2022 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Go to summary listing

Sorted by Announced Date


 

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.
 

Jenny Gordon To Serve Triple Blessings Charge

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Jenny Gordon
Jenny Gordon has served as the Indiana District Director of Lay Servant Ministries, the Secretary of the WPAUMC Board of Laity, and is serving as the Indiana District Lay Leader.  Her secular ministry has included working with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness to help then find hope in their recovery process. 

Jenny grew up in the UMC in the Indiana and Kane District and started her personal relationship with Jesus Christ at Wesley Woods church camp.  Jenny’s husband Drew is a Licensed Local Pastor and they have been at the New Hope Charge, which includes Grace UMC Sykesville, Pleasant Valley UMC, and Falls Creek UMC.  Jenny and Drew have four children and three grandchildren.  Jenny has been involved in ministry with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as she is the parent of deaf adults and is fluent in American Sign Language and teaches ASL classes in her community.

Jenny completed her undergraduate degree in Human Resources Management at Western Governors University, and will complete her Master’s in Management and Leadership this year.  She is currently working through the Candidacy process with a goal to earn a Master of Divinity degree.
 
About Triple Blessings Charge
The Triple Blessings Charge is located in the Indiana District and is comprised of the Rural Valley, Whitesburg and Smicksburg United Methodist churches. Each congregation is involved in ministry in their respective communities, but they also work very well together for worship and fellowship.
 

Klingler Appointed to Dempseytown: Oakland UMC

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Robert Klingler
Bob is a lifelong United Methodist who was raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh and confirmed in the Holiday Park UM Church. He graduated from Plum High School and attended college at Gannon University earning a B.A. degree in Theology and Psychology. Bob then attended the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, earning a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Liturgical Arts as well as a Certification in Town and Rural Ministries. He was ordained as a Deacon then an Elder in the Western PA Annual Conference.

Bob is blessed to be married to Julie, a retired teacher who currently works with children at the Stone Memorial Library in Conneautville. They have three daughters, two son-in-laws and two granddaughters.

Bob is a founding member of the Rural Chaplains Association - a Certified Rural Chaplain and member of the Leadership Team responsible for communication and the design and maintenance of the association website.

He is passionate about rural communities, missions and leading vital, relevant worship. He enjoys quality coffee, music, photography, reading, Disc (frisbee) Golf, woodworking, craft beer and cooking.

Bob has participated in a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, five mission trips to Guatemala, three mission trips to the Upper Sand Mountain Parish in Alabama, three mission trips to Henderson Settlement in Kentucky and more than 150 ramp builds with Ramps of Hope. Bob now serves on the Board of All God’s Children Ministry, The EM District Superintendency Committee, the Building and Locations Committee, Anti-Racism Team and is one of the district Disaster Response Coordinators.

Bob helped establish the Northwestern Community Youth Center and has served on the Board of Directors for 15 years. He has served Sugar Grove UMC in Washington Courthouse, Ohio; Sugar Grove and Chandler’s Valley Charge; West Springfield and Cranesville Charge and currently serves as the lead pastor and chief dreamer of the Heartland Crossroads Cooperative ministry (six churches).
 
About Dempseytown: Oakland UMC
Oakland UMC is a strong, vital congregation in the northern Franklin District outside of Oil City. The congregation is intergenerational and relationship based. Community ministry is a priority as well as nurturing and strengthening the faith development of all ages who part of the church.

Lawler Appointed to Avery UMC

Announced: 05-01-2022
About William Lawler
William is a native of Claysville, PA and graduated from McGuffey High School. After graduation he attended Median School of Allied Health and received a diploma in Physical Therapy Technician. He grew up attending Claysville United Methodist Church in the Washington District, where he served on the SPRC Committee as well as the outreach committee. He also sang in the choir and served as an usher as well as a worship leader. In 2003 Bill became a certified Lay Speaker.

After getting married Bill attended Liberty United Methodist Church where he served as SPRC Chair, lay leader and worship leader. Currently, Bill serves on the Washington District Lay Servant Ministry Committee, as well as the Washington District Connectional Ministry Team, and as the UM Men’s leader.

Bill was told from an early age that he was eventually going to be a minister, but ran from his call believing he was not prepared to be a pastor. Prior to becoming a pastor, he worked as an EMT, Job Developer for Intellectually disabled individuals, a Physical Therapy Tech and in the oil/gas industry as an Operations Manager. It was in his last position when he again heard God calling him and while meeting his wife for lunch, he asked her what she felt about him becoming a minister.  She replied, "I have been waiting for you to ask me that."

In 2018, Bill attended Licensing School and is currently enrolled in the Course of Study at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. Since 2017 he has served the Fairview/Nebo charge in the Washington District.

Bill has been married to his wife Karin since 2001 and in September of 2022 they will celebrate 21 years of marriage. Bill calls Karin his best friend and his partner in ministry. Together they have two children -- daughter Charley (14), whose interests include reading, playing basketball and bowling, and son Lehman (10), whose interests include helping his uncle on the farm, driving tractors and bowling.

Bill’s interests include cheering on Charley at her basketball games, attending bowling tournaments with Charley and Lehman, spending time with his family, going fishing, gardening and going to the Amish country in Ohio.

Bill says that his family has never been closer than when he finally answered Gods call.
 
About Avery United Methodist Church
Avery United Methodist Church, when organized on Nov. 12, 1832, was known as First Methodist Protestant Church.  It was a member of the Ohio Methodist Protestant circuit that was formed in May 1928 in Pittsburgh, PA.  The first building, erected on West Beau St. in Washington, PA, was destroyed by fire in 1851.  The second building was erected across the street through the generosity of Charles Avery, a leading Methodist Protestant layman from Pittsburgh.  At the dedication of the building in 1853, the name Avery Chapel was given.  Age took its toll and in 1957 the congregation voted to relocate to the community of Gabby Heights, North Franklin township.  The church was constructed and consecrated in 1959.  The debt was retired and the church dedicated in 1964. 

Located in the heart of the Gabby Heights neighborhood and across from Trinity West Elementary School, Avery is a spiritual center for people who live and work in Washington, PA. Avery values relationships with each other and with God. At Avery, community is created by exploring questions of faith and growing in our understanding of God. Avery is alive and well today, embracing Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors and making disciples of Christ. 
 

Sweigart to Serve as United 4 Christ Associate

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Adam C. Sweigart
Adam C. Sweigart was born in Lancaster PA, but as a pastor's son, he grew up in many different towns and now resides in Latrobe Pa.  He has attended Latrobe United Methodist Church for the past 12 years and currently is the Lay Leader.  He is also the liturgist for the church, and at times, delivers the Sunday message. Adam has been a part of nursing home ministries for seven years, leads bible studies and small home groups, and for 10 years has cooked dinner with a team for family nights for the community. 

Adam says he is beyond blessed to have three great children. He is close with his family, including his two sisters and brothers-in-law, several nieces and nephews, and his wonderful mother and father.

Adam's calling has been a long one, but he says, "I do know that God works in not only my life, but all of our lives, and I try each and every day to live for him and others.  I am excited to see where God is going to take me in life."
 
About United 4 Christ Charge
The United 4 Christ Charge in the Greensburg District was established on July 1, 2021 after an agreement between four Christ-loving churches that united to spread the good news of God in Jesus Christ.  The churches are Derry First, Hillside, Pleasant Unity and Calvary-Lycippus United Methodist churches.  The United 4 Christ charge has two appointed pastors.  The emphasis of the churches has been to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  Since July 1, 2021, the churches have been successful in building ministries in the local communities, reaching out to new members, loving current members, and unifying the body of Christ within the charge. 

Wade to Serve Hopeful Heart Trinity Charge

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Gary M. Wade
Gary Wade was born in Erie, PA and raised in the East Springfield area of Erie County. He graduated from both Northwestern High School and Erie County Vocational Technical School before serving in the United States Marine Corps. After serving his country, he graduated from Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport Pennsylvania with an Associate degree in Heavy Equipment Operations and Mechanics.

Gary has served the last five years as an Associate Pastor at Heartland Crossroads Ministry. Before going into ministry he served as a lay speaker, teen Sunday school teacher, adult Sunday school teacher, and chairman of trustees at his local church.

