereafter, he met the love of his life, Jerri. They have been married 32 year.  Harold says, "She is truly my co-pastor." 

Jerri and Harold were active lay persons, first at Erie's Tenth Street UMC and then at Glenwood UMC. When they first went to Glenwood, he said he would never join nor hold any office in the church: words that were meant to be eaten, for he ended up as a member and chairperson of the SPRC. Those eaten words were but an appetizer for his next statement: "I will never re-enter pastoral ministry!"  In 2010, Harold did exactly that as he completed Licensing School and was appointed to Kingsley UMC in Erie, where he has served up to now.  Over the years, Harold has completed the Basic Course of Study at Duke Seminary and views these past eight years as the best ones of his life.  Harold is a people person and loves the ministries of preaching as well as teaching and visitation.   He is excited about the new urban ministry partnership that is forming in Erie knowing and loving both the pastors as well as the churches involved.   He’s confident that even better years lay ahead. 

Harold and Jerri are the parents of five adult children, fifteen grandchildren, and three great grand children.  Their very alpha Pomeranian – Chihuahua mix, Bayley, shares his home with them in Erie.

About Donald Blystone

Donald (Donnie) Blystone (front left in photo) has served the church since he was a teenager. His first "official" role was that of youth representative to the Ad Council at First UMC in Union City. Since then he volunteered at Wesley Woods for 16 years as a maintenance helper, serving as a counselor of Mini Camp, Pony Camp, Sports Camp, and as dean of Fishing Camp. At the local church level, he has served as the Lay Leader, youth leader, Sunday School teacher, and committee member of every other church committee. 
 
At the Conference level, Donnie has served as member of Camping and Retreat Ministries, conference Nominating Committee, conference Board of Laity, and Bishop Bickerton’s Lay Cabinet. Donnie also was elected as an alternate to General Conferences in 2012 and 2016, Jurisdictional Conference alternate in 2012, and first elected Lay Delegate to Jurisdictional Conference in 2016.
 
Most recently Donnie has served eight years as Erie/ Meadville District Lay Leader. In that role he has taught several lay leadership classes, taught classes at various churches, and delivered many Sunday morning messages.
 
Donnie recently decided to give in to the call to a more formal pastoral ministry role, a calling that has been on his life since age 10. Donnie will licensing as a Local Pastor and Course of Study.
 
Donnie and his wife Tammy have three children: Andy, Kim, and Amy; a daughter-in-law Sandi, and son-in-law Marvin. They also have two grandsons, Jason and Joey.

About Shirley Deemer

Pastor Shirley (back row, right in photo) was born and raised in Erie in a Christian home where Bible study, worship and fellowship were an important part of her spiritual formation.  Shirley earned her B.A. in music education from Bethel College, a small Christian liberal arts college in Mishawaka, Indiana. She taught elementary music in Indiana and Pennsylvania and spent 30 years in the insurance business. 

In 2012, after an early retirement and while serving as the music director at Glenwood UMC, Shirley felt the call to ministry and was licensed as a local pastor in 2013.  

Shirley has two daughters.  Sarah has her degree in elementary education and is currently a substitute teacher.  Abby will be doing her rotations this year for her Physician’s Assistant degree.

In using her spiritual gifts of teaching and music, Shirley prays that people will experience God through all of their senses.  Her vision is for children to know how precious they are in His sight, to understand how much they are loved and prepare them to be kingdom builders.

About Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart (center, back row in photo) has a life-long passion for serving God. Whether serving as a layperson or as a local pastor, she has focused on ministry with the poor, victimized and struggling.  God has blessed her with many opportunities to live into her calling.  She has served as a pastor both in urban and country settings within Erie and Crawford counties.  She has a particular interest in social justice concerns including racial and ethnic discrimination.

Mary lives in the Harborcreek suburb of Erie with her husband Jim and father-in-law Paul.  Mary and Jim have three adult sons, three wonderful daughter-in-laws, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

Mary’s hope is that every person can feel the love of their Creator and experience, in and through the church, welcome and acceptance regardless of their life circumstances.  Her favorite scripture is Micah 6:8: “…what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”







 
About Erie Urban Cooperative Ministries
The formation of the Erie Urban Cooperative Ministry is the next logical step in a process that began about three years ago.  Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, the pastors and churches in the City of Erie, and others in the region began to do ministry together.  There was initial success; enthusiasm grew, and more projects were undertaken.
 
The truth of the matter was that several of the churches already had been cooperating in ministry.  Leadership was being shared.  Projects were accomplished together.  So late last year, the Cabinet decided to ask the churches if they were ready to formalize the movement.  Conversations were held on several levels among the pastoral and lay leadership.  Great latitude was given to opt in or not.  But after a long process, all of the parties involved decided to live into the future together.
 
The Cooperative Ministry has been designed intentionally around a campus model.  Each congregation will retain its own identity and presence in the City.  The pastors will continue to relate primarily to the congregations to which they are currently appointed.  There will be no co-mingling of funds; the congregations will retain oversight over most administrative matters.  But the leadership of the five churches will be “cut loose” to approach ministry in creative new ways, taking advantage of a remarkably talented group of pastors and a remarkably vibrant group of congregations.
 
Glenwood Church is a vital congregation in the center of the City, a group who reaches out to the community with energy and passion.  Henderson Church is a richly multicultural congregation, which bravely proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ from a platform of diversity.  Kingsley Church is a rock-solid congregation with a history of creativity and outreach.  San Juan Church reaches out to the vibrant Hispanic community in the City of Erie, offering culturally relevant worship. They also work with community partners to be in ministry to the marginalized.  Table of Grace Church is a renewing congregation that has caught of vision, fiercely dedicated to the City and the future, and effectively reaching those caught up in addiction.
 
Matt Judd will serve as the Lead Pastor.  Harold Blair, Don Blystone, Shirley Deemer, and Mary Stewart will serve with him as Associate Pastors.  Together they bring a rich set of talents, experience, training and passion for urban ministry.
 
The name assigned to the project, “Erie Urban Cooperative Ministry," is temporary. One of their tasks will be to discover a more creative way to describe themselves.

Kociban to Serve New Allegheny River Charge

Announced: 04-29-2018

About Deborah Kociban
Pastor Deb, currently pastor of the Templeton/Widnoon/Kellersburg charge, will begin serving as senior pastor of the newly configured four-point Allegheny River Charge, effective July 1. 

Raised in Montoursville PA as a United Methodist by a United Methodist mom and a Christian Science dad, who became a United Methodist the year she was confirmed, Deb said she sadly drifted away from the church while attending college. She earned a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she met her husband George, and worked as a lab technician. It was not until their daughter Whitney, born in 1985, was 5 years old that she returned to church as a member of Laketon Heights UMC in Penn Hills.  There she served as a member of the gospel choir, liturgist, Sunday school teacher and youth group leader.  As a youth group leader, Deb sensed God calling her to be a pastor.

So began a six-year journey as an evening student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary while working full-time in a cancer research lab at Allegheny General Hospital until 2007.  She completed her Master of Divinity degree and served as a student pastor at Muhleman Memorial UMC. "I give God all the credit for getting me and my family through those years and I thank God for George and Whitney who supported me and loved me along the way," says Pastor Deb. 

Before moving to the Templeton Charge last year, Pastor Deb served the Wesley Charge in McKeesport, PA as a full-time elder from 2007 to 2017. 

