2018 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Sorted by Announced Date

Dom to Serve Tionesta First, West Hickory

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Kathryn K. Dom
Kathy has lived in Bedford County,PA  since she was 8 years old. Her parents were a loving, God-serving couple who raised her brother, sister and her to know and serve our Heavenly Father. Kathy She enjoys living in small towns or rural areas where the beauty of God's creation can be seen and heard.
 
She and her husband Ray have six adult children: Sons Shawn and Stacey are his and the other four -- Jim, Jeff, JoAnn and Jeanna--are hers. All are married and have given them 20 grandchildren and 5 great-granddaughters.
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Currently Kathy and Ray live in Manns Choice, PA with Squirt and Rascal, their two dachshunds. 
 
Ray is very supportive of Kathy and the call upon her life to serve her Lord and master.  He is standing beside her in this new adventure in her life.
 
 "I am grateful and give praise to my Savior Jesus Christ for this opportunity  to serve at the Tionesta/West Hickory Charge, Kathy says, quoting from Romans 11:36 --  For from him and through him and for him are all things.  To him be the glory forever.
 
About Tionesta First UMC, West HIckory UMC
Tionesta and West Hickory UMCs are located along the Allegheny River in Forest County. West Hickory has a long history of being a place where people receive love and care in the name of Jesus Christ. It is one of those congregations that actually increases in worship attendance during the summer because of all of the campers and seasonal residences in the surrounding area. When you come to West Hickory, you are always assured a ready and warm welcome of Christian love.
 
Tionesta is the county seat of Forest County. The congregation continues to be a beacon of Christ’s light in the community and region offering vibrant, traditional worship including choir anthems and more. They operate a second hand store next door to the church to help those in need. They are also involved in other missions. They host the Forest County Choir Cantatas each year and are the hub for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and Alcoholics Anonymous.
 
Tionesta and West Hickory UMCs are located along the Allegheny River in Forest County. West Hickory has a long history of being a place where people receive love and care in the name of Jesus Christ. It is one of those congregations that actually increases in worship attendance during the summer because of all of the campers and seasonal residences in the surrounding area. When you come to West Hickory, you are always assured a ready and warm welcome of Christian love.
 
Tionesta is the county seat of Forest County. The congregation continues to be a beacon of Christ’s light in the community and region offering vibrant, traditional worship including choir anthems and more. They operate a second hand store next door to the church to help those in need. They are also involved in other missions. They host the Forest County Choir Cantatas each year. They are also the hub for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and Alcoholics Anonymous.
 
 

Hixson To Serve Conneaut Lake: Trinity

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Russell Hixson
Russell D. (Russ) Hixson will begin serving the Trinity United Methodist Church of Conneaut Lake on July 1.  Russ was raised in the small town of Ruffs Dale, PA and graduated from Southmoreland Sr. High School.  After graduation, he attended the Pennsylvania State University where he majored in Administration of Justice.  After college, he began attending the Christ United Methodist Church in Youngwood, where he met his wife, Elaine. Shortly after their marriage, Russ received his call into ordained ministry and began his theological studies at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, graduating in 1990. 

In his 31 years as a pastor, Russ has been honored to serve the St. John’s, West Liberty, and Forestville United Methodist churches of the Butler District; the Mapletown and Mt. Pleasant United Methodist churches of the Washington District, and the Weis Library United Methodist Church of the Erie/Meadville District. He currently serves the Wattsburg and Phillipsville United Methodist churches of the Erie/Meadville District.

Russ believes the primary calling of the Church is to make disciples, and as a result, his leadership has emphasized the spiritual practices of prayer, Bible study, and hands-on Christian service.  As part of this emphasis Russ has either led or participated in many prayer events, Bible Studies, and mission trips in his tenure as a pastor.

Russ has been blessed with an amazing wife and partner in ministry, Elaine.  Elaine is the Director of Finance and Administration for CHOSEN IMA, a Christian mission that refurbishes medical equipment for Christian hospitals and leads medical mission trips.  Russ and Elaine have two adult children: Luke, an attorney and CPA in Pittsburgh ,and Leah, a teacher in Laurinburg, NC. 

Russ looks forward to the challenges of this new appointment and wishes to thank the Wattsburg and Phillipsville churches for their love and support during the past ten years.
 
About Conneaut Lake: Trinity UMC
Conneaut Lake: Trinity UMC was a part of the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  It began as a class in the early 1800's and met in the loft of Voorman's wagon factory. In 1839 a lot was purchased and a white frame church was built. During the early years of its history, Conneaut Lake was known as Evansburg. In 1842 a Circuit was formed; over the years it took many forms and involved several other Methodist communities in the area. A new brick church was built in 1901 and the educational plant built in 1956. The current building was built in the 1970s.
 
Trinity Church connects with the community in many forms: feeding the hungry, assisting the marginalized, and partnering with other congregations to make life better for those who struggle. The church has a strong youth group and an iconic musical program at Christmas known as the “Living Christmas Tree.”  Singers are arranged on risers in the shape of a huge tree and tell the news about Jesus’ birth in festive style!
 
The church is dedicated to transforming the world for Jesus Christ!
 

Johnson to Serve Connellsville Cooperative Parish

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Douglas A. Johnson
Doug’s call into ministry has taken a lifetime. Growing up in a clergy family and always involved in the ministry with his parents, he knew he was called by God to serve. As a young man he ignored that call for many years. Doug’s father, an accomplished organist/pianist, encouraged him in music. A trained soloist Doug spent hour practicing with his father. Doug held several jobs with office furniture wholesalers, working his way from driving and delivering to marketing, until his call to ministry was too strong to ignore any longer. On the first Sunday of Advent 2009, he began serving two churches knew in his heart that was where he belonged and where God planned for him to be.

Doug is a proud father of two daughters, born 18 years apart, and grandfather of two grandsons that are the light of Pappy’s eye. Widowed at age 36 when his first wife died of cancer, he was a single dad for many years. Now again his is a single dad of an almost a 10-year-old. 

Doug also drives a school bus, which he also views as a ministry. Two of the students he drives have lost loved ones and he has been called upon to serve as their minister. Both families were unchurched and he  showed Christ's presence through this hurtful situation. Doug says he is called to a community, not just a church building.   

Doug believes we are called to reach out in concern to those around us, and has always been drawn to local missions -- to help our neighbors and to show the love of Christ as he shows us grace and mercy every day. He believes we are to be open to God’s call that the door may be opened for His love to flow through.
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed 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  communities around the Connellsville Area School District. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albright, 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 17th of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.

Kifer to Serve Connellsville Cooperative Parish

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Robert E. Kifer
Robert E. Kifer has been appointed to the Connellsville Cooperative Parish effective July 1, 2018.
Rob was blessed to grow up in Sheffield PA, and was a confirmed member and active participant in the ministry of Sheffield UMC. Then in 1969, at the age of 15, he met Bishop Roy C. Nichols in a truly divine appointment. Sheffield had invited Bishop Nichols to speak at a Community Lenten Service. As a teen, Rob didn’t know who the special speaker was, but his parents “drug him” to church whenever anything was going on. He and a few buddies were standing on the sidewalk before the service. Suddenly a stranger joined the circle; a man, small in stature but with a powerful spiritual presence. He asked, “Which one of you boys is the strongest?”  To which all responded “I am, I am”. Rob said, “I don’t believe that I was the most convincing, but probably was closest to him.” We were dumbfounded when Bishop Nichols clenched his fist and punched Rob in the stomach quite hard. As Rob caught his breath, Bishop patted him on the shoulder and said “My, you are a strong young man…Now go and be a strong witness for the Lord”! He disappeared into the church and when the service began we realized that it was Bishop Nichols who gave us this challenge.

Rob says, “This my Jonah story, as I was commissioned to go to Nineveh, but I headed to Tarshish for next three decades.”  For much of that period, Rob was active in church leadership and lay speaking, but he resisted answering God’s call to enter full-time ministry. Finally, when he was approaching his 50th Birthday, Rob started the ministry inquiry process with mentor Rev. Walt Heyman.  His home church Lakeside-DuBois and its Pastors Bob Zilhaver and Dick Burns provided much encouragement and support during this journey.

In 2006, Rob entered Summer Course of Study at Duke Divinity School, serving as a class officer each year. In 2011, Rob was elected as President of the Course of Study student body. At Duke COS graduation that year, the Convocation Preacher was Bishop and Duke Alum Thomas J. Bickerton, then serving in the Western PA Conference. 

As Rob explored his call to ministry, his wife Lynn was discerning God’s call on her life. The result has been a wonderful ministry partnership that has been a blessing to the areas and churches that the Kifers have been called to serve.

As a pastor, Rob has served the Lord and the fine people of Albion & Big Run UMC, Pulaski UMC and Heckathorn UMC.  In each appointment, he has embraced the belief that “our mission field starts outside of the four walls of the church”. This has led to various community ministries like the “Truly FREE Christian Skating” and the “FREE Community Clothes Closet”

Rob and Lynn enjoy family time with their daughters, grandkids and great-granddaughter, which sometimes involves travel to North Carolina, California or North Eastern PA.

