2022 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Go to summary listing

Sorted by Announced Date


 

Grubbs to Serve Sheraden UMC, Christ Community

Announced: 06-19-2022
About Matthew Grubbs
Matthew was born and lived in the small town of Saxonburg, PA for most of his formative years. His father Daniel was a blue collar worker and his mother Pauline was the secretary at the Presbyterian church they attended from the time Matthew was in high school.  After graduating from Knoch High School, Matthew attended Slippery Rock University where he graduated with a BA in History.
 
Matthew was brought up as a Presbyterian, spending a lot of time in the youth group and serving as a volunteer youth leader while he was in college. With the youth group, he went on several mission trips within the United States, including a trip to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina during his freshman year of college. Matthew also went on several mission trips to Nicaragua the summers before and after his senior year of high school.
 
Growing up in the church led him to seminary. Matthew attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where he met his wife of nine years, Amanda.  After graduating in 2013, he worked at the Korean United Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh as the youth director. After some soul searching Matthew left the Presbyterian Church and joined Hill Top United Methodist Church in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. Matthew is drawn to the community and missions aspects of the United Methodist Church. He is currently a teacher’s aide at the Mars Home for Youth. 
 
In his free time he enjoy nerd culture including: reading comic books, playing video and table top games, and reading science fiction/fantasy novels. He also enjoys outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, camping, and hunting. In high school Matthew was a member of the varsity football team and is a lifelong fan of the Steelers.
 
About Sheraden UMC, Christ Community Church
Sheraden UMC is an urban, multi-generational congregation in the Sheraden neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Due to a devastating fire in Sept 2019, the building has been demolished, but the congregation is looking to rebuild in order to continue community outreach opportunities
 
Prior to the fire, this church offered Kidz Klub meetings, which provided a safe environment for dinner, tutoring, computer use, and recreational activities. In partnership with the U.M. Church Union they also had offered a summer feeding program where young people up to the age of 18 are provided a hot lunch daily. In collaboration with the West End Christian Ministry, a free community dinner on the last Thursday of every month was also offered. Sheraden also had a thrift shop and various organizations and non-denominational congregations used the building for meeting and worship.
.
Christ Community Church is a federated congregation of United Methodists and Presbyterians. It was federated in 1974. It is one congregation with one worship service, but operates under the United Methodist and Presbyterian USA.  In 2006, Christ Community became a charge with nearby Sheraden UMC. This congregation is known for its hospitality, community outreach and genuine caring.
 
They have a dedicated Sunday School program for all ages and a pastor-lead Bible study every week. They offer a ministry to those who are on parole so that they might become involved in the life of the church and some of its ministry.
 
Christ Community offers a free community dinner on the last Saturday of every month and their Thrift Shop is open on the second Saturday of every month. They maintain a stocked food cupboard to provide bags of food for those in need. Christ Community is also the home of the Allegheny West Meals on Wheels program, which has been a part of the church for the last 40 years. 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.
 

Lake to Serve Nebo/Fairview Charge

Announced: 06-19-2022
About David S. Lake
David Lake was born in Franklin, Pa. and graduated from Franklin Jr. Sr. High School, where he felt his call to ministry during his senior year. He then attended Mount Union College (now the University of Mount Union) and upon graduation continued his education at United Theological Seminary.
 
David and his wife Leanna met while working together the during summer of 1981 at Jumonville. They were married in April 1989 and have two adult children: Andrew and Abigail.
 
David has served as pastor of Waynesburg First United Methodist Church since 2016 and will continue in that role, while also leading church staff in developing cooperative ministries with the Nebo and Fairview Charge. His has also served appointments at Charter Oak, Herminie, Greenock, Kane First, and Irwin First UMCs.
 
During his 38 years of ministry David has served on the Kane District Committee on Ministry, Greensburg District Committee on Ministry, Conference Board of Ministry, Washington District Trustees and is currently on the Washington District Committee on Superintendency.
 
Active in the community where he is appointed, David also serves on the Board of Directors of Conerstone Care Community Health Center as vice-chair, West Virginia Institute of Spirituality as the chairperson of the Board of Directors, and Chairperson of the Greene County VOAD.
 
He enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and gardening (He is a Penn State Master Gardener.) and has been a keeper of Honeybees for over 23 years.
 
About Nebo/Fairview Charge
Nebo and Fairview United Methodist churches are both small membership congregations in rural Greene County.  Nebo Church was founded in 1877 and Fairview Church in Graysville was founded in 1848.  Although Fairview and Nebo have always been small in numbers, their strength is in their commitment to God and the communities they serve.  Preparing and delivering Christmas fruit baskets, food drives for the local food pantry, bible programs with the West Greene grade school, and a service in the park, where the community is encouraged to attend, are just a few ways Nebo and Fairview continue to be the hands and feet of Christ in the community.  Fairview and Nebo take great pride in their churches being “a training ground” for pastors, helping them to grow, then praying for them as they move on to where God calls them to serve. They are humbled that God would use them to equip spiritual leaders in Western Pennsylvania and in the world.  Together, Nebo and Fairview are joyfully serving the Lord in hopes of changing lives with the Good News of Jesus Christ. 
 

Leslie Foland to Serve Diamond/Tryonville Charge

Announced: 06-19-2022
About Leslie M. Foland
Leslie M. Foland will be assigned to supply the Diamond/Tryonville Charge beginning July 1, 2022.  She succeeds her husband, Local Pastor Richard Foland, who will begin serving Meadville: Grace Woodcock.  Leslie was born at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Western Ohio and she grew up in Exmouth, Western Australia. She wasn’t raised in the church. She graduated from Clarion-Limestone High School and holds two associate degrees, one in Carpentry and Construction Technology’s and one in Business Marketing and Management.
 
Leslie only recently began exploring her call to ministry with the help of her pastor, Rev. Roseanne Oliver. She has decided to fully submit to the Holy Spirit, to let go and follow wherever God leads her. Leslie’s exploration of her call will be strengthened by the opportunity to supply the the Diamond Evangelical and Tryonville churches as she pursues candidacy as a licensed pastor. 
 
Leslie is married to Richard; they have nine children and nine grandchildren, one of whom they are raising. They consider themselves to be a team in every possible way and enjoy spending devotional time together. They believe that sharing time with God draws them closer to Him and to each other.
 
 
About Diamond/Tryonville Charge
Evangelical United Methodist Church
The Evangelical United Methodist Church of Titusville is in the rural village of Diamond, west of the city on route 27.  This historic Church has deep roots in the Evangelical United Brethren wing of our denomination.  The congregation has a deep sense of community that is centered in their common faith in Jesus Christ.  Meaningful Christian fellowship, vital worship, biblical preaching and Christian education are key components of their ministry.  
Tryonville UMC
The Tryonville United Methodist Church is a small, family oriented congregation in the rural village of Tryonville, north of Titusville.  The congregation has a strong desire to reach its neighbors for Jesus Christ.  Like their partners on the Charge, they value vital worship and leadership that will help them fulfill their mission to make Disciples.
 

Owens to serve Epworth: Allison Park

Announced: 06-19-2022
About Richard Owens
Richard Owens was born and raised in Coraopolis, PA and surrendered his life to Jesus in 1991. Richard and his wife, Paula, began teaching Children’s Bible Studies to neighborhood children, helping many of them to know the love and saving grace of Jesus. While serving in youth ministry in Coraopolis, Richard experienced a clear sense of calling to vocational ministry. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in theology from the North Carolina College of Theology. Ordained in the Baptist tradition in 2007, Richard has pastored Tried Stone Baptist Church in Aliquippa, Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Coraopolis, and Mt. Olive Baptist Church of Midland, PA. After a lengthy season of prayerful discernment, Richard is in the process of transferring into the United Methodist denomination, believing strongly that this portion of the Body of Christ is where he can most authentically live out his calling to ministry. Richard and Paula have been married for 40 years. They have three children, and eight grandchildren. He wants nothing more than to glorify God and to be a witness to the beautiful hope that Jesus Christ affords.
 
About Epworth: Allison Park

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.