"I believe that as a people of Christ we should always operate out of a center of love of God and love for one another," says Pastor Deb. "With this centering of our lives together there will be adventures of ministry, joyful worship, Spirit-filled disciples and loving community."

About Allegheny River Charge
First United Methodist Church of Kittanning is the newest member of the Allegheny River Charge.  The congregation dates back to 1816 and it was one of the original circuit rider churches—a circuit that some believe was 300 miles long!  The church has a rich history in the community, celebrating 100 years in the current building in 2009 and the 200th anniversary of the church in 2016.  Today, the church is actively involved with the Ramps of Hope Ministry, ministry to the aging population with a monthly lunch and program, a vibrant Bible School and Sunday School programs. 

In 2017, the church spent time with John and Christine Zimmerman of About Face Church Outreach Consultants and has begun to incorporate some of the ideas and ministries gained through our work with AFCOC.  The congregation looks forward to welcoming their new pastors as they take their new step into the future!
 
Ford Memorial United Methodist Church is a small membership church making a big impact in the community.  The church houses a food bank as well as a care and share clothing shop twice a month.  They provide a free meal to the community on Thursday evenings as well as a free Thanksgiving meal at noon. The local LEO club from the school district helps serve these meals.  The church has active UMW and UMM groups.  The UMM partner with the Cub Scout pack that uses the church facilities to do projects together.  They also participate in Light Up Night, presenting a Live Nativity to help the community hear the reason for the season.  Ford Memorial hosts the ministerium's Lenten meals and services annually.  Members participate in Ramps of Hope and Christstock (a local free event for the community).
 
Manorville United Methodist Church, located along the beautiful Allegheny River at 800 Water Street, was built by volunteers in 1932 during the Great Depression.  Manorville was established as a Methodist Episcopal church in 1889.  It remains a church of volunteers dedicated to mission and service.  Each summer, the entire church participates in Vacation Bible School.  Members are also active in reaching out to the ailing and needy in their own community and beyond.  They annually host the Conference spring Licensing School and held the District lay school for many years.  Their beautiful flower gardens, free lunches and dinners with informational and musical programs make Manorville United Methodist a vital member of the community.  Manorville recently added a Casual Church service once a month and have upgraded the facilities to include TV and wifi in the sanctuary and fellowship hall for a variety of new opportunities.
 
Union Avenue United Methodist Church was started as a house church in 1880 and was located in various buildings until locating where it stands today at 421 Union Avenue.  Over the years the church held many weekly revivals and had an outreach youth program for 25+ years.  In more recent history, the church is known for reaching out with mission projects.  The United Methodist Women’s group is very active and provides opportunities for the church to reach out and help others in need through buying Christmas gifts for children who’s parents are incarcerated, collecting mittens, hats, and scarves, building UMCOR kits annually, and providing kids bags to the local ER (along with the rest of the charge). 

Patterson to Serve Woodcock, Meadville Grace UMCs

Announced: 04-29-2018

About Rebecca Patterson
Growing up in a family dedicated to Christian missions, Rebecca Patterson was active in the Methodist Church throughout her childhood in Chautauqua County, NY. While in high school, Becky directed the Junior Choir at her church and was active in her youth group.

She questioned her faith as a young college student, then left school to marry. Several years later, when her marriage was crumbling, a neighbor invited her to a Bible Study for young moms. By experiencing God’s love through her new friends, she found that God has always remained faithful. This drew her back not just to the church, but to a new personal commitment to Jesus Christ.

After a few years as a single mom, she enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, where she finished her degree in Applied Mathematics. Shortly before she graduated, and while serving as a church organist, Becky was introduced to Eddie Patterson, the pastor of a neighboring UM church. Content to serve the Lord as a clergy spouse, she sang in or directed a number of church choirs, as well as holding local and district offices in the UMW, teaching Sunday School and VBS, serving as a lay speaker, and doing other church-related work.

In 2002, Becky was asked to serve as a supply pastor for a charge adjacent to Eddie’s appointment at the time, and through a season of prayerful exploration, she discerned that God was indeed calling her “to the other side of the pulpit.” After perceiving that her call was to ordained ministry, she earned her M. Div. at Asbury Theological Seminary. She was ordained in 2013, the same year Eddie retired, and currently serves as pastor of Grace UMC in Meadville, where she also directs the choir.

The Pattersons have five children and eight grandchildren. They enjoy local history, walking the bike trails, and travellng. Becky also knits and crochets, and plays clarinet in the Franklin Silver Cornet Band.
 
About Meadville: Grace and Woodcock UMCs
Grace Church has been serving the community of Meadville for nearly 150 years, having been founded as the State Street Methodist Episcopal Church in 1869. When they outgrew their first building, they built the present sanctuary, which has hosted worship since 1917. A classroom-office annex was completed in 1961, and a parking lot was added in 1982.

Grace recently began a new outreach to the community through “Thursdays for Jesus,” a weekly children’s ministry that provides supper and a Bible story activity for all who attend. For several years, they have offered a free Saturday luncheon each month, open to the community. Dozens of children attend VBS each August and there is a lively year-round adult Sunday School class. An active 5-star UMW unit hosted the 2016 WPA Conference UMW Annual Meeting and reaches out to the community with spring and fall rummage sales, and a fall election day bake sale & bazaar, with many items made by the Sew & Sews, a weekly craft group. The choir presents Christmas and Easter cantatas each year, and a men’s group meets monthly for breakfast.

The church building is home to the Rainbow Connection Preschool, and the church has recently signed a lease with the Creating Landscapes Learning Center, a private K-8 school, to begin using classrooms in the church building when their new school year starts in August.

Groundwork is being laid for a ministry to persons with disabilities, as Grace continues to look for more ways to serve the community and to nurture and share the love of Jesus Christ.

Woodcock Church was first organized as a class in 1806 as part of the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They first met in the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Ford. The first log Church was built in 1811; the second Church in 1817; this church burned in 1838 and the third brick Church was erected in 1838. A parsonage was built in 1879. Later it was made into a Church Hall and in 1959 it was enlarged to become a Fellowship Hall.
 
Woodcock today is a small congregation the influences the community in big ways.  They sponsor Art and Music festivals, and collect warm, winter clothing for the less-fortunate in the region.  They are a warm congregation that keeps others warm, too!
 
Grace Church and Woodcock Church are looking forward to serving God’s people together!
 

Robison Appointed to Sheakleyville Charge

Announced: 04-29-2018

About Theresa A. Robison
Theresa A. Robison, who currently serves the First UMC of Greenville, Pa, will be appointed pastor of Sheakleyville Charge, effective July 1.

Theresa graduated from 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 the about love of God, and giving them opportunity to learn to love God and others, reaching out in that love by becoming and making disciples serving in the community.  In addition to the church she serves, she has worked part-time as the Ramps of Hope Coordinator for All God’s Children Ministries
About Sheakleyville Charge
The Sheakleyville Charge consists of the Sheakleyville, North Salem and Kennard United Methodist churches in the Franklin District. The churches do many ministries together, including Vacation Bible School, Bible Study, an annual Christmas cantata and an active youth group. Each works hard at reaching out to their community and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
 

Schall to Serve Allegheny River Charge

Announced: 04-29-2018

About Brenda L. Somerville Schall
​Brenda Loraine Sommerville-Schall, who has served as pastor of the Germany UMC since January 2018, will begin serving as associate pastor of the newly configured four-point Allegheny River Charge, effective July 1. 

