2019 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Sorted by Announced Date

Flower Appointed to Clarion First UMC

Announced: 05-05-2019

About John Flower
John holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from West Virginia University. He worked for Mellon Bank, Liberty Mutual, and Metropolitan Corporations, then earned a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, receiving ordination in the Western Pennsylvania Conference.  He has pastored churches in the Washington, Erie-Meadville, Butler, Johnstown, and Greensburg districts. 
 
It was probably in the kindergarten Sunday School class at Emory Methodist Church in East Liberty, Pittsburgh, that John understood the special, secure, relationship of being a child of God.  It was in the elementary boys’ choir of Riverside MC in Columbus, Ohio, that John first learned some of the great hymns, and received his first hymnal.  It was at Christ Methodist in Bethel Park, Pittsburgh, that he was confirmed and sat under the preaching of the Rev. Dr. Harry Peelor, whose gracious attention to youth further nudged John’s spiritual awareness.  College years saw John at Drummond Chapel UMC in Morgantown, and after graduation and a work assignment, it was Rocky River UMC, Cleveland, Ohio, that received this migratory young adult.

 Returning to Pittsburgh and Christ Church, it was at a men’s early morning bible study mentored by Rev. Dr. Brian Bauknight where John received the Lord’s nudge to finally accept the call to ministry.  John left business to attend seminary, and has since pastored a number of wonderful congregations in our Conference, learning from each, and making life-long friends in Christ.  The spiritual path is always before us. 
 
John is married to Lynne. They have two young adult children. Heather graduated from Waynesburg University and is working in the Pittsburgh South Hills.  Andrew is married to Sarah, and they are the parents of the Flower's first grandchild, one-year-old Caleb.  This May Andrew is graduating with an M.Div from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. 
 
About Clarion First United Methodist Church
The vision statement of First UMC in Clarion is: Gather, Glorify, Give, Go and Grow.  First Church does all of those things in ministry to live out their vision. Worship at First Church includes three services on Sunday morning and one on Wednesday evening. The worship styles include both traditional and contemporary. The music program is very strong and includes not only a choir, but “The Messengers”
Praise team.  Outreach into the community and beyond is achieved through a ministry to college students at Clarion University and also supports a very active youth group. The youth, along with other church members, participate in a yearly work camp mission trip. The church hosts a food pantry and supports Family Friendship Bags which provide food for children in the local school district.
 

Haley to Serve Greensburg First UMC

Announced: 05-05-2019

About Kevin Haley
The Rev. Kevin R. Haley was born in Sharon, PA, where he grew in his faith at the Sharon: First UM Church.  Kevin, a/k/a Rev Kev, answered his call to ministry while a student at Mercer Area High School.  He majored in communicative arts, with an emphasis in theater and speech, at Grove City College. There he met the love of his life Amy, his wife of 37 years. He earned his Master of Divinity degree at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

Kevin served as a student intern pastor in the Kennard/Fallowfield area near Greenville while in college and as a student associate pastor in Beavercreek OH. He has served in full-time ministry in inner city Wilkinsburg; Dunlo and Mineral Point in the mountains east of Johnstown; New Stanton (where he helped to build a new church facility), North Huntingdon, Warren, and is currently in Clarion.

Kevin and Amy have two adult children: Christopher, a philosophy lecturer at Waynesburg University and at CCAC:West Mifflin campus, is married to Julie, the former Director of Admissions at Asbury Heights in the South Hills; Gregory is a chef with a strong love for music.  As an infant, Kevin was adopted. He draws great insight from the idea that Christians are the adopted sons and daughters of the living God, and delights that in the past year, he discovered and met his biological mother and four siblings.
 
Kevin’s interests, beyond sharing the love of Jesus with anyone and everyone, include singing, Christian camping, stained glass, carpentry, computer graphic design and yard work. A survivor of three types of cancer, Kevin cherishes a key Scripture as his life verse:  “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).  He looks forward to life and ministry at First United Methodist Church in Greensburg, returning to a district that he knows and loves and considers his second home!
 
 
About Greensburg First United Methodist Church
The First United Methodist Church of Greensburg grew out of class meetings held in the home of Samuel Bushfield in 1799.  Services were held in homes or public buildings until 1833 when the first church building was constructed. Two hundred twenty years later, after times of construction and re-construction, extensive remodeling and expansion, the congregation worships in a beautiful early English Gothic building.  The church continues to identify vital ways to serve the congregation, the city and region.
 
Three services are offered each week: EKKLESIA- a contemplative, Communion service of Word & song on Saturday evening at 7 pm;  and traditional services at 8:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sunday. 
 
At FUMC, there are many opportunities for members to expand their faith and share God’s love. There is a strong music program that includes—chancel choir, a hand bell choir, the chancel chanters, the children’s chimes, and the halo youth choir. There is Sunday School for all ages; a children’s “Kids Rock” program on Thursday evenings, and Vacation Bible School in the summer. A youth group meets on Sunday evenings, and participates in a “Summer of Fun” program. Bible classes are led by the Pastor on weekdays, and anyone can participate. Also, the church reaches out directly to help the community through a Food Bank and the SPARK Mission programs. Each year a crèche show involves not only the congregation, but the community. The United Methodist Women sponsor fundraisers to support a holiday meal voucher ministry, a backpack for kid’s ministry, and a ministry to provide funeral luncheons. There are so many opportunities to become involved at this busy church!
 
 
 
 

Hodges to Serve Heritage UMC

Announced: 05-05-2019

About Frank Hodges
Pastor Frank Hodges was raised in a small town in Warren County.  Early in his Christian life he volunteered with the youth in his local church, and during that time he received his calling to ministry.  A second-career pastor, he currently serves Hickory UMC in Hermitage.  He is a graduate of Asbury College with a BA in Bible, and earned his Master of Divinity degree at  Asbury Seminary.

During his college years, he served with and was mentored in youth ministry by David “Duffy” Robbins.  He then became the youth pastor at the Frankfort UM Church in Kentucky, where he served for five years.  In each of the churches he has served, Frank has built a “praise band” and established a contemporary service. he has enjoyed playing the guitar and singing for 45 years. 

Frank is passionate about spiritual formation. and he has developed six different classes to aid people in their discipleship process.  His greatest joy is watching people grow stronger in their faith by connecting with Jesus.  He has a love for God’s word and has written 17 commentaries on different books of the Bible.  Teaching is also a passion.  His life verse is  John 2:5 “Do whatever He tells you.” This is a verse he hangs in every office he’s occupied. 

Frank has been married to Judi Hodges for 44 years. They have three sons and three granddaughters. 

 
About Heritage UMC, Ligonier
A letter from Methodism founder John Wesley, postmarked Bristol, England and dated September 19, 1788, authorized the Ligonier Methodist Episcopal Church. Started by Jacob Seaton and Lasley Mathews, the congregation grew and was forced to relocate multiple times, until, in 1857, it found a home on the Ligonier Diamond. The church that stands there today was built in 1903, and has a Community Building that was constructed in 1961. The name changed to Heritage United Methodist Church in 1968, when two local churches merged. The congregation's Heritage is long and deep in the Ligonier Valley, and its vision for the future is to continue to serve the Lord for generations to come.
 
The church has always been built community. Now its Community Building is home to many groups and activities that allow the Ligonier area to thrive. Meals-on-Wheels prepares meals in the kitchen for shut-ins, regardless of church affiliation. Many evenings Cub and Girl Scouts run through the halls heading to troop meetings.  The Westmoreland County Office of Vocational Rehabilitation assists individuals with disabilities to prepare for and obtain employment.  Three chapters of Alcoholics Anonymous meet in the there. The Business and Professional Women’s Club, Serrv Shop (Sales Exchange for Refugee Rehabilitation and Vocation), The Blackburn Center (for victims of domestic violence) and Justice Works (Westmoreland County agency resource for families in distress) also use the building on a regular basis.

Heritage is in the final engineering stage of a 4-year renovation project to become ADA compliant and concurrently focusing on energy efficiency and safety. Construction is expected to begin later this year. When the project is completed, the congregation anticipates growth within the church, as well as an increase in community involvement.
 
The church has a very active and growing youth program, a strong focus on Outreach/Missions; involvement with The Association of Churches; and a growing and enthusiastic music ministry.  Saturday evening contemporary service and two traditional Sunday morning services are offered, along with Sunday School classes for all age groups. 
    
Heritage United Methodist Church is a Christ centered fellowship of believers who seek to glorify God through the study of His Word, active service, meaningful worship, living witness and loving outreach. Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
 

Lawton Appointed to Coraopolis UMC

Announced: 05-05-2019

About Dennis Lawton
Dennis Lawton has 24 years in ministry to congregations in Washington DC, Western PA and North West Ireland.  He has worked as a generalist in rural and small-town multi-point congregations much of that time.  He grew up on a small family farm near Erie, leaving to get his education in the city – Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and Wesley Seminary in the nation’s Capital. 
 
His gifts of creative communications, teaching, and hospitality have served his personal calling of connecting people to God and within the faith community.  His education and ministry have taken him to various parts of Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  Always, the church was present – the people of God of whom we all are and play a part.
 
As board chair of Wesley Woods, he encouraged the connection with our local churches as well as broader partnerships with other groups. He is currently laboring to create a clergy/laity balanced ministerium group among the congregations in Linesville to better coordinate food bank, backpack program and youth tutoring, firmly believing that the mission we set ourselves to do together will not be lasting without a faith community at its center.
 
Dennis and Doreen began ministry together in 1996 following their wedding in her village church in Tipperary. They have two children: Devon will be a senior at Allegheny College, where she is studying History, minoring in Middle Eastern studies and Languages (Arabic and German).  Owen will soon be graduating high school and heading to Air Force basic training in San Antonio, Texas.
 
About Coraopolis UMC
Coraopolis UMC is one of the busiest churches family-sized church anywhere. It is regionally known for its outsized music program, which includes a 20+ SATB Choir, a 10+ voice women’s chorale, a handbell choir, a men’s chorale and a widely-traveled local music director. In addition, the Lisa Rae Music Studio housed in the church contributes scores of anthems by student musicians during services.

CUMC is also known for its meal ministries, which include a free monthly community dinner, a free Community Thanksgiving Dinner that serves hundreds, and an expanding Meals-on-Wheels program that serves approximately 50 clients daily. In addition, CUMC hosts a large AA group and two NA groups, an N-Zone Chapter (teaches young children sports and social/emotional-health skills), and the Pittsburgh Youth Choir.