The next chapter of Bishop Nichols’ challenge to “Go and be a strong witness for the Lord” is about to be written in Mill Run & Ohiopyle UMCs. To God be the Glory!

 
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed 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—service 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 17th of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.
 

Lamb Appointed to Connellsville Parish

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Steven M. Lamb

Steven M. Lamb has been appointed to be the lead pastor of the Connellsville Cooperative Parish, effective July 1, 2018.  Born and raised on a small farm outside of Armagh, PA,  he was a lay speaker at the Armagh United Methodist Church when he received his call to ministry while working at Specialty Bar Products in Blairsville. 

Steve served a local appointment at Mt. Olive (Jackson)UMC,  before committing to be a student pastor in the itinerant system and moving to the Timblin Charge.  After graduation from IUP, Steve attended Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio and served the Paradise Hill UMC in Ashland.  After earning his MDiv, Steve returned to Pennsylvania and began serving the Sheakleyville Charge. The past six years, Steve has served at Connellsville: Albright and at the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church.

At the start of his first appointment, Steve was given these words of advice: “Love them.”  This has been his mission statement since the beginning and continues to be his point of reference in all aspects of his life.  Love as Jesus loved, and God will make a way.

Steve has been happily married to his wife Beverly for 38 years.  They have three adult children, Lindsey Olexa of Seward, PA, and sons Michael of Westmont and Matthew of Windber.  He also has two wonderful grandchildren, Morgan and Aubrey Olexa.

Steve enjoys walking, spending time with his family, reading several different genres from Wesley to Batman, and visiting with people.  
 
About Connellsville Coorperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed 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  communities around the Connellsville Area School District. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albright, 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 17th of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.

Leona Logan Appointed to Connellsville Parish

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Leona Logan
Leona Logan is a mother of four, grandmother of 11, a preacher's wife (married to Rev. John Logan), a registered nurse since 1978 and a certified nurse midwife since 1995. She graduated in 1975 from Concordia College, Bronxville, NY, with an associate degree in psychology. She then attended Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. and earned her BSN in nursing and psychology. She completed her graduate education in midwifery at Frontier Nursing University, Hyden, KY, in 1995. Currently, she is attending the Course of Study as a local pastor as she answers God's call to pastoral ministry. Her first and current appointment is the Yough Charge as an associate pastor.

 Leona's first language was German, and she was the first midwife that was not wearing an Amish bonnet and the first non-physician given hospital delivery privileges at Punxsutawney Hospital in Jefferson County. In her spare time, she loves to sing ("when no one is home"), sketch, paint Bob Ross landscapes, and talk without moving her lips with her sidekick puppet Hildegard. She loves spending time with her grandchildren, the sunshine, the seashore, kayaking with her husband and family reunions.
 
In her midwifery career, she has had the privilege to deliver hundreds of babies and provide health care for thousands of women. She has provided care for incarcerated women, those struggling with addictions and disabilities as well as facilitated numerous women's support groups throughout the years.

Leona's passion for evangelism and missions might be genetic as her grandfather was a pastor during WWII in East Germany; her brother is a pastor, and her uncle and aunt were missionaries in Africa. Leona has participated in mission trips to the Dominican Republic with the Conference's East German Partnership, and last year spent a week in Kenya as part of a medical mission team to an orphanage and its community. Her zeal for Christ is contagious.
 
Leona looks forward to learning, loving, and serving with the people of the Connellsville Cooperative Parish.
 
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed 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  communities around the Connellsville Area School District. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albright, 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 17th of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.

Melissa Geisler to Serve Lawrence Park

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Melissa Geisler
Rev. Melissa Geisler, will be appointed to serve as senior pastor of Lawrence Park UMC in Erie, PA, beginning July 1, 2018.

Pastor Melissa was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.  She is the youngest and only girl of four children. Raised by a Christian mother, Melissa answered her call to go into ministry during her junior year of college at the University of South Florida, where she earned a B.A. degree in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida.  She continued her education at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY, and earned a Master of Divinity degree.

While in seminary, Melissa met her husband Ron, an ordained Elder serving Christ UM Church in Erie.  The couple has two sons: Caleb, 18, who attends Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA, and Andrew, 15, who attends McDowell Intermediate High School. 

After graduating from Asbury, Melissa served as a Diaconal Minister of Christian Education in local churches, in private Christian schools, and at Christian youth camps.  In 2010, Melissa heard the call to begin the process toward ordination as an Elder.  At the 2016 Western PA Annual Conference, she was ordained as a Full Elder.  Melissa has served in the Washington District as associate pastor at the Community Churches Charge and as senior pastor at Trinity UMC in Erie.  Melissa also serves on the Erie-Meadville’s District Committee on Ministry (DCOM) and on the Western PA Episcopacy Committee.

In using her spiritual gifts of helping, teaching, and administration, Melissa believes that her ministry focuses on transforming lives through reaching out, building up, and forming relationships with those within the community.

Melissa enjoys spending time with family, hiking, camping, playing games, doing jigsaw puzzles, and watching Pittsburgh sports.
 
About Lawrence Park UMC
Having its roots in the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Lawrence Park came into being in response to expressed needs of families who had come to live in the area and work for the General Electric Company during World War I. The Priestly Avenue school house was the first church home. Miss Georgianna Welker, an ordained deaconess, fondly remembered at the first pastor, helped organize the church and Sunday School in December of 1918. A charter was granted on July 10, 1919. On May 1, 1921 the Lawrence Park Realty Company deeded four lots at the corner of Rankine Avenue and Niagara Place which had been donated by the General Electric Company. On May 7, 1922, the sanctuary was consecrated.  A steady increase in membership necessitated a new educational building which was consecrated on April 5, 1959 and named Welker Hall in memory of the first pastor. In October 1968 a consecration service for a completely redecorated and refurbished sanctuary was held.
 
Lawrence Park Church has been a steady presence through the many changes that have taken place in the neighborhood. They also stand ready to minister to the neighborhood as the next wave of change takes place.  Born out of the needs of a struggling human community, and formed though the giftedness of a pioneering woman, God still guides them bravely into the future.
 
 

Morrison to Serve Wattsburg, Phillipsville

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Alan J. Morrison
Rev. Alan J. Morrison was ordained a Deacon in 1988 and an Elder in Full Connection in 1992, his education includes an associates degree in digital electronics, bachelor’s degree in management, a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Arts in Liturgical Arts.

Rev. Morrison has served as the Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Monongahela since December 1, 2013.  Previously he served on the staff of The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of The United Methodist Church 2005-2013) and as a pastor of small membership congregations in Allegheny County (1990-2005).

In the Western Pennsylvania Conference, Alan served as the Supportive Ministries Team chair (now Conference Council on Finance and Administration) for 6-1/2 years. He was the the Host Operations Director for the 2004 General Conference of The United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh; and has served in a variety of volunteer leadership positions for the Conference Sessions Ministry Team for 26 years.  Currently he is the Vice Chair and Program/Agenda Coordinator for the Conference Sessions Team. A  member of the Board of Ministry, he chairs the Conference Relations Committee.  He also serves as a process mentor for those considering ordained ministry and is vice chair of the Washington District Committee on Ministry.

Rev. Morrison has been a part of the Scouting program for 50 years and is currently serving on the executive board of the Laurel Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts of America as the Youth Protection Champion.  He also is volunteering as the lead United Methodist Chaplain for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree and the 2021 National Scout Jamboree.

Alan is married to the former Lois Carl Granlund of Platteville and Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  They have one son, Ron.  Lois is an ordained United Church of Christ clergy and currently serves as Chaplain of Meadville Medical Center.  Ron lives in Pittsburgh and is the maintenance supervisor at the Pendleton in Cranberry Woods.  The family also includes Maxey, an 8-year-old Pointer mix.
 
About Wattsburg/ Phillipsville UMCs
Wattsburg Church traces its history through the Erie Conference of the ME Church. The congregation was organized in 1827 by “Elder Knapp” who came to the Wattsburg area as a missionary in 1820. The first church was erected in 1831 on land purchased for $30!  In 1969 the congregation purchased 11 acres of land for a new church for a growing community.
 
Phillipsville also traces its history through the Erie Conference. It began as a class that was organized in 1840 and later became a preaching appointment as part of the Wesleyville Circuit. The church property was purchased and the present church building built in 1862. It was renovated in 1944.  In 1952 social rooms were added to the rear of the church and further substantial improvements were carried out in 1960.
 
The two congregations have been in partnership since the early 1970s.  Today they are vibrant places of worship and service.  They work closely with “Chosen,” an international outreach ministry based in Erie.  They provide wells for the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.  In addition, they are active with “Ramps of Hope,” the Lowville Food Pantry, a Jamaican ministry called “One on One,” and other mission trips.  In the community, they host “Kids Alive,” a school release program that offers religious instruction in cooperation with the local school district.  They also participate in a community hot dog roast and an annual Easter egg hunt.