Brenda was an active lay member in local churches, teaching and leading Sunday School for many years. In the past 12 years, she has served as a lay speaker in local churches.

She was married for 30 years to David Sommerville when he died unexpectedly in 2011. At that time, she said, "I asked God to help me through this and I would do whatever he asked of me, so here I am. The Lord has been good to me."

The mother of two and grandmother of five married  Chester Schall in October of 2016. They live in Elderton with her husband's father, who will be 100 years old on May 21, and her dog Noel. Brenda felt God’s call early in her life, but “made many excuses as to why it was not time.” Born in Muncie, Indiana, she lived most of her life in Buckhannon, W.Va. with her mother and seven younger brothers. 

She said she loves mission work and visiting with people and youth have a special place in her heart. Brenda said her desire is to be and do what God wants of her and she can’t wait to be part of this new charge.
About Allegheny River Charge
First United Methodist Church of Kittanning is the newest member of the Allegheny River Charge.  The congregation dates back to 1816 and it was one of the original circuit rider churches—a circuit that some believe was 300 miles long!  The church has a rich history in the community, celebrating 100 years in the current building in 2009 and the 200th anniversary of the church in 2016.  Today, the church is actively involved with the Ramps of Hope Ministry, ministry to the aging population with a monthly lunch and program, a vibrant Bible School and Sunday School programs. 

In 2017, the church spent time with John and Christine Zimmerman of About Face Church Outreach Consultants and has begun to incorporate some of the ideas and ministries gained through our work with AFCOC.  The congregation looks forward to welcoming their new pastors as they take their new step into the future!
 
Ford Memorial United Methodist Church is a small membership church making a big impact in the community.  The church houses a food bank as well as a care and share clothing shop twice a month.  They provide a free meal to the community on Thursday evenings as well as a free Thanksgiving meal at noon. The local LEO club from the school district helps serve these meals.  The church has active UMW and UMM groups.  The UMM partner with the Cub Scout pack that uses the church facilities to do projects together.  They also participate in Light Up Night, presenting a Live Nativity to help the community hear the reason for the season.  Ford Memorial hosts the ministerium's Lenten meals and services annually.  Members participate in Ramps of Hope and Christstock (a local free event for the community).
 
Manorville United Methodist Church, located along the beautiful Allegheny River at 800 Water Street, was built by volunteers in 1932 during the Great Depression.  Manorville was established as a Methodist Episcopal church in 1889.  It remains a church of volunteers dedicated to mission and service.  Each summer, the entire church participates in Vacation Bible School.  Members are also active in reaching out to the ailing and needy in their own community and beyond.  They annually host the Conference spring Licensing School and held the District lay school for many years.  Their beautiful flower gardens, free lunches and dinners with informational and musical programs make Manorville United Methodist a vital member of the community.  Manorville recently added a Casual Church service once a month and have upgraded the facilities to include TV and wifi in the sanctuary and fellowship hall for a variety of new opportunities.
 
Union Avenue United Methodist Church was started as a house church in 1880 and was located in various buildings until locating where it stands today at 421 Union Avenue.  Over the years the church held many weekly revivals and had an outreach youth program for 25+ years.  In more recent history, the church is known for reaching out with mission projects.  The United Methodist Women’s group is very active and provides opportunities for the church to reach out and help others in need through buying Christmas gifts for children who’s parents are incarcerated, collecting mittens, hats, and scarves, building UMCOR kits annually, and providing kids bags to the local ER (along with the rest of the charge). 

Brinker to serve Connellsville Cooperative Parish

Announced: 04-22-2018

About MIchael Brinker
Michael E. Brinker was born in Connellsville in 1961 and graduated from Connellsville High School with the class of ‘79.  Mike attended Calvary Assembly of God Church in South Connellsville as a child and was baptized at the age of 14. From there he learned the ways of the world while being raised by a single parent. He worked at Pechin Market in Dunbar, where he met the love of his live Leila Bala, from 1979-1999. He and Leila married on April 9, 1981 and began attending her home church Christ UMC in Uniontown and Chalk Hill UMC. Leila gave birth to twin boys, Christopher and Corey, on June 20 1988.
 
After being part of a men’s Bible study, Mike found his calling at a Promise Keepers conference in the 1990s. He attended lay school to become a lay speaker, got a job at the former Commercial Stone limestone mine, now Hanson Aggregates in Connellsville, in 1999 and is still employed there as a heavy equipment / drill operator under the local 66 IUOE.
 
Mike says he is a part-time employee for Hanson working 50+ hours a week, but is a full time servant of The Most High God, reaching out to all in need of God’s Love and redeeming Grace. His primary mission field is the family God has blessed him with. He is the proud grandfather of three, two of whom, Greyson Emily and Avery Michael, are at home with the Lord. He is still blessed to hear 2-year-old Killian Dante Lou tell his Pap he loves him.
 
Mike graduated from licensing school in April 2016, and experienced a myocardial infarction about three months later. When he recovered, he decided to pursue certified lay ministry instead of serving as a Licensed Local Pastor. He faithfully and joyfully answered the call to serve God in the four-point Connellsville Covenant Community Charge, where he has served since July 1, 2015.
 
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry – Albright, Connellsville; Calvary, Acme; Davistown: Indian Head; Greenwood, Connellsville; Mill Run; Mount Salem; Normalville; Ohiopyle; Otterbein, Connellsville; Pennsville; Pleasant Hill; Wesley, Connellsville; and Wesley, Dunbar—serve  communities around the Connellsville Area School District. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albright, Connellsville was organized as part of the Evangelical Association and was first known as the White Rock Appointment in 1989.  In 1900 a building was erected on Searson Street near Wine.  The new sanctuary was built in 1930 and an education unit added in 1956.  Albright will serve as the lead church in the Connellsville Cooperative Parish.
 
Calvary, Acme: Calvary was a split from the Mount Olivet Evangelical association church in 1891.  It became Calvary United Evangelical Church.  The building was dedicated in 1896.  The church had a basement added in 1951-195 and an educational unit in 1969 to 1972.  The building was cased in brick. The church added a beautiful picnic pavilion for Vacation Bible School and church meetings.

Davistown Indian Head:   Begun possibly as early as 1814, it was organized in 1831 as a member of the Evangelical Association.  A frame building was erected in 1845, known as Bethlehem Evangelical church.  On May 2, 1929 it was wrecked by a tornado.  Plans were made to rebuild.  A brick building on the opposite side of the road was dedicated on June 22, 1931.
 
Greenwood, Connellsville:  The original planning for a Church in this section of Connellsville was done in the Crawford School Building, after a split with the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Connellsville, over the choice of where a new church was needed and should be built.   McKeesport District Superintendent Reverend John J. Hill organized Greenwood on May 11, 1921 in the Old Greenwood School house on the West Side.  The corner stone for the new church was laid June 14, 1922.  I was dedicated on May 26, 1926.  Built from native stone the Church presents an inviting appearance, Gothic structure being careered out in both exterior and interior building.
 