Gary has been married to his wife Brenda for 21 years. They have two children: son Keaton, 20, is serving in the United States Marine Corps and daughter Zaleigh, 17, is a senior in high school. The family is excited to see where God leads Gary in his new appointments of Blooming Valley UMC, Townville UMC and Troy Center UMC.
 
About Hopefull Heart Trinity Charge
The Hopeful Heart Trinity Charge is made up of three congregations set in rural villages east of Meadville, Pennsylvania.  Blooming Valley, Townville and Troy Center are small yet vital congregations that share a common goal of reaching their communities for Jesus Christ.  Vital worship, Bible Study, and maintaining a strong community presence are important to each of the congregations. Each strives to maintain close and supportive fellowship among their members, while being welcoming and inviting to their communities.  Support of local service organizations like the local Volunteer Fire Departments and community wide events are important pieces of their ministries.
 
 Pastor Gary Wade’s deep understanding of rural life and commitment to community outreach make him well suited to take up the pastoral leadership of these congregations, following the retirement of  Pastor Frank Weingard.
 

Chenda Lee to Coordinate Clergy/Lay Excellence

Announced: 04-24-2022
About Chenda Innis Lee
The Rev. Chenda Innis Lee, a lifelong United Methodist and ordained elder in the Virginia Conference, has been selected by the WPA Conference Personnel Committee to serve as the new Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Excellence.  Rev. Lee has been serving as the Regional Coordinator of Spiritual Formation in the Pittsburgh/Butler area since December 1, 2021. She will begin her new position on the Conference Program Staff on July 1, 2022. 

Born in a rural village in Liberia in West Africa, Rev. Lee comes from a long line of preachers, both men and women. She was baptized as an infant by her uncle, a United Methodist pastor. Her father, retired Bishop John G. Innis, was director of a rural mission school that also served as a rescue center for displaced people fleeing the cities in the early 1990s during a civil war in Liberia.

“In 1993, our home, our safe haven, was raided by rebels,” Lee said. “So we had to leave and move to Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia.” In 1996, four years before being elected bishop and assigned to the Liberia Area, her father was offered a job with the United Methodist Committee on Relief and moved the family to the United States.  Rev. Lee was 16 at the time. 

She attended Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where she met her husband, the Rev. Dr. Asa Lee. Known as a gifted preacher and teacher, she served as an associate and senior pastor of churches in the Northern Virginia region for more than 10 years before coming to Pittsburgh.  She was a Lewis Fellow in 2015 and is a graduate of the Virginia Clergy Leadership Program (2018). She moved to Pittsburgh when her husband began serving as President of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in June, 2021. 

“Rev. Lee has a quiet confidence and a deep spiritual insight that will bless our clergy and laity in the new ministry she is undertaking,” said Rev. Alyce Weaver Dunn, Director of Connectional Ministries.  “Chenda’s ministry experience includes serving as a Pastor of Discipleship & First Impressions at the Annadale UMC where she provided oversight, coordination and training for the adult education and welcoming ministries.  She has been an active participant in peer learning groups and has developed continuing education events for clergy and laity on both the District and local church levels.”   
 
About Western PA Conference, Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Excellence

The Coordinator of Clergy and Lay Leadership Excellence provides leadership in developing strategies for cultivating clergy and lay excellence throughout Western Pennsylvania.  The coordinator works closely with district superintendents, pastors, boards of ministry, laity leadership teams, and others to identify gaps and develop programs that strengthen leadership throughout the Conference.

Among the functions of the coordinator are: developing a culture of learning and growth among clergy and lay leadership, developing and implementing a holistic continuing education plan in conjunction with The Board of Ministry, the Board of Laity and related agencies; Development of strategies to identify, recruit and develop gifted leaders; develop a conference-wide Clergy Peer Learning process; and development of ministry events focused on areas of vitality in the United Methodist Church, and continue to develop peer or clergy coaching networks.


Walters to Serve Washington First UMC

Announced: 04-24-2022
About Lori Walters
Lori Walters was born the youngest of six children, which is a large part of her identity. They are a very close family which stays in contact daily.  Lori graduated from Brooke High School (go Bruins!) in Wellsburg, WV and earned her teaching degree in English and Drivers’ Education, as well as a BS in Industrial/Hospital/School Safety, from West Liberty University.  It was there that she met Whit, and on May 26, 1984 she says she had the best day of her life when they married.

The Walters have three adult sons, Quinn, Cam, and Will; a granddaughter, Kailee (13), a grandson, Beau (8), his sister, Tessa Rae (3), and a baby girl expected in June.  They also have a cat, Dustbunny.

Lori has two passions in ministry:  the elderly and children.  "I love helping those who are facing the close of their life here on earth to finding comfort in the promise of the life in paradise to come," she says.
"With children, I love introducing an incredible Savior in Jesus Christ.  I worked for 26 years at The Day School at The Children’s Institute with children with special needs.  The last 6 years, I worked in an Autism classroom.  I believe that experience was a call from God which prepared me for ministry."

In 2012, Lori attended Licensing School and entered Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She graduated in June of 2018 with a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained a full elder in 2021. She has served as pastor of Greenock UMC since 2018 and previously served five years as senior pastor of the Charleroi First/Speers and Dunlevy UMCs, and at the Federal/Midway Charge.

"Whit and I are very happy to be in ministry to serve God Almighty and are excited for the many new adventures that are before us," said Pastor Lori.
 
About Washington First United Methodist Church
Located in downtown Washington, PA across from the Washington and Jefferson College campus, First United Methodist Church has its roots in the early Methodist movement in the area. It grew out of a Methodist Episcopal Society organized on the Redstone Circuit in 1784 at the Thomas Lackey home about two miles southeast of Washington. Preaching began in the town in June 1793 and the first Class in town was organized in March 1794. A log church was built in 1801 and Bishop Francis Asbury preached there in 1809. Other buildings were erected in 1816, 1848, and 1875. An education unit was added in 1959. Liberty, Avery and Jefferson Avenue churches grew out of the congregation.

Today, the church offers a traditional worship service, Sunday School, small groups and Vacation Bible School. It actively supports the Salvation Army in Washington with a "Love in a Bag" program providing care bags through the local schools. They also support the Community Circle Food Pantry, collect blankets and food for We Care Street Outreach at Jefferson Ave. UMC, and serve at the Washington Christian Outreach on the 5th Sunday of the month.  Outreach to college students includes a Mid-Winter Blues Buster event. The church is working to expand its youth ministry.

Bogdewic Appointed Foster Family Recruiter at Merakey

Announced: 04-17-2022
About Chad Bogdewic
Chad Bogdewic was born in Hartford, CT and after his adoption was raised in Beallsville, PA, south of Pittsburgh.  He graduated from Geibel Catholic High School, earned a BS in Business Administration from California University of PA, an MDiv, Certificate in Urban Ministry, and an STM focused on Old Testament theology and Christian social ethics from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Before pursuing seminary full time, he worked for Centerville Clinics, Inc. as the Assistant Director of Grants and Support Services.

Chad has served in a variety of settings, including the Greene/Hills Fairmount Charge, as an associate pastor at Concord in Beaver Falls, the Wurtemburg/Koppel Charge, and the Oakland Ave.: Sharon/Sharpsville First Charge, which is part of the Greater Shenango Valley Cooperative Parish.  In addition to the local church, he serves as on the WPAUMC Disability Concerns Committee. 

Chad loves justice-related ministries and ministries that welcome the whole person.  He loves teaching, preaching, and reaching out to the forgotten and lost.

He is married to the love of his life, Patty, and together they have two children, Eliyana, 10, and Jonathan, 8.  Chad enjoys reading commentaries and comic books, watching science-fiction, and spending time with his family.
About Merakey, Foster Family Recruiter
Merakey is a not-for-profit developmental, behavioral health, and education provider. Merakey offers a range of services for children, adolescents and their families in areas of mental health and autism. They provide services in both the community and at Merakey locations, offering treatment and support that focuses on resiliency. Children and Family Services supports children, adolescents, and their families to be successful in their futures.
 

Lee Appointed to St. Marys UMC

Announced: 04-17-2022
About Sang Hak Lee
Sang Hak Lee was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea in a devoted Christian household. He learned how to serve God and His church through observing his grandfather, who planted several churches in Korea in the early 20th Century, and his father, who planted a church in Seoul after the Korean War. He adopted his family’s multigenerational calling to extend God’s Kingdom and take care of His people. 