Rose to Serve Elgin, McCray, Wayne Valley

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Ed Rose
Ed is a native Pennsylvanian born in Union City. His early life on a farm near Spartansburg changed as his family moved to Florida when he was 9 years old. He has recently returned to Northwestern Pennsylvania after 60 years living in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Italy and Spain. Ed served in the U. S. Navy for 24 years. One of the highlights of his Navy career was a tour of duty with the Blue Angels. He has also been a salesman and teacher. Ed served as a local pastor in the North Carolina Conference for three years and the Alabama-West Florida Conference for 12 years.
 
Ed graduated from Methodist University in 1985 and completed the basic Course of Study at Candler Seminary. He brings a wealth of experience and training to ministry in the Western PA Conference.
 
Ed has been married to Sandylee Rose for 47 years, has four children, and 10 grandchildren, and they share their home with Ginger, their mighty rescue dog.
 
Ed’s grandfather, Rev. Edwin F. Armitage, served churches in Western Pennsylvania and the Western New York Conference for 40 years until his retirement.  From his earliest years, Ed felt his grandfather’s love and encouragement to pursue a Christian vocation. After serving as a Chief Religious Program Specialist in the U. S. Navy, Ed began the process that led to licensing and appointment as a local pastor.
About Elgin, McCray, Wayne Valley UMCs
Elgin, McCray, and Wayne Valley have served the needs of the communities surrounding Corry, PA since the middle of the 19th Century.  Each of them has a unique story to tell, but all three congregations have been actively serving the Kingdom of Heaven in unbroken fashion for many years.
 
The exact date of the organization of the Elgin Church cannot be determined, but we know that it was somewhere around 1850.  The present building was originally the home of a congregation of another denomination, built in the nearby community of Beaverdam.  Sometime after 1867 it was purchased by Methodists and moved into the Borough of Elgin.  They have been a faithful presence there ever since.
 
Robert McCray gave land to a congregation around 1845 that was comprised of a Methodist Society and a Congregational Church. Sadly, sometime prior to 1900 the two bodies began to dispute about which one had use and control of the building.  A lawsuit ensued; the court ruled that both bodies should have joint use of the property, and that the Methodists should pay court costs.  Those costs were never paid and the church was placed on the market at a public sale. A member of the Methodist Board of Trustees purchased the building and sold it back to the Methodist congregation at an exceptionally reasonable price.  It has been their home ever since.  Several descendants of Robert McCray still participate in the congregation’s life, which reaches out to the community in creative and effective ways.
 
Not much is known about the history of Wayne Valley UMC, except that it was organized in 1869 by the Erie Conference of the United Brethren.  The church building was constructed in 1871 and enhanced in 1926.  The good folks on the Wayne Valley Church are faithful to serve the community around it in the name of Jesus Christ!
 
The new alignment that brings these three fine congregations together promises to be a new day of cooperation and commitment, making their ancestors proud.
 

Shaffer To Serve as Redbank Valley Associate

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Michael Shaffer
Growing up, Michael was very involved in his local church, attending Vacation Bible School and youth group. Eventually, he became a teacher at Bible School. After graduating from high school, Michael attended business school and worked managing pizza shops, in sales and as a masonry laborer.

Mike married and started his family at age 19. There were times in his life where he drifted away from the church. Following a divorce, he found his way back to church and credits his wife Amy for helping him to see his true calling in life – to share the love of Christ with others. He and Amy are the parents of eight children.

Mike has served as pastor to the Mount Nebo UMC and the Hickory Square UMC.  He feels blessed to be able to be a shepherd in Jesus’ name, sharing his own encounters with grace with those he serves.
About Redbank Valley Ministry
Growing up, Michael was very involved in his local church; attending Vacation Bible School and youth group. Eventually, he became a teacher at Bible School. After graduating from high school, Michael attended business school and worked managing pizza shops, in sales and as a masonry laborer. Michael married and began building his family at age 19. There were times in his life where he drifted away from the church. Following a divorce, he found his way back to church and credits his wife, Amy for helping him to see his true calling in life – to share the love of Christ with others. He and Amy are the parents of eight children. Michael has served as pastor to the Mount Nebo UMC and the Hickory Square UMC.  He feels blessed to be able to be a shepherd in Jesus’ name, sharing his own encounters with grace with those he serves.
 
The Redbank Valley United Methodist Ministry is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a cooperative ministry. It is comprised of seven churches (New Bethlehem: First, Fairmount City, Leasure Run, Putneyville, Oak Ridge, Hawthorn and Oak Ridge) all located in the New Bethlehem area in Clarion and Armstrong counties. While each church has ministry of its own, they celebrate what each one brings to the combined ministry. Outreach to the local community and beyond is at the heart of what they do best. The churches host monthly dollar dinners, serve at soup kitchens in Pittsburgh on a regular basis, collect items for UMCOR, volunteer at the Mission Barn and Mission Central, support the local food pantry and help those in the community who need assistance. Additionally, churches have supported mission trips to New York City and Kentucky, sponsor Vacation Bible School for the community and currently have three Bible Studies.
 

Sholtis To Serve Connellsville Cooperative Parish

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Mark A. Sholtis
Mark A. Sholtis has been appointed to the Connellsville Cooperative Parish effective July 1, 2018.
Rev. Sholtis has been the Pastor at Normalville United Methodist Church since July 2003. He began ministry at Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church in November of 2002 as pulpit supply under lead Pastor Rev. Dr. Marvin Watson and District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Tom St. Clair after completing the requirements of Commissioned Lay Speaker. 

 Pastor Mark completed his Bachelor of Science Degree studies in Business Administration at Penn State University. He formerly owned and operated an electronics communication equipment company. Hearing and responding to God’s call on his life and completing Licensing School, he enrolled in the United Methodist Course of Study, taking classes at Buffalo, NY Extension of Wesley Theological Seminary  and Appalachian Local Pastor’s School (A.L.P.S.) extension of Candler School of Theology of Emory University, at Union College in Barbourville, KY, where he completed required classes in 2014. He has chosen to remain a Local Pastor serving his Lord Jesus Christ and remaining in his home area rather than entering the itinerancy process. His pastoral gifts include visiting and comforting the sick, grieving, and aging; singing praises to God in various settings, and evangelizing the good news of Jesus wherever possible.
 
Rev. Sholtis was married in Christ to the love of his life, Karen D. (Smith) Sholtis in July 1979. After conferring with the Lord, they “planted their flag” in Fayette County, living in Connellsville since 1987, together serving the Lord with gladness in the power of the Holy Spirit. Retired from teaching in the Connellsville Area School District after 35 years, Karen is a student in the Certified Lay Ministry program of the Western PA Conference. Both teach in the Connellsville District Lay Servant School, in keeping with their passion for growing in the knowledge and love of God and sharing that unsurpassable blessing with other inquiring people. 

Pastor Mark and Karen celebrate their God-blessed life with their children and their spouses and three glorious grandchildren, along with numerous extended family. They enjoy gardening, bee-keeping, and outdoor recreation, especially on the Yough River Trail.
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish

The churches of this newly formed 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—service 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 17th of that year.  This building was destroyed by fire and replaced with the current building in 1903.
 

Smith to Serve Mifflin Avenue, South Avenue UMCs

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Kelly J. Smith
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will appoint Rev. Kelly J. Smith to the newly created Wilkinsburg Charge in the Pittsburgh District that includes South Avenue UMC and Mifflin Avenue UMC. Kelly has served as Mifflin Avenue’s pastor since 2012.  She has strong connections in the wider Wilkinsburg community through her service as president of the Wilkinsburg Community Ministries and work with Equality PA.
 
Pastor Kelly served the charge of Uniontown UMC and Fairchance: Trinity in the Connellsville District after graduation from Perkins School of Theology.  She was certified in urban ministry in seminary and has a heart for it, with a longing to reach and include all people within a welcoming, inclusive, and affirming community. 
 
Preaching is one of Pastor Kelly’s strengths. She engages congregations in ways that allow them to grow and reflect on their faith.  She is comfortable designing and leading traditional, contemporary, and alternative worship experiences.
 
Pastor Kelly’s passion for ministry is rooted in her deep desire to share God’s love and the Good News of Jesus Christ.  She is intentional about helping others to define and understand their faith in God, their call to discipleship, and their faith goals.
 
She is committed to building and nurturing healthy, loving, and lasting relationships with persons within and outside the church.  Her energetic spirit and outgoing personality make others feel comfortable, welcomed, and affirmed for who they are.  She counts opportunities for pastoral care as grace and privilege that build relationships and trust. 
 
Kelly was involved in youth ministry for 10 years at Garden City UMC, Oaklawn UMC (Dallas, while in seminary), and Penn Hills: Trinity Towers.  She actively seeks and welcomes young adults, young families, and persons in recovery and desires to build ministries that respond to their faith, emotional, and spiritual needs.   
 