Walker to Serve Greenstone

Announced: 06-19-2022
About Brenda Walker
Brenda Walker received her M.Div from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained in 2007. She served as lead pastor at West View and Homestead Park UMC, and as a staff member at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community and St. Paul’s UMC. She also served as an interim at Chinese Community UMC in Oakland, CA.
 
Brenda has a passion for learning people’s stories – especially those in the margins. She has two adult sons, Carlyle and Daniel and many friends in the Pittsburgh area who are like family to her. Brenda currently lives in the Brighton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh. She works as a parental support advocate for the non-profit Allegheny County Bar Foundation and serves Glenwillard and Shannopin UM churches. In her free time, Brenda loves to hang out with her friends, eat delicious food, and travel to places near and far.
 
About Greenstone United Methodist Church
Greenstone was originally chartered as Bellevue Methodist Episcopal Church in 1813, an official church start from the John Rodenbaugh class that formed in 1800.  Several building transitions occurred until the church settled into its current building on California Ave. in Pittsburgh’s North Boroughs of Avalon/Bellevue.  The beautiful Richardsonian inspired building was completed in 1902. 

Greenstone UMC is a ministry in transition, experiencing transformation into a mission & community center from its former Sunday/Congregational identity.  Its Cove Art Center & After-school Art Ministry began ministering to local teenagers and artists in 2016. 

Historically, Greenstone has provided a holiday meal ministry for years and has welcomed Pittsburgh’s North Boroughs at its annual Strawberry Festival since the festival’s beginning in 1951. In addition to these ministries, other community ministries can be found at Greenstone including North Hills Community Outreach, Saltworks Theatre, Anchorpoint Counseling, and North Boroughs Children Center. 
 

Konegen to serve McKnight UMC

Announced: 06-07-2022
About Rebecca Konegen
Rebecca was born in Rome, N.Y. and 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.  She completed an M.A in English Literature at the University of California, Riverside with a focus in Medieval and Renaissance Literature. 
 
When her husband’s job transferred the family to Pittsburgh, she planned to finish her Ph.D. but wasn’t able to find a similar program locally.  Her pastor, knowing that she was trying to figure out what was next, asked if she had ever considered going to seminary. That was the first moment of her call and many confirmations have followed. She completed her M. Div. degree and graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary on May 27, 2022.
 
During the 18 years she was at home raising her four children, she became an accredited La Leche League leader. She took calls and led meetings for 17 years, helping new parents with breastfeeding and parenting concerns. Rebecca also 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.
 
Her family includes her husband of 29 years, Wayne Speir, and four children: Emma, 24; Margaret, 21; Matthew, 18; and Lucy, 11. Personal interests include reading in a wide range of genres, knitting, and gardening, and sometimes cooking.
 
About McKnight UMC

McKnight UMC is located in the southern part of Ross Township high on a hilltop just east of McKnight Road in the McKnight Village neighborhood. The church was founded in 1950 as McKnight Village Community Methodist Church.  The congregation has participated in the ministries of the Northside Feeding Program, Global Links, and the Eastbrook Mission Barn, as well as food collection for local food banks and other “as needed” supportive ministry.  Even during the pandemic these programs were supported financially, even as in-person participation was curtailed. Worship shifted to online during the pandemic, and that has continued even as in-person worship has returned. McKnight houses the Amazing Scholars Academy Preschool, caringly teaching three- and four-year olds who will be much more prepared for kindergarten than most students when they graduate.


Stollings to serve as Home Hospice Chaplain

Announced: 06-07-2022
About Bruce Stollings
Bruce Stollings was born in New Brighton, PA but as a preacher’s kid grew up in several towns in Western Pennsylvania. He graduated from Karns City High School and earned a BA in Journalism from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. He received his MDiv from Wesley Theological Seminary, an MA in English from Duquesne University and did all of the coursework for a PhD in English at Duquesne but withdrew before the dissertation stage.

Bruce served the New York Conference for five years, serving in Rhinebeck, NY and New Haven, CT before returning “home” to Western Pennsylvania. In Western PA, he served Sharpsburg and Millvale, Fredericktown and St. Paul’s/Denbo, Duquesne, Little Hill and Blackburn, Albright Community in Pittsburgh, Verona and Rosedale, and McKnight. In addition, he taught writing at Duquesne University and LaRoche College and worked as a writing tutor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

His most interesting extracurricular ministry was the U2charists services that he and his band, The Reply, led as fundraisers for Imagine No Malaria and Church World Service. He can often be found reading books for the multiple clergy book clubs he participates in.

In 1997, Bruce married Dr. Susan (Weldy) Stollings, a psychologist with Spiegel Freedman Psychological Associates. They enjoy baseball, movies, museums, reading, and laughter (which they are adept at inducing from each other). Their cat Frankie (named for former Pittsburgh Pirate Francisco Cervelli) has become somewhat Facebook famous in recent years.

Bruce will retire from church ministry as of July 1 but will begin serving as a fulltime Home Hospice Chaplain with Vitas Healthcare.
 
About Vista Healthcare
Vitas Healthcare, whose local office is in Cranberry Township, has more than 40 years of experience in hospice care and is the nation’s single largest single-source provider of end-of-life care.
 

A. Flower Appointed to Greenock

Announced: 05-29-2022
About Andrew Flower
Andrew was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania.  From an early age, God began speaking and moving in his life.  Growing up in a pastor’s home, Andrew watched and learned from his father, Rev. John E. Flower, Jr., while fostering a deep love for God and his own heart for ministry (even though he spent many years resisting God’s call).  At the age of 12, Andrew powerfully experienced the Holy Spirit’s transforming grace, as he received Jesus into his heart at Jumonville Camp.  Throughout his upbringing, Andrew’s family was privileged to serve many churches throughout Western Pennsylvania.
 
Upon graduation from New Brighton Area High School (2004), Andrew earned his B.A. in Adult Fitness from Malone University (Canton, OH; 2008), his B.S. in Music Industry Studies from Bethel University (Mckenzie, TN; 2012), and his M.Div. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (2019). 
 
Andrew’s pathway into pastoral ministry has led him on many exciting endeavors.  Yet, in October 2020, Andrew received a phone call that turned into his first  appointment in ministry at the Bentleyville United Methodist Church.  Andrew is currently a Certified Candidate working through the Ordination Track towards Provisional Membership, with the goal of pursuing Full Elder’s Orders in the United Methodist Church. 
 
Andrew continues to seek God and lead his family as he fulfills the everyday adventures of God’s call.  He is more than blessed to have his wife Sarah accompany and support him in ministry.  Sarah is a graduate of Grove City College, the University of Pittsburgh, and currently teaches middle school English in the Avonworth District.  Andrew and Sarah have been married for six years.  They have a son, Caleb (4), who radiates the joy of the Lord. 
 
When not involved in the life of the church, Andrew can be found spending quality time with his family; passionately engaged in hunting, fishing, and many other outdoor/fitness pursuits; and relaxing with some great music, great friendly conversation, and, as always, a great cup of coffee in hand. 
    
About Greenock United Methodist Church
Greenock United Methodist Church is a growing congregation in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County. Greenock is a prayerful and loving congregation, where welcoming all into God’s family is the foundation of everything they do for the Kingdom.  Greenock believes in taking everything to the Lord in prayer, giving thanks for God’s abundance.  They strive to create a place where Jesus Christ can always be found through the presence of the Holy Spirit.  They have a strong belief the church is more than worship in the sanctuary, and they take that belief out into the community. Greenock is a casual, friendly and caring church.  Rest assured that Greenock UM Church loves you and welcomes you. They believe in "Outrageous Love and a Radical Hospitality."
 

Mitchell to Serve Thorn Creek, Emory Chapel

Announced: 05-29-2022
About Amanda Mitchell
Amanda Mitchell grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania and came to Western Pennsylvania by way of Indiana University of PA where she earned a degree in Elementary Education. She was introduced to the church and to the UMC while attending Indiana Grace UMC as a college student. She served as Youth Director at Indiana Grace for five years before choosing to be a stay-at-home mom.

