Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.
Sorted by Announced Date
Becky Edwards to Serve Tanoma, Creekside UMC
Creekside UMC has long been active in community and regional outreach ministries and more recently also has focused on the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, and devotional Bible reading. Small groups and new Sunday School groups have been formed.
Caleb Fugate to Serve New Charge
Caleb has a passion for college ministry and camping ministry. He has been involved with college ministry throughout his time at Messiah and Duke, leading small groups, supervising an undergraduate dorm, and providing oversight to the college ministry at the church he attends in Durham, NC. He has also been heavily involved in camping ministry at Seneca Hills Bible Camp, where he served for six years. It was during his time working at camp that his call into the ministry became clear and since then he has continued to support camping ministries.
Caleb served as a pastoral intern at Fairview United Methodist Church in NC (2017), and New City Church Plant in Minneapolis, MN (2018). He enjoys spending time outdoors, hunting, fishing, playing sports, playing the guitar and knitting.
Indiana Grace UMC is in the heart of Indiana, just one block from the IUP Campus. The church has a long history of outreach to the university. Opportunities abound for student fellowship, retreats, road trips and other planned events. Believing that worship takes many forms, the church seeks out ways to serve, both within the community and abroad. University students regularly join mission teams to Mexico, Puerto Rico and Tennessee during Spring and Winter breaks. Students also participate in the Master’s Jazz Ensemble, Sounds of Grace Orchestra, Worship Teams and Chancel Choir.
Courtemanche To Serve as Chippewa Associate
Her ministry then took her back to Western PA as the Children’s Ministry Director at Butler First UMC. It was there that God made it clear it was finally time for her to attend seminary. She received her MDiv from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in May of 2012. In August of that same year she married her husband Sean. After a time in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, Tai and Sean were called to ministry in Western PA, serving her first appointment as a Commissioned Elder, the Fishertown Charge in Bedford County. It is Tai’s desire to build relationships with others that build the kingdom of God. She has recently been invited to add her voice as a mentor to Unstoppable, young women in the WPAUMC whose mission is: “Learning the issues, finding your voice, and changing the world.”
Meier to Serve Realigned Elderton Charge
Beth has three children and three grandchildren. About 10 years ago, God called her back from her wandering, and renewed her call into ministry. She became a Licensed Local Pastor in 2015 and has served at Saltsburg First United Methodist Church since then, and at New Alexandria United Methodist Church since 2017. Nearing graduation from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, she looks forward to dedicating her life to full-time ministry.
In retrospect, she realizes that her life experiences have afforded her greater insight and compassion for others. Building relationships with those in the church, among the members, and with those in the community is vital to the growth and furthering of faithful and fruitful ministry. Beth looks forward to beginning this new opportunity for sharing God’s Word and love with those to whom she has been called.
Pope to Serve New Charge
An architect by profession, Ed has served the Annual Conference as a Local Pastor since 2002. In the years since his first appointment, Ed has served the North Shore Community as an associate; Braddock: Muhleman Memorial, and, prior to his retirement, Greenock UMC.
Ed’s relationship with The United Methodist Church began in high school. Ed’s wife’s mom and dad were two people he credits for his relationship with Christ. Others have also made significant contributions along the way to who Ed is today, including Pastor John Zimmerman under whose care Ed sat while attending PortVue United Methodist Church in the late 1990s. It was also in the late ‘90s that Ed enrolled in Geneva College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Ministry. In 2001 Ed attended Local Pastor’s Licensing School. The rest is history. It’s also Ed’s future as he continues to say “yes” to Jesus!
Ask Ed what his purpose in life is and his answer is simple: “To live a life pleasing to God”. For as long as he can, Ed’s desire is “to do as much for Jesus as he can.” Ed is a gifted preacher and teacher whose preaching style is both engaging and conversational. Passionate about discipleship, especially adult discipleship and missional outreach, Ed is an encourager with a pastor’s heart who lives his life by faith. To quote Ed, “God has never let me down!”
Rogosky to Serve Erie: Wesley UMC
Deb faithfully serves our Triune God in pastoral ministry., currently at the United In Christ Charge in the Washington District, where she lives with her husband and son, Jonathan. Their daughter Brandey Eberhard resides in Greensburg and their son Justin resides with his wife Amy and children Gwendolyn and Liam in Buckhannon, WV.