She serves as an Annual Conference Floor Manager, Chair of the Board of Church and Society, and as a member of the executive team of the Order of Elders, the Ethnic Local Church Concerns committee, Reconciling Ministries Core Team, Board of Ordained Ministry, and Pittsburgh District Committee on Ministry.
 
Kelly is the mother of a son, Jeremiah, and a daughter, Micah Jean. She eagerly looks forward to being part of a clergy, laity, and community team focused on ministry renewal in the Wilkinsburg area.
 
About Mifflin Ave. and South Ave. UMCs
Mifflin Avenue UMC is located in a residential area near the border of Wilkinsburg and the City of Pittsburgh's Regent Square area. The population is a mix of older residents, young professionals and families and the area is increasingly diverse. The congregation embraces diversity as a moral and spiritual imperative.  The congregation is blessed with a passionate, capable, and energetic laity leadership team and committed congregants who actively seek ways to engage the changing community in meaningful and transforming ways. 
Strong nurture, discipleship, outreach, social, and justice efforts influence their lives and the church’s ministry, shape their care and concern for others, and determine their response to persons within and outside the congregation. Members, friends, and guests are nurtured in a traditional worship experience with strong preaching.  Discipleship formation revolves around pastor and laity-facilitated Bible and book study groups, Sunday school for persons of all ages, nursery ministry, a variety of small group ministries, and VBS.

The church engages the community through its clothing ministry, Food Pantry, and financial; volunteer support for local community, national, and global service agencies and missions; and standing with others to address social and justice concerns.  The congregation supports UMC global ministries and provides financial and volunteer support for the Wilkinsburg Community Ministry, Circle of Faith, Church World Service, Shepherd Wellness Center, The Nyadire Connection, Wilkinsburg Sanctuary Project, and Foundation of Hope Prison Ministry.

The congregation is in the midst of a visioning initiative to determine what its future looks like.  Areas of visioning include other possible styles of worship services, leadership development, assessment of financial capacity, ways to increase evangelism, public witness, community invitation, and efficiency of space and facility utilization. 


South Avenue UMC is located in the changing and increasingly diverse urbanized Wilkinsburg community that is economically distressed, but beginning to experience revitalization. The church is located within about a mile of Mifflin Avenue UMC.  Its beautiful sanctuary with historic organ reflects the old-world charm of a European cathedral.  

South Avenue is deeply invested in the Wilkinsburg community, even though most members of its aging congregation live outside the community and do not reflect surrounding demographics. The Sunday worship service offers a blended style with an excellent music ministry that is one of the church’s key strengths.  Its nurture ministries include a pastor-led Bible study and adult and youth Sunday school. 
The congregation has a reputation for hospitality and a facility that functions as a community center for youth and other ministry groups and houses a large state-certified school for children on the autism spectrum. 

The church hosts an active community children and youth program with tutoring, meals, and life-skills training coordinated by a youth director, a Food Pantry, ramp building team, variety of UMW projects, and financial and volunteer support of local community service groups, and national and global ministry and mission projects. 

South Avenue's ecumenical ministry includes Wilkinsburg Community Ministry, Sanctuary Project, Ministry Council, and sharing its sanctuary with Living Waters congregation.  Hospitality meals, monthly meal ministry for a women's shelter, UMCOR projects, music concerts, and a summer lunch program are the nucleus of the congregation’s outreach ministry.
 
The congregation is working with an outside congregational consultant to identify ways to elevate its presence in the community, increase its engagement and witness with and in the changing community, and determine the future strategic direction for the church.  With the support and encouragement of the congregation, South Avenue’s capable and effective laity leadership team is committed to moving forward, as God’s calling for the congregation is discerned.
 
 
 

Andy Blystone to Serve in Corry

Announced: 04-15-2018

About Andrew Blystone
Andy was blessed to grow up in Union City PA, and was a faithful participant in the ministry of Centerville UMC. The rural congregation was an encouraging and loving place to explore the Christian faith and be formed in the ways of Methodism. Being involved in the life of the local church helped him see the ways the body of Christ comes together using unique gifts to serve God, one another, the community, and the world. With the generous support of the local church Andy had the privilege of attending summer camp at Wesley Woods from the time he was nine until after high school. While a supportive family and great local church were instrumental in his faith development, the summer camping program, particularly attending Junior High Horse Camp, were yearly mountain-top experiences that helped spur his love for God.

In the fall of 2004 Andy entered Asbury College (now University) and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Christian Ministries. He continued to return to Wesley Woods during the summers and worked as a lifeguard, program staff counselor, and as the summer program director. While in college Andy took advantage of the opportunity to serve the people of Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with four different work crews over three years. While those trips were formative in thinking about what it means to help people on a variety of levels, his most meaningful memory was meeting a young woman from Florida who was also an Asbury student named Sandi. After graduating, they married in Wilmore, KY and returned to NWPA.

For three years Andy served as the program director at Wesley Woods. In 2012 he answered God’s call to pastoral ministry and began serving the Tionesta-Tylersburg Charge as the associate and as the senior pastor in 2013. Sandi and Andy have doubled the size of their family since living in Tionesta and are the proud parents of Jason,4, and Joseph, 2. Andy enjoys time with family and friends, cooking, baking, grilling and smoking (meats), is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan and relishes the magic of theme parks. Sandi works as a hospice social worker and enjoys documenting the adventures and exploits of her family in photo books. 

Andy is currently enrolled as a student in Course of Study. He looks forward to using his gifts for ministry to help the church be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need and far from God and teaching and leading groups as they grow together in Christ. He continues to be active as a summer chaplain and Bible study leader at Wesley Woods and together with his wife has a heart for disaster relief and international missions. While they have loved the beauty of God’s country in Forest and Clarion Counties and have been humbled by the people of the Tionesta and Tylersburg Charge, they look forward to what God has in store as they begin the next chapter of their story at Corry Evangelical UMC in July 2018.
 
 
About Corry Evangelical UMC
Corry: Evangelical Church has its roots in the Erie Conference of the United Brethren tradition when a class was first organized in 1864.  The first building was erected in 1866, destroyed by fire in 1872 and rebuilt.  That building was remodeled in 1927, but burned again in 1936.  Later that year a new building was constructed.  Additions were made in 1950 and 1963. 
 
The congregation has been a tenacious presence in the Borough of Corry, offering the Good News of Jesus Christ for a long time.  They are an active community partner, working with agencies and other churches to bring relief to those who are marginalized or underserved.  One of those community partners, Love INC (Love in the Name of Christ) has offices located in the church building.  They also have a long and proud history of support for global missions and provide leadership for an annual Missionary Conference.
 

Bogdewic to Serve in Sharpsville, Sharon

Announced: 04-15-2018

About Chad Bogdewic
Chad grew up in Washington County and graduated from California University of Pennsylvania, where he studied Business Administration.  After graduating, he worked at Centerville Clinics, Inc. as the Assistant Director of Grants and Supports Services, where he wrote proposals for federal and state grants, managed several departments, and worked as the assistant to the executive director.
 
Chad was called into ministry when he was 25.  He went to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree and a Master’s Certificate in urban ministry. He focused his studies on racial reconciliation and economic equality.  In addition to his M.Div, Chad also earned a Master of Sacred Theology from PTS, studying ancient and modern idolatry, the phenomenology of prophecy, and the prophetic response to the form of idolatry of modern America, which he argued was individualism, mammonism, and nationalism.

Chad was ordained an Elder in 2016 and has served mainly in small town and rural settings. He is excited to be able to use his education to work in suburban and urban ministry.

Chad enjoys writing, and is a published author. His book is “American Idols: A Prophetic Indictment Against Idolatry in the United States.” One of his sermons has also been published in a Southwestern Pennsylvania publication. He enjoys reading, especially books on racial and gender equality and reconciliation, Old Testament theology, and prophecy.  He currently serves on the Butler District DCoM, the Conference Disability Concerns Committee and the Young Adult Team, and is a resource person and grant writer for the denomination’s U.M. DisAbility Committee.

He is married to Patricia, a social worker who is working on her MDiv from United Theological Seminary in hopes of becoming a Deacon with a focus on disability ministries.  They have two children, Eliyana (6) and Jonathan (4).
 
About Sharpsville First/Oakland Ave. UMCs
First UMC in Sharpsville and Oakland Avenue United Methodist churches have been a two-point charge for two years and are exploring new ways of being in ministry together. Game nights have provided fellowship and a time for the congregations to get to know one another better.  The churches have a combined presence in a suburban and urban setting. They have been practicing new ways to show radical hospitality. A dinner was held to honor and thank local and community emergency responders for their service.  Vacation Bible School is a highlight of the summer for children in the community.

The churches are part of a cluster of United Methodist churches in the Shenango Valley that are very actively involved in ministry together including taking annual mission trips, packaging meals for the hungry and shared worship services. Their mission is to share God with the least, the last and the lost.