Amanda worked as a childcare teacher before accepting the position of Conference Coordinator of Young People’s Ministry in 2016. Through her Conference ministry, Amanda provides resources, connection, and leadership to churches and their young people. She also leads the Conference Youth Ministry Team which facilitates SPARK, Uth 4 Missions, and the Conference’s Youth Caucus.

Since 2019, she also has been the Director of Discipleship at Monroeville UMC, leading children’s ministry and chairing the preschool board. She is a certified ministry coach and loves helping clergy and church leaders to develop vision for their life and ministry. She volunteers as the co-coordinator of the NEJ Council on Youth Ministry and as a leader with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop.

Amanda is an MDiv student at United Theological Seminary where she just finished her second year. Having completed licensing school last summer, this will be her first appointment in the local church. Amanda is excited to continue her journey toward Elder’s orders and is eager to see how God will use her gifts at Thorn Creek and Emory Chapel.

She enjoys movies, reading, and spending time with her kids, Samuel and Olivia, and her dog, Captain.
 
About Thorn Creek/Emory Chapel Charge
Thorn Creek United Methodist Church, near Butler, PA, is a vital congregation with a rich history and a strong ministry. Located in the central portion of the Butler District, the congregation of Thorn Creek is devoted to worshiping God, growing in discipleship to Jesus, and building Christian community. Through their ministries of worship, Christian education, and outreach, the people of Thorn Creek help one another to walk more faithfully and attentively with Jesus. Their mission is to worship the Lord God while loving and serving all people in the name of Jesus Christ by the power of His Spirit.
 
Emory Chapel is a small and vibrant congregation in Sarver, PA, bringing significant ministry to the central portion of the Butler District. Hospitality, kindness, and faithfulness are hallmarks of the Emory Chapel congregation, and the church’s people are eager to love God with their whole heart as they grow in their love for one another and the community that they so eagerly serve. Worship services at Emory Chapel UMC have a wonderful spirit of spiritual intimacy and interactivity about them, and the people are deeply intentional about blessing one another and the surrounding community with tangible acts of ministry and kindness.
 

Bruce Davis to serve Norrisville UMC

Announced: 05-22-2022
About Bruce Davis
Retired Elder Bruce, a graduate of Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary, was ordained in 1976 as a deacon and an elder in 1979.  He has served at the Sheakleyville Charge, Grand Valley Charge, Pittsfield Otterbein, Conneaut Lake Trinity, Greater Oil City UM Ministries (4 churches), and Erie Asbury UMC. He retired in 2020.

Bruce has helped at Cherry Run Camp Meeting and at Wesley Woods. He has also served on the board at both camps. He served with the Conneaut Lake Salvation Army, on the advisory boards of the Warren-Forest Department of Human Services and Crawford County Department of Human Services, the Love INC board, IU#5 Advisory Board, I-CAP (Industrial Community Advisory Panel).

Bruce continues to be involved in prayer ministries through the Renewal Fellowship and locally through the Altar (International House of Prayer). He desires to see everyone engaged in regular worship, small group study, and service. Bruce is God’s child, redeemed by the grace and provision of Jesus on the Cross, and engaged in Spirit-led ministry for God’s Kingdom.

Bruce likes to swim, use the computer, read and worship. He and Joyce have been married for 46 years and have two adult children. As a couple they like to travel and connect with friends.
 
About Norrisville United Methodist Church
The Norrisville United Methodist Church is a vital small membership congregation in the rural village of Norrisville in Crawford County. With strong lay leadership, the congregation enjoys close fellowship and vital worship. Support of local community organizations and ministries is also an important aspect of their ministry.   Rev Bruce Davis’ pastoral gifts and his passion for preaching God’s Word will assist this strong, laity-led congregation in continuing its important presence in its community.
 

Garrett to Serve North Huntingdon Christ UMC

Announced: 05-22-2022
About Joel S. Garrett
Joel Garrett grew up in New Castle, PA and is a graduate of Shenango High School. After receiving a BA from John Wesley College in Greensboro, NC, he completed work on an M.Div from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Joel has served churches in Johnstown, Sharon, Beaver Falls, McMurray, and Holiday Park in Plum Boro, Allegheny County. In 2013 Joel was named Superintendent of the Butler District, where he served until he retired in 2018.
 
Even though his days of receiving an annual appointment came to an end when he retired, Joel believes firmly that God still calls. Since retiring he has served three interim assignments at Greensburg First, Community United Methodist in Harrison City, and Leechburg. Joel looks forward to working with the good people of Christ Church North Huntington as they continue to emerge from a Covid culture, finding fresh ways to make God’s love real and invite others to believe.
 
About North Huntingdon: Christ United Methodist Church
Christ United Methodist Church of North Huntingdon is a faith community in Westmoreland County, serving North Huntingdon, McKeesport, White Oak, Coulter and Penns Woods. It grew out of the former Coulter United Methodist Church, whose pastor became the first pastor of the new congregation. Since then, Penns Woods church has joined with Christ to continue their mission of “Knowing Christ and making Him known.”

The congregation is active in its community, supporting a local Food Pantry, Blackburn Center Women’s Shelter, and Bountiful Blessings, among others. A community preschool, Sonbeam Preschool, meets in the building three mornings a week. They host “Happy Hearts,” a monthly senior citizens’ luncheon and program, and a weekly AA meeting.

Worship and Education activities include Sunday School, VBS, Vocal Choir, Bell Choir and Bible Studies. They  also enjoy getting together for roast beef dinners and peach and strawberry festivals throughout the year.

Lambert to Serve Mount Hope, Pine Grove

Announced: 05-22-2022
About Jacqueline Lambert
Jacqueline Lambert writes this about her journey in Lay Ministry:  A little prompting of the Holy Spirit started me on this journey.  It began with a Sunday School class, then Lay Servant and Liturgist, a Women’s Bible Study, lots of classes, and this assignment.  All of this has been a gentle leading process where I have learned so much, and a huge blessing. I look forward to continuing my journey.  My husband, Ed, has been beside me and offers his support.

Jackie has been an active member of the Cochranton United Methodist Church, for 7 years since moving to the area with her husband Ed, who is retired from the US Coast Guard. She has previously worked in banking and in retail.  In the last two years she has been working towards becoming a Certified Lay Minister.  This assignment will help her to complete that certification.
 
About Mount Hope/Pine Grove Charge
The Mount Hope/Pine Grove Charge is comprised of two small rural congregations that sustain vital ministries to their communities.  For many years they have been served by retired Associate Member Alice McClymonds, who “retired” once more in December 2021. Under Alice’s ministry they have come to value personal relationships, biblical preaching and community ministry.

Both congregations have strong and active lay leadership.  This will make them an excellent charge for building ministry together with a Certified Lay Minister. Jackie will be mentored by Local Pastor Harry Zurasky, who serves nearby at New Richmond and Little Cooley. 
 

Wakefield to Serve Heartland Crossroads Parish

Announced: 05-22-2022
About Heather Wakefield
A new graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Heather Wakefield grew up in small towns in Pennsylvania (Crawford County), West Virginia, and Southeast Ohio. She received her bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and has an MA in Theater History and Criticism from Ohio University and an MS in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University.

Heather’s journey into United Methodism started at Saegertown United Methodist Church, not far from her new appointment.  She was raised in the Roman Catholic Church, but became a a “spiritual seeker” during young adulthood. While serving as the Library Director of the Saegertown Area Public Library, she was drawn to the local United Methodist Church and found her spiritual home. Methodist theology and its call to service for others resonated with her on a deep level. After 7 ½ years, she left her position at the library and moved to Cambridge MA. There she earned a M.Div at Harvard. 

Heather looks forward to returning to Western PA and to reuniting with family and friends. Beyond her spiritual practices, Heather enjoys singing, drumming, reading, creative writing, and swimming.
 
About Heartland Crossroads Cooperative Parish
The Heartland Crossroads Cooperative Parish is a fellowship of six small town and rural congregations (Albion: Calvary; Conneautville: Valley; Espyville; Hickernell; Palmer and Franklin Center).  The six congregations support each other’s ministries as well as cooperate together on many joint mission projects and worship experiences. 