Mill Run:  Mill Run UMC is located on PA Rte. 381 in the community of Mill Run. The congregation worships in a modern facility. The worship service begins at 11:00 am on Sunday morning.The people at Mill Run support various missions, families in need and provide meals both delivered and in the church.  A winter coat drive and a shoe box collection are annual events held at the church. Mill Run UMC and Indian Creek Baptist Church worship together Sunday evening in a combined service at 7:00 pm during the school year and at 7:30 pm during the summer. The worship site alternates between the two church. Mill Run UMC is a member of the Fayette County Sunday School Association.
 
Mount Salem:  The first services were held in the home of Jeremiah Stouffer.  In1868 the services were moved to the Stouffer School House.  The church was built in 1881 as the Stouffer Evangelical Association Church.  Additions to the church were made in 1959 and 1967.  The church in enjoys serving Easter breakfast and having community campfires.
 
Normalville:  As early as 1825 the Rev. James Green Sansom occasionally preached at the house of Solomon Kern.  A class was formed and preaching services were held in the schoolhouse.  In 1844 a society was formed and a house of worship was built.  In the fall of 1863 it was consumed by fire lit by the hands of an incendiary, which was refused the hand of fellowship owing to his failure to observe its ordinances.  Again the meetings were held in schoolhouses and in the United Brethren Church until a new frame church as build in 1881.
Ohiopyle: Ohiopyle UMC is located at Sherman St. in the borough of Ohiopyle. The community of Ohiopyle is a tourist destination with the Youghihaney River running through the town. Outdoor activities, nearby camping and white water rafting draw people to Ohiopyle. Though the congregation is small – it offers assistance to support organizations and its strength is fellowship among its members
Otterbein, Connellsville:  Otterbein was organized in January 1901 with services held at Kooser’s Hall and Stader’s Hall.  The Church was dedicated February 1, 1903.  Originally, First Church, it became Otterbein Church in 1970 with the merger and on January 1, 1974 merged with Central Church which was destroyed by a fire and became the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  The church holds the trust funds for the Connellsville Area Community Ministries.
 Pennsville:  The first class meeting (United Evangelical) was organized February 10, 1897 with 16 members.  First services were held in the brick Union Meeting House.  The Little Church on the Hill was dedicated in October 1899.
 Pleasant Hill:  Pleasant Hill also known as Springfield: Pleasant Hill because of its history on the Springfield Circuit first held its meeting about 1875 in a schoolhouse  In 1889 a Church was built.  An educational unit was added in 1955.  The church loves singing and studying God’s Word.
 Wesley, Connellsville:  A Methodist Class was formed in the home of Zachariah Connell, for whom Connellsville is named, in the 1790’s.  It was a preaching place on the Pittsburgh Circuit.  When Pittsburgh was made a Station in 1811 Connellsville became the head of the Circuit.  It continued to have various Circuit relationship until 1863 when it became a station appointment.  The fir Church was a stone building.  Bishop Francis Asbury dedicated the partially completed binding on July 10, 1808. The church grew several other church buildings were built until it moved to its present location on Pittsburgh Street in 1925. 
Wesley, Dunbar:  In 1876 a group of persons from Dunbar community who were going to Connellsville to worship field that there were enough of them to form their own congregation in Dunbar.  At first they met in the YMCA.  In 1881 they moved their meeting place to a School House.  They laid the cornerstone for a Church building on July 9, 1887 and it was dedicated on November 17th of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.

Dom to Serve Tionesta First, West Hickory

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Kathryn K. Dom
Kathy has lived in Bedford County,PA  since she was 8 years old. Her parents were a loving, God-serving couple who raised her brother, sister and her to know and serve our Heavenly Father. Kathy She enjoys living in small towns or rural areas where the beauty of God's creation can be seen and heard.
 
She and her husband Ray have six adult children: Sons Shawn and Stacey are his and the other four -- Jim, Jeff, JoAnn and Jeanna--are hers. All are married and have given them 20 grandchildren and 5 great-granddaughters.
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Currently Kathy and Ray live in Manns Choice, PA with Squirt and Rascal, their two dachshunds. 
 
Ray is very supportive of Kathy and the call upon her life to serve her Lord and master.  He is standing beside her in this new adventure in her life.
 
 "I am grateful and give praise to my Savior Jesus Christ for this opportunity  to serve at the Tionesta/West Hickory Charge, Kathy says, quoting from Romans 11:36 --  For from him and through him and for him are all things.  To him be the glory forever.
 
About Tionesta First UMC, West HIckory UMC
Tionesta and West Hickory UMCs are located along the Allegheny River in Forest County. West Hickory has a long history of being a place where people receive love and care in the name of Jesus Christ. It is one of those congregations that actually increases in worship attendance during the summer because of all of the campers and seasonal residences in the surrounding area. When you come to West Hickory, you are always assured a ready and warm welcome of Christian love.
 
Tionesta is the county seat of Forest County. The congregation continues to be a beacon of Christ’s light in the community and region offering vibrant, traditional worship including choir anthems and more. They operate a second hand store next door to the church to help those in need. They are also involved in other missions. They host the Forest County Choir Cantatas each year and are the hub for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and Alcoholics Anonymous.
 
Tionesta and West Hickory UMCs are located along the Allegheny River in Forest County. West Hickory has a long history of being a place where people receive love and care in the name of Jesus Christ. It is one of those congregations that actually increases in worship attendance during the summer because of all of the campers and seasonal residences in the surrounding area. When you come to West Hickory, you are always assured a ready and warm welcome of Christian love.
 
Tionesta is the county seat of Forest County. The congregation continues to be a beacon of Christ’s light in the community and region offering vibrant, traditional worship including choir anthems and more. They operate a second hand store next door to the church to help those in need. They are also involved in other missions. They host the Forest County Choir Cantatas each year. They are also the hub for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and Alcoholics Anonymous.
 
 

Hixson To Serve Conneaut Lake: Trinity

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Russell Hixson
Russell D. (Russ) Hixson will begin serving the Trinity United Methodist Church of Conneaut Lake on July 1.  Russ was raised in the small town of Ruffs Dale, PA and graduated from Southmoreland Sr. High School.  After graduation, he attended the Pennsylvania State University where he majored in Administration of Justice.  After college, he began attending the Christ United Methodist Church in Youngwood, where he met his wife, Elaine. Shortly after their marriage, Russ received his call into ordained ministry and began his theological studies at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, graduating in 1990. 

In his 31 years as a pastor, Russ has been honored to serve the St. John’s, West Liberty, and Forestville United Methodist churches of the Butler District; the Mapletown and Mt. Pleasant United Methodist churches of the Washington District, and the Weis Library United Methodist Church of the Erie/Meadville District. He currently serves the Wattsburg and Phillipsville United Methodist churches of the Erie/Meadville District.

Russ believes the primary calling of the Church is to make disciples, and as a result, his leadership has emphasized the spiritual practices of prayer, Bible study, and hands-on Christian service.  As part of this emphasis Russ has either led or participated in many prayer events, Bible Studies, and mission trips in his tenure as a pastor.

Russ has been blessed with an amazing wife and partner in ministry, Elaine.  Elaine is the Director of Finance and Administration for CHOSEN IMA, a Christian mission that refurbishes medical equipment for Christian hospitals and leads medical mission trips.  Russ and Elaine have two adult children: Luke, an attorney and CPA in Pittsburgh ,and Leah, a teacher in Laurinburg, NC. 