The church has a creative Sunday School for children taught by a half-dozen adult teaching teams, an active adult S.S. class and a 75 percent participation rate of serving in ministry by attending members.  Worship is “warmly liturgical,” with a joyful spirit, laughter and reverence marking each gathering. The congregation is inclusive and affirming. They welcome all to Love, to Grow and to Serve with them as they follow Jesus.

 
 

McCall to Serve Somerset First

Announced: 05-05-2019

About David N. McCall
David McCall has worked as a science teacher, junior high principal, and youth pastor for 25 years. He is currently on staff at the Milford United Methodist Church, and, as a lay person, will be assigned by the Bishop to serve Somerset First UMC as part of the Rockwood Charge Teaching Parish. 

David is the author of From Tragedy to Triumph, a book on his experience as a volunteer to Flight 93 families.  David has been married to Patricia for 50 years and has three grown sons, all happily married, with five grandchildren ranging in age from 18 months to 15 years.  David is an avid reader, fisherman and chip carver. 
 
About Somerset First UMC
Somerset First United Methodist Church was an outgrowth of Saint John’s Church, which was one mile southwest of Somerset.  In 1887 a Class was organized.  A building was erected in 1890 and enlarged and remodeled in 1916.  In 1929 Saint John’s merged with Somerset: First.  In 1956 an educational unit was erected behind the church.  Currently the church is working on a mutual plan for ministry and will be part of the Rockwood Teaching Parish.
 

Stark to Serve Confluence Ecumenical Parish

Announced: 05-05-2019

About Valerie D. Stark
Rev. Valerie Stark began her ministry as a lay servant filling the pulpit in the Meyersdale Charge in 2013.  She received the call to become a licensed pastor in 2014.  She has been serving as a part-time local pastor in the Confluence Parish, which consists of Casselman, Confluence, Harnedsville and Sansom Chapel, since 2014.  She loves serving these small churches and sharing her love of God with them. She serves as Senior Pastor of the Parish and also has a full-time job at a local resort. 

Valerie and her husband, Bob Hoerner live near Confluence and have five children and nine  grandchildren, who they love to spend time with.

Valerie is attending Course of Study at Springheights in Spencer, WV and enjoys getting to know the other pastors there. 
 
About Confluence Ecumenical Yoked Parish
Turkeyfoot Valley Baptist Church:
The Turkeyfoot Valley Baptist Church is part of the American Baptist Churches USA, ABCOPAD Mission (Pennsylvania-Delaware). The First Baptist Church of Confluence was organized on August 30, 1909. A brick church was built on the cornerstone laid in 1911 through the generosity of Hulda Mountain and other early members. The church was dedicated in 1912. Its windows are art glass memorials to its ministers and early members. The church joins the Confluence Ecumencial Yoked Parish with Valerie Stark as pastor on May 5, 2019.

About Casselman UMC:
The Casselman Church, located in the village of the same name, is three miles southwest of Rockwood, PA The Casselman Class was organized in 1892 with eight members.  Services were previously held in an old building in the village. The board of trustees erected the one room frame building at the cost of $1,500 and it was dedicated on July 31, 1892.  The church is the only one in the village of Casselman.

About Confluence UMC:
In 1871 the pastor of the Addison charge was asked by some Methodists in Confluence to hold services in the community.  The first service as held in a vacant building on the bank of the Casselman River. He also held several open-air services in the town park.  From there the congregation moved to the Cook Building on Oden St.  A Sunday School was organized May 8, 1872 and this spurred the erection of the first Church building, which was dedicated in December 1872.  Action was taken by the Official Board on March 5, 1905 to build a new Church and the present brick church building was completed late that year. The Sanctuary was renovated, and a new organ was purchased in 1947. 

About Harnedsville UMC:
Harnedsville Evangelical Congregation started about 1870 in a log school house at Walker’s Mill. In 1910, a new church was built in the village of Harnedsville.  It was dedicated as the “Memorial United Evangelical Church” and is the church still used today.  In 1946, The Evangelical Church merged with the church of United Brethren in Christ to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church.  In 1968 the Methodist church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church united and became the United Methodist Church.

About Sansom Chapel UMC:
Sansom Chapel is located in Farmington, PA along the historic National Pike.  The first Class was organized in 1841 at the Potter School House and services were held at several places in Wharton Township. In 1855 the pastor of the Addison Circuit, organized the group as the Sansom Chapel congregation, with the Smith School House on the National Pike as the meeting place. Sansom, known as "The Sweet Singer of the Conference" was a charter member of the Pittsburgh Conference. The first Church was built in 1857 on the north side of the National Road, one-half mile east of the Smith School House. It burned in 1898 and the School was again used for services until 1905, when a new church was built on the south side of Route 40, one-fourth of a mile west of the Smith School House. In 1968 it became a part of the Ohiopyle Circuit
 
 

Stiver to Serve Mahaffey Parish

Announced: 05-05-2019

About Gregory Stiver
Greg was born and raised just outside of Punxsutawney in the town of Coolspring and grew up in the  small family church there.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities with a concentration in Art from Clarion University.  He graduated from the Course of Study in Spring Heights, WV in 2014 and has been a pastor for 23 years. He is a strong believer in the Scriptures and Faith.  All his life he has followed Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

Greg has been married to his wife Bridget for eight years.  She is a Certified Lay Minister.  Together, God has blessed Greg and Bridget with five children and six grandchildren, whom they enjoy spending time with.  

Greg has served many churches throughout the conference in 23 years and currently is serving Johnstown Christ UM Church in the Johnstown District. 
 
God has blessed Greg with artistic ability and he's done many drawings of churches, buildings and other subjects. He says that God blessed all of us with so many churches and buildings and, because places change so much, he explains, “I want to try to bring these old buildings back, at least on paper.”  A few years ago, Greg was featured in a Johnstown Tribune-Democrat story headlined, “Passion to Preserve, Pastor Gives Life to Old Buildings-on paper."  Greg’s parents were a great influence in his ministry and now in all of Greg’s drawings. He places white clouds to represent his mother, who went to her heavenly home In February 2017.

One of Greg’s passions is to bring lost souls to Jesus Christ. He continues to follow Christ’s command in Matthew 18:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
 
 
 
 
About Mahaffey Area Larger Parish
The Mahaffey Area Larger Parish includes four small churches: Glen Campbell, Mahaffey, New Washington, and Smithport UM churches. 

J. Kimmel to serve Jefferson Avenue/West Washington

Announced: 04-28-2019

About James W. Kimmel
The Rev. James W. Kimmel was born and raised just outside of Indiana, PA, and spent the first 26 years of his life at Trinity UMC of Indiana, where he was involved in the Sunday school, a certified lay speaker, and a Disciple Bible Study leader. Married since 2002 to Melody, who is also a United Methodist pastor, Jim is a doctoral student at Ashland Theological Seminary.  He has taught Disciple as well as classes in Wesleyan heritage for several years in the local church and in the district school of lay servant ministries. He believes that the renewal of the Church in the Wesleyan tradition is to be found in recovering the beliefs and practices of the early Methodists: searching the Scriptures, understanding the basics and exploring the richness of the Christian faith (especially through Christian Believer study groups), following the General Rules, participating in small groups, and singing and meditating upon the rich hymnody of John and Charles Wesley. From these disciplines meant to enrich the heart and mind of the Christian disciple, God empowers those disciples to reach out in reflecting Jesus’ light of hope and love to the individuals and the community that surrounds them.
 
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2a) has been Jim’s guiding verse for many years. The transformative love of Jesus Christ found Jim not long after he graduated from high school and has been continually calling him further along the journey of sanctification, making more room in his heart for God to be more at work in him and through him. As the Holy Spirit continues to work, he continues to follow — better at some times than others -- the upward call of Christ Jesus. Disciples together in community can and do encourage one another and pray for one another all along the journey, and Jim believes firmly in the Church as the safe space where all can grow in God’s grace and become ever more who God created them to be.
 
Jim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with a double minor in Pre-Law and Intelligence Analysis and Evaluation. He graduated with a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Licensed as a local pastor in 2002, commissioned in 2004, and ordained in 2007, Jim has previously been appointed to the Templeton/Kellersburg/Widnoon Charge, Emerickville, West Middlesex, the Big Bend/Emlenton/Old Zion Charge, and the Cranberry/Rockland/Van Charge.
 
About Jefferson Avenue/West Washington
Located in the heart of downtown Washington, Jefferson Avenue and West Washington United Methodist churches are strategically positioned to serve the needs of the greater Washington community and they do just that!  Known for their outreach and partnership with City Mission, shared Thanksgiving, Christmas gatherings and other outreach ministries, including hosting the Washington High School baccalaureate service, together the churches faithfully do all the good they can for all the people they can to carry out the mission and ministry of Christ to everyone near and far. Resolved to be “change agents” in their community, both churches seek to address hunger and healthcare needs, dismantle racism, engage in justice ministries, and disciple principled Christian leaders.  In addition to Sunday morning worship, Jefferson Avenue also offers a Saturday evening worship service.  Both communities of faith are known for their open arms and their willingness to try new things instead of doing things the way they’ve always been done!  With strong, gifted lay leaders, they get things done!  Both churches also place great value on authentic, loving relationships, built on trust and truth.
 

M. Kimmel appointed to United in Christ Charge

Announced: 04-28-2019

About Melody L. Kimmel
The Rev. Melody L. Kimmel was born in Meadville and raised in Kingsville, Ohio, 15 minutes off Lake Erie. She has been Baptist, Presbyterian, and United Methodist, and spent time in local church ministry and in retail before answering God’s call to full-time Christian service.

Melody has an Associate of Arts degree and a Bachelor of General Studies with concentration in psychology and sociology from Kent State University. She earned a Master of Divinity from Methodist Theological School in Ohio after attending classes at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where she met her husband Jim. The Kimmels have been married since 2002. She completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education from the Samaritan Counseling Center in New York.

Licensed in 2012 and commissioned in 2016 as a Provisional Elder, Melody has served as pastor of the Robinson Memorial Chapel, the Clintonville United Methodist Charge, and the New Covenant United Methodist Charge made up of Callensburg, Parker: First, Perrsyville and West Freedom, all in the Franklin District.

Focused on doing "what God has called me to do," she is passionate about sharing God's Word.  Melody is personable by nature and describes herself as someone who can relate to people of all ages.  Melody’s spiritual gifts for ministry include wisdom, mercy, craftsmanship, and knowledge. Excited about pastoral ministry in the local church, Melody’s hope is that others will identify the gifts God has given them and use those gifts “to do what God has called them to do”!
 