The Churches are served by a pastoral staff of a lead pastor, assisted by two part-time associates. The staff shares preaching responsibilities, administrative roles, and pastoral care among the six churches. Heather will be filling the lead role, pioneered by Rev. Bob Klingler who has served the parish for the last nine years. Rev. Klingler is being reappointed to Oakland UMC on the Franklin District. With her passion for supporting rural and small town life and her desire to serve others, Heather will be able to continue the vision for rural ministry that this successful cooperative has embraced

Brant Appointed Fay-West Parish Associate

Announced: 05-15-2022
About Joyce E. Brant
Joyce currently serves as a Lay Servant in the Connellsville District.  She started Lay Speaking in 1993, completed Licensing School in 1998 and was appointed that same year to the Dawson Charge. She served as a Local Pastor there under Rev. Roger Applebee from 1998-2002.  Joyce attended the Course of Study at Methodist Theological Seminary.

A native of Somerset, she grew up in a loving family and was raised on a farm.  She grew up in the Church of the Brethren. In 1965 she married Daniel Brant and moved to Uniontown.  Dan had served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church for 20 years.  They celebrated 50 years of marriage in September of 2015 and it was a month later that her beloved husband lost his battle with cancer.  They were blessed with a son and daughter who are both married.  Joyce is a proud grandma of six grandchildren and two-great-grandchildren.  She enjoys spending time with her family.

Joyce has been a member of the Community UMC ever since she moved to Uniontown years ago.  In addition to serving as a Lay Leader, she has been involved with other ministries within the church, including the Pastor Parish Committee. She also taught Sunday School and has been VBS Director.  Joyce enjoys doing outreach and visiting those who are unable to come to the church services.

One of her favorite scriptures from Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  She enjoys sharing the Word of God and His love with others.
 
About Fay-West Cooperative Parish
The churches of this cooperative ministry – Belle Vernon: First; Concord; Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial; Fairview Chapel; Fells; Little Redstone; Monessen; Newell; Perryopolis; Smithton: Winnett; Vanderbilt, and Webster -- serve communities in parts of Fayette and Westmoreland counties. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years. They have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Belle Vernon First United Methodist Church:  The Methodist Class in Belle Vernon was organized in 1830, being the oldest religious organization in the community.  In 1834 the church was made a part of the reorganized Redstone Circuit. The current church building was dedicated in 1908 and the congregation is involved in a variety of ministries and community service. 

Concord United Methodist Church: Early records indicate that in 1830 a group of Methodists from the Fells Church were meeting together in the Concord vicinity. In that year the last of the subscription schools of Rostraver Township, Concord School, was built.  This was the first meeting place of the congregation.  Today the church is known for the candy they make and sell to raise money for the church ministries.

Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial United Methodist Church was organized in 1870, or before, when the town was named Bloomington.  A frame building was built in 1872 and dedicated by Rev. Charles Smith. Mrs. Sarah B. Cochran presented the church with a new brick building in 1900 in memory of her husband.  She replaced it in 1925-27, with an English gothic structure, with complete educational and social facilities.  A devoted Methodist, Mrs. Cochran made it possible for the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church to hold their semi-annual meeting at the Dawson Church in April 1916.  Today the church is reaching out to the community with a new community center.

Fairview Chapel was organized in 1828 with about 40 members.They used a stone schoolhouse for a year for their meeting, then a frame church was built in 1829.  A windstorm took the roof off of that building in March, 1929 and the current brick structure was built and dedicated in the fall of 1929.  Today the church is best known for its delicious turkey dinners.

Fells United Methodist Church has been known as the “Lighthouse on the Hill” since the congregation was founded in 1785.  Pioneer Beazell and Fell families held early Methodist worship services in their homes in 1785.  Seven years later, with an increasing congregation, the two families spearheaded the building of a log cabin church.  On land donated by General George Washington, the stone church was constructed in 1834.  Washington was grateful for tools and leather supplies donated by Benjamin Fell to his soldiers serving at Valley Forge.  Fell opened his home for the men to repair and make shoes.  In 1967 the new Fells church was dedicated a short distance away.  Today the “Lighthouse on the Hill” is where people open their hearts to God’s presence in their lives.  But it is also where they open their doors to the needs of their community.  Fells UMC is both a house of prayer and a center of hospitality, where we bring God’s light to the people of our area.
 
Little Redstone United Methodist Church:  Methodist meetings were held in the early 1850’s in the Baptist Meetinghouse, a schoolhouse, and in the homes of Nathaniel Stephens, Robert Stephens, and Hugh Ford.  The Society organized as a congregation on January 14, 1857.  Land was purchased and a brick Church was erected in 1857.  The church more recently has been part of the Christ 201 Parish and is a light to this rural community.

Monessen United Methodist Church was organized in 1979 through the merger of Monessen First United Methodist Church and Monessen Grace United Methodist Church.  Recently they have been working closely with Webster United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Monessen is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A woman from Monessen said, “The church isn’t just a building to us, it's our home.  It’s where we raise our families and where we worship as a family and draw near to God."

Newell United Methodist Church grew from worship services held in the Newell Public School building by both Methodist and Presbyterian ministers. The land for the church was donated by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company.  The church that was built in 1908 was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 1950s.  The open worship space allows for a variety of powerful and different worship experiences.
 
Perryopolis United Methodist Church, located in the territory of the Redstone Circuit Monongahela District, where a Methodist Class was organized in the community before the laying out of the town in 1814.  Services were held in a schoolhouse and in the State Bank Building on South Liberty Street.  In 1832 the first church was erected within the southwest quarter circle, where the Methodist cemetery is located.  This church served until the current church was erected on Independence Street in 1888.  Today there is an active youth ministry as part of this church.
 
Smithton:  Winnett United Methodist Church had its beginnings in a Sunday School started by Joseph Hough,  at the local Mineral School in 1882 and from revival services held by Reverend Winnett at what was then the Free Methodist Church of Smithton.  The church lot was donated by J. O. Williams. In 1885 the Church was built and dedicated.  The founding fathers honored Reverend Winnett by naming it the Winnett Methodist Episcopal Church. 
 
Vanderbilt United Methodist Church:  The historical record of this church traces back to the Redstone Circuit before 1800 to the Joshua Dickerson home within a mile of the church building.  Today Vanderbilt is known for its music and cantatas.
 
Webster United Methodist Church was organized in 1840 and its first building was erected in 1966 as part of Rostraver Circuit.  The current church was built in 1910.   Recently they have been working closely with Monessen United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Webster is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A quote from a Webster woman: “Although we are small, we are mighty and faithful in our love for thee.”

Gould to Serve Eastbrook, Volant UMCs

Announced: 05-15-2022
About Mary Jo Gould
Mary Jo Gould has lived in the town of Beaver most of her life. She served as a short-term missionary in Papua, New Guinea before returning to the States to work in different secular positions. 

After earning an associate degree in nursing at the Community College of Beaver County, Mary Jo worked as an RN for 11 years in the geriatric setting until being called to pastoral ministry. For the last seven years, she has served Thorncreek and Emory UMCs. During that same period, she completed both her bachelor's degree in Christian studies at Grand Canyon University and her seminary Course of Study (United Theological Seminary). She plans to continue in the Advanced Course of Study in the hopes of becoming an Associate Member or Elder.

Mary Jo loves being with family and friends, going out to eat, laughing a lot, reading a good book, enjoying nature, and sitting by the fire outside with friends. She and her husband have a wonderful son and granddaughter.  
About Eastbrook UMC/Volant UMC Charge
Located in New Castle, PA, Eastbrook UMC has a long history of vibrant ministry engagement with the community of New Castle and beyond. The fact that Eastbrook UMC has figured so prominently in the history, development, and continued stewardship of the Eastbrook Mission Barn (one of the six UMCOR Relief Supply Depots in the United States) is an illumination of the congregation’s deep missional heart and its commitment to sharing the love and ministry of Jesus with a hurting world. Eastbrook UMC is a warm, loving community of believers where worship is joyful, where discipleship to Jesus is taught and nurtured, and where the joy of spiritual growth is regularly experienced.
 