Deb answered her call to pastoral ministry later in life. Bur she always was involved in ministry in her church and neighborhood by helping connect others to Jesus. She served the Western PA Conference as chairperson of the Children’s Ministry Team for six years, chair of The Board of Church and Society for five years, and as co-chairperson of the Anti-Racism Team (ART) for five years. She serves on the Washington District Lay Servant Ministry Committee and the Washington District Committee on Ministry as registrar. Deb is looking forward to continuing to serve God through the church in her new appointment.
In the last year, the leadership team went through a visioning process and has developed a plan for ministry based upon the Core Values of Love, Personal Transformation, Community, Risk Taking and Celebration. This vision will drive the ministry of Wesley forward as it seeks to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Wesley offers both contemporary and traditional worship services on Sunday mornings.
Sandra Conti to Serve New Marianna/Mt. Zion Charge
Pastor Conti spent most of her adult life in the suburbs of Youngstown, Ohio. In 1977, she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Fine Arts from Kent State University. In 1993, she earned a Master of Science in Education, graduating summa cum laude from Youngstown State University. The first 10 years of Sandy’s teaching career were at a non-denominational Christian high school where she taught science to grades 7-12 and Bible classes. Following this, Sandy spent about 20 years teaching Advanced Placement chemistry, physics and anatomy at two different public high schools in Ohio.
From 1999 to 2010, Pastor Conti and her husband Ed served in the international ecumenical ministry Retrouvaille. As part of a ministry team, the Conti’s led more than 60 weekend seminars in the Northeastern United States and Canada for couples in distressed marital situations. They became the coordinators of the Retrouvaille Program for the Youngstown Diocese. During those years, Sandy and Ed learned what ministry was all about, as they responded to the needs of very hurting couples. Sandy brings with her years of experience in helping couples regain hope and a renewed relationship with God and each other.
In 2009, Sandy and her husband Ed moved to Deemston Borough in Southwestern Pennsylvania. In 2010, after Sandy retired from teaching, she and Ed attended Mount Zion United Methodist Church. After hearing about Sandy’s call and ministry experience, her pastor quickly recruited her as a lay speaker and encouraged her to attend an Emmaus weekend. The weekend was an impetus for spiritual growth and confirmed the certainty of her call. In 2012, empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, Sandy set aside all her fears and boldly applied for candidacy to become a licensed local pastor.
Pastor Conti began serving Greater Purpose Team Ministry, a six-point charge in August of 2012 as an associate pastor. While there, Sandy led numerous Bible studies, helped with children’s ministries, and facilitated a team of six women who began a Women’s Fellowship. In July of 2016 Sandy was appointed to McDonald and Noblestown UM churches. Noblestown was in the process of closure, but the closure evolved unexpectedly into a merger. Many of the Noblestown people felt displaced and were grieving the loss of their church home. The merger required Sandy to have a nurturing leadership style that melded together a wide diversity of gifts and, at times, opposing agendas. Today, McDonald is a church growing both in numbers and in the graceful witness that we serve a God of new beginnings.
Pastor Conti expects to complete the Course of Study in April 2019. She has taught “Go Preach” at laity school, and was also part of a pilot study on “Witnessing Whiteness” in the Washington District. Sandy has also served on the pastoral team for Emmaus and hopes to do more weekends in the future.
Pastor Sandy enjoys both a variety of hobbies and spending time with her husband Ed, who is currently adjusting to the effects of a stroke he suffered in January of 2018. Ed’s illness has made the couple stronger in their love for one another and confirmed their mutual calling for serving God’s people. Ed is wholly committed to serving his Lord Jesus Christ and the churches where Sandy is appointed. Sandy and Ed come as a couple to love and to serve.
Anette Gerber to Serve Christ Community UMC
Christ Community United Methodist Church is diverse. The people's backgrounds, views, age, race, and experiences are varied, yet they are united by a desire to deepen their faith together. They are a hospitable congregation. The church is open to the community as the location for many meetings and community groups. The congregation is engaged in ministry opportunities and special programs that welcome community members into fellowship. The church is also home to the Super Sprouts Pre-school.