About United in Christ Charge
The “United in Christ” Charge is a three-point charge in the Washington District.  Made up of Canonsburg First, Meadow Lands and Fawcett churches, United in Christ is a “true to its name”!  Working and serving collaboratively to serve Christ and their  communities together under the leadership of called lay servants, the churches are actively engaged in mission and ministry in their neighborhoods and beyond!  Known as churches where the love of Christ can be found, where spiritual and other support are received, and where people can find a place to call home, the churches are committed to Christian discipleship for all ages and doing all they can to make the love of Christ known!   
 

Penrod to serve as Connellsville Co-op Associate

Announced: 04-28-2019

About Jeri Penrod
Jeri grew up in Somerset County where he attended Jennerstown United Methodist Church before moving to Columbus, Ohio into his early 20’s.  There he met and married Tabitha Cantrell. The couple attended Linworth United Methodist Church until they moved back to Somerset County. He began serving the churches of the Meyersdale Charge as associate pastor in 2014 and has been senior pastor there since 2015.

Jeri received his call into ministry while working on a Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling at Liberty University and transferred to Asbury Theological Seminary before entering the Course of Study program. God has blessed Jeri and Tabitha with four wonderful children: Chloe, 8, twins Andrew and Clara, 4, and Ananias, 6 months. Jeri and Tabitha are excited to serve Jesus and go where the Lord calls them.
 
Jeri’s passion in ministry is in youth and young adults, helping to develop a defense of their faith that shares the love of Jesus for all. This passion reaches all ages of the church, helping to grow and encourage each other in faith in Christ. Jeri is committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ and God’s plan of salvation as it is revealed in the Old and New Testaments. Because of this, Jeri is driven to continue learning with the help of the Holy Spirit from God’s word and people.
 
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish

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

Davistown Indian Head:   Begun possibly as early as 1814, it was organized in 1831 as a member of the Evangelical Association.  A frame building was erected in 1845, known as Bethlehem Evangelical church.  On May 2, 1929 it was wrecked by a tornado.  Plans were made to rebuild.  A brick building on the opposite side of the road was dedicated on June 22, 1931.
 
Greenwood, Connellsville:  The original planning for a Church in this section of Connellsville was done in the Crawford School Building, after a split with the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Connellsville, over the choice of where a new church was needed and should be built.   McKeesport District Superintendent Reverend John J. Hill organized Greenwood on May 11, 1921 in the Old Greenwood School house on the West Side.  The corner stone for the new church was laid June 14, 1922.  I was dedicated on May 26, 1926.  Built from native stone the Church presents an inviting appearance, Gothic structure being careered out in both exterior and interior building.
 
Mill Run:  Mill Run UMC is located on PA Rte. 381 in the community of Mill Run. The congregation worships in a modern facility. The worship service begins at 11:00 am on Sunday morning.The people at Mill Run support various missions, families in need and provide meals both delivered and in the church.  A winter coat drive and a shoe box collection are annual events held at the church. Mill Run UMC and Indian Creek Baptist Church worship together Sunday evening in a combined service at 7:00 pm during the school year and at 7:30 pm during the summer. The worship site alternates between the two church. Mill Run UMC is a member of the Fayette County Sunday School Association.

 Mount Salem:  The first services were held in the home of Jeremiah Stouffer.  In1868 the services were moved to the Stouffer School House.  The church was built in 1881 as the Stouffer Evangelical Association Church.  Additions to the church were made in 1959 and 1967.  The church in enjoys serving Easter breakfast and having community campfires.
 
Normalville:  As early as 1825 the Rev. James Green Sansom occasionally preached at the house of Solomon Kern.  A class was formed and preaching services were held in the schoolhouse.  In 1844 a society was formed and a house of worship was built.  In the fall of 1863 it was consumed by fire lit by the hands of an incendiary, which was refused the hand of fellowship owing to his failure to observe its ordinances.  Again the meetings were held in schoolhouses and in the United Brethren Church until a new frame church as build in 1881.

Ohiopyle: Ohiopyle UMC is located at Sherman St. in the borough of Ohiopyle. The community of Ohiopyle is a tourist destination with the Youghihaney River running through the town. Outdoor activities, nearby camping and white water rafting draw people to Ohiopyle. Though the congregation is small – it offers assistance to support organizations and its strength is fellowship among its members.

Otterbein, Connellsville:  Otterbein was organized in January 1901 with services held at Kooser’s Hall and Stader’s Hall.  The Church was dedicated February 1, 1903.  Originally, First Church, it became Otterbein Church in 1970 with the merger and on January 1, 1974 merged with Central Church which was destroyed by a fire and became the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  The church holds the trust funds for the Connellsville Area Community Ministries.

 Pennsville:  The first class meeting (United Evangelical) was organized February 10, 1897 with 16 members.  First services were held in the brick Union Meeting House.  The Little Church on the Hill was dedicated in October 1899.

 Pleasant Hill:  Pleasant Hill also known as Springfield: Pleasant Hill because of its history on the Springfield Circuit first held its meeting about 1875 in a schoolhouse  In 1889 a Church was built.  An educational unit was added in 1955.  The church loves singing and studying God’s Word.

 Wesley, Connellsville:  A Methodist Class was formed in the home of Zachariah Connell, for whom Connellsville is named, in the 1790’s.  It was a preaching place on the Pittsburgh Circuit.  When Pittsburgh was made a Station in 1811 Connellsville became the head of the Circuit.  It continued to have various Circuit relationship until 1863 when it became a station appointment.  The fir Church was a stone building.  Bishop Francis Asbury dedicated the partially completed binding on July 10, 1808. The church grew several other church buildings were built until it moved to its present location on Pittsburgh Street in 1925. 

Wesley, Dunbar:  In 1876 a group of persons from Dunbar community who were going to Connellsville to worship field that there were enough of them to form their own congregation in Dunbar.  At first they met in the YMCA.  In 1881 they moved their meeting place to a School House.  They laid the cornerstone for a Church building on July 9, 1887 and it was dedicated on November 17 of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.
 

Becky Edwards to Serve Tanoma, Creekside UMC

Announced: 04-07-2019

About Rebecca L. Edwards
The Rev. Becky Edwards will serve a newly aligned charge made up of Creekside, where she has served as pastor since 2016, and Tanoma UMC.  Becky's mission is to bring the truth of the Gospel to those in the church and community and to help in making disciples of Jesus Christ. Becky has a background in counseling and is known as a caring and relational pastor, a good listener able to work with a variety of people. She supports the ministry of laity, supporting them as they lead in a variety of ways. She encourages participation in lay ministry schools. Becky is experienced in working with children and youth and also spends time visiting the elderly and those who are hospitalized. 
About Tanoma/Creekside UMCs
Tanoma United Methodist Church is in a rural area of Indiana County between Indiana, Marion Center, and Clymer. The church has a more than 100-year history serving an agricultural community. The congregation enjoys doing mission projects like Samaritan’s Purse and supporting a local family at Christmas. The church participates in Son Day in the Park, a weekend Christian music festival in Clymer held in August. The church has a vibrant adult Sunday school class. Prayer and sharing God’s love is a mission and way of life for this community.

Creekside UMC has long been active in community and regional outreach ministries and more recently also has focused on the  spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, and devotional Bible reading.  Small groups and new Sunday School groups have been formed. 
 

Caleb Fugate to Serve New Charge

Announced: 04-07-2019

About Caleb Fugate
 Born and raised in Punxsutawney, PA, Caleb Fugate was called into ministry at a very young age. Through connections he forged with clergy and laity serving as a page at Annual Conference each year, he felt a call. He first attended lay preaching school at the age of 15 and later studied theology and communications at Messiah College. After graduating, he started his M.Div studies at Duke Divinity School, where he will graduate in the spring of 2019.

Caleb has a passion for college ministry and camping ministry. He has been involved with college ministry throughout his time at Messiah and Duke, leading small groups, supervising an undergraduate dorm, and providing oversight to the college ministry at the church he attends in Durham, NC. He has also been heavily involved in camping ministry at Seneca Hills Bible Camp, where he served for six years. It was during his time working at camp that his call into the ministry became clear and since then he has continued to support camping ministries. 

Caleb served as a pastoral intern at Fairview United Methodist Church in NC (2017), and New City Church Plant in Minneapolis, MN (2018). He enjoys spending time outdoors, hunting, fishing, playing sports, playing the guitar and knitting.
 
About Clymer First/Diamondville UMCs, Indiana Grace campus ministry
Clymer First and Diamondville United Methodist churches are northeast of Indiana in Indiana County. Both have a rich history in their communities dating back more than 100 years. The churches have active women’s ministries. Both churches participate in Son Day in the Park, a Christian music festival in Clymer held the first weekend in August. The Clymer First UMC has an active children’s ministry and is the only church in the community that hosts VBS annually. The church offers junior church and a welcoming time before worship with coffee and conversation. There are Sunday Fun Days in Clymer First, too! It's is a time of fellowship and fun after worship. Diamondville UMC has missional ministries supporting local school students and homeless veterans. The church has a lively adult Sunday school with worship and the word.

Indiana Grace UMC is in the heart of Indiana, just one block from the IUP Campus.  The church has a long history of outreach to the university.  Opportunities abound for student fellowship, retreats, road trips and other planned events.  Believing that worship takes many forms, the church seeks out ways to serve, both within the community and abroad.  University students regularly join mission teams to Mexico, Puerto Rico and Tennessee during Spring and Winter breaks.   Students also participate in the Master’s Jazz Ensemble, Sounds of Grace Orchestra, Worship Teams and Chancel Choir. 
 

Courtemanche To Serve as Chippewa Associate

Announced: 04-07-2019

About Tai Courtemanche
Tai Courtemanche was raised in Zelienople, PA. As a result of the faithful witness of family, an incredible youth program and leaders in her home church, and annual trips to either Horse Camp or One Way Camp at Wesley Woods, she came to a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ. She knew she was called to ministry in the church and so she pursued and received her degree in Christian Education from West Virginia Wesleyan College. She took her first job as a Director of Christian Education at Christ UMC in Wheeling, West Virginia.  There she learned the beauty of the connectional system from the WV Annual Conference.

Her ministry then took her back to Western PA as the Children’s Ministry Director at Butler First UMC. It was there that God made it clear it was finally time for her to attend seminary. She received her MDiv from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in May of 2012. In August of that same year she married her husband Sean. After a time in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, Tai and Sean were called to ministry in Western PA, serving her first appointment as a Commissioned Elder, the Fishertown Charge in Bedford County. It is Tai’s desire to build relationships with others that build the kingdom of God. She has recently been invited to add her voice as a mentor to Unstoppable, young women in the WPAUMC whose mission is: “Learning the issues, finding your voice, and changing the world.” 
 