Located in the quaint borough of Volant in Lawrence County, Volant UMC is in the heart of that community’s significant network of shops, stores, and restaurants. A truly intergenerational faith community (with many young children), Volant UMC makes it a priority to provide Christian education and spiritual formation for people of all ages. Through the church’s engaging worship, intentional Bible study and small group ministry, commitment to prayer, and strategic outreach to the community, Volant UMC continues to make disciples of Jesus Christ while offering the love, truth, and ministry of Jesus to those both inside and outside of the church’s walls.
 

Huey to Serve Fay-West Cooperative Parish

Announced: 05-15-2022
About John R. Huey
John R. Huey was born in Connellsville and grew up in Morrell. After graduating from Connellsville High School in 1970, he studied Social Studies and took classes at Pitt and Fairmont State University, where he graduated in 1982.

He worked at Connellsville General Hospital and Highlands Hospital, retiring in 2017 after many years of service.  John currently serves as the Lay Leader, Sunday School Teacher and in a variety of other positions at Otterbein United Methodist Church in Connellsville.  The Fay-West Cooperative Parish will be his first appointment.

John's favorite scripture is John 14:1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God, believe also in me.”
 
About Fay-West Cooperative Parish
The churches of this cooperative ministry – Belle Vernon: First; Concord; Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial; Fairview Chapel; Fells; Little Redstone; Monessen; Newell; Perryopolis; Smithton: Winnett; Vanderbilt, and Webster -- serve communities in parts of Fayette and Westmoreland counties. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years. They have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Belle Vernon First United Methodist Church:  The Methodist Class in Belle Vernon was organized in 1830, being the oldest religious organization in the community.  In 1834 the church was made a part of the reorganized Redstone Circuit. The current church building was dedicated in 1908 and the congregation is involved in a variety of ministries and community service. 

Concord United Methodist Church: Early records indicate that in 1830 a group of Methodists from the Fells Church were meeting together in the Concord vicinity. In that year the last of the subscription schools of Rostraver Township, Concord School, was built.  This was the first meeting place of the congregation.  Today the church is known for the candy they make and sell to raise money for the church ministries.

Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial United Methodist Church was organized in 1870, or before, when the town was named Bloomington.  A frame building was built in 1872 and dedicated by Rev. Charles Smith. Mrs. Sarah B. Cochran presented the church with a new brick building in 1900 in memory of her husband.  She replaced it in 1925-27, with an English gothic structure, with complete educational and social facilities.  A devoted Methodist, Mrs. Cochran made it possible for the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church to hold their semi-annual meeting at the Dawson Church in April 1916.  Today the church is reaching out to the community with a new community center.

Fairview Chapel was organized in 1828 with about 40 members.They used a stone schoolhouse for a year for their meeting, then a frame church was built in 1829.  A windstorm took the roof off of that building in March, 1929 and the current brick structure was built and dedicated in the fall of 1929.  Today the church is best known for its delicious turkey dinners.

Fells United Methodist Church has been known as the “Lighthouse on the Hill” since the congregation was founded in 1785.  Pioneer Beazell and Fell families held early Methodist worship services in their homes in 1785.  Seven years later, with an increasing congregation, the two families spearheaded the building of a log cabin church.  On land donated by General George Washington, the stone church was constructed in 1834.  Washington was grateful for tools and leather supplies donated by Benjamin Fell to his soldiers serving at Valley Forge.  Fell opened his home for the men to repair and make shoes.  In 1967 the new Fells church was dedicated a short distance away.  Today the “Lighthouse on the Hill” is where people open their hearts to God’s presence in their lives.  But it is also where they open their doors to the needs of their community.  Fells UMC is both a house of prayer and a center of hospitality, where we bring God’s light to the people of our area.
 
Little Redstone United Methodist Church:  Methodist meetings were held in the early 1850’s in the Baptist Meetinghouse, a schoolhouse, and in the homes of Nathaniel Stephens, Robert Stephens, and Hugh Ford.  The Society organized as a congregation on January 14, 1857.  Land was purchased and a brick Church was erected in 1857.  The church more recently has been part of the Christ 201 Parish and is a light to this rural community.

Monessen United Methodist Church was organized in 1979 through the merger of Monessen First United Methodist Church and Monessen Grace United Methodist Church.  Recently they have been working closely with Webster United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Monessen is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A woman from Monessen said, “The church isn’t just a building to us, it's our home.  It’s where we raise our families and where we worship as a family and draw near to God."

Newell United Methodist Church grew from worship services held in the Newell Public School building by both Methodist and Presbyterian ministers. The land for the church was donated by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company.  The church that was built in 1908 was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 1950s.  The open worship space allows for a variety of powerful and different worship experiences.
 
Perryopolis United Methodist Church, located in the territory of the Redstone Circuit Monongahela District, where a Methodist Class was organized in the community before the laying out of the town in 1814.  Services were held in a schoolhouse and in the State Bank Building on South Liberty Street.  In 1832 the first church was erected within the southwest quarter circle, where the Methodist cemetery is located.  This church served until the current church was erected on Independence Street in 1888.  Today there is an active youth ministry as part of this church.
 
Smithton:  Winnett United Methodist Church had its beginnings in a Sunday School started by Joseph Hough,  at the local Mineral School in 1882 and from revival services held by Reverend Winnett at what was then the Free Methodist Church of Smithton.  The church lot was donated by J. O. Williams. In 1885 the Church was built and dedicated.  The founding fathers honored Reverend Winnett by naming it the Winnett Methodist Episcopal Church. 
 
Vanderbilt United Methodist Church:  The historical record of this church traces back to the Redstone Circuit before 1800 to the Joshua Dickerson home within a mile of the church building.  Today Vanderbilt is known for its music and cantatas.
 
Webster United Methodist Church was organized in 1840 and its first building was erected in 1966 as part of Rostraver Circuit.  The current church was built in 1910.   Recently they have been working closely with Monessen United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Webster is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A quote from a Webster woman: “Although we are small, we are mighty and faithful in our love for thee.”
 
 

Penvose Appointed to New Hope Charge

Announced: 05-15-2022
About Jacob Penvose
Jacob was born in West Virginia and moved to Pennsylvania early in his childhood. Since moving to PA he has lived his entire life within the rolling hills of the Western Pennsylvania Conference in DuBois and was raised in the UMC.  After graduating from high school, his path took him on the long road to becoming a licensed mental health therapist.  While working towards his license in mental health, he began working for a community mental health agency. 

Despite following that part of his call, Jacob felt that there was more that God was calling him to do.  From the end of July to August 2021, Jacob attended licensing school for pastoral ministry.  Currently, he is an associate pastor with the New Hope Charge in Jefferson County, PA.  However, Jacob’s eventual calling is hopefully as an ordained deacon within the United Methodist Church combining pastoral ministry with his work in mental health.    
 
About New Hope Charge
The New Hope Charge is located in the northern part of the Indiana District. It is comprised of the Sykesville: Grace, Pleasant Valley and Falls Creek United Methodist churches. The churches work well together as they bring the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ to their communities

R. Smith Assigned to Coolspring, Ramsaytown UMCs

Announced: 05-15-2022
About Robyn Smith
Robyn has been bringing God’s Word to God’s people for over 35 years through worship, youth, kid’s ministry and teaching Sunday School. Over the last two years she has been sharing Sunday morning messages with her home church. She feels finding new ways to share Jesus is her calling, because there is a lost world searching for something and God wants every Christian to do his or her part to bring them the truth of Jesus through the Word of God!

Robyn’s father was a “lifer” in the Navy, so Robyn was raised on many islands throughout the world before returning to the United States as a teenager. She met and married her high school sweetheart, Rick, and they have been married for 43 years. They have two children who have married and blessed them with six grandchildren.
 
About Coolspring UMC/Ramsaytown UMC
Coolspring and Ramsaytown United Methodist Churches are located in the northern part of the Indiana district. Their ministries include a women’s group and a men’s prayer breakfast.
 

Spiker to Serve Fay-West Cooperative Parish

Announced: 05-15-2022
About Jessica L. Spiker
Jessica L. Spiker was born in Pittsburgh and raised in the Smithfield area, where she attends Smithfield United Methodist Church.