Christ Community offers worship opportunities of varying styles. Worship services offer choices between a praise band and hymns; multimedia technology and traditional presentations. In both worship services the musical choices and readings are aligned with the sermon theme.
The congregation is active in mission and service, from participation in the local food pantry and community dinners to regular collections for people in crisis through the monthly Red Church offering, to engagement in mission trips and special ministry activities. Their vision is Loving People and Loving God. Their mission is to create and nurture disciples of Christ and then send them out into the world for Christ.
John Gerber Appointed to Cabot UMC
After running away from God’s call to ordained ministry to the Emporium United Methodist Church, John finally was willing to obey God’s call. John served student pastorates at Ceres United Methodist Church in Western Pennsylvania and at Siler City: West End United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference. After earning an undergraduate degree in psychology, with a minor in Business Administration from Houghton College and a Master of Divinity Degree from The Divinity School at Duke University, John’s first full-time appointment was serving the good people at the Tidioute/East Hickory Charge in the Kane District of the Western Pennsylvania Conference. Because of John’s love of nature, the outdoors, hunting and fishing, serving God in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest seemed like heaven on earth, and he was truly blessed to serve there for 13 years. John has also been greatly blessed to be in ministry with wonderful people at the Wattsburg/Phillipsville Charge, the YESS God Faith Shared Ministry, Fairview United Methodist Church (Erie County), and his current appointment, the Youngwood: St. Paul/South Greensburg Charge. John and Anette also have been blessed to be parents to three children and grandparents to five.
John has a passion for helping people establish a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. He believes it is essential to cultivate relationships with the people where he is appointed, both within the congregation and in the community at large. John encourages the people he serves to form vital and meaningful relationships not only with God, but with each other and also with people outside the congregation. In that way, the love and grace of Jesus living in them can add meaning, encouragement, and strength not only to their own lives, but also to the lives of others, drawing them into a relationship with Jesus Christ. John enjoys and finds meaning in a variety of worship styles and settings. He enjoys working with people of all ages and walks of life, always seeking to cultivate a hunger and passion for knowing, loving, and serving the God Who not only created us, but loves us more that we can ever know or imagine. John is looking forward to working with and among God’s people at the Cabot United Methodist Church and their community, to see what challenges, possibilities, and wonders God has in store for us!
Brenda Shaffer Appointed Somerset: Grace Associate
Brenda was in the process of retiring from the teaching profession when she experienced a call on her life to serve as a pastor. She served Somerset: Beulah UMC as its first woman pastor. It was a new experience for both her and the church.
Service to God, both in the teaching profession and the ministry, blessed her life immensely. Blessings continued as she retired and began attending Somerset: Grace UMC. Again she was an active participant as she served on the finance committee, choir, early church leader, supply pastor, participant in worship as a liturgist and member of the congregation.
In addition to her church service, Brenda has served her community on the Board of the Somerset County Mobile Food Bank, which provides food to those who are in the low income level. She is currently serving on the Board of the Next Step Center, which provides housing for people who temporarily do not have a place to live. Brenda also helps with counseling residents at this facility to assist with their recovery from whatever circumstances caused them to be without shelter.
Brenda married Tom after graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. They have two sons who have also married, providing Brenda and Tom with two daughters-in-love and four grandchildren. Her life is so much richer because of her family.
In addition to her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, she also has a Master’s Equivalency Degree from the state of PA, a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology, and her Principal’s Certification. She completed Course of Study at Duke Seminary in North Carolina. Lifelong learning has accompanied her throughout her life.
Brenda has served on various committees at the district and conference levels. She also taught classes at Lay Servants’ School and led a group of United Methodist pastors from the Somerset County Area in an “incubator” group that met to learn, love, and lead in ministry.
Brenda reports that she asked someone how they were one day and that person said, “Too blessed to be stressed.” She never forgot that response and how that answer so accurately describes her life. She has been blessed by her service to Christ, as a person, teacher, and minister; by her family; by her interactions with people; and by her education. Brenda believes in respect for all people and their current understandings. As Paul reported that he could be all things to all people and as John Wesley preached, Brenda meets people graciously and appreciates that God is working on all of us. We have “miles to go before we sleep.” She trusts God to lead all of us to a more complete understanding of, and relationship with and through Jesus Christ.