Russ looks forward to the challenges of this new appointment and wishes to thank the Wattsburg and Phillipsville churches for their love and support during the past ten years.
 
About Conneaut Lake: Trinity UMC
Conneaut Lake: Trinity UMC was a part of the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  It began as a class in the early 1800's and met in the loft of Voorman's wagon factory. In 1839 a lot was purchased and a white frame church was built. During the early years of its history, Conneaut Lake was known as Evansburg. In 1842 a Circuit was formed; over the years it took many forms and involved several other Methodist communities in the area. A new brick church was built in 1901 and the educational plant built in 1956. The current building was built in the 1970s.
 
Trinity Church connects with the community in many forms: feeding the hungry, assisting the marginalized, and partnering with other congregations to make life better for those who struggle. The church has a strong youth group and an iconic musical program at Christmas known as the “Living Christmas Tree.”  Singers are arranged on risers in the shape of a huge tree and tell the news about Jesus’ birth in festive style!
 
The church is dedicated to transforming the world for Jesus Christ!
 

Johnson to Serve Connellsville Cooperative Parish

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Douglas A. Johnson
Doug’s call into ministry has taken a lifetime. Growing up in a clergy family and always involved in the ministry with his parents, he knew he was called by God to serve. As a young man he ignored that call for many years. Doug’s father, an accomplished organist/pianist, encouraged him in music. A trained soloist Doug spent hour practicing with his father. Doug held several jobs with office furniture wholesalers, working his way from driving and delivering to marketing, until his call to ministry was too strong to ignore any longer. On the first Sunday of Advent 2009, he began serving two churches knew in his heart that was where he belonged and where God planned for him to be.

Doug is a proud father of two daughters, born 18 years apart, and grandfather of two grandsons that are the light of Pappy’s eye. Widowed at age 36 when his first wife died of cancer, he was a single dad for many years. Now again his is a single dad of an almost a 10-year-old. 

Doug also drives a school bus, which he also views as a ministry. Two of the students he drives have lost loved ones and he has been called upon to serve as their minister. Both families were unchurched and he  showed Christ's presence through this hurtful situation. Doug says he is called to a community, not just a church building.   

Doug believes we are called to reach out in concern to those around us, and has always been drawn to local missions -- to help our neighbors and to show the love of Christ as he shows us grace and mercy every day. He believes we are to be open to God’s call that the door may be opened for His love to flow through.
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry – Albright, Connellsville; Calvary, Acme; Davistown: Indian Head; Greenwood, Connellsville; Mill Run; Mount Salem; Normalville; Ohiopyle; Otterbein, Connellsville; Pennsville; Pleasant Hill; Wesley, Connellsville; and Wesley, Dunbar—serve  communities around the Connellsville Area School District. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albright, Connellsville was organized as part of the Evangelical Association and was first known as the White Rock Appointment in 1989.  In 1900 a building was erected on Searson Street near Wine.  The new sanctuary was built in 1930 and an education unit added in 1956.  Albright will serve as the lead church in the Connellsville Cooperative Parish.
 
Calvary, Acme: Calvary was a split from the Mount Olivet Evangelical association church in 1891.  It became Calvary United Evangelical Church.  The building was dedicated in 1896.  The church had a basement added in 1951-195 and an educational unit in 1969 to 1972.  The building was cased in brick. The church added a beautiful picnic pavilion for Vacation Bible School and church meetings.

Davistown Indian Head:   Begun possibly as early as 1814, it was organized in 1831 as a member of the Evangelical Association.  A frame building was erected in 1845, known as Bethlehem Evangelical church.  On May 2, 1929 it was wrecked by a tornado.  Plans were made to rebuild.  A brick building on the opposite side of the road was dedicated on June 22, 1931.
 
Greenwood, Connellsville:  The original planning for a Church in this section of Connellsville was done in the Crawford School Building, after a split with the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Connellsville, over the choice of where a new church was needed and should be built.   McKeesport District Superintendent Reverend John J. Hill organized Greenwood on May 11, 1921 in the Old Greenwood School house on the West Side.  The corner stone for the new church was laid June 14, 1922.  I was dedicated on May 26, 1926.  Built from native stone the Church presents an inviting appearance, Gothic structure being careered out in both exterior and interior building.
 
Mill Run:  Mill Run UMC is located on PA Rte. 381 in the community of Mill Run. The congregation worships in a modern facility. The worship service begins at 11:00 am on Sunday morning.The people at Mill Run support various missions, families in need and provide meals both delivered and in the church.  A winter coat drive and a shoe box collection are annual events held at the church. Mill Run UMC and Indian Creek Baptist Church worship together Sunday evening in a combined service at 7:00 pm during the school year and at 7:30 pm during the summer. The worship site alternates between the two church. Mill Run UMC is a member of the Fayette County Sunday School Association.
 
Mount Salem:  The first services were held in the home of Jeremiah Stouffer.  In1868 the services were moved to the Stouffer School House.  The church was built in 1881 as the Stouffer Evangelical Association Church.  Additions to the church were made in 1959 and 1967.  The church in enjoys serving Easter breakfast and having community campfires.
 
Normalville:  As early as 1825 the Rev. James Green Sansom occasionally preached at the house of Solomon Kern.  A class was formed and preaching services were held in the schoolhouse.  In 1844 a society was formed and a house of worship was built.  In the fall of 1863 it was consumed by fire lit by the hands of an incendiary, which was refused the hand of fellowship owing to his failure to observe its ordinances.  Again the meetings were held in schoolhouses and in the United Brethren Church until a new frame church as build in 1881.
Ohiopyle: Ohiopyle UMC is located at Sherman St. in the borough of Ohiopyle. The community of Ohiopyle is a tourist destination with the Youghihaney River running through the town. Outdoor activities, nearby camping and white water rafting draw people to Ohiopyle. Though the congregation is small – it offers assistance to support organizations and its strength is fellowship among its members
Otterbein, Connellsville:  Otterbein was organized in January 1901 with services held at Kooser’s Hall and Stader’s Hall.  The Church was dedicated February 1, 1903.  Originally, First Church, it became Otterbein Church in 1970 with the merger and on January 1, 1974 merged with Central Church which was destroyed by a fire and became the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  The church holds the trust funds for the Connellsville Area Community Ministries.
 Pennsville:  The first class meeting (United Evangelical) was organized February 10, 1897 with 16 members.  First services were held in the brick Union Meeting House.  The Little Church on the Hill was dedicated in October 1899.
 Pleasant Hill:  Pleasant Hill also known as Springfield: Pleasant Hill because of its history on the Springfield Circuit first held its meeting about 1875 in a schoolhouse  In 1889 a Church was built.  An educational unit was added in 1955.  The church loves singing and studying God’s Word.
 Wesley, Connellsville:  A Methodist Class was formed in the home of Zachariah Connell, for whom Connellsville is named, in the 1790’s.  It was a preaching place on the Pittsburgh Circuit.  When Pittsburgh was made a Station in 1811 Connellsville became the head of the Circuit.  It continued to have various Circuit relationship until 1863 when it became a station appointment.  The fir Church was a stone building.  Bishop Francis Asbury dedicated the partially completed binding on July 10, 1808. The church grew several other church buildings were built until it moved to its present location on Pittsburgh Street in 1925. 
Wesley, Dunbar:  In 1876 a group of persons from Dunbar community who were going to Connellsville to worship field that there were enough of them to form their own congregation in Dunbar.  At first they met in the YMCA.  In 1881 they moved their meeting place to a School House.  They laid the cornerstone for a Church building on July 9, 1887 and it was dedicated on November 17th of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.