After graduating from the Laurel Highlands High School, she attended college for nursing and graduated with her masters from Waynesburg in 2014. She currently works as a registered nurse at WVU in Uniontown.  She also teaches nursing at Westmoreland County Community College. 

The Fay-West Cooperative Parish will be Jessica’s first appointment. She currently serves as the Lay Leader for the Smithfield United Methodist Church and is very active in all its committees.

Jessica's favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For surly I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
 
About Fay-West Cooperative Parish
The churches of this cooperative ministry – Belle Vernon: First; Concord; Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial; Fairview Chapel; Fells; Little Redstone; Monessen; Newell; Perryopolis; Smithton: Winnett; Vanderbilt, and Webster -- serve communities in parts of Fayette and Westmoreland counties. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years. They have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Belle Vernon First United Methodist Church:  The Methodist Class in Belle Vernon was organized in 1830, being the oldest religious organization in the community.  In 1834 the church was made a part of the reorganized Redstone Circuit. The current church building was dedicated in 1908 and the congregation is involved in a variety of ministries and community service. 

Concord United Methodist Church: Early records indicate that in 1830 a group of Methodists from the Fells Church were meeting together in the Concord vicinity. In that year the last of the subscription schools of Rostraver Township, Concord School, was built.  This was the first meeting place of the congregation.  Today the church is known for the candy they make and sell to raise money for the church ministries.

Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial United Methodist Church was organized in 1870, or before, when the town was named Bloomington.  A frame building was built in 1872 and dedicated by Rev. Charles Smith. Mrs. Sarah B. Cochran presented the church with a new brick building in 1900 in memory of her husband.  She replaced it in 1925-27, with an English gothic structure, with complete educational and social facilities.  A devoted Methodist, Mrs. Cochran made it possible for the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church to hold their semi-annual meeting at the Dawson Church in April 1916.  Today the church is reaching out to the community with a new community center.

Fairview Chapel was organized in 1828 with about 40 members.They used a stone schoolhouse for a year for their meeting, then a frame church was built in 1829.  A windstorm took the roof off of that building in March, 1929 and the current brick structure was built and dedicated in the fall of 1929.  Today the church is best known for its delicious turkey dinners.

Fells United Methodist Church has been known as the “Lighthouse on the Hill” since the congregation was founded in 1785.  Pioneer Beazell and Fell families held early Methodist worship services in their homes in 1785.  Seven years later, with an increasing congregation, the two families spearheaded the building of a log cabin church.  On land donated by General George Washington, the stone church was constructed in 1834.  Washington was grateful for tools and leather supplies donated by Benjamin Fell to his soldiers serving at Valley Forge.  Fell opened his home for the men to repair and make shoes.  In 1967 the new Fells church was dedicated a short distance away.  Today the “Lighthouse on the Hill” is where people open their hearts to God’s presence in their lives.  But it is also where they open their doors to the needs of their community.  Fells UMC is both a house of prayer and a center of hospitality, where we bring God’s light to the people of our area.
 
Little Redstone United Methodist Church:  Methodist meetings were held in the early 1850’s in the Baptist Meetinghouse, a schoolhouse, and in the homes of Nathaniel Stephens, Robert Stephens, and Hugh Ford.  The Society organized as a congregation on January 14, 1857.  Land was purchased and a brick Church was erected in 1857.  The church more recently has been part of the Christ 201 Parish and is a light to this rural community.

Monessen United Methodist Church was organized in 1979 through the merger of Monessen First United Methodist Church and Monessen Grace United Methodist Church.  Recently they have been working closely with Webster United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Monessen is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A woman from Monessen said, “The church isn’t just a building to us, it's our home.  It’s where we raise our families and where we worship as a family and draw near to God."

Newell United Methodist Church grew from worship services held in the Newell Public School building by both Methodist and Presbyterian ministers. The land for the church was donated by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company.  The church that was built in 1908 was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 1950s.  The open worship space allows for a variety of powerful and different worship experiences.
 
Perryopolis United Methodist Church, located in the territory of the Redstone Circuit Monongahela District, where a Methodist Class was organized in the community before the laying out of the town in 1814.  Services were held in a schoolhouse and in the State Bank Building on South Liberty Street.  In 1832 the first church was erected within the southwest quarter circle, where the Methodist cemetery is located.  This church served until the current church was erected on Independence Street in 1888.  Today there is an active youth ministry as part of this church.
 
Smithton:  Winnett United Methodist Church had its beginnings in a Sunday School started by Joseph Hough,  at the local Mineral School in 1882 and from revival services held by Reverend Winnett at what was then the Free Methodist Church of Smithton.  The church lot was donated by J. O. Williams. In 1885 the Church was built and dedicated.  The founding fathers honored Reverend Winnett by naming it the Winnett Methodist Episcopal Church. 
 
Vanderbilt United Methodist Church:  The historical record of this church traces back to the Redstone Circuit before 1800 to the Joshua Dickerson home within a mile of the church building.  Today Vanderbilt is known for its music and cantatas.
 
Webster United Methodist Church was organized in 1840 and its first building was erected in 1966 as part of Rostraver Circuit.  The current church was built in 1910.   Recently they have been working closely with Monessen United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Webster is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A quote from a Webster woman: “Although we are small, we are mighty and faithful in our love for thee.”
 
 

Straughn to Serve Butler North Charge

Announced: 05-15-2022
About Ray Straughn
Ray is a committed follower of Jesus and a Certified Lay Servant/Speaker who retired after 40 years at Du-Co ceramics. He currently works as manager of the Freeport Senior Center. For most of his life, Ray has had a sense that God had placed a calling to some kind of ministry upon his life. But he has fought that sense of calling, not knowing what such a calling would mean or require.

Throughout his life’s journey, Ray credits the mercy and grace of God for his deliverance from addiction, depression, and several self-destructive decisions. After a long period of what he describes as “major backsliding” in his faith walk, Ray eventually came back to God in repentance and holistically rededicated his life to Jesus. Ray now feels that he is now fully available to the calling of God, wherever that calling might take him.

Ray and his wife Pam live in Freeport, PA. Ray believes that he is living proof of God's love, forgiveness, mercy, and sanctifying grace.
 
 
About Butler North Charge
The Butler North Charge, which includes Boyers UMC, Eau Claire: Bethel UMC, and Hilliards UMC, continues to offer gracious and faithful ministry in northern Butler County for the cause of Jesus Christ. Through their engaging worship, their sacrificial generosity, their gracious hospitality, and their creative outreach to their communities, these three congregations bear witness to the Gospel while creating the kind of Christ-centered environment where strong friendships can be built and where all are welcome. The Butler North Charge looks forward to all that God will continue to accomplish through its ministry in the days ahead.
 

Adam Goswick to Serve Savannah UMC

Announced: 05-08-2022
About Adam Goswick
Adam was born in Pittsburgh and spent his entire life in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. He has lived in Valencia, Clarion, Franklin, New Castle, and Butler, and has made New Castle his home. Adam has been part of Savannah UMC since 1997, and is joined in ministry there by his wife Denise and daughter Grace.

Adam graduated from Shenango High School in 2004 and attended Slippery Rock University, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. His day job is working for a federal contractor in the security and background check field, an industry he has worked in since 2008.

In his free time, Adam enjoys reading (mostly fantasy and science-fiction), watching anything relating to Star Wars, Marvel, or Disney, and spending time with his wife, daughter, and dogs (Ben and Luke). He also enjoys playing the occasional Mario, Zelda, or Metroid video game, playing his guitar, collecting baseball cards, and traveling to Disney World whenever time and money permit.
 
About Savannah United Methodist Church
Savannah United Methodist Church began as a small group meeting in homes back in 1820. For a while, the congregation met at the schoolhouse until a building could be constructed. The church building was built on Savannah Road. In the 1900s, a new building was constructed on property purchased on Savannah Gardner Road, where the present building is located.

With a long and rich history of making a difference in the lives of people in the New Castle area, the people of Savannah United Methodist Church strive to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ through participation in creative worship and consistent programs of Christian education and spiritual formation. Savannah also strives to reach out to the community at large, conveying the message of the love of Jesus Christ to those who may never have heard the message or experienced a relationship with him. “Love as Christ, Live as Christ, Serve as Christ” is the goal of each person who becomes a part of the Savannah church family.
 