About Chippewa UMC
Chippewa United Methodist Church is a historic church that is always growing and adapting to the times.  The church began in the spring of 1796 with preaching in the Powers home attended by the Powers, Thomas Stratton and James Welch families under the leadership of the Ohio Circuit preachers. By 1800 the Abraham Powers house was a regular preaching place until a Church was erected. This was the first Methodist Class north of the Ohio River. Today Chippewa UMC speaks the Word of God through worship and teaching, shares the love of Jesus through vibrant ministry with young people and makes the Kingdom of God visible through missions and outreach.  Worshipping around 350-400 persons in four different worship services each weekend, Chippewa is alive and growing.
 

Meier to Serve Realigned Elderton Charge

Announced: 04-07-2019

About Beth Ann Meier
Having been faithfully raised by her family in the United Methodist Church, Beth Ann Meier came to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at the age of 12.  Within a few years, she experienced a strong call on her life to go into ministry.  After completing her undergraduate studies at Grove City City College and prepared to continue on to Seminary, circumstances changed her plans. 

Beth has three children and three grandchildren.  About 10 years ago, God called her back from her wandering, and renewed her call into ministry. She became a Licensed Local Pastor in 2015 and has served at Saltsburg First United Methodist Church since then, and at New Alexandria United Methodist Church since 2017. Nearing graduation from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, she looks forward to dedicating her life to full-time ministry. 

In retrospect, she realizes that her life experiences have afforded her greater insight and compassion for others.  Building relationships with those in the church, among the members, and with those in the community is vital to the growth and furthering of faithful and fruitful ministry.  Beth looks forward to beginning this new opportunity for sharing God’s Word and love with those to whom she has been called.  
 
About Elderton Charge
The new Elderton Charge includes Elderton, Mt. Zion in Elderton and Cochran's Mills UMCs in  southern Armstrong County. The congregations have worked together with two others for the past 11 years proclaiming the gospel through Vacation Bible School, Kids Club, local mission projects and helping those in need in their communities, all with their eyes on Jesus Christ. They look forward to what God brings them in the future. 

Pope to Serve New Charge

Announced: 04-07-2019

About Ed Pope
As a recently retired Full-Time Local Pastor, Ed’s continued desire to serve Jesus and proclaim Jesus’ love is not something he was able to lay down. When asked by his Superintendent in 2018 to serve as a preaching pastor along with another clergyperson serving on the District, Ed was grateful for the opportunity and, having talked with Jesus and with wife Bonnie, Ed said “yes”!  Now  10 months later, Ed is still saying “yes” and will serve the newly created charge made up of the Beallsville/Centerville/Taylor United Methodist churches beginning July 1.
 
 An architect by profession, Ed has served the Annual Conference as a Local Pastor since 2002.  In the years since his first appointment, Ed has served the North Shore Community as an associate; Braddock: Muhleman Memorial, and, prior to his retirement, Greenock UMC.
 
Ed’s relationship with The United Methodist Church began in high school. Ed’s wife’s mom and dad were two people he credits for his relationship with Christ. Others have also made significant contributions along the way to who Ed is today, including Pastor John Zimmerman under whose care Ed sat while attending PortVue United Methodist Church in the late 1990s.  It was also in the late ‘90s that Ed enrolled in Geneva College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Ministry.  In 2001 Ed attended Local Pastor’s Licensing School.  The rest is history.  It’s also Ed’s future as he continues to say “yes” to Jesus!  
 
Ask Ed what his purpose in life is and his answer is simple: “To live a life pleasing to God”. For as long as he can, Ed’s desire is “to do as much for Jesus as he can.” Ed is a gifted preacher and teacher whose preaching style is both engaging and conversational.  Passionate about discipleship, especially adult discipleship and missional outreach, Ed is an encourager with a pastor’s heart who lives his life by faith.  To quote Ed, “God has never let me down!” 
 
 
About Beallsville/Centerville/Taylor Charge
Beginning with the upcoming appointment year, Beallsville/Centerville/Taylor will be a newly formed charge on the Washington District. Currently a part of a five-point charge with Mariana UMC and Mt. Zion UMC, the churches are located near one another along historic Route 40 in Washington County. Each of the churches has an active lay ministry program, lay leaders and lay speakers “committed to proclaiming – through both word and deed – the transforming message of the Gospel of Jesus in their communities and beyond." As individual churches each congregation brings its own unique gifts and opportunities moving forward.  Together, the churches also share a rich history of collaboration and partnering with each other enabling them to do more “together” than any one church could do on its own.
 

Rogosky to Serve Erie: Wesley UMC

Announced: 04-07-2019

About Debra P. Rogosky
Debra Rogosky, nee Palmer, was born and raised in a small mining community in southwest Pennsylvania. She was the oldest of eight children. She has been married to Edward for nearly 41 years and together they raised three children. A University of Pittsburgh graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the humanities, she earned both a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. 

Deb faithfully serves our Triune God in pastoral ministry., currently at  the United In Christ Charge in the Washington District, where she lives with her husband and son, Jonathan. Their daughter Brandey Eberhard resides in Greensburg and their son Justin resides with his wife Amy and children Gwendolyn and Liam in Buckhannon, WV.

Deb answered her call to pastoral ministry later in life. Bur she always was involved in ministry in her church and neighborhood by helping connect others to Jesus.   She served the Western PA Conference as chairperson of the Children’s Ministry Team for six years, chair of The Board of Church and Society for five years, and as co-chairperson of the Anti-Racism Team (ART) for five years. She serves on the Washington District Lay Servant Ministry Committee and the Washington District  Committee on Ministry as registrar. Deb is looking forward to continuing to serve God through the church in her new appointment.
 
About Wesley UMC
Wesley UMC Church is in an urban suburb of Erie.  The congregation has many vital ministries that reach out to the local community and to the world beyond.  All age levels are important at Wesley.  There is a strong youth and children’s ministry and an older adult group called “Keenagers.”  A free community meal, a food pantry and camperships for community youth are all a part of Wesley’s ministry to its neighborhood. The congregation has a rich tradition of evangelical faith sharing, global mission support, ministry with the poor and intentional disciple making through small groups and Bible studies. In 2017, Wesley Church received the One Matters Discipleship Award from UMC Discipleship Ministries and the Conference for making significant progress in increasing professions of faith and baptisms by “creating an atmosphere of reproducible discipleship through hospitality, intentionality and love.”

In the last year, the leadership team went through a visioning process and has developed a plan for ministry based upon the Core Values of Love, Personal Transformation, Community, Risk Taking and Celebration.  This vision will drive the ministry of Wesley forward as it seeks to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Wesley ​offers both contemporary and traditional worship services on Sunday mornings. 
 

Sandra Conti to Serve New Marianna/Mt. Zion Charge

Announced: 04-07-2019

About Sandra K. Conti
Like many pastors, Sandra Conti’s call from God came at a young age. Sandy grew up in Shippingport Pennsylvania, where she and her mother attended Green Valley United Methodist Church. Sandy gave her heart to Jesus at the foot of the cross at Jumonville when she was 11 years old. However, John Wesley would describe Sandy’s condition from ages 16 to 34 as a back-slider who neglected the means of grace. Therefore, Sandy often refers to herself as a prodigal daughter because of those years she spent in the “Far Country” away from the Father’s voice.  Eventually, Sandy came to her senses and began a journey of discipleship that has lasted a lifetime. Today, she is extremely grateful for the gift of her salvation and sees God primarily as a God of “new beginnings.” Because of her life experiences, Sandy has a tender heart and a calling to minister to those in all forms of recovery.      

Pastor Conti spent most of her adult life in the suburbs of Youngstown, Ohio. In 1977, she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Fine Arts from Kent State University. In 1993, she earned a Master of Science in Education, graduating summa cum laude from Youngstown State University. The first 10 years of Sandy’s teaching career were at a non-denominational Christian high school where she taught science to grades 7-12 and Bible classes. Following this, Sandy spent about 20 years teaching Advanced Placement chemistry, physics and anatomy at two different public high schools in Ohio.

From 1999 to 2010, Pastor Conti and her husband Ed served in the international ecumenical ministry Retrouvaille. As part of a ministry team, the Conti’s led more than 60 weekend seminars in the Northeastern United States and Canada for couples in distressed marital situations. They became the coordinators of the Retrouvaille Program for the Youngstown Diocese. During those years, Sandy and Ed learned what ministry was all about, as they responded to the needs of very hurting couples. Sandy brings with her years of experience in helping couples regain hope and a renewed relationship with God and each other.

In 2009, Sandy and her husband Ed moved to Deemston Borough in Southwestern Pennsylvania.   In 2010, after Sandy retired from teaching, she and Ed attended Mount Zion United Methodist Church. After hearing about Sandy’s call and ministry experience, her pastor quickly recruited her as a lay speaker and encouraged her to attend an Emmaus weekend. The weekend was an impetus for spiritual growth and confirmed the certainty of her call. In 2012, empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, Sandy set aside all her fears and boldly applied for candidacy to become a licensed local pastor.

Pastor Conti began serving Greater Purpose Team Ministry, a six-point charge in August of 2012 as an associate pastor. While there, Sandy led numerous Bible studies, helped with children’s ministries, and facilitated a team of six women who began a Women’s Fellowship. In July of 2016 Sandy was appointed to McDonald and Noblestown UM churches.  Noblestown was in the process of closure, but the closure evolved unexpectedly into a merger.  Many of the Noblestown people felt displaced and were grieving the loss of their church home. The merger required Sandy to have a nurturing leadership style that melded together a wide diversity of gifts and, at times, opposing agendas. Today, McDonald is a church growing both in numbers and in the graceful witness that we serve a God of new beginnings. 

Pastor Conti expects to complete the Course of Study in April 2019. She has taught “Go Preach” at laity school, and was also part of a pilot study on “Witnessing Whiteness”  in the Washington District.  Sandy has also served on the pastoral team for Emmaus and hopes to do more weekends in the future.

Pastor Sandy enjoys both a variety of hobbies and spending time with her husband Ed, who is currently adjusting to the effects of a stroke he suffered in January of 2018. Ed’s illness has made the couple stronger in their love for one another and confirmed their mutual calling for serving God’s people. Ed is wholly committed to serving his Lord Jesus Christ and the churches where Sandy is appointed. Sandy and Ed come as a couple to love and to serve.
 
About Marianna/Mt. Zion Charge
Beginning  July 1, 2019, Mariana/Mt. Zion will be a newly formed charge on the Washington District. Now a part of a five-point charge with Beallsville UMC, Centerville UMC, and Taylor UMC, Mariana and Mt. Zion churches are located near one another and in the historic Route 40 corridor in Washington County. Both churches have active lay ministry programs, lay leaders and lay speakers “whose desire is to do all they can to make Christ known in their immediate communities and beyond”, and to share with the pastor in the ministry of the charge. Together, the two churches offer both traditional and contemporary worship expressions, including a Saturday evening service. Both of the churches are known for the “warmth of their welcome” and “keeping Christ at the center of their life”. 
 