Kifer to Serve Connellsville Cooperative Parish

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Robert E. Kifer
Robert E. Kifer has been appointed to the Connellsville Cooperative Parish effective July 1, 2018.
Rob was blessed to grow up in Sheffield PA, and was a confirmed member and active participant in the ministry of Sheffield UMC. Then in 1969, at the age of 15, he met Bishop Roy C. Nichols in a truly divine appointment. Sheffield had invited Bishop Nichols to speak at a Community Lenten Service. As a teen, Rob didn’t know who the special speaker was, but his parents “drug him” to church whenever anything was going on. He and a few buddies were standing on the sidewalk before the service. Suddenly a stranger joined the circle; a man, small in stature but with a powerful spiritual presence. He asked, “Which one of you boys is the strongest?”  To which all responded “I am, I am”. Rob said, “I don’t believe that I was the most convincing, but probably was closest to him.” We were dumbfounded when Bishop Nichols clenched his fist and punched Rob in the stomach quite hard. As Rob caught his breath, Bishop patted him on the shoulder and said “My, you are a strong young man…Now go and be a strong witness for the Lord”! He disappeared into the church and when the service began we realized that it was Bishop Nichols who gave us this challenge.

Rob says, “This my Jonah story, as I was commissioned to go to Nineveh, but I headed to Tarshish for next three decades.”  For much of that period, Rob was active in church leadership and lay speaking, but he resisted answering God’s call to enter full-time ministry. Finally, when he was approaching his 50th Birthday, Rob started the ministry inquiry process with mentor Rev. Walt Heyman.  His home church Lakeside-DuBois and its Pastors Bob Zilhaver and Dick Burns provided much encouragement and support during this journey.

In 2006, Rob entered Summer Course of Study at Duke Divinity School, serving as a class officer each year. In 2011, Rob was elected as President of the Course of Study student body. At Duke COS graduation that year, the Convocation Preacher was Bishop and Duke Alum Thomas J. Bickerton, then serving in the Western PA Conference. 

As Rob explored his call to ministry, his wife Lynn was discerning God’s call on her life. The result has been a wonderful ministry partnership that has been a blessing to the areas and churches that the Kifers have been called to serve.

As a pastor, Rob has served the Lord and the fine people of Albion & Big Run UMC, Pulaski UMC and Heckathorn UMC.  In each appointment, he has embraced the belief that “our mission field starts outside of the four walls of the church”. This has led to various community ministries like the “Truly FREE Christian Skating” and the “FREE Community Clothes Closet”

Rob and Lynn enjoy family time with their daughters, grandkids and great-granddaughter, which sometimes involves travel to North Carolina, California or North Eastern PA.

The next chapter of Bishop Nichols’ challenge to “Go and be a strong witness for the Lord” is about to be written in Mill Run & Ohiopyle UMCs. To God be the Glory!

 
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry – Albright, Connellsville; Calvary, Acme; Davistown: Indian Head; Greenwood, Connellsville; Mill Run; Mount Salem; Normalville; Ohiopyle; Otterbein, Connellsville; Pennsville; Pleasant Hill; Wesley, Connellsville; and Wesley, Dunbar—service community around the Connellsville Area School District. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albright, Connellsville:   was organized as part of the Evangelical Association and was first known as the White Rock Appointment in 1989.  In 1900 a building was erected on Searson Street near Wine.  The new sanctuary was built in 1930 and an education unit added in 1956.  Albright will serve as the lead church in the Connellsville Cooperative Parish.
 
Calvary, Acme: Calvary was a split from the Mount Olivet Evangelical association church in 1891.  It became Calvary United Evangelical Church.  The building was dedicated in 1896.  The church had a basement added in 1951-195 and an educational unit in 1969 to 1972.  The building was cased in brick. The church added a beautiful picnic pavilion for Vacation Bible School and church meetings.

Davistown Indian Head:   Begun possibly as early as 1814, it was organized in 1831 as a member of the Evangelical Association.  A frame building was erected in 1845, known as Bethlehem Evangelical church.  On May 2, 1929 it was wrecked by a tornado.  Plans were made to rebuild.  A brick building on the opposite side of the road was dedicated on June 22, 1931.
 
Greenwood, Connellsville:  The original planning for a Church in this section of Connellsville was done in the Crawford School Building, after a split with the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Connellsville, over the choice of where a new church was needed and should be built.   McKeesport District Superintendent Reverend John J. Hill organized Greenwood on May 11, 1921 in the Old Greenwood School house on the West Side.  The corner stone for the new church was laid June 14, 1922.  I was dedicated on May 26, 1926.  Built from native stone the Church presents an inviting appearance, Gothic structure being careered out in both exterior and interior building.
 
Mill Run:  Mill Run UMC is located on PA Rte. 381 in the community of Mill Run. The congregation worships in a modern facility. The worship service begins at 11:00 am on Sunday morning.The people at Mill Run support various missions, families in need and provide meals both delivered and in the church.  A winter coat drive and a shoe box collection are annual events held at the church. Mill Run UMC and Indian Creek Baptist Church worship together Sunday evening in a combined service at 7:00 pm during the school year and at 7:30 pm during the summer. The worship site alternates between the two church. Mill Run UMC is a member of the Fayette County Sunday School Association.
 
Mount Salem:  The first services were held in the home of Jeremiah Stouffer.  In1868 the services were moved to the Stouffer School House.  The church was built in 1881 as the Stouffer Evangelical Association Church.  Additions to the church were made in 1959 and 1967.  The church in enjoys serving Easter breakfast and having community campfires.
 
Normalville:  As early as 1825 the Rev. James Green Sansom occasionally preached at the house of Solomon Kern.  A class was formed and preaching services were held in the schoolhouse.  In 1844 a society was formed and a house of worship was built.  In the fall of 1863 it was consumed by fire lit by the hands of an incendiary, which was refused the hand of fellowship owing to his failure to observe its ordinances.  Again the meetings were held in schoolhouses and in the United Brethren Church until a new frame church as build in 1881.
Ohiopyle: Ohiopyle UMC is located at Sherman St. in the borough of Ohiopyle. The community of Ohiopyle is a tourist destination with the Youghihaney River running through the town. Outdoor activities, nearby camping and white water rafting draw people to Ohiopyle. Though the congregation is small – it offers assistance to support organizations and its strength is fellowship among its members
Otterbein, Connellsville:  Otterbein was organized in January 1901 with services held at Kooser’s Hall and Stader’s Hall.  The Church was dedicated February 1, 1903.  Originally, First Church, it became Otterbein Church in 1970 with the merger and on January 1, 1974 merged with Central Church which was destroyed by a fire and became the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  The church holds the trust funds for the Connellsville Area Community Ministries.
 Pennsville:  The first class meeting (United Evangelical) was organized February 10, 1897 with 16 members.  First services were held in the brick Union Meeting House.  The Little Church on the Hill was dedicated in October 1899.
 Pleasant Hill:  Pleasant Hill also known as Springfield: Pleasant Hill because of its history on the Springfield Circuit first held its meeting about 1875 in a schoolhouse  In 1889 a Church was built.  An educational unit was added in 1955.  The church loves singing and studying God’s Word.
 Wesley, Connellsville:  A Methodist Class was formed in the home of Zachariah Connell, for whom Connellsville is named, in the 1790’s.  It was a preaching place on the Pittsburgh Circuit.  When Pittsburgh was made a Station in 1811 Connellsville became the head of the Circuit.  It continued to have various Circuit relationship until 1863 when it became a station appointment.  The fir Church was a stone building.  Bishop Francis Asbury dedicated the partially completed binding on July 10, 1808. The church grew several other church buildings were built until it moved to its present location on Pittsburgh Street in 1925. 
Wesley, Dunbar:  In 1876 a group of persons from Dunbar community who were going to Connellsville to worship field that there were enough of them to form their own congregation in Dunbar.  At first they met in the YMCA.  In 1881 they moved their meeting place to a School House.  They laid the cornerstone for a Church building on July 9, 1887 and it was dedicated on November 17th of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.
 