Hoke to Serve Connellsville Cooperative Parish

Announced: 05-08-2022
About Allen R. Hoke
Allen R. Hoke was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Connellsville Area High School. He currently works at the Duraloy steel mill in Scottdale in the maintenance department. 

The Connellsville Cooperative Parish will be Allen’s first assigned as a pastor. His call to ministry is rooted in his lay ministry school experience.  He loves lay school and the opportunity to learn how to better serve Jesus Christ.

Allen is married to Michelle (Seman) Hoke and they have two children, Michael and Andrew.  He loves hunting and helps his brother milk dairy cows.
 
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish
The churches of the Connellsville Cooperative Parish –  Connellsville: Albright; Acme: Calvary; Davistown: Indian Head; Connellsville: Greenwood; Mill Run; Mount Salem; Normalville; Ohiopyle; Connellsville:Otterbein; Pennsville; Pleasant Hill; Connellsville: Wesley; and Dunbar: Wesley—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 in 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 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 1951-1952 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 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 during the school year and during the summer. The worship site alternates between the two churches. 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 UMC is located at Sherman St. in the borough of Ohiopyle. The community of Ohiopyle is a tourist destination with the Youghiogheny River running through the town. Outdoor activities, nearby camping and whitewater 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. 
 

Penrod to Serve Elton Zion, Mt. Olive

Announced: 05-08-2022
About Daryl R. Penrod
Daryl R. Penrod (a.k.a. “D”) was born and raised in Mineral Point, PA  in the Johnstown area). He is a graduate of Conemaugh Valley HS, class of 1983.  After high school, he worked as a home health aide until 1989 and then drove tractor-trailers until 2016. 

Daryl has three adult children, two of whom are married.  They have one beautiful granddaughter and three rambunctious grandsons.  Daryl served several roles in the local church over the years in church:  Jr./Sr. High Sunday School teacher, co-youth advisor, lay speaker, sat on several committees and worked in various mission fields. He answered the LORD’s calling into ministry in 2013 and will now serve the Zion-Elton/Mt. Olive with his wife Lori.
 
About Elton: Zion and Croyle: Mt. Olive UMCs
Croyle: Mt. Olive and Elton: Zion will join together as a charge as of July 1, 2022. They are two different congregations, but share many similarities.
 
Croyle: Mt. Olive is a country church that is alive. Located on route 160, 3 miles from Sidman, the church serves communities and people from Portage to Johnstown. Mt. Olive is a "Preach Christ Crucified" church. It has many vibrant ministries: Men, Women, Youth, and Children’s fellowships; Outreach ministries such as prayer shawl, soup mission, Camp Allegheny, and they are involved with Bible2School, VBS, Forest Hills Ministerium, Grief and Loss Ministry, and other missions. The church is a welcoming, praying church with Bible Study and Sunday School for all ages. Having purchased surrounding property, the possibility of greater ministry and service to those in the community has no limit when trust is in Jesus.
 
Elton: Zion is a rural church that consists of a group of sinners that are doing their best to serve GOD. We are a loving and welcoming church that would love to meet and walk with others that want to discover GOD’s purpose in their lives. We believe that the Bible is the “inspired”, “inerrant”, and “infallible” Word of GOD. That is, GOD is the Bible’s author, it is without error, and it will accomplish what GOD wants. Understand this first: No part of the Holy Writings was ever made up by any man. No part of the Holy Writings came long ago because of what man wanted to write. But holy men who belonged to God spoke what the Holy Spirit told them.” (2 Peter 1:20-21 NLV)
 

Blair Appointed to Wattsburg/Philipsville as Interim Pastor

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Harold W. Blair
Harold Blair was born into a Wesleyan Methodist pastor’s home in Brownsville, Pa.  He moved with his family to Akron, Ohio where he completed grades K -12.  He attended and graduated from Kansas City Bible School and College (now Kansas City College) in Overland Park, Kansas, with both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Theology degree.  For seven years he pastored two Wesleyan Methodist churches, first in Blairsville, Pa and then Ashville, New York.  Leaving pastoral ministry, he worked in various jobs including retail, health care and materials management and purchasing in health care settings. 

In July of 2010, he assumed his pastoral appointment as a Licensed Local Pastor at Kingsley UMC in Erie, where he served for 10 years.  During his years at Kingsley, he completed the Course of Study at Duke Divinity School.  Harold is passionate about people, pastoring and preaching and also enjoys conducting Bible Studies. 

He has been married to his wife Jerri for 36 years and she, with her love for people and training as a pianist and organist, is a real blessing to their ministry together.  They are the proud parents of five children who have blessed them with grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Their rescue Pomchi, Bayley, is both a blessing and a reminder of God’s grace to us as his rescues.  Harold enjoys reading, walking, biking, working around the house and yard, and attending musical concerts.

Though he retired in 2020, Harold looks forward to taking a hiatus from retirement to serve the good people of Phillipsville/Wattsburg Charge as their interim pastor.

 
About Wattsburg/Philipsville Charge
The Wattsburg/Phillipsville Charge is composed of two small congregations in the borough of Wattsburg and in the rural village of Phillipsville. The congregations have a long history of working together in outreach and ministry. Significant community ministry is done by both churches and they enthusiastically support EUMA, Ramps of Hope, Chosen Ministries and Love Inc. through funding and volunteerism.  They have a history of both global and regional mission trips. A school release program called Kid’s Alive has been an important part of their ministry in the past. They have hopes of a restart. The churches collect school supplies for the local elementary school; staff a Baby Changing Station at the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg; and participate in an Angel Tree ministry through the local food pantry. Both congregations share an intentional discipleship plan that includes many short-term small group studies, as well as promoting opportunities for service and witness.

Recently the impact of Covid and of a declining demographic base has led the congregations to emphasize stewardship, while analyzing their financial strength.  Harold Blair’s appointment as a one-year interim and his skills as a pastor and administrator will help the congregations to grow their ministry while continuing to determine a financial plan that is workable for them in the future.
 

Dixon Appointed to Emerickville

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Ann L. Dixon
Born and raised in Salamanca, New York, Ann moved to Pennsylvania for a job in St Mary’s, PA. She then attended DuBois Business College majoring in Accounting - Business Administration. After graduation she worked at North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission for almost 29 years. To supplement her income she also worked at several retail department stores. Ann is currently working at Ross Dress for Less.

Ann’s first pastoral assignment was as a supply pastor at the Grampian Charge. As a Licensed Local Pastor she was appointed to Sigel UMC and then Tylersburg UMC. She is currently serving as the associate pastor at the Good Shepherd Charge. 

Ann’s ministry passion has always been mission work. She has served with teams in Guatemala since 2009.  Projects in Guatemala included concrete flooring, roofing, constructing beds, installing stoves, as well as medical and humanitarian aid. The mission trips to Guatemala were life changing.

Ann and her husband Scott reside in Falls Creek, PA along with their fur babies Zac and Zoe. They have three granddaughters in Virginia.
 
About Emerickville UMC
The Emerickville UMC is located outside of Brookville, PA and is very close to Route 80. The congregation enjoys a welcoming, family atmosphere. They are involved in the community, serving meals at an area nursing home and housing development. The congregation seeks to deepen its faith through worship, Sunday School and Bible study.
 

Drew Gordon Appointed to UM Charge for Christ

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Drew Gordon
Born in McKeesport, and raised in the Elizabeth area, Drew is enrolled in the Course of Study program at United Theological Seminary. He retired in July 2019, after working as a radio broadcaster for 30 years throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

Drew served in music and youth ministries for 14 years, until he followed his call into ministry after becoming a Certified Lay Speaker. He graduated from Licensing School in April, 2018 and was appointed to Grace UMC, Sykesville the following June. In January 2019, he also began serving to Pleasant Valley UMC, Reynoldsville.  In July 2021, Drew was appointed Senior Pastor for the New Hope Charge, which includes Sykesville/Grace, Pleasant Valley and Falls Creek United Methodist churches.