Anette Gerber to Serve Christ Community UMC

Announced: 03-31-2019

About Anette V. Gerber
Born and raised in St. Marys, PA, Anette VanAlstine Gerber was called by God to the ministry at the age of 6 years old.  In the sanctuary of her bedroom, she preached better sermons than Billy Graham (IHHO), baptized her stuffed animals and provided pastoral care for Barbie and Ken whenever they were hospitalized.  She married her husband, John (also UM clergy), and they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last year.  Together, John and Anette have three children (all productive members of society for being double PKs); two sons-in-love, a daughter-in-love; four grandsons and a granddaughter.  Anette is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and Duke University’s Divinity School.  Her hobbies include genealogy, history, social sciences, Celtic Spirituality, embroidery, quilting, and flower gardening.  She serves on the Conference Board of Ministry.  Sharing God’s love and grace is her driving force in life.
 
About Butler: Christ Community UMC
Christ Community United Methodist Church was formed in 1965 in Butler.  Services were held in the Mercer Road Fire Hall until the congregation was able to construct a building.  The congregation moved on December 24, 1970, to their new church home at 205 North Duffy Road where ministry continues today.  From the small group of interested persons who first gathered in the Mercer Road Fire Hall the church has grown to a congregation of over 300 members.

Christ Community United Methodist Church is diverse.  The people's backgrounds, views, age, race, and experiences are varied, yet they are united by a desire to deepen their faith together. They are a hospitable congregation.  The church is open to the community as the location for many meetings and community groups.  The congregation is engaged in ministry opportunities and special programs that welcome community members into fellowship.  The church is also home to the Super Sprouts Pre-school.
Christ Community offers worship opportunities of varying styles.  Worship services offer choices between a praise band and hymns; multimedia technology and traditional presentations.  In both worship services the musical choices and readings are aligned with the sermon theme. 

The congregation is active in mission and service, from participation in the local food pantry and community dinners to regular collections for people in crisis through the monthly Red Church offering, to engagement in mission trips and special ministry activities. Their vision is Loving People and Loving God.  Their mission is to create and nurture disciples of Christ and then send them out into the world for Christ.
 

John Gerber Appointed to Cabot UMC

Announced: 03-31-2019

About John Gerber
Born in St. Marys, Pa., living in Blairsville, Pa from age 3 to 12, then moving back to St. Marys, John was raised in the United Methodist Church. John’s high school years evidenced a falling away from worship and God.  Many difficult life experiences and poor life choices led John to the realization that only God could bring order, healing, and purpose to the chaos he had created.  After John gave his life to Christ at age 21, he was given the opportunity to lead a number of Sunday School classes at the St. Marys United Methodist Church.  In the process, John was learning about the redemptive power of God’s infinite love, grace, and mercy.  During this time of change and growth, God blessed John with a gift that would be a source of constant joy and wonder, the gift of Anette VanAlstine, who has been sharing this adventure called life with him ever since. 

After running away from God’s call to ordained ministry to the Emporium United Methodist Church, John finally was willing to obey God’s call.  John served student pastorates at Ceres United Methodist Church in Western Pennsylvania and at Siler City: West End United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference.  After earning an undergraduate degree in psychology, with a minor in Business Administration from Houghton College and a Master of Divinity Degree from The Divinity School at Duke University, John’s first full-time appointment was serving the good people at the Tidioute/East Hickory Charge in the Kane District of the Western Pennsylvania Conference.  Because of John’s love of nature, the outdoors, hunting and fishing, serving God in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest seemed like heaven on earth, and he was truly blessed to serve there for 13 years. John has also been greatly blessed to be in ministry with wonderful people at the Wattsburg/Phillipsville Charge, the YESS God Faith Shared Ministry, Fairview United Methodist Church (Erie County), and his current appointment, the Youngwood: St. Paul/South Greensburg Charge. John and Anette also have been blessed to be parents to three children and grandparents to five.
 
John has a passion for helping people establish a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.  He believes it is essential to cultivate relationships with the people where he is appointed, both within the congregation and in the community at large.  John encourages the people he serves to form vital and meaningful relationships not only with God, but with each other and also with people outside the congregation. In that way, the love and grace of Jesus living in them can add meaning, encouragement, and strength not only to their own lives, but also to the lives of others, drawing them into a relationship with Jesus Christ.  John enjoys and finds meaning in a variety of worship styles and settings. He enjoys working with people of all ages and walks of life, always seeking to cultivate a hunger and passion for knowing, loving, and serving the God Who not only created us, but loves us more that we can ever know or imagine. John is looking forward to working with and among God’s people at the Cabot United Methodist Church and their community, to see what challenges, possibilities, and wonders God has in store for us!
 
About Cabot UMC
In 1823, a small band of pioneers felt led to form a Methodist Class to meet in Cooper Cabin. They eventually built a church at Knox Chapel. From there the Spirit of Jesus beckoned them to the village of Cabot and a wood frame building first built by some Methodist Protestants. In 1921, they constructed a new Church building in the village of Cabot. Eventually an Annex was added, and later the Gayle House was purchased. In the fall of 2002, these followers of Christ left the small building in the village of Cabot and moved into a renovated elementary school just a half-mile down the road. In 2012 construction began on this site for the addition of a sanctuary to help them further their call to make disciples of Jesus in the community. The 285-seat sanctuary contains both the old and the new, as the church bell and stained glass windows from 1921 were incorporated into the construction. On April 20, 2014, the spacious sanctuary welcomed its people for Easter Sunday service. The sprawling building contains multiple classrooms for children, youth and adult education, a multipurpose worship center / fellowship hall / gymnasium, a youth center complete with a recreation room, dedicated space for the community Food Bank, a library and designated prayer chapel; all to aid them further in their call to make disciples of Jesus in their community. Their 196 years of history tell us that people who follow Christ at Cabot have a heritage of looking to the future. They understand that Christ is always calling them to make decisions which will touch a future generation. Their history, passionate fellowship, and radical hospitality bear witness to the power of Jesus Christ to transform lives.
 

Brenda Shaffer Appointed Somerset: Grace Associate

Announced: 03-17-2019

About Brenda J. Shaffer
Brenda was called to service for and with Christ after her acceptance of Christ’s call and baptism at ages 11 and 12.  She grew in her faith at Otterbein UMC, one of the churches in the former HOME Charge.  She was active in many ways, including as worship chair, director of education, choir, editor of the HOME Charge newsletter, Sunday school teacher, lay member of annual conference, etc. 

Brenda was in the process of retiring from the teaching profession when she experienced a call on her life to serve as a pastor. She served Somerset: Beulah UMC as its first woman pastor. It was a new experience for both her and the church. 

Service to God, both in the teaching profession and the ministry, blessed her life immensely.  Blessings continued as she retired and began attending Somerset: Grace UMC.  Again she was an active participant as she served on the finance committee, choir, early church leader, supply pastor, participant in worship as a liturgist and member of the congregation. 

In addition to her church service, Brenda has served her community on the Board of the Somerset County Mobile Food Bank, which provides food to those who are in the low income level.  She is currently serving on the Board of the Next Step Center, which provides housing for people who temporarily do not have a place to live.  Brenda also helps with counseling residents at this facility to assist with their recovery from whatever circumstances caused them to be without shelter.

Brenda married Tom after graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  They have two sons who have also married, providing Brenda and Tom with two daughters-in-love and four grandchildren.  Her life is so much richer because of her family. 

In addition to her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, she also has a Master’s Equivalency Degree from the state of PA, a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology, and her Principal’s Certification.  She completed Course of Study at Duke Seminary in North Carolina.  Lifelong learning has accompanied her throughout her life.  

Brenda has served on various committees at the district and conference levels.  She also taught classes at Lay Servants’ School and led a group of United Methodist pastors from the Somerset County Area in an “incubator” group that met to learn, love, and lead in ministry.

Brenda reports that she asked someone how they were one day and that person said, “Too blessed to be stressed.”  She never forgot that response and how that answer so accurately describes her life.  She has been blessed by her service to Christ, as a person, teacher, and minister; by her family; by her interactions with people; and by her education.  Brenda believes in respect for all people and their current understandings.  As Paul reported that he could be all things to all people and as John Wesley preached, Brenda meets people graciously and appreciates that God is working on all of us.  We have “miles to go before we sleep.”  She trusts God to lead all of us to a more complete understanding of, and relationship with and through Jesus Christ. 

Those blessings have prepared her for her most recent appointment as an Associate Pastor at Somerset: Grace. God’s call on her life continues to bless her as she willingly responds!
 
About Somerset Grace UMC
Grace United Methodist Church in Somerset is a vibrant family of faith which is known for sharing God’s love within and outside the walls of the church.  Grace Church has a strong children’s ministry and youth group, and a music ministry that includes a choir, a guitar group, and a bell choir.  The church supports a variety of local, domestic, and international missions and is historically a leading supporter of the camping ministry, especially at nearby Camp Allegheny. 

Grace Church reaches out to the community in a variety of ways, most visibly by participating in Somerset’s Mountain Crafts Days festival, and feeding hundreds of people twice a year at the “Italian Night Dinners.”  Proceeds from both of these events, along with soup sales and craft bazaars, are given to ministries and community projects ranging from the food pantry to the Somerset oncology center to the Children’s Aid home.  Grace Church has earned a reputation in the community as the “church that helps” because of these ministries.

Grace also cooperates with other local United Methodist churches in the Somerset Cluster, and with many churches in town through a strong local ministerium, the Somerset Area Ministries.  Grace Church has a strong history and a bright future as the family looks to capture God’s vision and step out in faith together.

Pastor Brenda and Tom have been a part of the church for nine years and the congregation is grateful for this new season of ministry in which she will be officially appointed to the ministry team.
 

Gardner to Serve Baldwin Community UMC

Announced: 03-17-2019

About Pamela S. Gardner
Growing up in an Air Force family prepared Pamela Gardner for the itinerant life.  Following her father’s retirement, the family moved to Erie, where Pam graduated from Strong Vincent High School.  After graduation, she attempted to avoid her calling into ministry, which she heard in fifth grade while the family was stationed at Polk AFB, by pursuing a career in Christian Education. 

Attaining a Bachelor of Science in Christian Education, Pam worked briefly in Erie and North Carolina as a Director of CE.  Eventually answering the call, she enrolled in The Theological School at Drew University.   Since this time she has served the Marchand Charge, Creekside-Tanoma, Girard, Slippery Rock and Erie:Wesley United Methodist churches.  
 