Those blessings have prepared her for her most recent appointment as an Associate Pastor at Somerset: Grace. God’s call on her life continues to bless her as she willingly responds!
Grace Church reaches out to the community in a variety of ways, most visibly by participating in Somerset’s Mountain Crafts Days festival, and feeding hundreds of people twice a year at the “Italian Night Dinners.” Proceeds from both of these events, along with soup sales and craft bazaars, are given to ministries and community projects ranging from the food pantry to the Somerset oncology center to the Children’s Aid home. Grace Church has earned a reputation in the community as the “church that helps” because of these ministries.
Grace also cooperates with other local United Methodist churches in the Somerset Cluster, and with many churches in town through a strong local ministerium, the Somerset Area Ministries. Grace Church has a strong history and a bright future as the family looks to capture God’s vision and step out in faith together.
Pastor Brenda and Tom have been a part of the church for nine years and the congregation is grateful for this new season of ministry in which she will be officially appointed to the ministry team.
Gardner to Serve Baldwin Community UMC
Attaining a Bachelor of Science in Christian Education, Pam worked briefly in Erie and North Carolina as a Director of CE. Eventually answering the call, she enrolled in The Theological School at Drew University. Since this time she has served the Marchand Charge, Creekside-Tanoma, Girard, Slippery Rock and Erie:Wesley United Methodist churches.
Pam currently serves on the Conference Board of Ministry, chairs the Board of Discipleship, the Conference Committee on Disability Concerns and the board of the Erie UM Alliance. Over the years she has served as a Mission Ambassador to the Missionary Conferences, with the Cooperative School of Mission and on Olmsted Manor Board. Recently she attended the Renovare Institute for Spiritual Formation, studying the works of Dallas Willard and Richard Foster.
In her free time, Pam enjoys embroidery and spending time with her three rescue dogs (Jack, Jasper and Jedd). During the past year, she has enjoyed being the Mid-Eastern Region representative for the Crawford County chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America.
It offers traditional worship services at 5:30 pm on Saturday, where Communion is celebrated weekly, and on Sunday at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. The Chancel Choir provides an outstanding music ministry at the 11 a.m. worship service. The 9:30 Sunday worship service, called 'Engage," is focused on unique music, imagery, intercessory prayer, discussion, and small groups to spark spiritual passion and connection with community.
Baldwin Community collaborates with Eighth Avenue Ministry in Homestead and United Methodist Church Union's school reading and youth mentoring ministry. It engages the community through its Neighbor Helping Neighbor program that offers minor repair and building services, clothing ministry, community kids' VBS, and Food Pantry. Other community and ecumenical endeavors include participation in the South Hills Interfaith Movement, hosting the Developed Local Ministerium, and cooperation with Whitehall Library, Brothers Brother, and Daily Bread (Northside).
The congregation also is involved with The Nyadire Connection (TNC), which partners with the people of the Nyadire United Methodist Mission in Zimbabwe to support a hospital, orphanage, nursing school, preschool through high school education, teacher's college, farm, and renovation of six rural health clinics.
Baldwin Community's other national and global mission activities include supporting Bread for the World, sending work teams to Red Bird (KY), and providing financial support for a variety of local, national, and global organizations.
Jones to Serve New UM Charge for Christ
in the United Methodist Church with her church family being a large part of her life. She began exploring ministry in college after finishing lay speaker school. She went straight from graduating Saint Vincent College in English with a concentration in Creative Writing in 2015 to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where she is a student set to graduate Spring 2019.
Jillian has a heart for Deaf and disability ministry in the church. She started learning American Sign Language in 2016. She was the Deaf Ministry Intern at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community in the Southside of Pittsburgh for two years and she taught very basic ASL, hosted Silent Game Nights all in ASL and provided pastoral care for the Deaf community in her church.
She has been the Student Pastor of the United Methodist Charge for Christ for one year. She’s happily married to Justin Jones and together they have a son Josiah, who was born in April 2017, a dog and two cats. She enjoys board games, running and the color pink.