Sang Hak earned his Bachelor’s in Theology at HyupSung University. He has a Master of Theology degree from the Korean Methodist Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity degree from KangNam University in Korea. He has studied at the Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky for his doctorate. Sang Hak Lee was originally ordained in Korea and has since served in churches around Korea and the United States as a minister and pastor. He has served in Korea in Seoul (a Megacity), Suji (a suburban area), Uljin (a Fishing Village), and Moongyeong (a Mountain village). In the U.S. he has served in various towns in Kansas. He has planted two churches in Uljin and Moongyeong, among other places in Korea.

Sang Hak served as the president of Cozy Mind, an organization that supports children and senior citizens who live alone in Korea. He was the pastor of the Christian High Schools’ Union, the representative of a Counseling Clinic, and a Camp Director for a college students’ summer retreat camp of the Korean Methodist Church. 
Sang Hak Lee is a licensed Sexual Violence Counselor and Domestic Violence Counselor by the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family Republic of Korea. He was fully trained for the overseas mission hosted by the Korean Methodist Church in Seoul, Korea.

At the Great Plains Conference in Kansas and Nebraska, Sang Hak was a member of the Connecting Council and the Convener of the Mission Alignment Team. He also acted as a member of DCOM and was a Network leader in the Salina District.

Sang Hak’s passion is for ministry and aspires to extend God’s Kingdom on Earth and to make and support disciples of Jesus Christ. His spiritual gifts for ministry are preaching, pastoral care, and building up discipleship programs.
  
He is married to Jong Youn Lee and they have two daughters: Ye Joo and Ye Gang Lee. Ye Joo is a law student at Columbia Law School in New York City, and Ye Gang is a freshman at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS.
 
About St. Marys First UMC
First United Methodist Church is located in St. Marys PA.  The 150-year-old church is home to a rural congregation who in the summertime occasionally have services at the church’s new off-site pavilion. The church is a long-standing believer in Sunday School with classes available for pre-school through adults.  To keep the members involved with the church and engaged with one another there are a number of offerings available.  The church has a strong United Methodist Women’s group who support numerous missions.  The men’s group and the small groups meet on a weekly basis, keeping each other accountable to God’s word and seeking God. Periodic bible studies are offered. 

An outreach to the community is offered through the free Bowls of Love weekly meals available to those in need and through the Christmas Day Happening which involves home delivery of an abundant meal to individuals and families in need. Another outreach is an invitation to all local children to join our VBS program held at the pavilion. Periodically events such as Easter Egg Hunts are held for our church youngsters and the community.        
 

Beverly Spore to Serve 4-Point Charge

Announced: 04-10-2022
About Beverly A. Spore
The Potato Creek Charge/Mt. Jewett UMC and Hazel Hurst UMC will become a 4-point charge July 1, 2022 with the Rev. Beverly Spore as  pastor. She currently serves as pastor of the Potato Creek Charge.

Rev. Beverly A. Spore was born and raised in Somerset County, PA.  She earned a BS in Biology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1996, after which she worked as an environmental and industrial health and safety analyst for a defense contractor in Johnstown, PA.  After discerning a call to pastoral ministry, Rev. Spore enrolled in Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY, and she graduated with a Master’s of Divinity in 2008.

Rev. Spore has served churches in the Erie-Meadville, Connellsville, Greensburg, and Kane districts and devotes her ministry to making disciples of all ages through a variety of methods. She sees one of her most important responsibilities as helping others to grow spiritually, while continuing to strive for growth herself.  She focuses her gifts of preaching and teaching through a particularly Wesleyan lens.

Rev. Spore firmly believes in the importance of meeting people where they are to share the love of Christ instead of waiting for them to come to church. Since pastors are appointed to a community, Rev. Beverly actively seeks to participate in local organizations and events outside the church walls. She sees Christ’s command to love one another as the basis for ministries of mercy and social justice and as the core of Methodist tradition.

Even though Rev. Spore is mostly traditional in worship, she has a creative gift which shines through in many aspects of her ministry. She always looks for new ideas for special worship services and has been known for having a live sheep for Sheep Day, planting a tree to celebrate Creation Day, a cowboy theme for summer, a Christmas talk show, and tongues of fire on Pentecost.
 
About Potato Creek Charge /Mt. Jewett/Hazel Hurst UMCs
The Potato Creek Charge was formed in the last decade to enhance one another’s ministry and mission in and around the McKean county seat.

The United Methodist Church of Smethport is located in the heart of Smethport, directly across the street from the county courthouse.  Formed in 1820, UMCS has is dedicated to worship, learning, nurturing disciple, and reaching out to the community.  The church has close ties with Christian Community Services food bank and is known for providing hospitality for community events held at the courthouse.  Currently the church serves as a holding depot for the conference Mission Barn.
 
Crosby UMC is located in the village of Crosby, seven miles from Smethport.  The church, established in 1887, has a rustic aesthetic and a family atmosphere, with deep ties to the community.  In addition, the Crosby congregation is noted for providing generously to immediate-need missions, such as disaster-relief. 

The Mt. Jewett United Methodist Church on Boyd Street in Mt. Jewett, PA is a praying and giving church. It has many prayer groups. The church also hosts the food pantry for the community, which is supported by all the churches in Mt. Jewett. The congregation also offers “Kids Klub,”an after-school program. Vacation Bible School is held each summer. Missions and mission support are vitally important to the congregation, which supports several missions. Overall the congregation has a mission to serve God in all the ways they can in Mt. Jewett and beyond.

Hazel Hurst United Methodist Church is located at 18 School Street, Hazel Hurst PA  16733. The congregation recently celebrated its 100th birthday, and several families have been members for generations. Known as the “Light On The Hill," the church is viewed as "a place you can turn when you are in need or long for spiritual guidance. Although the membership and worship attendance are small, attendance at community events the church hosts is usually much larger and many express gratitude for the church's presence in the community. The congregation serves the community, supports change and prays for the best!  

John Balliet to Serve in New Cooperative Parish

Announced: 04-10-2022
About John Balliet
John loves to bring the reality of the gospel through "rubber meets the road" ministry, meeting people where they are and walking with them in a ministry of reconciliation and healing. John will continue to serve the fine folks at Sloans Hollow, Pine Grove, and Mt. Union, as he enters into a co-operative parish ministry with his wife Kendra.  John has previously served with Kendra at the Clymer Charge. John then served the Harmony Charge in rural Clearfield County for three years, prior to being appointed to the Fishertown Charge last July. John and Kendra have a blended family of five children, including two grand-teens, Christian and Madison. John enjoys fitness, exercising, taking long walks, travel and family time.

Born in Pittsburgh, John is a “preacher’s kid” twice over. Before entering the ministry, John had over 30 years’ experience in management, specializing in training, facility management, and conflict resolution. John also owned and successfully operated a property maintenance and a web hosting firm. After saying yes to God's call to pastoral ministry in 2015, John earned his undergraduate degree in Public Relations/Crisis Management at Geneva College (2018) and completed the M. Div. Program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in January 2022. John's application for Provisional Membership and Commissioning as an Elder was recently approved by the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. 
 
About West Bedford Cooperative Parish
The West Bedford Cooperative Parish consists of churches in the western part of Bedford County in the Johnstown District. The churches are: Alum Bank, Buffalo Mills, Helixville, Mount Union, New Paris: First, Pine Grove, Point, and Sloans Hollow. They all are passionate about sharing God’s love and saving grace to all the surrounding communities. Even before the cooperative parish was formed, they worked together in ministry and mission, supporting Rise Against Hunger, holding joint confirmation classes and  joint youth activities, etc. The congregations are excited to intentionally cooperate in ministry together for the Kingdom of God. The pastoral team of Kendra Balliet, John Balliet and Clyde Lasure will bring enthusiasm and stability to the cooperative parish. They look forward to what God has in store for them.