 

Jay Sterling to serve Wurtemburg/Koppel

Announced: 04-15-2018

About Jay Sterling
Jay Sterling has faithfully served in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference for 34 years. Jay is a native of Oil City where Grace UMC is his home church. Jay grew up surrounded by Christians whose beliefs formed much of his worldview at the time. However, when he went to the University of Pennsylvania Jay rejected the teachings of his youth and lived as an atheist. At Penn, Jay planned to be a chemical engineer, but, as he began his studies, found that he hated the subject, so he changed his major to liberal arts.

Upon graduation Jay did not feel he was completely ready for further studies, so he entered the US2 program through the General Board of Global Ministries. As a US2, his call to ministry became clear and he entered Wesley Theological Seminary. Jay is well versed in history and shines at being a student of scripture. He preaches contextually, helping the listener not only to understand what the scripture meant when first written, but what it means today.
 
Jay and his wife Martha have three daughters – Sarah, Joanna, and Lydia.  Jay has served at Creekside, Eldersville, Clarks Mills, and Conneaut: Trinity, where he's currently appointed. The people at Wurtemburg and Koppel and the Sterlings are optimistic about the potential of these historic churches as they continue to find ways to make the gospel relevant to their communities and the world beyond.
 
About Wurtemburg/Koppel Charge

Wurtemburg UMC is a small, but active church. Located on the outskirts of Ellwood City in the borough of Ellport, the church cares for its members while engaging in a variety of outreach ministries.  In addition to supporting various missions and missionaries, the congregation is involved in an Ellwood City ministry called the Carpenter’s Project in which homes are repaired for their low-income neighbors.  They also collect backpacks and school supplies for the Ellwood City School District’s low-income and homeless students every year.  Additionally, their Breaking Free ministry offers Bible Study and outreach to the inmates of the Lawrence County Jail.  Church members pride themselves on caring for each other and the wider community, both local and global.  They see their mission as loving God and their neighbors, no matter where they are.
 
Though Koppel United Methodist Church  is small, it is mighty.  It is the only church in the small mill town of Koppel, PA, which has a population of around 800, many of whom identify as Catholic. The church is active with community events and has a relationship with the local fire department.  Koppel hosts soup suppers, with the proceeds going back into the community.  It also has an active youth group that reaches  local youth of the neighborhood.  The church has much potential for growth.  The people of Koppel UMC love to love on people and see it as their God-given mission.
 

Ronnie Cox to Serve Lake City First UMC

Announced: 04-15-2018

About Ronald Cox
Born and raised in the Erie area, Ronnie Cox was raised Mormon until the age of 12. During high school he began attending Erie: Asbury UMC;  in 2012 Ronnie committed his life to Christ and his life was forever changed.
 
During his sophomore year of college, Ronnie began to discern the call to ministry. He was heavily involved in campus ministry, which played a role in his call. It was on a retreat called Radiate that he first truly knew God was calling him to pastoral ministry. Over the next few years on campus he was a weekly meeting leader with Campus Crusade for Christ.
 
Ronnie graduated from Penn State Behrend in 2017, earning a bachelor’s degree in science with a focus in mathematics. In the Summer of 2017 he married the love of his life, Jamie. Ronnie is currently a student at Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan University in Rochester, NY. 
 
Ronnie has been serving as the youth director at Park UMC in North East, PA, where he lives with his wife and their new puppy Perry. He enjoys video games, home improvement projects and spending time with friends and family. 
 
 
About Lake City First UMC
Lake City: First UMC was part of the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The earliest worship service on record was held in a cabin on the “Reed Farm” in 1816.   A class began to meet on a regular basis in 1817 in the “Osborne Cabin.”  A chapel building was erected in 1867 where services continued through 1887 when a pastor was appointed.  In 1883 the chapel was moved to a larger lot and enlarged; that structure burned to the ground in 1920.  A more solid brick building was built there in 1921.
 
Lake City itself has seen a number of changes; the church has been part of the fabric of the community through it all.  Today the congregation stands on the foundation built by those who came before, ready to discover its future.
 

Ali Berkey to Serve in Oil City Area

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Alison Berkey
Born in Hollsopple, PA, Alison (Ali) Berkey was baptized and grew up in the Lutheran church.   At age 10 she began to sense God’s calling to ordained ministry and participated in various activities within her church.  She attended college at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown pursuing a degree in communications, then earned a master of divinity degree in 2002 from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. 

Unfortunately, the Lutheran Church did not believe she was called to be a Lutheran pastor so she continued searching for God’s calling in her life.  After owning a preschool/ daycare center and being a hospital chaplain in North Carolina, she still felt God calling her to ordained ministry, this time as a United Methodist. 
 
In 2009, she became a member of Belmont UMC in Johnstown. In 2011, she was appointed to Mt. Tabor and Robinson UMC.  She then served a five-point Cooperative Parish that included the Karns City/ Chicora Charge, the Faith Community: Bruin and Fairview campuses and Ridgeville Charge.   Here her gifts for ministry in preaching and teaching God’s Word, as well as her compassion for all people, were lifted up.  Ali’s passion is seeing the best in everyone and championing the gifts God gives us all.
 
In 2014, she married Rev. Wade Berkey and became a step-mom to Natalia, now a junior at Asbury University.  In 2015, nearly 30 year after first hearing her calling, she was ordained an elder. She is currently serving the Allegheny River Charge, consisting of Union Ave, Manorville, and Ford Memorial UMCs. 
 
Her husband Wade is also a United Methodist Elder and will be serving First UMC in Franklin.  They come with their rescue dog Shirley and deaf cat Nilla.  Ali enjoys gardening, scrapbooking, card and candle making, and bicycling with Wade.


 
 
About Oil City: Calvary/Plumer UMCs
The Calvary and Plumer United Methodist churches are very involved in outreach in their communities. Calvary UMC offers a “Back Door Café” twice a month to provide food and fellowship to their neighbors. The ministry developed from the congregation seeing the need to minister to those who traveled down the alley that is located behind the church. The churches collect Christmas gifts for children of prisoners, among other outreach ministries. Music is an important part of worship that includes a choir and praise band. Along with Sunday School, there is an active youth group available for children and youth.
 

Campbell to serve Albion Cooperative Ministry

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Theresa Campbell
Theresa (Terry) Campbell, who will begin serving as associate pastor of the newly formed Albion Area Cooperative Ministry on July 1, was born and raised in Cranesville, Pennsylvania. While attending Northwestern High School she worshiped at the Catholic Church and attended Campus Life Ministry, helping where ever she was needed.  After high school the business world caught her eye. She graduated with an associate's degree in accounting and programming from ICM School of Business in Pittsburgh.

Terry enjoys being the “go to” person when things need to be done; serving others has always been her driving force.  Little did she know where that might direct her! Participating in Disciple Bible Study at West Springfield and Cranesville UM churches, she developed a deeper love for the Word and started attending Lay Speaking courses. There was a natural progression from serving as pulpit supply at Springfield and West Cranesville UMCs to Local Pastor. 

Sharing the truth and the amazing trust God has put into our hands is a humbling experience, she says.  Working, standing and pulling together to build God’s Kingdom keeps her focused on God’s use for each of us.   “Ecclesiastes 4:12:  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Terry is blessed to share life with her amazing husband Dan, four sons, one daughter, one grandson and two granddaughters. She loves to incorporate the word into her secular full-time job as a Virtual Consultant, helping people through change working with new computer systems. 
 
About Albion Area Cooperative Ministry
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry -- Albion: Grace, Cranesville and West Springfield United Methodist churches -- are on the northern tier of the Erie-Meadville District, minutes from the southern shore of Lake Erie. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albion: Grace was organized in 1833 in the home of Albert Jackson. Albion was then known as Jackson's Crossroads. Services were held in the Jackson log cabin home at first, then in Juliet Academy from 1839 to 1853. A white frame church was constructed in 1854; the current brick building was erected in 1913 and the educational unit was added in 1958. The congregation has a long history of involvement in the community, including involvement in outreach programs to children and adults.  After the catastrophic tornado hit the Borough of Albion in 1985, the church emerged as a community center of refuge and resource, offering peace and comfort in the name of Jesus Christ.
 
Cranesville UMC traces its history to 1835 when Methodist Societies in Cranesville and Wellsburg joined forces to create a strong congregation. The building has seen a great number of modifications through the years, many of them done by the church members themselves. Cranesville Church is a warm and loving group of people who love their church and envision a bright future.  They are dedicated to missions and work to spread the love of God in Christ to everyone!

West Springfield traces its history to 1800 when a circuit rider from Ohio was invited to come to the new settlement and preach there.  It is the “mother church” of the original Erie Circuit. The first church, built of round logs and covered with clapboard, was the first church building in the territory of the Erie Conference. Today West Springfield is a caring congregation, dedicated to the community in which they live and looking forward to the future guided by the Holy Spirit.
 