Lamb Appointed to Connellsville Parish

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Steven M. Lamb

Steven M. Lamb has been appointed to be the lead pastor of the Connellsville Cooperative Parish, effective July 1, 2018.  Born and raised on a small farm outside of Armagh, PA,  he was a lay speaker at the Armagh United Methodist Church when he received his call to ministry while working at Specialty Bar Products in Blairsville. 

Steve served a local appointment at Mt. Olive (Jackson)UMC,  before committing to be a student pastor in the itinerant system and moving to the Timblin Charge.  After graduation from IUP, Steve attended Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio and served the Paradise Hill UMC in Ashland.  After earning his MDiv, Steve returned to Pennsylvania and began serving the Sheakleyville Charge. The past six years, Steve has served at Connellsville: Albright and at the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church.

At the start of his first appointment, Steve was given these words of advice: “Love them.”  This has been his mission statement since the beginning and continues to be his point of reference in all aspects of his life.  Love as Jesus loved, and God will make a way.

Steve has been happily married to his wife Beverly for 38 years.  They have three adult children, Lindsey Olexa of Seward, PA, and sons Michael of Westmont and Matthew of Windber.  He also has two wonderful grandchildren, Morgan and Aubrey Olexa.

Steve enjoys walking, spending time with his family, reading several different genres from Wesley to Batman, and visiting with people.  
 
About Connellsville Coorperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry – Albright, Connellsville; Calvary, Acme; Davistown: Indian Head; Greenwood, Connellsville; Mill Run; Mount Salem; Normalville; Ohiopyle; Otterbein, Connellsville; Pennsville; Pleasant Hill; Wesley, Connellsville; and Wesley, Dunbar—serve  communities around the Connellsville Area School District. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albright, Connellsville was organized as part of the Evangelical Association and was first known as the White Rock Appointment in 1989.  In 1900 a building was erected on Searson Street near Wine.  The new sanctuary was built in 1930 and an education unit added in 1956.  Albright will serve as the lead church in the Connellsville Cooperative Parish.
 
Calvary, Acme: Calvary was a split from the Mount Olivet Evangelical association church in 1891.  It became Calvary United Evangelical Church.  The building was dedicated in 1896.  The church had a basement added in 1951-195 and an educational unit in 1969 to 1972.  The building was cased in brick. The church added a beautiful picnic pavilion for Vacation Bible School and church meetings.

Davistown Indian Head:   Begun possibly as early as 1814, it was organized in 1831 as a member of the Evangelical Association.  A frame building was erected in 1845, known as Bethlehem Evangelical church.  On May 2, 1929 it was wrecked by a tornado.  Plans were made to rebuild.  A brick building on the opposite side of the road was dedicated on June 22, 1931.
 
Greenwood, Connellsville:  The original planning for a Church in this section of Connellsville was done in the Crawford School Building, after a split with the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Connellsville, over the choice of where a new church was needed and should be built.   McKeesport District Superintendent Reverend John J. Hill organized Greenwood on May 11, 1921 in the Old Greenwood School house on the West Side.  The corner stone for the new church was laid June 14, 1922.  I was dedicated on May 26, 1926.  Built from native stone the Church presents an inviting appearance, Gothic structure being careered out in both exterior and interior building.
 
Mill Run:  Mill Run UMC is located on PA Rte. 381 in the community of Mill Run. The congregation worships in a modern facility. The worship service begins at 11:00 am on Sunday morning.The people at Mill Run support various missions, families in need and provide meals both delivered and in the church.  A winter coat drive and a shoe box collection are annual events held at the church. Mill Run UMC and Indian Creek Baptist Church worship together Sunday evening in a combined service at 7:00 pm during the school year and at 7:30 pm during the summer. The worship site alternates between the two church. Mill Run UMC is a member of the Fayette County Sunday School Association.
 
Mount Salem:  The first services were held in the home of Jeremiah Stouffer.  In1868 the services were moved to the Stouffer School House.  The church was built in 1881 as the Stouffer Evangelical Association Church.  Additions to the church were made in 1959 and 1967.  The church in enjoys serving Easter breakfast and having community campfires.
 
Normalville:  As early as 1825 the Rev. James Green Sansom occasionally preached at the house of Solomon Kern.  A class was formed and preaching services were held in the schoolhouse.  In 1844 a society was formed and a house of worship was built.  In the fall of 1863 it was consumed by fire lit by the hands of an incendiary, which was refused the hand of fellowship owing to his failure to observe its ordinances.  Again the meetings were held in schoolhouses and in the United Brethren Church until a new frame church as build in 1881.
Ohiopyle: Ohiopyle UMC is located at Sherman St. in the borough of Ohiopyle. The community of Ohiopyle is a tourist destination with the Youghihaney River running through the town. Outdoor activities, nearby camping and white water rafting draw people to Ohiopyle. Though the congregation is small – it offers assistance to support organizations and its strength is fellowship among its members
Otterbein, Connellsville:  Otterbein was organized in January 1901 with services held at Kooser’s Hall and Stader’s Hall.  The Church was dedicated February 1, 1903.  Originally, First Church, it became Otterbein Church in 1970 with the merger and on January 1, 1974 merged with Central Church which was destroyed by a fire and became the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  The church holds the trust funds for the Connellsville Area Community Ministries.
 Pennsville:  The first class meeting (United Evangelical) was organized February 10, 1897 with 16 members.  First services were held in the brick Union Meeting House.  The Little Church on the Hill was dedicated in October 1899.
 Pleasant Hill:  Pleasant Hill also known as Springfield: Pleasant Hill because of its history on the Springfield Circuit first held its meeting about 1875 in a schoolhouse  In 1889 a Church was built.  An educational unit was added in 1955.  The church loves singing and studying God’s Word.
 Wesley, Connellsville:  A Methodist Class was formed in the home of Zachariah Connell, for whom Connellsville is named, in the 1790’s.  It was a preaching place on the Pittsburgh Circuit.  When Pittsburgh was made a Station in 1811 Connellsville became the head of the Circuit.  It continued to have various Circuit relationship until 1863 when it became a station appointment.  The fir Church was a stone building.  Bishop Francis Asbury dedicated the partially completed binding on July 10, 1808. The church grew several other church buildings were built until it moved to its present location on Pittsburgh Street in 1925. 
Wesley, Dunbar:  In 1876 a group of persons from Dunbar community who were going to Connellsville to worship field that there were enough of them to form their own congregation in Dunbar.  At first they met in the YMCA.  In 1881 they moved their meeting place to a School House.  They laid the cornerstone for a Church building on July 9, 1887 and it was dedicated on November 17th of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.