Kendra Balliet Appointed to New West Bedford Parish

Announced: 04-10-2022
About Kendra Balliet
Kendra Balliet’s calling to ministry was not her first vocation. For 20 years, Kendra was a teacher. Although she knew she would not always stay in the classroom, she expected to remain in education, probably moving to administration. Now she serves in both roles, just a different context. Kendra was ordained an elder in full connection at the 2021 annual conference. She is a graduate of United Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and concentration in leadership and revitalization. Earlier, she 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.

Kendra is currently serving at the Shawnee Charge consisting of Buffalo Mills and Helixville United Methodist churches. She has served the Mahaffey Area Larger Parish, the Clymer Charge, the Luthersburg Charge, and as an interim supply associate pastor for Moorhead UMC and the Luthersburg Charge.

Kendra’s husband John serves as the senior pastor of the Fishertown Charge in western Bedford County. John has attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, with graduation and commissioning set for 2022. It is not unusual to find Kendra and John doing ministry together through joint worship services and visitation.

Kendra’s three children and John’s two children are all adults, leaving them empty nesters.  They also have two teenage grandchildren who are adults-in-training.
About West Bedford Cooperative Parish
The West Bedford Cooperative Parish consists of churches in the western part of Bedford County in the Johnstown District. The churches are: Alum Bank, Buffalo Mills, Helixville, Mount Union, New Paris: First, Pine Grove, Point, and Sloans Hollow. They all are passionate about sharing God’s love and saving grace to all the surrounding communities. Even before the cooperative parish was formed, they worked together in ministry and mission, supporting Rising Against Hunger, holding joint confirmation classes and  joint youth activities, etc. The congregations are excited to intentionally cooperate in ministry together for the Kingdom of God. The pastoral team of Kendra Balliet, John Balliet and Clyde Lasure will bring enthusiasm and stability to the cooperative parish. They look forward to what God has in store for them.
 
 

Lasure to Serve West Bedford Parish

Announced: 04-10-2022
About Clyde Lasure
Born in April, 1958 in Somerset, Pennsylvania, Clyde Lasure moved to Helixville, Pa. in 1973 and graduated from Chestnut Ridge High School in Fishertown Pa. in 1976. After graduation he joined the U.S.Marine Corps. Years later, he finds himself back home in Helixville and says he "would not want to be anywhere else in the world." 

Clyde gave his life to Jesus in 2020. As he explains it, "our church was without a pastor and I was asked if I would take on the responsibilities for a few months. I was happy to do so. Soon after, again after a series of events, the few months turned into something longer. I was asked if I would like to take on the responsibilities permanently. Again, I was happy to do so. As I look at how everything fell into place, I know this is where God intended me to be."

Clyde is currently serving as a supply pastor at the New Paris United Methodist Church, which he describes as "a small country church where we all know each other and love each other. I wouldn't have it any other way." He will continue to serve their as an associate in the newly formed West Bedford Cooperative Parish. 
 
About West Bedford Cooperative Parish
The West Bedford Cooperative Parish consists of churches in the western part of Bedford County in the Johnstown District. The churches are: Alum Bank, Buffalo Mills, Helixville, Mount Union, New Paris: First, Pine Grove, Point, and Sloans Hollow. They all are passionate about sharing God’s love and saving grace to all the surrounding communities. Even before the cooperative parish was formed, they worked together in ministry and mission, supporting Rise Against Hunger, holding joint confirmation classes and  joint youth activities, etc. The congregations are excited to intentionally cooperate in ministry together for the Kingdom of God. The pastoral team of Kendra Balliet, John Balliet and Clyde Lasure will bring enthusiasm and stability to the cooperative parish. They look forward to what God has in store for them.

Tennies To Serve New Bradford Area Charge

Announced: 04-10-2022
About Jay P. Tennies
Jay Tennies will serve as senior pastor of both Hill Memorial UMC, where he currently serves, and Evans Memorial UMC as the two churches form a two-point charge, effective July 1. 

Jay was born into a preacher’s family. He is the child of the late Rev. Lloyd and Phyllis Tennies and the grandson of the late Rev. DeForest Tennies. Growing up in the church meant an early struggle for faith. That struggle ended with Jay choosing Jesus as Savior and Lord instead of some of the brokenness which he saw in the church. That decision came at a youth retreat; a few years later it was followed by a call to ministry.

Jay studied communications with an emphasis in television production and public relations and has degrees from Butler County Community College, California University of PA, and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

He has served as appointments at Kent’s Chapel, Spraggs, Timblin, Porter, Rural Valley, Whitesburg, Eldred, Johnsonburg, and Kane before coming to Hill Memorial. In addition to his pastoral work, Jay was the Director of the Eldred World War II Museum and spent time on the staff of First United Methodist Church in Bradford.

With a Bible in one hand and guitar in the other, Jay works to build relationships. He does this beyond the local church with his service as a Chaplain and Worship Leader at Wesley Woods, working ecumenically, serving on the Kane District Council and on the Conference Sessions Team.

Jay is married to Angelia Tennies. They have three adult sons, Daniel, Clay, and Joshua; three grandchildren, Rylee, Nolan, and Madelyn and are currently awaiting the birth of twin grandsons. They also had a daughter Elizabeth, who is safely home in heaven.
 
About Evans Memorial UMC/Hill Memorial UMC
Evans Memorial UMC: In 1961, the Degolia and the Lewis Run churches asked to be united as one church.  After four years of work and planning, this became a reality on October 10, 1965. Rev. Leroy Lundgren was pastor.  The church was named Evans Memorial in memory of Rev. T.E. Evans, who had faithfully served both churches. Currently, Evans is active with a Sunday morning worship service, an Adult Sunday School class, a weekly in-home Bible Study, and an active United Women in Faith (UMW) group.  The church supports several global, domestic, and local mission efforts.  Through the Mission Ministry and a VBS mission project, the church created and maintains three Blessing boxes with food and personal essentials (hyg/clean) in the community. The church has a  strong Prayer Ministry with a prayer chain in place.  The Prayer Team meets each Sunday morning before the Worship service to pray for both the pastor and service.  The congregation also works closely with the local Volunteer Fire Department for several events.

During Covid a Mailing Ministry was established to send a scripture, weekly devotions, and activity page to members and shut-ins. Packets with Sunday School material, crafts, and "Shirley's Cookies" were delivered to the church children.  Before Covid, the church offered a monthly luncheon for seniors which included lunch and a themed program. Evans Memorial is a very blessed, devoted, and serving church, giving their all in the service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Hill Memorial United Methodist Church is a faith community located in downtown Bradford. The church actively lives into the mission of accepting people where they are, as Christ did, and drawing them into a loving and caring fellowship.

The church has a strong Missions emphasis with an Annual Missions Conference and strong Faith Promise Giving that supports local, regional, and global missions. The church also is engaged in camping ministries through Wesley Woods and holds a Ladies Retreat at Olmsted Manor.

Hill Memorial is known as a welcoming place with good cooks and people who will pray. These gifts are lived out through our Sunday Evening Vespers, Holiday Faire, Attic Treasure Sale, Wednesday Soup Lunch and hosting various community events such as the Woman’s Literary Guild and Kindergarten Graduation for The Learning Center.
 

Calvin Cook to Serve Kane, East Kane UMCs

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Calvin J. Cook
Calvin J. Cook, who has served as pastor of Kane First UMC since 2016, has been appointed to also serve as pastor of East Kane UMC in a new charge alignment. 

Calvin grew up in Dawson, Fayette County PA,  as the son of the late Harry and Martha Jane (Moon) Cook. He has has a sister Christine.  In 1986, on a Lay Witness Mission in Franklin PA, he met Gail Brindle who would become his bride 10 years later. The couple will celebrate their 25th Anniversary this September. 

Calvin accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of 15. He owned various businesses and has worked for various employers, including Seven Springs Resort. In 1999 Calvin founded a retail furniture and mattress store. 

After many years of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, being a lay speaker and being involved in various other missional endeavors, Calvin answered the call to pastoral ministry. Calvin’s pastoral ministry began with Hyndman Larger Parish where he served as a Certified Lay Minister, then became a Licensed Local Pastor.  Calvin later served the Fertigs Charge, which included Fertigs, Ashland, Pine City, and Rouseville.  In 2016 Calvin and Gail answered the call to Kane First United Methodist.