Dotts to Serve Grove Ave. UMC

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Adam T. Dotts
Rev. Adam T. Dotts will be appointed to serve the Grove Avenue United Methodist Church, located in the Moxham neighborhood of Johnstown, Pa., effective July 1, 2018.   Adam graduated with a Masters of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in December 2017 and will be commissioned as a Provisional Elder at the 2018 session of Annual Conference.  Since 2014, he has been serving the Westover/East Ridge/LaJose Charge in the northern section of the Johnstown District.  Prior to his appointment, Adam was a very active lay leader at the Coalport: First United Methodist Church.

Before hearing a call into ordained ministry, Adam worked as a Forensic Auditor/Special Investigator for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General.  He is a life-long learner and has degrees in both Accounting and Criminal Justice.  Adam has used these skills in assisting several United Methodist Churches in the Johnstown District conduct audits and create financial plans, as well as to bolster the ministry and mission of the three-point rural charge he has served for the past four years.  Adam has helped the churches under his care to better define their mission and to reduce operational costs so that ministry can flourish.    

Adam has been married for 25 years to his wife Amy and has two children and a son-in-law.  His daughter Andrea is attending the University of Pittsburgh (Johnstown) for biology education; her husband, Hunter, is also attending the same University and plans to start law school in 2019. The Dotts’ 15-year-old son Adam attends the Altoona vocational school for HVAC. 

Adam currently serves on the Board of Directors for United Methodist Human Services, the mission agency of the Johnstown District.  He is passionate about seeking out his role in ministry and social justice.
 
About Grove Ave. UMC
The Grove Avenue United Methodist Church is located in the Moxham neighborhood of Johnstown, Pa.  The church has a strong history of mission and ministry to their community, and in recent years, as the neighborhood around them has changed, the church leadership has wrestled with how to better reach their neighbors in the name of Jesus Christ.  For the past decade, the church has been part of the Moxham United Methodist Cooperative, and along with these sister U.M. churches and churches of other denominations, Grove Avenue has taken strides to be involved in new outreach efforts.  For several years, the church has offered “Block Parties,” movie nights, Trunk & Treat, and other events for children and youth.  The church sponsors a weekly “Farmer’s Market” in its parking lot during the summer, offering space for local farmers and vendors to sell their goods. A new and exciting ministry is almost ready to launch: For the past 18 months, the church leadership has worked toward acquiring a Church and Community Worker through the General Board of Global Missions of the United Methodist Church.  This CCW would live in the Moxham neighborhood and  make connections from the community into the church, all for the sake of bringing new people into relationship with Jesus Christ.  The church received a significant grant from the WPA Conference Parish and Community Development team, and will partner with various non-profit service organizations and foundations in the region to provide the needed support for this CCW and the subsequent ministry that will emerge.

The church offers two worship services on Sunday morning.  The 9 a.m. service is contemporary and features a praise band and the weekly offering of the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  The 10:45 a.m. worship service is traditional. In addition to the burgeoning outreach ministries, the church offers Bible studies, Men’s and Women’s groups, fellowship activities and seasonal worship services. 
 

Gross to serve Speers/Dunlevy/Charleroi First Charge

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Beverly Ann Gross
Born in McKeesport the youngest of four girls, as a child Beverly attended and was confirmed at First United Methodist Church, McKeesport. Upon graduating high school Beverly earned an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from the Community College of Allegheny County.  For the next several years, she was an active member of a Lay Witness Team in WPA and traveled throughout the Eastern United States sharing her faith, bearing witness to what God had done and was doing in and through her life.

Beverly returned to school and received a degree in Library Science and a teaching degree from Clarion State University.  She also married her husband Jim.  Together they served the Lord teaching Sunday school, VBS, helping with youth and family life groups and leading Bible studies. Relocating to the Munhall area, Beverly and Jim became active members of Homestead Park UMC where she worked as the church’s parish visitor and a teacher in the church’s preschool.  Beverly would later become the assistant director of Walnut Grove Christian School and Daycare. As part of Beverly’s continuing response to God’s call, she later worked as a teacher of children with autism at PLEA and Pressley Ridge School and as the youth director of Baldwin Community UMC. 
 
When God called Beverly to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church, she enrolled in Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and graduated in May 2002 with a Master of Divinity degree.  While in seminary, Beverly served at Walton and Stanton Heights UM churches and as chaplain of Goodwill Industries.  After ordination as an Elder in 2005, she served as pastor at Rosedale, Valencia, Claysville, Albright, St. Paul and Pleasant Unity UM churches, until retiring from active ministry in June 2017. In retirement, Bev has served as the interim pastor at Fells UMC in Belle Vernon.
 
Beverly serves on the Conference Board of Discipleship and has served for the past 15 years as dean of Discovery Camp for mentally challenged adults at Jumonville.  Beverly also teaches at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She is the recipient of the 2002 John W. Meister Award for achieved excellence of leadership in pastoral ministry and has been certified as a religious medal instructor for Boy Scouts of America.
 
Beverly and Jim, a retired CPA, have three children: Daughter Kathy and her husband John have two children  and live in Elizabeth; daughter Wendy and husband Matt have two girls and a boy and live in Ohio; son Gavin and his wife Heather have two children and live in Monessen.
 
Beverly finds joy in every aspect of ministry, both in the local church and in the community. She serves God with a willing, committed and loving spirit and is excited about the opportunity to continue to serve the local church.
 
About Speers, Dunleavy/Charleroi:First Charge
Speers, Dunlevy and Charleroi First UM churches, while in Monongahela River communities that differ in size and description, hold in common their desire to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, shining the light of Jesus, and sharing Jesus’ love with everyone they meet wherever they meet them and bringing others to know Jesus as their Savior.” The churches are actively engaged in community-based ministries to persons from Nigeria, unchurched children and youth, persons struggling with addiction and providing food to those in need.  All three churches seek to open their doors and their heart in mission and ministry, making the love of Jesus known to all.  Committed to Christian discipleship and spiritual formation, the Charge seeks to disciple people of all ages, modeling what it means to be a disciple of Jesus by living lives marked with compassion, warmth, hospitality, prayer and imagination!  The laity understand the need to do their part in ministry, rather than relying on the pastor to do it all!

Although the congregations are made up mostly of older people, no one has given up, nor do they expect too!  To a person the members of all three churches look forward with hope, anticipation and expectation to what God is going to do and the difference each of the churches will make in the neighborhoods where they are planted and beyond!
 

Han to Lead Cooperative Ministry

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Duk Hee Han
Duk Hee Han, who has served as pastor of Albion: Grace United Methodist Church since 2012, will serve as senior pastor of the newly formed Albion Cooperative Ministry beginning July 1, 2018.

Pastor Han was born and brought up in a countryside of Korea as the youngest of three boys. He was most influenced by his parents, who were passionate Christians. Though they farmed in a secluded place in the mountains, they implanted conviction and courage in their son, allowing him to experience and live out Jesus' love through their examples.
 
Duk Hee married his soul mate, Eun Young, 19 years ago and they have been blessed with two wonderful sons, Kyu Hyung, 18, and Kyu Hyek, 15.
 
Duk Hee graduated from Korean Methodist Seminary in February 1993 with a degree in theology. While at seminary, in addition to accumulating theological knowledge, along with some friends, he devoted himself to helping less fortunate neighbors such as orphans, blind children, and tuberculosis patients. 
 
Following his 1994 ordination in the Central Annual Conference of the Korean Methodist Church, Duk Hee engaged in mission in Zambia, Africa. Initially he found many contradictions between mission theory and practice, but it was very helpful to establish his own philosophy and principle about mission based on the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. He was convinced that effective mission depends on the attitude of the missionary, ideally someone who can absorb other cultures and thought and establish good partnerships by mixing with the local people.
 
While Duk Hee was working in the Philippines, he earned his masters and doctoral degrees. After completing his doctorate in church administration at Union Theological Seminary, he taught Christian Leadership at Wesley Divinity School in Cabanatuan City for a year. Through his teaching experience, he further enhanced his organizational and leadership skills and came to better understand the importance of respecting the viewpoints of native people in trying to carry out God's mission effectively in foreign countries.
 
Duk Hee has been privileged to serve God through the United Methodist Church since he immigrating to America in 2004. His 13 years of experience serving as pastor with local churches in Western PA, including YESS Shared Ministry, Seward, College Hill and Grace, has provided him with enthusiasm for serving God's people regardless of gender, age, color, national origin or economic circumstances.
 
Duk Hee’s personal mission statement is "To be a model of the believers by loving, forgiving, serving, giving and witnessing in Jesus Christ." He practices the 2,3,7 every day for his spiritual disciplines:
  • 2 - He meditates on the word of God twice a day in the morning and in the evening (Joshua 1:8).
  • 3 - He prays three times a day in the morning, noon, and in the evening (Daniel 6:10).
  • 7 - He sings praise to God seven times a day (Psalm 119:164).
About Albion Area Cooperative Ministry
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry -- Albion: Grace, Cranesville and West Springfield United Methodist churches -- are on the northern tier of the Erie-Meadville District, minutes from the southern shore of Lake Erie. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albion: Grace was organized in 1833 in the home of Albert Jackson. Albion was then known as Jackson's Crossroads. Services were held in the Jackson log cabin home at first, then in Juliet Academy from 1839 to 1853. A white frame church was constructed in 1854; the current brick building was erected in 1913 and the educational unit was added in 1958. The congregation has a long history of involvement in the community, including involvement in outreach programs to children and adults.  After the catastrophic tornado hit the Borough of Albion in 1985, the church emerged as a community center of refuge and resource, offering peace and comfort in the name of Jesus Christ.
 