Winston Thomas To Serve First Bethel UMC
She is married to Elder Tyrone Thomas, a pastor and preacher in another denomination. She is also the proud mother of a daughter Lora, grandmother of four granddaughters, and great-grandmother of one girl.
Pastor Judy has served several churches in the Western PA Conference, some of them at difficult times in their church history. She served with distinction and joy, seeing lives changed. Some came to know Christ, while others discovered their call to ministry and Christian service.
Pastor Judy’s heartbeat is her love for God and her love for others.
She earned her BA in Human Services from Geneva College of Beaver Falls, PA, and her M.Div. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. She was ordained an elder in 2011, and serves on several committees in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.
When Pastor Judy is not busy in ministry, she can be found spending time with her husband Elder Tyrone Thomas.
The church offers worship services Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., with Sunday School for adults and children at 10:15 a.m. There are many opportunities to grow in faith beyond Sunday morning worship. No matter what you choose, the church will meet you where you are and help you take the next steps on your journey.
First Bethel congregation works hard to provide an opportunity each week for every person to experience passionate worship. There are on-going opportunities throughout the year for faith development – for means of touching lives through mission trips and activities of community outreach – both within our community, state, nation, and even around the world.
First Bethel Church is a spiritual home where the community joins to celebrate God – a place to be nurtured in spirit – and a family where you will find ways to serve with others in God’s love … a love that invigorates and satisfies.
Jason McQueen to Serve Dayton UMC
For Jason, the pastoral ministry is about preparing God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12-13)
Jason and Beth have been married for 35 years and have four wonderful children, three are married and they have four beautiful grandchildren. Their youngest son lives at home. Jason loves to cycle and looks forward to riding his bike as much as possible. Jason’s passions in ministry are spiritual leadership, preaching, small group ministry and music.
Jason has been pastor of Cabot UMC since 2014 and previously served at SouthFork: Mount Hope UMC and Black Lick UMC in the Indiana District.
The church is a Bible-believing, Spirit-filled body of believers that seeks to glorify our Lord in thought, word and deed. The church has embraced its vision statement of being: "A Caring and Loving Community for You" inside as well as outside the walls of the church building through several local and global ministries. The church is eager to reach out wherever and whenever ' to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world'.
Richter to Serve New Marienville Charge
Dan’s personal mission statement is key to every aspect of his spiritual or earthly endeavors: 1) God has us right where he wants us – in the palm of his hands; 2) God has prepackaged us with everything we need. Strive diligently to discover the uniqueness of you; and use it to glorify God.
Dan and Pam have been married for almost 33 years and have two great children and two lively grandchildren. Pam enjoys reading and doing puzzles, while Dan enjoys woodworking, jewelry and soap making, and crocheting. Together they love travel and going to the beach and hope to retire in that setting.
Marienville United Methodist Church is located on the fringes of the beautiful Allegheny National Forest in Marienville, PA. We are a small membership church with a big heart. We are a church of Open Hearts! Open Minds! and Open Doors!
As one of the sister churches of the Marienville United Methodist charge, the Greenwood UMC is the most rurally located of the three. This beautiful small country church is nestled in an area not far from the prestigious virgin pines of the Cook Forest State Park. With Cook Forest State Park just a stone’s throw away, the Greenwood UMC is an ideal destination point for campers and full time campground residents alike who wish to worship at a small friendly church with a welcoming atmosphere. This rustic 100-year plus church has a long history of service to not only the surrounding community, but in giving through mission work to those across the US and the globe. The Greenwood UMC is definitely making a difference in this world in which we all live. Greenwood UMC is also well known in the area for their annual Strawberry Festival, as well as their Yard Sale/Bake Sale fundraisers. Folks from near and far always look forward to these annual events and they let them know it too. The Greenwood UMC may be small in numbers, but they do have a lot to offer, whether it is a firm handshake or a heartfelt hug when you enter its doors, you are sure to feel welcomed into the fold. And once you enter those large red front doors of the church, you are not considered strangers, but you are now part of Greenwood UMC’s brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Tylersburg United Methodist Church, located on St. Route 36 in Tylersburg, PA, has been in God’s hands since its establishment in 1900. TUMC is a small county church that has served many families in the rural community of Tylersburg and surrounding areas. It has been a part of a multi-point charge within the Kane District for many years. TUMC is transitioning to a three-point charge with Greenwood United Methodist Church and Marienville United Methodist Church. TUMC worship services are Sundays at 8:15 am. The church opens its doors to host dinners, weddings, funeral dinners, Easter egg hunts, VBS, community club meetings and baby showers, to name a few. The church also supports other non-profit organizations such as the Ruth M Smith Center, charitable deeds and area food banks. The church would like to extend an invitation to anyone wishing to attend. Newcomers and visitors are always welcome.