Calvin believes in the abundant grace of Jesus and has great passion for preaching, teaching, and discipleship. Calvin and Gail are actively engaged in mission and ministry in Haiti. Serving in disaster relief ministry also has been an important part of Calvin’s life, and he served on the Conference and District level, including as Conference Disaster Response Coordinator.

Romans 8:28 is one of Calvin’s core verses “All things work together for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” 
 
 
About Kane-East Kane Charge
The Kane First United Methodist congregation dates back to the 1860s when an early circuit rider organized Sunday School for the purpose of organizing a church in the new in McKean County PA community in the middle of the Alleghany National Forest. For the last 157 years, Kane Methodist has been in many different locations in Kane PA . The congregation has been in its present location since 1905 when the current beautiful church building was built after fire destroyed the previous structure.

Throughout the years, the church building has served as a gathering place for many to worship God, enjoy fellowship, and serve as a public gathering place during good times and difficult times. 

n recent years the church has put a renewed emphasis on offering various styles of worship, with three in-person weekend worship services and an on-line livestream. There is an active Sunday School program, Children & Youth Fellowship, United Methodist Women and Men groups. Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, AA, NA, and Al-Anon all utilize space in the church.

The people of Kane First have a passion for outreach, supporting missions locally and abroad.  The church actively supports ministry, education, and sustainability projects in Haiti. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit, several local mission and ministries have been established in recent years, including the Sharing Room (providing hygiene items); Wednesday drive-up dinners that served 25,000 meals during the Covid pandemic, and a Re-Souled Shop (thrift store) that gives back to ministries in the community. Ministries to all ages and all people is vitality important to the church’s vision for transforming the world for Jesus Christ.

The congregation of East Kane United Methodist Church continues to be resolute in its commitment to Christ.  It is a sincere and family-oriented church, serving God by sharing God’s grace and love with one another.  A small congregation, what it lacks in numbers, is make up for with faith, love of God and love of one another. We are committed to getting the word of Christ out to all.
Their hope is that all who pass through their doors feel as though they are home. To that end, they strive to always be open, accepting and loving, as Christ would have them be, with everyone they encounter. 
 
East Kane is a very blessed, devoted and mission-minded church with a passion to contribute to many different local and worldwide ministries. 
 
 
 

Logan to Serve Bedford-Somerset Parish

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Leona R. Logan
Leona Logan will serve as an associate pastor in the new Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish.  Leona is a mother of four, grandmother of 11, a preacher's wife (married to Rev. John Logan), a registered nurse since 1978 and certified nurse midwife since 1995. She graduated in 1975 from Concordia College, Bronxville, NY, with an associate degree in psychology. She then attended Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. and earned her BSN, in nursing and psychology. She completed her graduate education in Midwifery at Frontier Nursing University, Hyden, KY, in 1995.

She currently serves the Connellsville Cooperative Parish as a Local Pastor and is attending the Course of Study as she answers God's call to pastoral ministry. 

Some things folks may not know about Leona: "German was my first language; I was the first midwife that was not wearing an Amish bonnet and was the first non-physician given hospital delivery privileges at Punxsutawney Hospital, in Jefferson County."

In her spare time, she loves to sing (when no one is home), sketch, paint Bob Ross landscapes, and talk without moving her lips with her sidekick puppet, Hildegard. She loves spending time with her grandchildren, the sunshine, the seashore, kayaking with her husband and family reunions.
 
In her midwifery career, she has had the privilege to deliver hundreds of babies and provide health care for thousands of women. She has provided care for incarcerated women, those struggling with addictions and disabilities as well as facilitated numerous women's support groups throughout the years.

Leona's passion for evangelism and missions might be genetic as her grandfather was a pastor during WWII in East Germany, her brother is a pastor, her uncle and aunt were missionaries in Africa. Leona has participated in mission trips to the Dominican Republic with the Annual Conference's East German Partnership, and last year spent a week in Kenya as part of a medical mission team to an orphanage and its community. Her zeal for Christ is contagious.
 
About Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish
The Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish combines churches of the Hyndman Cooperative Parish and the Meyersdale Charge into a newly formed parish. The new parish churches are: Cooks Mill; Garrett; Grace; Gravel Pit; Hyndman: First Ave; Meyersdale First; Mount Olivet; Palo Alto; St. Johns, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line in Bedford County and Meyersdale sits in southern Somerset County.   The ten churches lie in the surrounding valleys. All are community outreach and mission-minded, taking part in ministeriums, food pantries, the Hyndman Campground, ramp ministry, and combined community worship services.
 
Cooks Mill:  Cooks Mill United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 as part of the Baltimore Conference and known as the Wills Creek Chapel.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is known for its music.
Garrett:  Garrett United Methodist Church first began to meet as a congregation in a frame building shared with the Lutherans in 1871.  The church grew and joined the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association in 1876.  In 1967 the building was completely rebuilt and remodeled. Music is a great part of the worship life at Garrett and they enjoy doing cantatas at Christmas and Easter.
Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek in Hyndman. Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts for Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.
Gravel Pit: Bethel The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and was organized under the Evangelical Association in 1877.  Gravel Pit is five miles north of town and sits on the bank of Little Wills Creek, just in front of one the most popular trout fishing holes on the creek.
Hyndman: First Ave:  A Methodist Society was organized in 1840 and later became the church, dedicated on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is a pillar of the camp meeting property in Hyndman and actively leads the summer children and youth camp on that site, as well as the revival services in August.
Meyersdale First:  Meyersdale First United Methodist church dates from the conference year 1870 during the which time the Reverends Silas Thayer Mitchell and Daniel J. Davis took it as an appointment for a weekday evening on the Somerset Circuit.   The current church was built in 1904.  Meyersdale First is moving to merge with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church.
Mount Olivet:  Mount Olivet United Methodist Church began with members of the Evangelical Association that worshipped for many years in a log cabin church.  On August 11, 1882, the cornerstone was laid to the new church.  Other changes have been made over the years.  Today the church loves to study scripture and reach out into the community.  They have a great Sunday School program.
Palo Alto was organized in 1872 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.  It is known for its cooking especially at its annual peach festival. 
St. Johns:   St. Johns United Methodist Church first held services in a union (Richards) church.  In 1877 the first building was built and known as The Centennial Church of the Evangelical Association.  In 1891 the St. Johns church divided as part of the schism that took place in the Evangelical Association.  The United Evangelical Group build a church on the site of the Richards Church.  The Evangelical Association Group continued to worship in the 1877 building.  In 1922 the groups merged and met together again in the original church and a new building was dedicated in 1935.  Today they enjoy worshiping and fellowship together and hold a special Maundy Thursday Service. 
Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association. In April, 2017, the church building was hit by a tractor-trailer that missed the curve at the bottom of a long steep hill. While awaiting a demolition permit, another truck crashed into the building. A new building,  erected farther away from the road, was dedicated on June 14, 2020.

Phillips to Serve Lower Burrell: Bethel

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Clint Phillips
Clint grew up in Arnold, northeast of Pittsburgh along the Allegheny River, and lived there until shortly after he married his high school sweetheart, Karla. Clint was called to ministry at a young age, but he pursued other passions in college. After he and Karla were married in 2002, they moved to Latrobe, PA where they started a family and began attending Bethany UMC. It was there that he would soon know his calling once again.  

Clint began his college work at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1997, but after time off from his studies, and 10 years in retail management, he answered the call into ministry. He returned 13 years later to finish his BA in theater and graduated in 2014. He then attended United Theological Seminary and earned a Master of Divinity in 2017. Clint started ministry as a local pastor in 2014 and became a provisional member of the Western PA Conference in 2018. He was ordained as an elder in the UMC in June 2021.  

Clint served as a youth pastor for three years and an associate pastor at Bethany United Methodist for two of those years. Since then he has served at Greensburg Trinity and Jeannette First Charge and Punxsutawney Cross Town Ministries. Clint is currently serving as the pastor at Mt Zion in DuBois, PA. Clint has also served on the Conference Young Adult Committee as well as Trustees, Building and Locations and Youth Committee Chair in the Indiana District. Clint is also a member of the Order of the Flame, in connection with World Methodist Evangelism. 

Clint has a passion for music and theater arts and enjoys using them in ministry. He also has a great love of children's and youth ministries. In addition to his wife of 19 years, Karla, his family includes their 13-year-old daughter Sarah and their 9-year-old son Isaiah. 
 