Cranesville UMC traces its history to 1835 when Methodist Societies in Cranesville and Wellsburg joined forces to create a strong congregation. The building has seen a great number of modifications through the years, many of them done by the church members themselves. Cranesville Church is a warm and loving group of people who love their church and envision a bright future.  They are dedicated to missions and work to spread the love of God in Christ to everyone!

West Springfield traces its history to 1800 when a circuit rider from Ohio was invited to come to the new settlement and preach there.  It is the “mother church” of the original Erie Circuit. The first church, built of round logs and covered with clapboard, was the first church building in the territory of the Erie Conference. Today West Springfield is a caring congregation, dedicated to the community in which they live and looking forward to the future guided by the Holy Spirit.
 

Miller to serve Harrisville/Forestville

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Kenneth Miller
Ken Miller been compellingly interested in authentic spiritual connection since he was a teen.  This led ultimately, after an earnest and thorough-going search, to a convicting Wesleyan experience of the saving power of God.  Along with it came a Jonah-like call to ministry. This compelling interest, convicting experience and numinous call continue to drive the core of his ministry.  Ken loves to tell the story…of Jesus and his love” – and he loves the challenge of relating that simple story to an ever-changing, complex world. 

Other ministry influences include training and experience in law and mediation, business management and marketing, depth psychology and American storytelling and literature.

Ken enjoys Chicago electric blues, visionary art, authentic Italian cuisine, American football and basketball and anything which quickens the soul and brightens the mind in this wide, wide wonderful, fascinating world. 

Ken is looking forward to beginning a new stage of his life in which he plans to write and to share his ministry "with my lovely bride-to-be, Diane."
 
About Harrisville/Forestville United Methodist churches
The Harrisville and Forestville Charge is made up of two churches in the Route 8 corridor in northern Butler County. The churches are made up of people who are resilient in their faith.

Harrisville United Methodist Church is a small town church that still seeks to stimulate a revival of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. In worship, they explore scripture to seek a deeper understanding of the call of Christ upon their lives. They strive to take the message of Good News out to others while serving those in the community in need.
 
“Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors” is the foundation of our Wesleyan theology. Through worship, outreach, study, mission and active community engagement the people of Harrisville seek to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ in the world, redeemed by Christ’s blood and God’s infinite grace. The Harrisville church offers both a morning contemporary worship service and a traditional service at 11 a.m.

The Forestville church is in a more rural area with fewer younger people. The congregation supports the local food pantry, helped with a summer feeding program for children and has provided funds for a school nurse to purchase socks, mittens and winter items for children in need. 

The Harrisville and Forestville congregations are constantly looking for the next right answer as they strive to connect with their communities and make God's love real in their area and the world.

Rishell to Serve Ringgold, North Freedom UMCs

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Angela Rishell
Angela (Angel) Rishell was born and raised in Brookville, PA where she and her family were very active in the Brookville Evangelical UMC.  In high school, Angel was active in her local youth group, served as the president of the Indiana District youth, and as a page/youth delegate at Annual Conference every year.  When she graduated high school, she was the District's young adult representative to Annual Conference.

She attended lay speaking school in early high school and preached a few times in her local church.  Camping at Wesley Woods was also a big part of her life every summer as it helped to shape her into the Christian and leader that she has become.  When she was too old to be a camper, she became a volunteer counselor at her favorite MACD/Sack camp.
Despite her active involvement in church and youth group, she felt called and was determined to become a veterinarian, which led her to Penn State to get a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.  While she was in college, she attended Exploration, where she received her call into ministry.  With the intention of going to seminary after college, she finished her degree from Penn State and graduated from the College of Agriculture in May of 2014.  That summer she married Ryan Rishell and began seminary at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in the fall. 

In April of 2015, Angel started her first appointment as the associate pastor at the Good Shepherd parish in Indiana District, where she began learning how to be an effective minister.  In September of 2017, Ryan and Angel welcomed their beautiful daughter, Gracelyn Noelle into the world.  As a family, they are excited to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit as they take on their next opportunity in ministry after Angel graduates from seminary in June.

As of July 2017, Angel is the chairperson of the conference Commission On the Status and Role Of Women (COSROW) and has been meeting regularly with her team to help lead the church for the equal opportunity and involvement for all of God’s children and to provide opportunities of healing for women who are being or have been sexually harassed.
When Angel is nervous or hesitant about the new opportunities laid out before her by God, she is comforted and encouraged by the words of her late grandfather, who was a United Methodist pastor, “If He calls you to it, He’ll call you through it”.
 
About Ringgold Charge
The Ringgold Charge includes Ringgold UMC and North Freedom UMC. The small-membership churches are about five miles apart in a rural area of Jefferson County along PA Route 536 west of Punxsutawney.

Ringgold UMC is well-connected to its community and is family-oriented. The church supports various local organizations and ministries, including a food pantry, clothing ministry, ramp-building, and VBS for area children. 

North Freedom UMC offers material and monetary donations to food banks and nearby outreach stores, financial support for local people as need becomes known; a medical equipment outreach, participates in local mission projects and offers an annual Thanksgiving dinner.

Teluch to Serve Bellview Charge

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Terry Teluch
Terry Teluch has been appointed to serve the three churches of the Bellview Charge, effective July 1.
 
Born in New Eagle, PA and a member of Marianna UMC, he was licensed as a local pastor in 2000 and served charges in the Washington District until 2007, when he moved to Indiana District to serve full-time in the Mahaffey Area Parish in the Indiana District. Terry completed studies at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 2008 and moved to serve the Uniontown Larger Parish in 2009. He earned a degree from Ashford University in 2010, and in 2014, was received as an associate member of the Western PA Annual Conference. The following year, he was appointed to serve Sheffield and Barnes UMCs in the Kane District.
 
A veteran of the US Army, Terry served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard from 1991- 1996.
 
In his off time, he enjoys golf, music, hiking, evening camp fires and biking. All of these activities are used to enjoy the beauty created by God, he said.  They also serve as a means to share the message of God’s love through the selfless acts of his Son Jesus Christ. “I find these activities are opportunities to share with people who are not people of the church or have not experienced a relationship with Jesus Christ,” he explained.
 
About Bellview Charge
The Bellview Charge, southwest of Brookville, PA, consists of three small rural churches --Mount Pleasant, Ohl and Stanton UMCs. The churches have historically provide financial support for missions and missionaries; supported a food pantry, and operated Vacation Bible School programs. 

Valerie Mize to Serve Roxbury Church

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Valerie Mize
The Rev. Valerie B. Mize will be appointed to serve the Roxbury St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Johnstown, effective July 1, 2018.  Valerie was commissioned as a Provisional Elder at the 2017 session of Annual Conference and is slated to graduate from United Theological Seminary in May 2018.  While attending seminary, she served Mount Tabor/Robinson: Evangelical (2015-2016) and Conemaugh: First (2016-2018).  Valerie is married to Rev. John Mize, who is a Provisional Elder serving at the Westmont United Methodist Church in Johnstown.  The couple has two daughters:  Sydney, 12, who is the 6th grade; and Sophie, who is 11 years old and in the 5th grade.
 
Valerie grew up in Blairsville, Pa where her family was very active in the Blairsville: First United Methodist Church.  She was active in liturgy and music from a very young age, and served as a leader in the youth group. She attended Point Park College in Pittsburgh for Musical Theatre performance, during which she spent summers as a camp counselor teaching music, drama, and the gospel.   After graduation, she went to Minnesota, where she was trained as a Youth Minister and spent 6 ½ years working in youth ministry and music/drama ministry. Valerie then moved to Virginia, where she met her husband while doing musical theater.  They eventually returned to Pennsylvania and she and John started a music and drama ministry which told the history of hymns. Through this ministry, both Valerie and John experienced a call into the ordained ministry.
 
Valerie has served as a staff member at the Music, Art, and Creative Drama camp at Wesley Woods for the past several years.  She believes that building relationships is the key to ministry and making disciples for Christ, and is convinced that a Spirit-led revival will revive the church and lead the broken world to Christ. Her goal is this:
 “I want to daily tune my heart to sings God’s grace, and help others to find their song of grace through Christ”
 
About Roxbury St. Paul's UMC
The Roxbury St. Paul’s United Methodist church is located in the Roxbury neighborhood of Johnstown, Pa.  The product of a merger of two area churches following the creation of the United Methodist Church in 1968, the church has a strong history of mission and outreach, locally and beyond.  The church holds two worship services every Sunday: The 8 a.m. service is an informal contemporary service that features singing of praise songs; the 10:30 service is more traditional and features a choir and organ music.  Strategically located beside the Roxbury Community Park, the church has been focused on outreach to people of all ages in the neighborhood. Activities have included a “Block Party,” a series of VBS days for children during the summer, and movie nights for all ages.  The church has also been very supportive of various missions, including Imagine No Malaria and other UM special missions. In addition to Sunday morning worship and outreach activities, the ministry of the church includes small group ministry, Bible studies, Sunday School, and fellowship activities.  A strong lay leadership is always ready to partner with the appointed pastor to carry out the mission of the church, to make disciples for Jesus Christ.  Several Lay Servants are ready and willing to provide pulpit coverage for the pastor and to share in the leadership of worship.  An excellent, well-maintained church facility provides space for community groups, such as the Boy Scouts, to meet.   
 