Pam currently serves on the Conference Board of Ministry, chairs the Board of Discipleship, the Conference Committee on Disability Concerns and the board of the Erie UM Alliance. Over the years she has served as a Mission Ambassador to the Missionary Conferences, with the Cooperative School of Mission and on Olmsted Manor Board.  Recently she attended the Renovare Institute for Spiritual Formation, studying the works of Dallas Willard and Richard Foster.  
 
In her free time, Pam enjoys embroidery and spending time with her three rescue dogs (Jack, Jasper and Jedd). During the past year, she has enjoyed being the Mid-Eastern Region representative for the Crawford County chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America.  
 
About Baldwin Community UMC
Baldwin Community UMC, a large suburban church in Pittsburgh's South Hills, has a heart for urban ministry and community outreach. Its strengths include worship, discipleship formation, pastoral care, community outreach, strong volunteerism, and outstanding laity leadership.

It offers traditional worship services at 5:30 pm on Saturday, where Communion is celebrated weekly, and on Sunday at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. The Chancel Choir provides an outstanding music ministry at the 11 a.m. worship service. The 9:30 Sunday worship service, called 'Engage," is focused on unique music, imagery, intercessory prayer, discussion, and small groups to spark spiritual passion and connection with community.
 
Baldwin Community collaborates with Eighth Avenue Ministry in Homestead and United Methodist Church Union's school reading and youth mentoring ministry. It engages the community through its Neighbor Helping Neighbor program that offers minor repair and building services, clothing ministry, community kids' VBS, and Food Pantry. Other community and ecumenical endeavors include participation in the South Hills Interfaith Movement, hosting the Developed Local Ministerium, and cooperation with Whitehall Library, Brothers Brother, and Daily Bread (Northside).

The congregation also is involved with The Nyadire Connection (TNC), which partners with the people of the Nyadire United Methodist Mission in Zimbabwe to support a hospital, orphanage, nursing school, preschool through high school education, teacher's college, farm, and renovation of six rural health clinics.
 
Baldwin Community's other national and global mission activities include supporting Bread for the World, sending work teams to Red Bird (KY), and providing financial support for a variety of local, national, and global organizations.
 

Jones to Serve New UM Charge for Christ

Announced: 03-17-2019

About Jillian Jones
Jillian Jones was born Jillian Schweigert in Blairsville. Her parents raised her and her sister
in the United Methodist Church with her church family being a large part of her life. She began exploring ministry in college after finishing lay speaker school. She went straight from graduating Saint Vincent College in English with a concentration in Creative Writing in 2015  to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where she is a student set to graduate Spring 2019.
 
Jillian has a heart for Deaf and disability ministry in the church. She started learning American Sign Language in 2016. She was the Deaf Ministry Intern at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community in the Southside of Pittsburgh for two years and she taught very basic ASL, hosted Silent Game Nights all in ASL and provided pastoral care for the Deaf community in her church.
 
She has been the Student Pastor of the United Methodist Charge for Christ for one year. She’s happily married to Justin Jones and together they have a son Josiah, who was born in April 2017, a dog and two cats. She enjoys board games, running and the color pink.
 
About UM Charge for Christ
The newly configured UM Charge for Christ will include three small rural churches that are transitioning into a combined charge starting this July. Smicksburg United Methodist Church, which is new to the UM Charge for Christ, is located off route 954 in Smicksburg Pennsylvania. Whitesburg UMC, located on route 422 in Kittanning and Rural Valley UMC, on Main Street of Rural Valley, have worked together with other UM churches in a cooperative ministry the past 11 years proclaiming the gospel through Vacation Bible School, Kids Club, local mission projects, and helping those in need in their communities, all with their eyes on Jesus Christ. All the churches look forward to what God brings them in the future.
 

Winston Thomas To Serve First Bethel UMC

Announced: 03-17-2019

About Judith Winston Thomas
A United Methodist pastor since 2004, Pastor Judy has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience serving as a preacher, pastor, teacher and evangelist since 1974.
 
She is married to Elder Tyrone Thomas, a pastor and preacher in another denomination. She is also the proud mother of a daughter Lora, grandmother of four granddaughters, and great-grandmother of one girl.  
 
Pastor Judy has served several churches in the Western PA Conference, some of them at difficult times in their church history. She served with distinction and joy, seeing lives changed. Some came to know Christ, while others discovered their call to ministry and Christian service.
 
Pastor Judy’s heartbeat is her love for God and her love for others. 
 
She earned her BA in Human Services from Geneva College of Beaver Falls, PA, and her M.Div. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. She was ordained an elder in 2011, and serves on several committees in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. 
 
When Pastor Judy is not busy in ministry, she can be found spending time with her husband Elder Tyrone Thomas.
 
About First Bethel United Methodist Church
First Bethel is located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Bethel Park. It is a church that welcomes all, accepting people exactly as they are. The goal is to never be to judge someone, but to embrace them and love them.
 
The church offers worship services Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., with Sunday School for adults and children at 10:15 a.m. There are many opportunities to grow in faith beyond Sunday morning worship. No matter what you choose, the church will meet you where you are and help you take the next steps on your journey.
 
First Bethel congregation works hard to provide an opportunity each week for every person to experience passionate worship. There are on-going opportunities throughout the year for faith development – for means of touching lives through mission trips and activities of community outreach – both within our community, state, nation, and even around the world.
 
First Bethel Church is a spiritual home where the community joins to celebrate God – a place to be nurtured in spirit – and a family where you will find ways to serve with others in God’s love … a love that invigorates and satisfies.
 

Jason McQueen to Serve Dayton UMC

Announced: 03-09-2019

About Jason McQueen
Jason L. McQueen was raised in United Methodist parsonages and received his call to ministry during the second half of his undergraduate years at Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky, where he met his dear wife Beth. He then furthered his ministerial education at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore.
 
For Jason, the pastoral ministry is about preparing God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12-13)
 
Jason and Beth have been married for 35 years and have four wonderful children, three are married and they have four beautiful grandchildren. Their youngest son lives at home. Jason loves to cycle and looks forward to riding his bike as much as possible. Jason’s passions in ministry are spiritual leadership, preaching, small group ministry and music.

Jason has been pastor of Cabot UMC since 2014 and previously served at SouthFork: Mount Hope UMC and Black Lick UMC in the Indiana District. 
 
About Dayton United Methodist Church
The Dayton United Methodist Church is located in Dayton, PA off of Route 839 at 105 East Church Ave.  Sunday School begins at 9:45 am followed by Worship at 10:55 am.

The church is a Bible-believing, Spirit-filled body of believers that seeks to glorify our Lord in thought, word and deed. The church has embraced its vision statement of being:  "A Caring and Loving Community for You" inside as well as outside the walls of the church building through several local and global ministries. The church is eager to reach out wherever and whenever ' to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world'.
 

Richter to Serve New Marienville Charge

Announced: 03-01-2019

About Dan Richter
Daniel G. Richter was raised in a very prayerful household.  His wife Pam also brings a prayer warrior status to any church they have been appointed.  Dan is a graduate of the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and has 39 years of service in a variety of contexts. He brings an emphasis on prayer and family togetherness on which he and the churches he serves build ministry together.  Mutual ministry to Dan means finding God’s journey for us amid pathways we like to travel and those we would rather not travel. 
Dan’s personal mission statement is key to every aspect of his spiritual or earthly endeavors: 1) God has us right where he wants us – in the palm of his hands; 2) God has prepackaged us with everything we need.  Strive diligently to discover the uniqueness of you; and use it to glorify God.

Dan and Pam have been married for almost 33 years and have two great children and two lively grandchildren.  Pam enjoys reading and doing puzzles, while Dan enjoys woodworking, jewelry and soap making, and crocheting.  Together they love travel and going to the beach and hope to retire in that setting.
 
About Marienville Charge
On March 1, 2019 Marienville and Greenwood welcomed Tylersburg as part of a newly formed three-point charge in the Kane District.  Bishop Cynthia Moore Koikoi has appointed Rev. Daniel Richter as the pastor of the charge.

Marienville United Methodist Church is located on the fringes of the beautiful Allegheny National Forest in Marienville, PA.  We are a small membership church with a big heart.  We are a church of Open Hearts!  Open Minds!  and Open Doors!

As one of the sister churches of the Marienville United Methodist charge, the Greenwood UMC is the most rurally located of the three. This beautiful small country church is nestled in an area not far from the prestigious virgin pines of the Cook Forest State Park. With Cook Forest State Park just a stone’s throw away, the Greenwood UMC is an ideal destination point for campers and full time campground residents alike who wish to worship at a small friendly church with a welcoming atmosphere. This rustic 100-year plus church has a long history of service to not only the surrounding community, but in giving through mission work to those across the US and the globe. The Greenwood UMC is definitely making a difference in this world in which we all live. Greenwood UMC is also well known in the area for their annual Strawberry Festival, as well as their Yard Sale/Bake Sale fundraisers. Folks from near and far always look forward to these annual events and they let them know it too. The Greenwood UMC may be small in numbers, but they do have a lot to offer, whether it is a firm handshake or a heartfelt hug when you enter its doors, you are sure to feel welcomed into the fold. And once you enter those large red front doors of the church, you are not considered strangers, but you are now part of Greenwood UMC’s brothers and sisters in Christ.
 
The Tylersburg United Methodist Church, located on St. Route 36 in Tylersburg, PA, has been in God’s hands since its establishment in 1900.  TUMC is a small county church that has served many families in the rural community of Tylersburg and surrounding areas.  It has been a part of a multi-point charge within the Kane District for many years.  TUMC is transitioning to a three-point charge with Greenwood United Methodist Church and Marienville United Methodist Church.  TUMC worship services are Sundays at 8:15 am.  The church opens its doors to host dinners, weddings, funeral dinners, Easter egg hunts, VBS, community club meetings and baby showers, to name a few.  The church also supports other non-profit organizations such as the Ruth M Smith Center, charitable deeds and area food banks.  The church would like to extend an invitation to anyone wishing to attend. Newcomers and visitors are always welcome. 
 

Davis To Serve White Chapel, Balm UMCs

Announced: 02-24-2019

About Todd M. Davis
Todd Davis grew up in the grape farm country near Lake Erie. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gannon University, a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
He has served the Sheakleyville Charge, Kingsley, Riverview and Fellowship United Methodist churches and currently serves the Wampum Charge.