Leona Logan Appointed to Connellsville Parish

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Leona Logan
Leona Logan is a mother of four, grandmother of 11, a preacher's wife (married to Rev. John Logan), a registered nurse since 1978 and a certified nurse midwife since 1995. She graduated in 1975 from Concordia College, Bronxville, NY, with an associate degree in psychology. She then attended Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. and earned her BSN in nursing and psychology. She completed her graduate education in midwifery at Frontier Nursing University, Hyden, KY, in 1995. Currently, she is attending the Course of Study as a local pastor as she answers God's call to pastoral ministry. Her first and current appointment is the Yough Charge as an associate pastor.

 Leona's first language was German, and she was the first midwife that was not wearing an Amish bonnet and the first non-physician given hospital delivery privileges at Punxsutawney Hospital in Jefferson County. In her spare time, she loves to sing ("when no one is home"), sketch, paint Bob Ross landscapes, and talk without moving her lips with her sidekick puppet Hildegard. She loves spending time with her grandchildren, the sunshine, the seashore, kayaking with her husband and family reunions.
 
In her midwifery career, she has had the privilege to deliver hundreds of babies and provide health care for thousands of women. She has provided care for incarcerated women, those struggling with addictions and disabilities as well as facilitated numerous women's support groups throughout the years.

Leona's passion for evangelism and missions might be genetic as her grandfather was a pastor during WWII in East Germany; her brother is a pastor, and her uncle and aunt were missionaries in Africa. Leona has participated in mission trips to the Dominican Republic with the Conference's East German Partnership, and last year spent a week in Kenya as part of a medical mission team to an orphanage and its community. Her zeal for Christ is contagious.
 
Leona looks forward to learning, loving, and serving with the people of the Connellsville Cooperative Parish.
 
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry – Albright, Connellsville; Calvary, Acme; Davistown: Indian Head; Greenwood, Connellsville; Mill Run; Mount Salem; Normalville; Ohiopyle; Otterbein, Connellsville; Pennsville; Pleasant Hill; Wesley, Connellsville; and Wesley, Dunbar—serve  communities around the Connellsville Area School District. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albright, Connellsville was organized as part of the Evangelical Association and was first known as the White Rock Appointment in 1989.  In 1900 a building was erected on Searson Street near Wine.  The new sanctuary was built in 1930 and an education unit added in 1956.  Albright will serve as the lead church in the Connellsville Cooperative Parish.
 
Calvary, Acme: Calvary was a split from the Mount Olivet Evangelical association church in 1891.  It became Calvary United Evangelical Church.  The building was dedicated in 1896.  The church had a basement added in 1951-195 and an educational unit in 1969 to 1972.  The building was cased in brick. The church added a beautiful picnic pavilion for Vacation Bible School and church meetings.

Davistown Indian Head:   Begun possibly as early as 1814, it was organized in 1831 as a member of the Evangelical Association.  A frame building was erected in 1845, known as Bethlehem Evangelical church.  On May 2, 1929 it was wrecked by a tornado.  Plans were made to rebuild.  A brick building on the opposite side of the road was dedicated on June 22, 1931.
 
Greenwood, Connellsville:  The original planning for a Church in this section of Connellsville was done in the Crawford School Building, after a split with the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Connellsville, over the choice of where a new church was needed and should be built.   McKeesport District Superintendent Reverend John J. Hill organized Greenwood on May 11, 1921 in the Old Greenwood School house on the West Side.  The corner stone for the new church was laid June 14, 1922.  I was dedicated on May 26, 1926.  Built from native stone the Church presents an inviting appearance, Gothic structure being careered out in both exterior and interior building.
 
Mill Run:  Mill Run UMC is located on PA Rte. 381 in the community of Mill Run. The congregation worships in a modern facility. The worship service begins at 11:00 am on Sunday morning.The people at Mill Run support various missions, families in need and provide meals both delivered and in the church.  A winter coat drive and a shoe box collection are annual events held at the church. Mill Run UMC and Indian Creek Baptist Church worship together Sunday evening in a combined service at 7:00 pm during the school year and at 7:30 pm during the summer. The worship site alternates between the two church. Mill Run UMC is a member of the Fayette County Sunday School Association.
 
Mount Salem:  The first services were held in the home of Jeremiah Stouffer.  In1868 the services were moved to the Stouffer School House.  The church was built in 1881 as the Stouffer Evangelical Association Church.  Additions to the church were made in 1959 and 1967.  The church in enjoys serving Easter breakfast and having community campfires.
 
Normalville:  As early as 1825 the Rev. James Green Sansom occasionally preached at the house of Solomon Kern.  A class was formed and preaching services were held in the schoolhouse.  In 1844 a society was formed and a house of worship was built.  In the fall of 1863 it was consumed by fire lit by the hands of an incendiary, which was refused the hand of fellowship owing to his failure to observe its ordinances.  Again the meetings were held in schoolhouses and in the United Brethren Church until a new frame church as build in 1881.
Ohiopyle: Ohiopyle UMC is located at Sherman St. in the borough of Ohiopyle. The community of Ohiopyle is a tourist destination with the Youghihaney River running through the town. Outdoor activities, nearby camping and white water rafting draw people to Ohiopyle. Though the congregation is small – it offers assistance to support organizations and its strength is fellowship among its members
Otterbein, Connellsville:  Otterbein was organized in January 1901 with services held at Kooser’s Hall and Stader’s Hall.  The Church was dedicated February 1, 1903.  Originally, First Church, it became Otterbein Church in 1970 with the merger and on January 1, 1974 merged with Central Church which was destroyed by a fire and became the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  The church holds the trust funds for the Connellsville Area Community Ministries.
 Pennsville:  The first class meeting (United Evangelical) was organized February 10, 1897 with 16 members.  First services were held in the brick Union Meeting House.  The Little Church on the Hill was dedicated in October 1899.
 Pleasant Hill:  Pleasant Hill also known as Springfield: Pleasant Hill because of its history on the Springfield Circuit first held its meeting about 1875 in a schoolhouse  In 1889 a Church was built.  An educational unit was added in 1955.  The church loves singing and studying God’s Word.
 Wesley, Connellsville:  A Methodist Class was formed in the home of Zachariah Connell, for whom Connellsville is named, in the 1790’s.  It was a preaching place on the Pittsburgh Circuit.  When Pittsburgh was made a Station in 1811 Connellsville became the head of the Circuit.  It continued to have various Circuit relationship until 1863 when it became a station appointment.  The fir Church was a stone building.  Bishop Francis Asbury dedicated the partially completed binding on July 10, 1808. The church grew several other church buildings were built until it moved to its present location on Pittsburgh Street in 1925. 
Wesley, Dunbar:  In 1876 a group of persons from Dunbar community who were going to Connellsville to worship field that there were enough of them to form their own congregation in Dunbar.  At first they met in the YMCA.  In 1881 they moved their meeting place to a School House.  They laid the cornerstone for a Church building on July 9, 1887 and it was dedicated on November 17th of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.

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