Drew believes that a ministry can grow through work in the communities that he serves. He's a member of the Sykesville Civic Improvement Association (formerly the Lions Club); on the board of the Helping Hands Food Pantry, serving Reynoldsville, Sykesville and Falls Creek, and also works with the Reynoldsville/Sykesville Ministerium.  Drew continues to serve on the Indiana District youth and anti-racism teams, and enjoys teaching in the Indiana District Lay School. He also serves as producer and contributor for the Western PA Conference Anti-Racism Team's weekly podcast. "Meet in the Middle".

Drew works with his wife Jenny on deaf ministry. The two have been happily married for nearly 26 years. Their anniversary is June 2. The Gordons have four children and three grandchildren.
About UM Charge for Christ
The UM Charge for Christ is located in the Indiana District and is comprised of the Elderton, Mt. Zion and Cochran’s Mills congregations. The churches are dedicated to outreach ministry in their community; particularly to children through VBS and an after-school program.
 

Foland to Serve Meadville: Grace, Woodcock UMCs

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Richard L. Foland
Richard was born near Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio. His family was nomadic as far as church attendance went while he was growing up, and he thus has a very ecumenical background. In 1986 he graduated from South Side High School in Hookstown, PA. He then attended Clarion University of PA where, in 1991, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Beginning in 2002 he served a few years as the Youth Leader at Fairview United Methodist Church in Erie County. He has also served in audio/visual ministries at several churches over the years. Richard confesses that he has heard the call to pastoral ministry at several times in his life. As a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Erie, his pastor, Rev. Roseanne Oliver, helped him to discern the call once more and to discover a pathway to answering it. Richard received his Local Pastor’s License in 2021 and has been serving the Diamond/Hydetown/Tryonville Charge since July 2020.

Richard is married to Leslie; they have nine children and eight grandchildren.  They are a team in every possible way and enjoy spending devotional time together. They believe that sharing that time with God draws them closer to Him and to each other
About Meadville: Grace/Woodcock UMCs
Meadville: Grace
This historic church in the city of Meadville was born out of a revival that filled the churches of Meadville to overflowing and created the need for another Methodist Church building.  Originally located on State Street, the growth of the congregation created the need for a larger structure which was built on the current site in 1915.  Through the years the congregation has valued vital Biblical preaching, meaningful worship, ministry to youth and children and has an active women’s ministry.  The Church continues to be an important presence in the city of Meadville with its support of local mission and outreach.  A vital children’s program, Thursdays for Jesus, and a strong Vacation Bible School program continue to be important ministries of this congregation.

Woodcock UMC
Located 10 miles from Meadville in the rural borough of Woodcock, this congregation is equally historic and has been a vital witness to its community for generations. With a deep connection to the local community, the congregation regularly sponsors musical programs and other opportunities for fellowship that welcome and engage their neighbors.  The vision statement for the congregation gives a sense their purpose: 

We are a fellowship of believers, made in God's image and called as disciples of Christ to share the Good News with everyone through learning, listening, praying and working together actively to reach out to our communities.  We are a place to believe, belong, and become!

Pastor Richard Foland’s commitment to biblical preaching, teaching and evangelism, along with his commitment to work in community and children’s ministries,  position him to help lead these congregations in further development of their mission.
 

Freeburg Appointed to United for God Cooperative

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Linda C. Freeburg
Linda was born and raised in Johnstown, PA.  She is a second career pastor after retiring from UPMC Lee Regional Hospital in 2003 and Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in 2012, where she served as a manager and then Director of Patient Access.  Upon graduation from Johnstown Central High School she attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a voice major and later received her associate degree from Colorado Technical University. In 2017 Linda completed the Course of Study at the Methodist Theological School of Ohio (MTSO).

She has led a life of faith since her childhood, first serving God in music ministry before her call to pastoral ministry. She completed Licensing School in 2003 and was appointed as a Licensed Local Pastor in 2005. She has served part-time at Conemaugh First, Beaverdale as an Interim, Hastings-Bakerton Charge, United for God Cooperative Parish and most recently Northeast Somerset Cooperative Parish at Calvary UM in Windber and Central City UM.

Linda is the mother of three children --Chad, Kelly and Cory; grandmother of six -- Kyra, Brandon, Delaney, Dalton, Alex and Tristen, and great-grandmother of three- Brooklyn, Easton and Savannah. She loves visiting and being “Grandma and GiGi” to all of her kids.

Through her faith she knows that His grace is sufficient as she works to share the love of Jesus Christ to all around her. She feels blessed by God beyond measure.
 
About United For God Cooperative
The United for God Cooperative is made up of five congregations: Albright, Bowserdale, Conemaugh First, Cramer, and Mt. Olive (Jackson Twp). The cooperative was originally formed a little over 20 years ago. Since then, the congregations have been working together to serve Jesus and share his love though worship and various ministries both locally and beyond. From ministries providing clothing, toiletries, and other needed items to residents of a veterans’ home to ministries for children and their families, the cooperative reaches out to love and share their faith. Annually they provide children with camping experiences at Camp Allegheny and through the Camp on the Go program. VBS, Children’s Bible Study and Crafts, and CEM: Johnstown are also part of their ministries to children and their families. The Church Ladies group has been making blankets for local EMS workers to give to persons in need and will begin making covers for weighted blankets for a local hospital. The cooperative also has a vibrant prayer and prayer shawl ministry.
 

Harrison Appointed to New Covenant Charge

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Tom Harrison
Tom Harrison was born and attended school in the Syracuse, New York area and was a Rotary Exchange student in Puebla, Mexico.  Tom holds a BA in English Literature from Washington and Lee University, where he lettered in football. Currently, he is a student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and serves as Pastoral Assistant and Director of Pastoral Care at his home church, Butler First United Methodist.

Tom has worked as a newspaper journalist, investigative reporter, news editor, editorial editor and executive editor. He won multiple awards of distinction in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio while working for newspapers in Corry, Meadville, Greenville, Sharon, Grove City and Beaver. Additionally, Tom was the publisher and editor of a weekly Christian newspaper. He has served as a substitute teacher for special needs students, founded and served as trustee of adult literary councils, is currently a member of the Butler Area School Board and is a professional Santa Claus.

Tom and his wife of 16 years, Cherie, live in Butler and are the parents of four grown children and their spouses, eight grandchildren, one great grandson, and four hypertension reduction units, aka housecats. He loves cooking, baking bread in particular, and plays a convincingly jolly, tubby Santa Claus; while Cherie is a globetrotting gramma with a passion for scrapbooking and sugar cookies. Tom and Cherie are looking forward to Tom’s first appointment at the New Covenant Charge.
 
About New Covenant Charge
The New Covenant Charge consists of four churches in the Franklin District; Parker, Callensburg, West Freedom and Perryville UMCs. The churches are involved in local ministry, both as a charge and ecumenically with other churches in the area
 

J. Krishart To Serve Greater Blairsville Parish

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Jennifer A. Krishart
Jennifer Krishart was raised in Emmerickville, Pennsylvania, where she graduated from Brookville Area High School.  She received a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Clarion University, and an MDiv from the Methodist School of Ohio. She has served in a variety of service ministries, including working at the Clearfield Woman’s Shelter, Chaplain at Camp Mountain Run, and pastoral care at Lakeside United Methodist Church.  Currently she attends Plains United Methodist Church in Plains, PA near Wilkes-Barre, assisting with Sunday School and working in the mental health field.

The Greater Blairsville Parish will be Jennifer’s first appointment. She has a passion for Jesus and for caring for people.

Jennifer has been married to Matthew Krishart since 2017.  They enjoy being with family, travel, camping.  She enjoys reading in her spare time.
About Greater Blairsville Cooperative Parish
The Greater Blairsville Cooperative Parish includes First UMC in Blairsville, Black Lick UMC and Hopewell UMC. “Connect Church,” a Sunday evening worship service held at First UMC, is also an important congregation of the Parish. The congregations of all the churches work well together bringing the love of Jesus Christ to the community and are gifted in hospitality and making people feel welcome.
 

Page 1 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 ... 7 next