Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.
Sorted by Announced Date
Rev. Terry Shaughnessy was born and raised in Franklin, PA where he was a member of First United Methodist Church 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 where he served with helicopter squadrons based in San Diego for eight years. Upon his discharge from the Navy Terry completed his B.S. Degree for Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles. He then returned to Franklin and worked as a sub-contract buyer for Joy Manufacturing Company until the company experienced an economic downturn in their manufacture of underground coal mining equipment and his position was eliminated.
Upon the encouragement of a dear friend who was the Director of Christian Education at First UMC Franklin at time when Terry was deeply involved in the Christian Education department, he enrolled in the Master of Christian Education degree program at Duke Divinity School. During his first assignment as an intern at Duke's Chapel UMC in Durham, Terry responded to God's call to pastoral ministry and changed his major to the Master of Divinity degree program at Duke. For the remainder of his studies at Duke, he served as a Student Local Pastor for the Mt. Tabor-Riverview Charge in the Durham District of the North Carolina Annual Conference.
Following graduation from Duke Terry returned to the Western PA Conference for his first full time appointment at the Eastbrook UMC and where he was serving when he was ordained as an Elder by Bishop James Ault in 1988. From there he was appointed to First UMC in Union City where he served for fifteen years. After leaving Union City, Terry served Grove City Grace, Washington First, and Erie First UM Churches until his retirement in December 2012. During this time he also served on the Board of Directors for both 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, FL where he was involved on the prayer ministry team at New Walk Church and was a volunteer chaplain at the Florida Hospital of Zephyrhills. In January 2016 he was asked to serve as interim pastor for Seffner First UMC in the South Central District of the Florida Annual Conference for six months. He was then appointed as that church's pastor (part time) and served for two more years before giving up the sunshine and warm winters of Florida and returned to live in PA closer to his family and to return to ministry in the Erie-Meadville District once again with a part-time appointment to the Cochranton UMC where he served for three years before retiring again.
Terry has enjoyed long-distance bicycling, taking trips to Gustavus, Alaska for halibut and salmon fishing, traveling with friends, He is an avid Duke basketball fan who lived out one of his bucket list dreams by attending the 2017 season Duke/UNC game played at Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke and cheered Duke on to a win over Carolina. After two years into his second retirement Terry has answered the call to return to ministry in the Erie-Meadville District once again by joining the pastoral leadership team of the Heartland Crossroads Cooperative Ministry where he will further full-fill his passion for preaching God's Word.
About the First United Methodist Church of New Kensington
The First United Methodist Church of New Kensington, as it is currently known, was founded in 1869, with the Reverend John T. Riley serving as pastor and services being held in a frame building church on Bridge Street in the village of Parnassus (now a section of New Kensington). New Kensington grew over the years, mostly due to the founding of ALCOA on its riverfront and so did its population and the city’s various churches. By the 1960s our church had long been a vibrant part of the community with active outreach programs and multiple Sunday services and Sunday Schools. But, as ALCOA and other industries moved away from New Kensington in the late 60s, our church membership dwindled. There were few jobs and young people moved away in search of employment. COVID didn’t help either and attendance dropped into the double digits and not infrequently, to the single digits. While we do donate to Samaritan’s Purse each Christmas, our only remaining outreach program is the popular Food Bank, one of several in a city of need. Our church was always known for its friendly congregation. That remains true today, even with our almost exclusively elderly, small numbers.
About Verona United Methodist Church
Verona UMC is located in an urban area of Verona Township in the Pittsburgh District. The church opens its building with a variety of events on behalf of the members of the community such as Emergency Food Pantry, Clothes Closet, Children's Advocates Mission that helps families with small needs of all kinds, utility bills, and other assistance. The church partners with various community congregations and agencies to make those outreach ministries effective. A prayer net is the heart of the church in terms of caring for people in spirit. The congregation is diverse in theology, ethnicity, talents, interests, and ways of expressing their faith.
About Rosedale United Methodist Church
Rosedale UMC is a faithful community of Christ located in Verona. Rosedale people are passionate in worshipping and gathering for the Lord. They offer their talents and times in leading worship service and serving the community. The church partners with Reconciliation Anglican Church on mission project throughout the year, such as collecting items for outreach projects. They house the Rosedale Community Food Bank to support people who are in need. The church is becoming more diverse in ethnicities and in age. The church has an active prayer chain, through which the congregants are strongly connected and support their families, friends, and neighbors in spirit.
About Community United Methodist Church in Aspinwall
Community UMC is a loving and faithful community located in Aspinwall, a small town along the Allegheny River just minutes away from Pittsburgh. The small, loving congregation has a heart for prayer ministry by sharing and lifting prayer requests of the members of the community. Their outreach ministry into the community is accomplished through Child/Family Advocacy programs at North Hills Community Outreach. The church supports the Community Child Development Center by sharing its building and praying for the staff and the children.