Davis To Serve White Chapel, Balm UMCs
He has served the Sheakleyville Charge, Kingsley, Riverview and Fellowship United Methodist churches and currently serves the Wampum Charge.
Todd and his wife of 38 years, Emily, are blessed with four wonderful children, a son-in-law and daughter-in-law. After staying home to raise their children, Emily now has career in nursing. Together they enjoy hiking, camping and traveling.
Todd has a special love of the Psalms and preaching and teaching from God’s Word.
Ea Kyoung “Amy” Jun
By God’s overwhelming grace and love she began to visit people to share the gospel, which led her to enter Pittsburgh Theological Seminary to become a pastor. Before graduating in May, 2018, she began her pastoral ministry on July 1, 2017 at her current charge as a provisional elder, and is still serving the congregations today.
Pastor Amy has her ministry vision, which is to revive hearts and minds that are entrusted to her care so that people may experience God’s kingdom in everyday life through the change of their hearts. In order for them to experience it, she believes God uses her weaknesses and vulnerability as a witness of Christ. And her strengths come from these limitations, in which she prays and fasts to become a faithful servant of God. Her gifted strength is delivering God’s message through singing, from which people often can be moved and inspired in spirit.
Circleville has an active children and youth ministry, and strong lay-led ministries in the church and community. This church takes prayer seriously and has a weekly prayer meeting as well as traditional prayer chains and prayer updates in worship. They are very caring about the people who are in need of a hand up: words of encouragement are given and practical needs are met through money and “tangible” assistance.
In addition to confirmation class and youth events, they have monthly family events, look for opportunities to engage more and more in the life of the congregation and community, and generally enjoy being with each other. They are a fun-loving and Jesus-following congregation.
Heckman Appointed to Blairsville Parish
A Provisional Elder, he will graduate with a Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in May 2019.
A former high school choral director, secondary principal, and elementary principal in Brookville; and assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools in DuBois, Mark has also served the Church in ministry as the organist and director of music for the Brookville First United Methodist Church.
Mark recognized God’s hand on his life at his confirmation into the United Methodist Church at age 12, but really didn’t hear God’s call until 20 years ago, when he ignored God and instead chose to pursue school administration. God’s “yes” became louder than Mark’s “no” five years ago when he finally agreed to follow God into ministry. Following an early-morning encounter with God, God began to move powerfully in Mark’s life. Mark’s spiritual gifts of healing and word of knowledge demonstrate God’s anointing on his life and the manifestation of God’s Spirit in the world today. God’s love can be seen through the healing ministry that He has developed in Mark, all pointing to God’s glory.
Mark’s goals in ministry are to share the gospel message in every opportunity God puts before him, and to have others find and employ their own spiritual gifts so that through His Church, a hurting world can find a loving God.
Hilton Appointed to New Brighton UMC
Before being called into ordained ministry, Gary worked for 11 years as a tractor-trailer driver. On October 10, 2002, while driving his tractor-trailer, Gary was involved in a horrible automobile accident that left him near death. His severe injuries required a two-year journey of recovery. Here is how Gary describes the spiritual significance of that traumatic experience:
“The more I was able to comprehend the meaning of that event in my life, the more I realized that God was with me, not just on the side of that road, but in all the times of life: the times when I needed God the most, and the times when I felt like I didn’t; the times when my relationship with God was on fire, and the times when I tried to push God away, or even tried to ignore that God existed. On the side of that road, I believe that I felt the Lord’s presence—the reality of God never leaving me or forsaking me. And from that moment, I was given a new beginning, a new direction, a new life. Once I felt God’s presence, I knew I needed to make a greater commitment to this God who never left me. I owed God at least that much. From there I came to the conclusion that my commitment to God needed to be my entire existence, since God’s commitment to me is every bit that expansive and more. I made the commitment to serve the Lord in pastoral ministry.”