About Lower Burrell: Bethel UMC
Bethel UMC  is an active Christian community of faith that is joyful in praise, loving in relationships, and caring in service with a strong emphasis on building relationships with God and with one another. The congregation is committed to  responding to God’s grace and generosity in Jesus Christ by passing it on during worship and through a wide variety of ministries, missions, small group settings and fellowship opportunities that reach out to touch and make a difference in the lives of people of all ages.

The church offers programs that focus on children, youth, young adults, families, men’s and women’s fellowship, Bible study and service. They are proud of their unique ministries, including the “Let It Shine” blacklight puppet ministry, vouchers for shoes provided to local schools to support families in need, support to an orphanage in Zimbabwe, rummage sales, various music ministries, camperships to help with the cost of attending United Methodist summer camps, an annual Christmas party for individuals with special challenges from our community and beyond, and handmade nativity sets provided to all children of the church over the course of their elementary years.

Platt to Lead New Bedford-Somerset Coop Parish

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Derek R. Platt
Derek Platt, who has served churches of the Hyndman Cooperative Parish since 2020, will be appointed as the lead pastor of those and other churches that will form the new Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish, effective July 1, 2022. 

Derek grew up in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, in Gibsonia, PA, where he was raised in a Christian home and attended Bakerstown United Methodist Church. He was actively involved with Bakerstown's youth group and various church activities, mission trips, etc. until high school graduation.

Derek attended Waynesburg University, where he majored in both Children & Youth Ministries and Music Ministry, and minored in Psychology, graduating in 2012.  He also is a graduate of Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

Derek is a Provisional Elder, commissioned in 2016. He spent four years as the Youth Director of Lakeside United Methodist Church in DuBois, and served the Fay-West Cooperative Parish before moving to what was the HYndman Larger Parish in 2020.

Derek has been actively involved with the Conference Youth Ministry Team, acting as one of the adult advisors, since 2016. He is very passionate about encouraging children and youth to be involved in the church.

Derek and his wife Erin welcomed their their first child, daughter Clara Jean, in October 2018.      
 
About Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish
The Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish combines churches of the Hyndman Cooperative Parish and the Meyersdale Charge into a newly formed parish. The new parish churches are: Cooks Mill; Garrett; Grace; Gravel Pit; Hyndman: First Ave; Meyersdale First; Mount Olivet; Palo Alto; St. Johns, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line in Bedford County and Meyersdale sits in southern Somerset County.   The ten churches lie in the surrounding valleys. All are community outreach and mission-minded, taking part in ministeriums, food pantries, the Hyndman Campground, ramp ministry, and combined community worship services.
 
Cooks Mill:  Cooks Mill United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 as part of the Baltimore Conference and known as the Wills Creek Chapel.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is known for its music.
Garrett:  Garrett United Methodist Church first began to meet as a congregation in a frame building shared with the Lutherans in 1871.  The church grew and joined the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association in 1876.  In 1967 the building was completely rebuilt and remodeled. Music is a great part of the worship life at Garrett and they enjoy doing cantatas at Christmas and Easter.
Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek in Hyndman. Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts for Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.
Gravel Pit: Bethel The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and was organized under the Evangelical Association in 1877.  Gravel Pit is five miles north of town and sits on the bank of Little Wills Creek, just in front of one the most popular trout fishing holes on the creek.
Hyndman: First Ave:  A Methodist Society was organized in 1840 and later became the church, dedicated on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is a pillar of the camp meeting property in Hyndman and actively leads the summer children and youth camp on that site, as well as the revival services in August.
Meyersdale First:  Meyersdale First United Methodist church dates from the conference year 1870 during the which time the Reverends Silas Thayer Mitchell and Daniel J. Davis took it as an appointment for a weekday evening on the Somerset Circuit.   The current church was built in 1904.  Meyersdale First is moving to merge with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church.
Mount Olivet:  Mount Olivet United Methodist Church began with members of the Evangelical Association that worshipped for many years in a log cabin church.  On August 11, 1882, the cornerstone was laid to the new church.  Other changes have been made over the years.  Today the church loves to study scripture and reach out into the community.  They have a great Sunday School program.
Palo Alto was organized in 1872 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.  It is known for its cooking especially at its annual peach festival. 
St. Johns:   St. Johns United Methodist Church first held services in a union (Richards) church.  In 1877 the first building was built and known as The Centennial Church of the Evangelical Association.  In 1891 the St. Johns church divided as part of the schism that took place in the Evangelical Association.  The United Evangelical Group build a church on the site of the Richards Church.  The Evangelical Association Group continued to worship in the 1877 building.  In 1922 the groups merged and met together again in the original church and a new building was dedicated in 1935.  Today they enjoy worshiping and fellowship together and hold a special Maundy Thursday Service. 
Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association. In April, 2017, the church building was hit by a tractor-trailer that missed the curve at the bottom of a long steep hill. While awaiting a demolition permit, another truck crashed into the building. A new building,  erected farther away from the road, was dedicated on June 14, 2020.
 

Popson to Serve Bedford-Somerset Coop Parish

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Jeffrey L. Popson
Jeffrey L. Popson, a retired elder who currently serves as an associate in the Meyersdale Charge, will continue to serve as the charge becomes part of the new Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish.  

Born in Natrona Heights, Jeffrey graduated from Kiski High School and earned a B.S. in Elementary Education at Clarion State College. He was an active member of First UMC in Vandergrift and received his call to ministry under Rev. Owen Shields and Rev. Ed Donner. He graduated from United Theological Seminary in 1981 and has served 40 years in active ministry in churches across the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. 

Jeff is married to Audrey (Lowy) of Dunbar.  He has two children and a pre-school age grandchild. Jeff loves to read, spend time with his Goldendoodle Marley and cheer for the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.
About Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish
The Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish combines churches of the Hyndman Cooperative Parish and the Meyersdale Charge into a newly formed parish. The new parish churches are: Cooks Mill; Garrett; Grace; Gravel Pit; Hyndman: First Ave; Meyersdale First; Mount Olivet; Palo Alto; St. Johns, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line in Bedford County and Meyersdale sits in southern Somerset County.   The ten churches lie in the surrounding valleys. All are community outreach and mission-minded, taking part in ministeriums, food pantries, the Hyndman Campground, ramp ministry, and combined community worship services.
 
Cooks Mill:  Cooks Mill United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 as part of the Baltimore Conference and known as the Wills Creek Chapel.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is known for its music.
Garrett:  Garrett United Methodist Church first began to meet as a congregation in a frame building shared with the Lutherans in 1871.  The church grew and joined the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association in 1876.  In 1967 the building was completely rebuilt and remodeled. Music is a great part of the worship life at Garrett and they enjoy doing cantatas at Christmas and Easter.
Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek in Hyndman. Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts for Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.
Gravel Pit: Bethel The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and was organized under the Evangelical Association in 1877.  Gravel Pit is five miles north of town and sits on the bank of Little Wills Creek, just in front of one the most popular trout fishing holes on the creek.
Hyndman: First Ave:  A Methodist Society was organized in 1840 and later became the church, dedicated on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is a pillar of the camp meeting property in Hyndman and actively leads the summer children and youth camp on that site, as well as the revival services in August.
Meyersdale First:  Meyersdale First United Methodist church dates from the conference year 1870 during the which time the Reverends Silas Thayer Mitchell and Daniel J. Davis took it as an appointment for a weekday evening on the Somerset Circuit.   The current church was built in 1904.  Meyersdale First is moving to merge with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church.
Mount Olivet:  Mount Olivet United Methodist Church began with members of the Evangelical Association that worshipped for many years in a log cabin church.  On August 11, 1882, the cornerstone was laid to the new church.  Other changes have been made over the years.  Today the church loves to study scripture and reach out into the community.  They have a great Sunday School program.
Palo Alto was organized in 1872 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.  It is known for its cooking especially at its annual peach festival. 
St. Johns:   St. Johns United Methodist Church first held services in a union (Richards) church.  In 1877 the first building was built and known as The Centennial Church of the Evangelical Association.  In 1891 the St. Johns church divided as part of the schism that took place in the Evangelical Association.  The United Evangelical Group build a church on the site of the Richards Church.  The Evangelical Association Group continued to worship in the 1877 building.  In 1922 the groups merged and met together again in the original church and a new building was dedicated in 1935.  Today they enjoy worshiping and fellowship together and hold a special Maundy Thursday Service. 
Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association. In April, 2017, the church building was hit by a tractor-trailer that missed the curve at the bottom of a long steep hill. While awaiting a demolition permit, another truck crashed into the building. A new building,  erected farther away from the road, was dedicated on June 14, 2020.
 