Todd and his wife of 38 years, Emily, are blessed with four wonderful children, a son-in-law and daughter-in-law. After staying home to raise their children, Emily now has career in nursing. Together they enjoy hiking, camping and traveling.
Todd has a special love of the Psalms and preaching and teaching from God’s Word.
 
About White Chapel, Balm UMCs
White Chapel UMC and Balm UMC are located in southern Mercer County. The congregation at Balm has a weekly Bible Study and monthly fellowship dinner. They are involved in supporting community needs and missions.  The congregation of White Chapel hosts Vacation Bible School each summer. They also have a women’s ministry, “Mugs, Muffins and Missions.” They have committed to a “Road Clean-up” sponsored by PennDot for many years. They too support missions, both in their community and beyond.  White Chapel is the site of “Boaz Field.” With the help of area churches, over two tons of food was harvested from the field and given to local food pantries.
 

Ea Kyoung “Amy” Jun

Announced: 02-24-2019

About Ea Kyoung “Amy” Jun
Ea Kyoung “Amy” Jun, who is currently serving Verona, Rosedale, and Community UMC in Aspinwall, was born and raised in South Korea. In 2004 she immigrated to the United States with her husband Rev. Jong Man Lee and her two kids, Grace and Ian. Her crucial encounter with Christ was in 2010 by His word, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is near” (Matt 5:17), which transformed her and the aim of her life.
 
By God’s overwhelming grace and love she began to visit people to share the gospel, which led her to enter Pittsburgh Theological Seminary to become a pastor. Before graduating in May, 2018, she began her pastoral ministry on July 1, 2017 at her current charge as a provisional elder, and is still serving the congregations today.
 
Pastor Amy has her ministry vision, which is to revive hearts and minds that are entrusted to her care so that people may experience God’s kingdom in everyday life through the change of their hearts. In order for them to experience it, she believes God uses her weaknesses and vulnerability as a witness of Christ. And her strengths come from these limitations, in which she prays and fasts to become a faithful servant of God. Her gifted strength is delivering God’s message through singing, from which people often can be moved and inspired in spirit.
 
About Circleville UMC
Circleville UMC is located just off Route 30 in North Huntingdon between McKeesport and Irwin. The congregation describes itself as relational and friendly with people whose hearts are as big as their love for Jesus. They are active in the local ministerium for community services, have a Prayer Tent at the fireman's street fair, spend one day of “fair week” at the Hospitality House at the Westmoreland County Fair, ring the Bell for Salvation Army, and celebrate Easter Sunrise services with two other neighboring churches. They also partnered with other neighboring churches in offering a community VBS.
 
Circleville has an active children and youth ministry, and strong lay-led ministries in the church and community. This church takes prayer seriously and has a weekly prayer meeting as well as traditional prayer chains and prayer updates in worship. They are very caring about the people who are in need of a hand up: words of encouragement are given and practical needs are met through money and “tangible” assistance.

In addition to confirmation class and youth events, they have monthly family events, look for opportunities to engage more and more in the life of the congregation and community, and generally enjoy being with each other. They are a fun-loving and Jesus-following congregation.
 

Heckman Appointed to Blairsville Parish

Announced: 02-24-2019

About J. Mark Heckman
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has announced the appointment of J. Mark Heckman to the Greater Blairsville Cooperative Parish, effective July 1.  Mark and his wife Michele are from Brookville, where they currently reside with their two young-adult children, Elizabeth and Luke.  Mark will move from his current ministry with the Punxsutawney First United Methodist Church, where he serves as the Associate Pastor and Director of Outreach and Youth Ministries. 
A Provisional Elder, he will graduate with a Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in May 2019.   

A former high school choral director, secondary principal, and elementary principal in Brookville; and assistant superintendent and superintendent of schools in DuBois, Mark has also served the Church in ministry as the organist and director of music for the Brookville First United Methodist Church.

Mark recognized God’s hand on his life at his confirmation into the United Methodist Church at age 12, but really didn’t hear God’s call until 20 years ago, when he ignored God and instead chose to pursue school administration.  God’s “yes” became louder than Mark’s “no” five years ago when he finally agreed to follow God into ministry.  Following an early-morning encounter with God, God began to move powerfully in Mark’s life.  Mark’s spiritual gifts of healing and word of knowledge demonstrate God’s anointing on his life and the manifestation of God’s Spirit in the world today.  God’s love can be seen through the healing ministry that He has developed in Mark, all pointing to God’s glory.
Mark’s goals in ministry are to share the gospel message in every opportunity God puts before him, and to have others find and employ their own spiritual gifts so that through His Church, a hurting world can find a loving God.
 
About Greater Blairsville Parish
The Greater Blairsville Cooperative Parish (Black Lick, Blairsville First, Connect, Hopewell) was formed in 2015 as a creative approach to the question, “How do we best make disciples in our community?” Through the tremendous gifts and passions of each church and the risk-taking lay leadership (some of the absolute best in the Conference, according to their current pastor!), the GBCP has sought to bring both renewal to existing churches and give birth to new opportunities. Connect Church, a new place for new people, is the most visible fruit of this collective effort, but certainly not the only one. The GBCP serves Jesus through vital UMW ministries, a strong nursing home ministry, a life-changing addiction recovery ministry called Connect Recovery, Connect Sisterhood, which gathers women to talk all things faith and life, and so much more! Most recently, the GBCP celebrated its first ever Global Impact Celebration, a mission-focused event that raised $30,000 in pledges toward local and global mission partnerships. 

Hilton Appointed to New Brighton UMC

Announced: 02-24-2019

About Gary Hilton
Rev. Gary Hilton grew up in Bridgewater PA, Beaver County, graduating from Beaver Area High School in 1989. There he met his wife Michelle. They have been married almost 30 years and have four children (Max 27, Casey 22, Emmanuel 21, and Essie 12). Rev. Hilton was raised Catholic, however his family was not very religious. Gary’s wife was raised United Methodist and attended church regularly at Beaver UMC. Her example of faith impressed upon Gary the importance of having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Gary began to attend the Beaver UMC with her. It was while attending Beaver UMC that he found a love for Jesus and a shared devotion to following him.

Before being called into ordained ministry, Gary worked for 11 years as a tractor-trailer driver. On October 10, 2002, while driving his tractor-trailer, Gary was involved in a horrible automobile accident that left him near death. His severe injuries required a two-year journey of recovery. Here is how Gary describes the spiritual significance of that traumatic experience:
“The more I was able to comprehend the meaning of that event in my life, the more I realized that God was with me, not just on the side of that road, but in all the times of life: the times when I needed God the most, and the times when I felt like I didn’t; the times when my relationship with God was on fire, and the times when I tried to push God away, or even tried to ignore that God existed. On the side of that road, I believe that I felt the Lord’s presence—the reality of God never leaving me or forsaking me. And from that moment, I was given a new beginning, a new direction, a new life. Once I felt God’s presence, I knew I needed to make a greater commitment to this God who never left me. I owed God at least that much. From there I came to the conclusion that my commitment to God needed to be my entire existence, since God’s commitment to me is every bit that expansive and more. I made the commitment to serve the Lord in pastoral ministry.”
 
Gary has served for five years as the associate pastor of Chippewa UMC. He previously served for five years at a three-point charge (Volant, Homewood, and Koppel UMC). He holds a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Development from Geneva College, and an Associate Degree in Human Relations from the Community College of Beaver County. He brings a visionary leadership to ministry, a passion for preaching, a highly relational spirit, and a zeal for helping people to find their way into relationship with Jesus Christ.

 
About New Brighton United Methodist Church
The New Brighton United Methodist Church is celebrating its 12th year of existence, resulting from the merger of the former First, Grace, and 5th Avenue United Methodist congregations in 2007. The parent churches have been serving New Brighton and the Beaver Valley for more than 182 years. Together they have formed a strong congregation determined to “Make Disciples” and serve the community through Christian fellowship, worship, education, and activity. NBUMC is proud of its “Mission-to-Mission” sale which provides clothing and household goods at a reasonable price, to the less fortunate, as well as its sponsorship of several other outreach programs: 1) “NBUMC Pre-School” in its 49th year, 2) NB Soup Kitchen, 3) “Trail Blazers” after-school program, 4) NBSD “Reading Buddies,” 5) NB School District fall activities bus, 6) UM Men’s dinners, 7) “JOY” Lunches, 8) NB “Lenten Lunches,” and more.

NBUMC is truly a hub of Christian activity within the valley. The 100-member Beaver Valley Choral Society is celebrating its 40th year of being hosted at NBUMC where they rehearse weekly and perform.  NBUMC is a strong supporter of the arts. Within the church, NBUMC has an active United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, choir, and various boards that coordinate and support its Christian work, education, and mission. NBUMC is always eager to expand its outreach into the community and “Make Disciples” whenever and wherever possible.

Justin Judy to Serve New Charge

Announced: 02-24-2019

About Justin Judy
Justin Judy grew up in the UMC in the Port Vue area of Pittsburgh. He was ordained an elder in 2011 and this new alignment will be his fifth appointment. It will also be Justin’s second opportunity at helping a single-point church (Trafford) transition to a two-point charge.
 
Justin described his passion for his upcoming appointment this way: “Many people see towns that are past their prime. But I see women and men trying to discover who they are, and how that fits in with the people around them. The church has something wonderful to share in that journey. An attribute of God that has kept me going through all things is hope… The presence of God in each and every situation brings me peace, strength, and encouragement to hang in there with others as they journey in life.”
 
Justin and his wife Stephanie have been married for 15 years and have two sons (11 and 14 years) and a foreign exchange student named Burak (from Turkey). To relax, Stephanie and the boys love to travel. Elijah and Jonathan both play musical instruments. Justin, who is the dean of “Ultimate Games” at Jumonville during the July 4 week, also loves to play board games, video games and logic puzzles.
 
About Trafford: Trinity/Manor:First Charge
Trafford Trinity is a congregation filled with heart for the people in both the church and community.  In addition to monthly home communion and a church prayer chain, they have a favorite ministry called: “Trinity Traveling Tea Party.” This unique ministry gives persons who are homebound and in nursing homes an opportunity to enjoy tea and dessert with friends from the church. The church takes the tea, a china tea pot, and uses real china cups and dishes during their time together.
 
The church is community-focused, making space for an Alcoholics Anonymous group that meets twice a week there.
 Instead of VBS, they hold Super Summer Sunday School outside all summer (in the park, on the Church front lawn, or on the porch if it rains) and serve breakfast to the kids each Sunday. Last summer they had "Story Hour" at our Church every Tuesday morning in July for the children in the community. We read a Christian children's book, had a snack and craft. It went so well they will expand it this summer.