Gary has served for five years as the associate pastor of Chippewa UMC. He previously served for five years at a three-point charge (Volant, Homewood, and Koppel UMC). He holds a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Development from Geneva College, and an Associate Degree in Human Relations from the Community College of Beaver County. He brings a visionary leadership to ministry, a passion for preaching, a highly relational spirit, and a zeal for helping people to find their way into relationship with Jesus Christ.
NBUMC is truly a hub of Christian activity within the valley. The 100-member Beaver Valley Choral Society is celebrating its 40th year of being hosted at NBUMC where they rehearse weekly and perform. NBUMC is a strong supporter of the arts. Within the church, NBUMC has an active United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, choir, and various boards that coordinate and support its Christian work, education, and mission. NBUMC is always eager to expand its outreach into the community and “Make Disciples” whenever and wherever possible.
Justin Judy to Serve New Charge
Justin described his passion for his upcoming appointment this way: “Many people see towns that are past their prime. But I see women and men trying to discover who they are, and how that fits in with the people around them. The church has something wonderful to share in that journey. An attribute of God that has kept me going through all things is hope… The presence of God in each and every situation brings me peace, strength, and encouragement to hang in there with others as they journey in life.”
Justin and his wife Stephanie have been married for 15 years and have two sons (11 and 14 years) and a foreign exchange student named Burak (from Turkey). To relax, Stephanie and the boys love to travel. Elijah and Jonathan both play musical instruments. Justin, who is the dean of “Ultimate Games” at Jumonville during the July 4 week, also loves to play board games, video games and logic puzzles.
The church is community-focused, making space for an Alcoholics Anonymous group that meets twice a week there.
Instead of VBS, they hold Super Summer Sunday School outside all summer (in the park, on the Church front lawn, or on the porch if it rains) and serve breakfast to the kids each Sunday. Last summer they had "Story Hour" at our Church every Tuesday morning in July for the children in the community. We read a Christian children's book, had a snack and craft. It went so well they will expand it this summer.
An Easter Sunrise Service is held by the lake at the nearby Trafford B-Y Park followed by breakfast at the Church and the community is invited each year. The congregation is working to raise $2,000-$3,000 to send possibly five kids and a family to camp. Two children are from the community, and one girl from the church is going to CIT camp this April.
The First UMC of Manor relates to their community in many ways. They participate in a five-church ministerium which encourages people in the community to join together for Community Vacation Bible School, Lenten services, Palm Sunday and Christmas Eve Cantatas, and occasional joint services during Lent and Thanksgiving. They also offer community Trunk or Treat on Halloween Night. Monthly, we sponsor a Senior Citizen gathering on the first Wednesday, and a Food Pantry which is part of the Westmoreland County Food Bank, on the second Tuesday. We provide financial support for local organizations, mission trips, fire and catastrophic events, in addition to paying our apportionments in full.
More importantly, we are a Bible-based, older congregation seeking the Holy Spirit to help us as we begin this new relationship. Our viable church is seeking guidance and leadership in growing our church. We envision serving our community in a more hands-on way, and hope to develop a multi-age expansion. We would like to see more small group/short term ministries and for ways to mentor others with our gifts and talents as we take ministry into the community. We presently provide Bible Study on Wednesday evenings, Adult and Youth Sunday School on Sunday mornings and have movie and game nights alternating monthly on the third Friday.
We are a warm, welcoming congregation, a little church with a big heart, who is gifted with much musical talent and strong lay leadership and congregational participation. We look forward to what God has ordained for our future.