Rev. Julie S. Kolacz is a native of Venango County where she started her journey as disciple of Jesus Christ at the age of eight upon having a miraculous encounter with God. God led her to attend Sunday school and church in a small Presbyterian church in Pleasantville. A significant life event occurred at the age of fifteen. She was placed in foster care through the Bair Foundation and was welcomed by the family of Rev. John and Susan Seth. Julie has been a part of their family for forty years and she is deeply grateful for their impact on her life.
Pastor Julie graduated from Grove City College where she majored in psychology and religion. She holds a M.S. in community counseling from Georgia State University and a M.Div. in pastoral counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary.
Her ministry with the UMC first began in 1999 when she was hired as a director of Christian education. Shortly thereafter, she was a director of youth ministry. She has pastored local churches since 2005 primarily in rural communities and most recently in Vintondale, PA. Julie has ten years of experience serving as a part-time chaplain at Meadville Medical Center (extension ministry). She has worked as a mental health therapist in various community settings. Pastor Julie was ordained as an elder in 2016.
Julie’s passion in ministry is bringing healing and wholeness to the body of Christ through preaching, teaching, pastoral counseling, and discipleship. In her free time, she enjoys natural beauty and recreational activities – hiking, cycling, kayaking, and physical fitness.
Julie has a son, John Stephen, who lives in Fairfax, Virginia. Additionally, there is Aslan, her Shih Tzu canine companion.
Julie is currently serving Blacklick Community UMC.
The Kiski Charge is comprised of the New Beginnings UMC in Apollo and First UMC in Vandergrift. The churches have worked together as part of a charge for many years. Each church is active in their respective communities as well as doing many ministries together and supporting one another in outreach ministries and serving in love in the name of Jesus.
Rebecca was born in Rome, N.Y., lived in Massachusetts, North Dakota and New York while her father served in the Air Force, before settling in Santa Clara, California her senior year of high school. Her undergraduate degree is from DePauw University, in Greencastle, Indiana, in English Literature. Afterwards, at the University of California, Riverside, she completed an M.A and two years of Ph.D. coursework, also in English Literature, with a focus in Medieval and Renaissance Literature.
During the years she was at home raising her four children, she became an accredited La Leche League leader, and took calls and led meetings for 17 years, helping new parents with breastfeeding and parenting concerns. Rebecca taught several years of English writing classes to first-year college students, including to many who spoke English as a second (or third) language. Her passions in ministry include Scripture study, writing, and working one-on-one with people.
Rebecca completed her M. Div. degree and graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary on May 27, 2022, and was appointed that July to McKnight United Methodist Church, where she continues to serve as senior pastor, and now she adds Epworth to her charge.
Her family includes her husband of 30 years, Wayne Speir, and four children: Emma, 25, Margaret, 22, Matthew, 19, and Lucy, 12. Personal interests include reading in a wide range of genres, knitting, and gardening, and sometimes cooking.
Epworth is a small church with a big heart. Located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Allison Park, the congregation's strength is its passion to reach out to others through missions. Epworth supports mission efforts in their community and beyond. The church is a strong, loving, and active community of believers who work together in all programs and projects of the church. Epworth has an active Christian education program for adults and youth on Sunday and Wednesday afternoons. The Vacation Bible School is always a big hit with the children in the church and community, and our Peach Social and specialty fundraiser dinners are a community highlight.
Gary Donaldson was born in Butler, PA and was raised in Boyers were he attended the Boyers UMC. He attended Moniteau High School where he met his late wife Gail. Upon graduation he served four years as a CH-53 Helicopter electrician in the United States Marine Corp. He was awarded two bronze stars for his participation in the evacuations of Cambodia and South Vietnam in April 1975.
After years of service to his home church he finally answered the call of God to ministry at the age of 34. Gary graduated from Slippery Rock University in 1991 and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a MDiv. in 1995.
Gary served Eau Claire and Argentine UMC's from 1988-1995; Cloe, Covode and Steffy Chapel UMC's from 1995-2002, Russell and Akeley UMC's from 2002-2010, Alum Bank UMC 2010-2012 and Asbury Waterford UMC 2012-2019 when he retired to care for his sick wife. She passed in 2021 and now Gary has answered God's call once again.
During his ministry Gary was been the dean of Jr. Sr. High Horse camp at Wesley Woods for many years; was co-dean of One Way camp, led fishing camp for five years and golf camp for two. After hurricane Katrina Gary lead six work groups to New Orleans and has traveled to Kentucky Mountain Bible College for mission work groups. He was the treasurer for Roy Gearhart Cutting Edge Ministries, served on District Committee on Ministries, Board of Ordained Ministry, Conference Evangelism Team, Camping and Retreat Ministry and District Trustee.
Gary has a passion for growing the church by developing disciples for Christ and teaching those disciples to be the church. By God's grace he has seen growth in many disciples and those disciples have had major ministries in their communities of faith.