Spiker to Serve Bedford-Somerset Parish

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Rodney E. Spiker
Rodney Spiker currently serves as a supply pastor in the Hyndman Parish will continue in that role in the new Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish. He previously served in  on the Meyersdale Charge.

Rodney was born in Cumberland, Maryland, graduated from Hyndman High School, and joined the U.S. Army as a carpentry and masonry specialist. He currently works for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.  

Rodney is married to Kathy and they have three children and four grandchildren.  They like to hunt, travel and play with the grandkids, and continue learning and growing in the grace of God and sharing that love and grace with others.
 
About Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish
The Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish combines churches of the Hyndman Cooperative Parish and the Meyersdale Charge into a newly formed parish. The new parish churches are: Cooks Mill; Garrett; Grace; Gravel Pit; Hyndman: First Ave; Meyersdale First; Mount Olivet; Palo Alto; St. Johns, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line in Bedford County and Meyersdale sits in southern Somerset County.   The ten churches lie in the surrounding valleys. All are community outreach and mission-minded, taking part in ministeriums, food pantries, the Hyndman Campground, ramp ministry, and combined community worship services.
 
Cooks Mill:  Cooks Mill United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 as part of the Baltimore Conference and known as the Wills Creek Chapel.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is known for its music.
Garrett:  Garrett United Methodist Church first began to meet as a congregation in a frame building shared with the Lutherans in 1871.  The church grew and joined the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association in 1876.  In 1967 the building was completely rebuilt and remodeled. Music is a great part of the worship life at Garrett and they enjoy doing cantatas at Christmas and Easter.
Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek in Hyndman. Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts for Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.
Gravel Pit: Bethel The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and was organized under the Evangelical Association in 1877.  Gravel Pit is five miles north of town and sits on the bank of Little Wills Creek, just in front of one the most popular trout fishing holes on the creek.
Hyndman: First Ave:  A Methodist Society was organized in 1840 and later became the church, dedicated on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is a pillar of the camp meeting property in Hyndman and actively leads the summer children and youth camp on that site, as well as the revival services in August.
Meyersdale First:  Meyersdale First United Methodist church dates from the conference year 1870 during the which time the Reverends Silas Thayer Mitchell and Daniel J. Davis took it as an appointment for a weekday evening on the Somerset Circuit.   The current church was built in 1904.  Meyersdale First is moving to merge with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church.
Mount Olivet:  Mount Olivet United Methodist Church began with members of the Evangelical Association that worshipped for many years in a log cabin church.  On August 11, 1882, the cornerstone was laid to the new church.  Other changes have been made over the years.  Today the church loves to study scripture and reach out into the community.  They have a great Sunday School program.
Palo Alto was organized in 1872 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.  It is known for its cooking especially at its annual peach festival. 
St. Johns:   St. Johns United Methodist Church first held services in a union (Richards) church.  In 1877 the first building was built and known as The Centennial Church of the Evangelical Association.  In 1891 the St. Johns church divided as part of the schism that took place in the Evangelical Association.  The United Evangelical Group build a church on the site of the Richards Church.  The Evangelical Association Group continued to worship in the 1877 building.  In 1922 the groups merged and met together again in the original church and a new building was dedicated in 1935.  Today they enjoy worshiping and fellowship together and hold a special Maundy Thursday Service. 
Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association. In April, 2017, the church building was hit by a tractor-trailer that missed the curve at the bottom of a long steep hill. While awaiting a demolition permit, another truck crashed into the building. A new building,  erected farther away from the road, was dedicated on June 14, 2020.
 

Chambers to Serve at Christ: Bethel Park

Announced: 03-20-2022
About Oscar L. Chambers Jr.
Oscar L. Chambers, Jr, is from Mount Croghan, South Carolina, where he grew up in the small rural community of Black Creek.  He was raised in an extended family centered on community wellness, church, and hard work.  He graduated from Central High School in Pageland, SC, before attending Lander University in Greenwood, SC, on an academic scholarship. 
During his senior year at Lander, he experienced a call to ministry and remembers the peace that overcame his heart when he said “Yes!”  Soon Oscar served as a youth bible study teacher, but was quickly working with adults and imprisoned individuals.  He was licensed to preach in the summer of 1998.

After graduating from college and being commissioned into the US Army Corp of Engineers, he attended Duke Divinity School.  After seminary, he was a Discipleship Pastor in Pittsburgh, but his ministry was cut short due to a military deployment and an injury.  After returning from service, God blessed Oscar -- he met his wife and had a time to heal. 

God led Oscar and his family to Houston, Texas, and St. John’s Downtown UMC.  During a service when his family was seated between a wealthy person and a homeless person, Oscar realized God called him to serve in the United Methodist Church. In the Texas Annual Conference he served as Local Licensed Pastor at St. John’s Downtown working with Men’s Ministry, as Senior Pastor at Sloan Memorial UMC, and associate pastor at West University UMC before returning to Pittsburgh. He'll serve as Associate Pastor at Christ: Bethel Park. 

Today, Oscar continues to feel God’s call to teach, preach, grow, and build disciples within the UMC.  He and his wife of 16 years, Kamilah, have three children – Mason, Kennedey, and Noa.  Oscar enjoys outdoor activities, reading, comedy, science fiction, and, hopefully, a Harley Davidson bagger in the near future. 
 
About Bethel Park: Christ UMC
Christ Church is located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Bethel Park, near South Hills Village Mall. It is a large diverse congregation that lives into its mission of Building Inclusive Community, Sharing Christ’s Transforming Love.

The church offers contemporary and traditional worship experiences during four different worship services offered on Saturday and Sunday. The ChristKids program ministers to K-5th graders during worship hours on Sunday morning and the ChristYouth program ministers to 6th-12th graders on Sunday evenings. They also have vibrant music programs for children through adults of all ages.

Wednesday nights during the school year is a great opportunity for the church community to gather for a great meal and engage in classes and small groups to learn how to connect, grow, and give on their discipleship pathway.

Christ Church strongly supports outreach and missions through participation in mission trips, South Hills Interfaith Movement, Eighth Ave. Place, and United Methodist Church Union to meet needs of children and adults living in poverty in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.  The church also offers special programs that include interfaith panels, symposiums on racial issues, homelessness, and drug addiction, allowing them to share Christ’s transforming love.
 

Cindy Duffee to Serve Fertigs Charge

Announced: 03-20-2022
About Cynthia A. Duffee
Cindy grew up in Coal Hollow in Elk County and graduated from St. Mary's Area High in 1979. After an experience similar to the story of Samuel, she left a retail career and answered God's call into ministry.

Cindy completed the Course of Study in 2017 and has been blessed to serve churches in the Franklin, Erie/Meadville, Indiana and Kane Districts. She looks forward to once again being part of the Franklin District, a place where she calls home.  Cindy’s emphasis for ministry is encouraging congregations (regardless of size and age) to invite people to come into the presence of Christ through the ministry of the church. Her passion is freeing and equipping as many laity as possible to use their gifts in the life of the church: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it”  (1 Cor. 12:27).

Outside the local church, Cindy has served on the district and conference levels. Volunteering at local food pantries is something she greatly enjoys. She is known to frequently say, “The ground at the foot of the cross is level, no clichés or judgments to be found in Jesus. However, it is there you will discover Jesus’ amazing grace.”

Cindy and her husband Ken will celebrate our 43rd anniversary this year. Ken is an ordained elder in the UMC. They have three adult children and five grandchildren: Blaine and his wife Ashley are parents of grandchildren Payton, Maddox and Dexter; daughter Sarah and her husband Trevor Hile are parents of grandchildren Gwen and Greyson, and son Joshua Duffee. Cindy enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and with friends.  She and Ken are avid motorcycle riders and are members of the Christian Motorcycle Association.  They enjoy the beauty of God’s creation and a good cup of coffee. 
 