Pryor Appointed to Aliquippa
In April of 2006, he received his first appointment, Trinity and Trinity Asbury UMCs in Johnstown. Ross served those congregations and the communities in Johnstown until 2008, when he received his B.A. in Sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In the fall of 2008, he began his seminary studies at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and graduated with a M.Div. in 2011. While attending seminary, he was appointed to Speers and Dunlevy UMC’s. Upon graduation, Charleroi First was added to the charge, where Ross served passionately until 2013. Since that time he has pastored West Washington and Jefferson Avenue United Methodist churches. Ross is the proud father of one son, Lawrence, an Army Reservist and college freshman.
Ross has been blessed with the spiritual gifts of teaching and preaching and is also passionate about his role for many years as a youth advisor. Since 2005, Ross has worked with the conference youth. As an adult advisor, he is able to put his enthusiasm into action as he is afforded the opportunity to teach youth and youth leaders about their Christian journey and how to bring their witness back to their schools, churches and communities. Regardless of the audience, Ross feels he is called to empower servant leaders and the church body to carry out God’s will through community outreach and discipleship.
Tori Heath to Serve Waterford Asbury UMC
Tori’s vision for ministry centers around building teams that work together to bring about spiritual renewal first in the local church to then impact the surrounding community. She deeply loves seeing lives transformed through the love of Jesus Christ. Tori is incredibly excited to begin full-time local church ministry, as she walks into the calling she’s felt since youth.
Tori married Dustin Heath in January, 2018. Dustin also earned his MDiv from Asbury Seminary and is working toward board certification in hospital chaplaincy. Together they like coffee dates, spending time outdoors, reading, and laughing a lot.
Brett Dinger Appointed to Lakeside UMC
Brett’s ministry passions include preaching, teaching, small group ministry and leadership development. Brett loves to come alongside and empower leaders to fulfill their God-given callings and dreams, even if it means taking big, risky leaps of faith. Additionally, Brett is active with Cherry Run, a family-oriented church camp and serves on the District Committee on Ministry and Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.
If you can’t find Brett doing any of the above mentioned ministries, there’s a good chance he’s either taking a nap, watching one of our local sports teams or enjoying his beloved family. Speaking of which, Brett is accompanied in ministry and life by his best friend and wife Joanna (married 10 years) and their joy-filled daughters Reagan (9) and Carmyn (4).
Dixon Appointed Good Shepherd Parish Associate
Growing up in Salamanca, New York -- the only city in the world completely on an Indian Reservation--has given Ann the opportunity to learn to appreciate people from a wide variety of backgrounds. She said she learned from a very young age, “it is what is in your heart that really matters.”
Her journey to Local Pastor was met with a great deal of resistance. She was unsure if she could lead a community to a deeper relationship with God. "It was during a struggle with a deep pain in my back that could not be explained or treated with Physical Therapy or medication, I realized that God was attempting to get my attention. As soon as I acknowledged that God was talking to me and answered my call to ministry, the pain went away overnight," she explains.
Currently Ann is enrolled in the Course of Study at Spring Heights in Spencer, West Virginia. and she said she truly loves every minute of the learning experience.
"My cats, Zac and Zoe, who have graciously allowed my husband Scott and I to be at their beck and call, run my home," she adds.
The churches are involved in a community VBS with a local Baptist church, along with active youth and children groups, ministering to local campers, and supporting the food banks. Missions have also been a big part of the Parish, from local teams working on building ramps and home repairs to work teams helping in other states after hurricane disasters to a mission trip to Haiti each year. God has blessed us with these ministry opportunities.
Kendra Balliet to Serve Luthersburg Charge
Kendra is a provisional elder and earned her MDiv at United Theological Seminary with a concentration in leadership and revitalization. She also graduated from Clarion University of PA with a BS in elementary education and a MS in special education. Kendra was raised in Brockway and DuBois. She still has ties to the area as her mother, stepfather, and grandmother reside in DuBois, and her stepmother and brothers reside in Jefferson County.
Kendra has been appointed to two four-point charges as the senior pastor and is currently serving at the Clymer Charge consisting of Clymer First, Diamondville, Tanoma, and Starford UMC. She has served the Mahaffey Area Larger Parish and has served as an interim supply associate pastor for Moorhead UMC and the Luthersburg Charge.
Kendra’s husband, John, serves as the senior pastor of the Harmony Charge in southwestern Clearfield County. Kendra’s three children and John’s two children are all grown, leaving them empty nesters.