An Easter Sunrise Service is held by the lake at the nearby Trafford B-Y Park followed by breakfast at the Church and the community is invited each year. The congregation is working to raise $2,000-$3,000 to send possibly five kids and a family to camp. Two children are from the community, and one girl from the church is going to CIT camp this April.  
  
Manor: First
The First UMC of Manor relates to their community in many ways. They participate in a five-church ministerium which encourages people in the community to join together for Community Vacation Bible School, Lenten services, Palm Sunday and Christmas Eve Cantatas, and occasional joint services during Lent and Thanksgiving.  They also offer community Trunk or Treat on Halloween Night.  Monthly, we sponsor a Senior Citizen gathering on the first Wednesday, and a Food Pantry which is part of the Westmoreland County Food Bank, on the second Tuesday.   We provide financial support for local organizations, mission trips, fire and catastrophic events, in addition to paying our apportionments in full.
 
More importantly, we are a Bible-based, older congregation seeking the Holy Spirit to help us as we begin this new relationship. Our viable church is seeking guidance and leadership in growing our church. We envision serving our community in a more hands-on way, and hope to develop a multi-age expansion. We would like to see more small group/short term ministries and for ways to mentor others with our gifts and talents as we take ministry into the community. We presently provide Bible Study on Wednesday evenings, Adult and Youth Sunday School on Sunday mornings and have movie and game nights alternating monthly on the third Friday.
 
We are a warm, welcoming congregation, a little church with a big heart, who is gifted with much musical talent and strong lay leadership and congregational participation. We look forward to what God has ordained for our future.
 
 

Pryor Appointed to Aliquippa

Announced: 02-24-2019

About Ross Pryor
Pastor Ross Pryor was born and raised in New Kensington, PA.  After graduating from high school, Ross earned an A.S. in Business Management before heading into the work force. All the while, he continued to wonder what was to become of his life. In 2003, while attending Vermont Baptist Church in Creighton, PA, Ross received his call into pastoral ministry. At the time, he was studying to become a Deacon. That summer, Ross moved to Johnstown, PA and began attending his home church, Oakland United Methodist Church. It was there that he began his journey toward pastoral ministry and into the Wesleyan tradition.

In April of 2006, he received his first appointment, Trinity and Trinity Asbury UMCs in Johnstown. Ross served those congregations and the communities in Johnstown until 2008, when he received his B.A. in Sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In the fall of 2008, he began his seminary studies at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and graduated with a M.Div. in 2011. While attending seminary, he was appointed to Speers and Dunlevy UMC’s. Upon graduation, Charleroi First was added to the charge, where Ross served passionately until 2013. Since that time he has pastored West Washington and Jefferson Avenue United Methodist churches.  Ross is the proud father of one son, Lawrence, an Army Reservist and college freshman.
 
Ross has been blessed with the spiritual gifts of teaching and preaching and is also passionate about his role for many years as a youth advisor. Since 2005, Ross has worked with the conference youth. As an adult advisor, he is able to put his enthusiasm into action as he is afforded the opportunity to teach youth and youth leaders about their Christian journey and how to bring their witness back to their schools, churches and communities.  Regardless of the audience, Ross feels he is called to empower servant leaders and the church body to carry out God’s will through community outreach and discipleship.
 
About Aliquippa First UMC
First United Methodist Church of Aliquippa is a congregation with more than a century of Christ-honoring service to a very diverse community.  Born in shadows of the Jones and Laughlin Steel Mill, First church ministered to people of all socio-economic levels.  The first two buildings that housed the growing body of believers were in downtown Aliquippa.  Then in 1963 the congregation moved to its current location on Brodhead Avenue.  Christian education was a central to the spiritual life, with Sunday School classes filling every room of the sprawling building.  Though the heyday of Sunday School is a past memory, the desire to find new avenues of ministry is both a current and future desire.  The congregation is warm and responsive to visitors and loving to one another.  They believe God has been preparing us for more Christ honoring service…to God be the glory.
 

Tori Heath to Serve Waterford Asbury UMC

Announced: 02-24-2019

About Tori M. Heath
Tori Heath was commissioned as a provisional elder in 2018 after earning her MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary. She graduated from Charleroi Area High School and received her bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. During this last year, Tori’s extension ministry appointment was at Asbury Seminary as the Coordinator of Worship in the Chapel office. Serving at Asbury UMC in Waterford, Pa will be her first appointment in the local church.
 
Tori’s vision for ministry centers around building teams that work together to bring about spiritual renewal first in the local church to then impact the surrounding community. She deeply loves seeing lives transformed through the love of Jesus Christ. Tori is incredibly excited to begin full-time local church ministry, as she walks into the calling she’s felt since youth.
 
Tori married Dustin Heath in January, 2018. Dustin also earned his MDiv from Asbury Seminary and is working toward board certification in hospital chaplaincy. Together they like coffee dates, spending time outdoors, reading, and laughing a lot.
 
About Waterford Asbury UMC
Asbury United Methodist Church of Waterford PA is a vital and growing congregation of 275 members in the historic community of Waterford, just 14 miles south of the City of Erie.  The congregation models a healthy laity-driven model of ministry that seeks to help persons discover and use their spiritual gifts in service to Christ.  They maintain an active Sunday School, VBS and children’s ministry.  With an intentional plan for making disciples of Jesus Christ, the congregation offers, Bible Study, Small groups, Covenant Discipleship groups.  Involvement in Christian Service is an important piece of this plan.  There are regularly offered opportunities to serve in both local and global mission.  Personal witness and evangelism are important values in their ministry.
 

Brett Dinger Appointed to Lakeside UMC

Announced: 02-17-2019

About Brett Dinger
Pastor Brett has been serving as a United Methodist pastor in the Blairsville Area since July 2009. During his appointment, Brett led the formation of a new cooperative parish and the cultivation of Connect Church, a new place for new people. Prior to his appointment in Blairsville, Brett was active in his home church (Ohl UMC) before serving as a youth pastor in Brookville. He graduated from Brookville Area High School and Slippery Rock University, with a degree in Community Programs for Americans with Disabilities. After college, Brett attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently a participant in the Lewis Fellows, a leadership cohort offered through Wesley Theological Seminary. 
 
Brett’s ministry passions include preaching, teaching, small group ministry and leadership development. Brett loves to come alongside and empower leaders to fulfill their God-given callings and dreams, even if it means taking big, risky leaps of faith. Additionally, Brett is active with Cherry Run, a family-oriented church camp and serves on the District Committee on Ministry and Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. 
 
If you can’t find Brett doing any of the above mentioned ministries, there’s a good chance he’s either taking a nap, watching one of our local sports teams or enjoying his beloved family. Speaking of which, Brett is accompanied in ministry and life by his best friend and wife Joanna (married 10 years) and their joy-filled daughters Reagan (9) and Carmyn (4). 
 
 
About DuBois Lakeside UMC
Located in Clearfield County in the City of DuBois, Lakeside celebrated 125 years of ministry in the name of Jesus Christ in 2018.  The church worships with two traditional services Sunday morning.  The church has active youth, evangelism, and outreach programs. Lakeside has an energetic children’s program and a Mother’s Day Out Preschool.  Lakeside strives to “Share God’s Love Everyday with Everyone” through the power of the Holy Spirit. 
 

Dixon Appointed Good Shepherd Parish Associate

Announced: 02-17-2019

About Ann Dixon
Ann Dixon began serving as an associate in the Good Shepherd Parish in Indiana District, effective March 1, 2019. She had served the Sigel/Tylersburg Charge since July 1, 2018. 

Growing up in Salamanca, New York -- the only city in the world completely on an Indian Reservation--has given Ann the opportunity to learn to appreciate people from a wide variety of backgrounds. She said she  learned from a very young age, “it is what is in your heart that really matters.”

Her journey to Local Pastor was met with a great deal of resistance. She was unsure if she could lead a community to a deeper relationship with God. "It was during a struggle with a deep pain in my back that could not be explained or treated with Physical Therapy or medication, I realized that God was attempting to get my attention. As soon as I acknowledged that God was talking to me and answered my call to ministry, the pain went away overnight," she explains.

Currently Ann is enrolled in the Course of Study at Spring Heights in Spencer, West Virginia. and she said she truly loves every minute of the learning experience.

 "My cats, Zac and Zoe, who have graciously allowed my husband Scott and I to be at their beck and call, run my home," she adds. 
 
About Good Shepherd Parish
The Good Shepherd Parish was formed in the 1990's from the former Hazen Charge with the following churches--Allens Mills UMC, Hazen UMC, Munderf: Zion UMC, and Richardsville UMC which are located in northern Jefferson Co. near Brookville and Brockway.  Recently Edeburn UMC and Donahey UMC, located in Jefferson and Elk Co. near Clear Creek State Park and Marienville were welcomed into our church family. 

The churches are involved in a community VBS with a local Baptist church, along with active youth and children groups, ministering to local campers, and supporting the food banks.  Missions have also been a big part of the Parish, from local teams working on building ramps and home repairs to work teams helping in other states after hurricane disasters to a mission trip to Haiti each year.  God has blessed us with these ministry opportunities.

Kendra Balliet to Serve Luthersburg Charge

Announced: 02-17-2019

About Kendra Balliet
Kendra Balliet’s calling to ministry was not her first vocation. For the first 20 years, Kendra was a teacher. She knew she would not always stay in the classroom, but she figured she would remain in education, probably moving to administration. She has remained in both, just in a different context.

Kendra is a provisional elder and earned her MDiv at United Theological Seminary with a concentration in leadership and revitalization. She also graduated from Clarion University of PA with a BS in elementary education and a MS in special education. Kendra was raised in Brockway and DuBois. She still has ties to the area as her mother, stepfather, and grandmother reside in DuBois, and her stepmother and brothers reside in Jefferson County.

Kendra has been appointed to two four-point charges as the senior pastor and is currently serving at the Clymer Charge consisting of Clymer First, Diamondville, Tanoma, and Starford UMC. She has served the Mahaffey Area Larger Parish and has served as an interim supply associate pastor for Moorhead UMC and the Luthersburg Charge.

Kendra’s husband, John, serves as the senior pastor of the Harmony Charge in southwestern Clearfield County. Kendra’s three children and John’s two children are all grown, leaving them empty nesters. 

 
About Luthersburg Charge
The Luthersburg Charge consists of three rural small membership churches in the DuBois area: Home Camp, Luthersburg and Salem UMCs. The churches are involved in outreach through offering community dinners, supporting an area free clinic, providing support to transients, and supporting a food pantry. One of their greatest strengths is the love and support of our members and the people in our community and their desire to do God's will. There are many prayer warriors in the congregations who have made an impact in the life & ministry of the church. 

 

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