About Fertigs Charge
The Fertigs Charge in the Franklin District consists of the Fertigs, Ashland and Pine City UMCs. While each church has its own ministry, they work together well in ministry and outreach. Strengthening and deepening their faith are of primary importance.  Prayer and fellowship are important as well. There is a covenant prayer group that meets weekly, as well as men’s and women’s small groups. The churches sponsor Vacation Bible School, support the local food pantry and have a blanket ministry. Additionally, the churches participate in an annual mission trip and work together with neighboring UM churches to repair homes.
 
 

Jack to Serve Fay-West Cooperative Parish

Announced: 03-20-2022
About Charles Jack
Chuck Jack grew up in the mountains of Fayette County on a small farm near Confluence, PA.   He was nurtured by many wonderful Christian mentors while growing up in Johnson Chapel United Methodist Church. After graduation from Turkeyfoot Valley Area High School, he attended Dickinson College and the Candler School of Theology.

Following seminary Chuck returned to the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference and served his first appointment at Creighton.  Later he served Knox and Mt. Joy in Clarion County for 15 years. He has also served Alum Bank, Homestead Park, and most recently Brookville Evangelical United Methodist Church.

During Chuck’s second year at Brookville, he became engaged to Gerry, from West Mifflin, and in 2018 they were married. Chuck will “retire” on July 1, 2022, however because he loves being a minister and wants to continue to serve the Lord with all his strength, he's accepting an appointment to the Fay-West Cooperative Parish.

Chuck has two grown children. His son lives in Altoona with his wife and three children, while his daughter and son-in-law live with their three children in the Boardman, Ohio area. Chuck can’t wait to see what God has in store of the next chapter of his life.
 
 
About Fay-West Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed 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 bringing God’s light to the people of our area.
 
Little Redstone United Methodist Church:  Methodist meetings were held in 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 a brick Church was erected in 1857.  Today the church is 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 to take place.
 
Perryopolis United Methodist Church, located in the territory of the Redstone Circuit Monongahela District, 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 Wester woman, “Although we are small, we are mighty and faithful in our love for thee.”
 

Ken Duffee to Serve Sugarcreek/Grace Charge

Announced: 03-20-2022
About Kenneth L. Duffee
Ken entered pastoral ministry in 1994 as a student pastor and graduated from Ashland Theological Seminary in 2001 and was ordained an Elder in 2004. Currently serving Evans Memorial UMC, his past appointments include: the Greene Hills Parish, Wheatland/Farrell, Emlenton, Clark/ Charleston, and Ringgold/ North Freedom. Ken has served on the Conference Connectional Table, as Chair of the Conference Evangelism Team, on the Franklin District Committee on Ministry and both the Franklin and Kane District committees on Buildings and Location.

Ken and his wife Cindy, a licensed local pastor, have been married for almost 43 years and have three grown children and five grandchildren.

Ken believes that pastoral ministry should be based on Ephesians 4: 11-13, which instructs pastor/teachers to equip “God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” while striving for spiritual maturity in Christ. He also feels that the ministry of the laity is an essential part the church. It is essential to focus on developing and empowering leaders, and creating an environment within the church that is inviting, encouraging and supportive of all of God’s people.  His ministry has been focused on having a visible and supportive presence in the community, developing small group ministries, emphasizing continual spiritual formation through worship, prayer, Bible study, and other forms of Christian training.

Ken has been enormously blessed by God in all of his appointments and service to the church. Although there have been challenges and difficulties, overall, he considers it a privilege and joy to serve God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirt with the churches of the WPA Conference.
 
 
About Sugarcreek/Grace Charge
The Sugarcreek/Grace Charge in the Franklin District includes Grace UMC, Sugarcreek UMC, Oak Hill UMC, Reno UMC and Lupher Chapel UMC. The churches are located in communities north of Franklin.  Each church has its own distinct ministry and outreach in its community, but since the inception of the charge two years ago, all five churches enjoy worshipping, working and fellowshipping together.
 

Meier to Serve Oakmont UMC

Announced: 03-20-2022
About Beth Meier
Beth Meier grew up in North Huntingdon, PA, attending Christ United Methodist Church with her family.  Her church family played a large part in the growth of her faith.  In high school, she began to experience a call to ministry. While attending Grove City College, she majored in Biblical studies, preparing to further her education in seminary.  Shortly after graduation, some major hurdles prevented her from continuing to pursue her call. 

Many years later, God continued to persist in calling her to ministry. She attended Licensing School, and began her first appointment at Saltsburg United Methodist Church in 2015, adding New Alexandria United Methodist Church 18 months later while attending Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  In 2019, Beth was appointed to The United Charge for Christ, a three-point charge in Elderton, in the Indiana District, where she presently serves. 

The mother of three grown children and grandmother of three boys, Beth enjoys spending time with her family, walking her dog, biking, playing tennis, and being outdoors.  She also enjoys leading worship, sharing in ministry inside and outside the walls of the church, and interacting with and welcoming people of all ages, backgrounds, and places.  Together, we are the Church!
 
About Oakmont United Methodist Church
Oakmont United Methodist Church is a vital congregation in a quaint community on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. Easy access to downtown and the Pennsylvania Turnpike make it an ideal place to live. Two notable landmarks are the Oakmont Bakery and Oakmont Country Club, home of numerous U.S. Open golf tournaments. The stated purpose of this church is: to grow in our dedication to the worship of God, the teaching of God’s word and the caring ministry of Christ.  We do this through Jesus’ grace, mercy, and love which we share with the world through our daily living. 

Oakmont UMC has a very active outreach in the area through local missions and the United Methodist Women.  Three church-wide events that generate funds for these ministries are the annual church Christmas Bazaar, caramel-making, and the notorious in-house Mystery Dinner Theatre.

Worship is provided in both traditional and contemporary praise and chorus styles.  Preaching and teaching are presented in classical Biblical based formats where the inspired inerrant word of God is proclaimed.  The emphasis is on living in a vital relationship with Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord. A strong effort is made to minister to children, youth and families.  The care of seniors, the grieving and the sick is also a priority.  All in all, the Oakmont United Methodist Church people strive to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ to all people with a sincere heart for the least, the lost and the lonely.

Siciliano to Serve Pittsburgh: Calvary UMC

Announced: 03-20-2022
About Shane J. Siciliano
Born in Southwest Florida, Shane Siciliano has lived in Western Pennsylvania for most of his life.  He earned his bachelor’s degree and Master of Social Work degree at the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in community organizing and social administration, before graduating from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

In Pittsburgh, Shane worked to collaborate with others in the Downtown area when the only homeless shelter for youth closed.  He helped to establish a new location at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center to provide these youth with housing, employment, and educational services.  As a social worker, Shane worked in McKeesport running HIV/AIDS projects.

Shane has served as pastor of Point UMC and Alum Bank UMC in the Johnstown District.  He is currently vice chair of the Conference Commission on Archives and History.  Shane promotes the sacraments and Kingdom-building and works hard to foster the full inclusion of all people in the church.  His three biggest passions for outreach ministry currently are serving as a camp counselor, helping at-risk families, and organizing collaborations.

Shane spends time visiting his family in Central PA, and he enjoys Marvel movies, tabletop games, and exercise competitions with his best friend.  HIs friends are his family, too, sharing visits and vacations.  Shane has traveled to many states and countries, including mission trips to Mississippi, South Africa, and Lesotho.  He believes that we are all meant to be part of a team, joining to build up God’s Kingdom here on earth.
 
About Pittsburgh: Calvary United Methodist Church
Calvary celebrates its more than 125 years of ministry on the Northside of Pittsburgh. The Calvary chapel opened on Christmas Eve 1893, but the sanctuary was not completed for another two years, in June of 1985, when the official opening services took place. Today Calvary is an active and growing congregation, welcoming everyone, not just to worship services, but as part of its family.  Missional outreach, educational opportunities and excellent musical offerings with concerts and weekly worship generating much excitement and faith-filled energy.
Every year thousands of people visit the historic, nationally archived "parlor cathedral", patterned after the Gothic cathedrals of Europe, but about one-tenth the size. The church is blessed by  the thousands of people who come there for weddings, various programs, concerts and weekly worship services. As its sign proclaims: You are God’s Beloved and you are welcome here!
 

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