Wade Berkey to Serve Franklin First UMC

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Wade Berkey
Wade Berkey was born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, attending the Belmont United Methodist Church and graduating from Richland High School.  It was at Belmont that Rev. Wilson first recognized God’s call upon Wade’s life. 
 
Wade entered the work-world as a draftsman—when draftsmen used real pencils, T-squares, and triangles!  One of the gifts of a draftsman is to be able to conceptualize a project before it is built or even designed.  After a successful career as a draftsman, a move into production management, and graduating from Robert Morris University with a degree in management, Wade came to the realization that God was indeed calling him to ministry.
 
In 2004, Wade accepted his first appointment in the church as a student pastor.  He attended Asbury Theological Seminary and graduated in 2010.  He was ordained an elder in 2012.  He is currently appointed to First United Methodist Church in Kittanning and has previously served in the Grampian UM Charge, Karns City/Chicora UM Charge, and Faith Community Charge in Bruin, PA.
 
Wade’s gifts for ministry include preaching and teaching God’s Word, prayer and intercession, administration, and visioning—being able to conceptualize ministries even before they have been “built”!
 
Wade is the father of a beautiful daughter Natalia, who attends Asbury University and is in her junior year of studies. Natalia has served on mission teams in Zimbabwe, Egypt, Beirut, Lebanon, Arizona, and Haiti. Wade is married to Ali, and as a clergy couple, they serve God not only in their churches, but in their lives together. 

Ali will be appointed to Calvary and Plumer United Methodist churches in Oil City.  Wade enjoys spending time with Ali, their rescued dog Shirley and their deaf cat Nilla.  He also enjoys bicycling, photography, cooking, and listening to music.
 
About Franklin First UMC
First UMC in Franklin is a hub of ministry, spiritual growth opportunities and hospitality! Small groups are the foundation of spiritual growth, as well as Sunday School, Junior Church and Bible Study. The church hosts a free community dinner every month to provide food and fellowship to their neighbors. The church is also very involved ecumenically with other churches in Franklin and works cooperatively with two nearby United Methodist churches. They host a cooperative Sunday School class on Sunday mornings and Vacation Bible school each year.  Both United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men have active and engaging groups within the church. The church's overall vision is "to help people, within the congregation and without, to find Jesus as their Savior, Lord, and "best friend" in life's journey, and to grow as disciples for doing mission and ministry in the local and global community. These purposes unite the  congregation in a commitment to ongoing worship, sacraments, learning, prayer, spiritual discipline, service and loving relationships.”
 

Saffell to Serve Liberty/Amity UMCs

Announced: 04-01-2018

About Laura Saffell
Called by God to love others, especially those who often went unseen and excluded, Laura said “yes” to God at the age of 12.  At the age of 18, Laura’s call to ministry took her to college and, upon graduation, into service as a Christian Education Director at a United Methodist Church. As a young adult, she heard the voice of God through others affirming her gifts for pastoral ministry, so she enrolled in Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, where she earned a Master of Divinity degree. She was ordained an elder in 2001.
 
Laura is passionate about teaching and preaching God’s word.  Her personal experience as a disciple of Jesus and pastor in the local church in Alaska, where she presently resides with her husband Jarrett, and in Western Pennsylvania, where she grew up and served churches on the Franklin and Butler districts, is “when believers are filled with the Holy Spirit … the Word of God becomes living and active in their lives.”  For Laura, it’s also then that, as biblically-nourished disciples of Jesus, they can worship in Spirit and in truth because they know who they worship and why.” 
 
In addition to preaching and proclaiming God’s word, Laura is passionate about sharing the love of Jesus, especially with those in need.  For Laura, worship is more than an event that takes place on Sunday mornings.  It is “thanking Jesus for all He has done in giving us abundant and everlasting life, all the while inviting Jesus to use us in reaching those who the Bible describes as the ‘least, the last and the lost’ in our communities, our nation, and in our world.”
 
Laura loves music and loves to sing.  A musician since childhood, Laura’s experiences in the local church include starting praise and worship teams. 

Laura looks forward to returning to serve again in Western Pennsylvania and being able to enjoy her WPA family and friends. Her son Nick,18, will enroll in college later this fall. Daughter Kathryn, 22, makes her home in Western Pennsylvania.
 
 
About Liberty/Amity Charge
Liberty and Amity United Methodist churches form a two-point charge close to Washington, PA. Self-described as “rural churches,” their shared vision and mission is to “learn of God, live for God, be like God in everyday living, and lead others to God”.
 
Known in their communities as churches that welcome children and youth, practice hospitality, engage the neighborhoods of which they are a part, both churches envision a church through which disciples are made, ministry to an older adult population takes place, drug and alcohol ministries set people free while providing much-needed help and support to families affected by both. They strive to be churches that reach increasingly beyond their walls, and envision a growing dependence on and trust in the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.
 

C. Duffee to Serve Mt. Jewett/Hazel Hurst UMCs

Announced: 03-25-2018

About Cynthia Duffee
Cindy responded to the Holy Spirit's call on her life and entered into pastoral ministry in 2010. She completed the Course of Study School of Ohio: West Virginia Extension in the fall of 2017.

Cindy’s life experiences and her heart for all people are her strengths in ministry. She is passionate about putting Christ front and center of the ministry of the church. She believes when the church of Jesus Christ lives out its faith, on a personal level and through the body of Christ, God’s grace comes shining through and the kingdom of God will not only grow, but become a beacon of light to those who are searching for hope and peace in their lives.

Cindy believes the church must be seen and participate in community events and meet the needs of its neighbors. But, most importantly, serving others must be from the heart.  She is a strong advocate for those who are struggling and need a helping hand to put food on the table. Cindy also firmly believes laity hold the keys to the vitality and impacting presence of God in the worship service and community. She supports, encourages and is thrilled to see laity using the gifts God has given them in ministry.

Cindy was raised in Coal Hollow, Elk County, and is a graduate of St. Mary’s High School. Cindy and Rev. Ken Duffee have three grown children and are blessed with five grandchildren. She enjoys family time, riding a motorcycle, and a good cup of coffee.
 
About Mt. Jewett/ Hazel Hurst UMCs
The Mt. Jewett and Hazel Hurst churches are located along scenic Route 6 in McKean County.  These two churches are filled with passion for Christ and a passion to share Christ with others. They are doing outreach to local nursing homes and schools. When there is a fifth Sunday in a month, the churches do “church has left the building.” On those days they make it a point to visit nursing homes or do another kind of outreach project in their communities.
 
The churches help support an orphanage in Kenya and a missionary doctor in Papua New Guinea. The Mt. Jewett Church is the site for the local food pantry, and both churches are well known in their communities as the place to go when one needs help or someone to pray with. The churches also offer significant prayer support of the local hospital staff and patients.

Hutchins to Serve Oswayo Valley Charge

Announced: 03-25-2018

About Preston Hutchins
Preston Hutchins was born in Ridgway, PA and grew up in the Butler County area. He graduated from Slippery Rock Area High School in 1970. Preston accepted the Lord in 1970, but like so many, followed the world’s path for many years. He served in the National Guard, was on active duty for five years, and retired out of the Army Reserves as a First Sergeant/Master Sergeant in 1997. He was a truck driver for 20 years and held various other jobs.
 
In 2005 God finally got Preston’s attention again by God’s saving grace. Preston later became a lay speaker for the Slippery Rock United Methodist Church, then a lay preacher, but God still called. It was in 2007 he began preparing to become a licensed local pastor. He attended licensing school in 2008 and was appointed to the Glasgow Larger Parish in the Johnstown District where he served as the associate pastor and then senior pastor.
 
Preston met his wife Robin in 2005 and can say that he married his best friend in 2008. They are a blended family and are blessed with eight wonderful children, 26 grandchildren and five great grandchildren that are all truly loved and adored. As Preston and Robin move in the direction God leads them, they share the passion that they want everyone they meet to come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ and to see them go to heaven.
 
About Oswayo Valley Charge
The Oswayo Valley Charge has the distinction of being the at farthest north east point in our annual conference. The five churches that make up the charge (Ceres, Shinglehouse, Chrystal, Millport, Oswayo) are located in the northeast and northwest corners of McKean and Potter Counties, respectively.
 
These churches help make Christ known among their communities and also proudly pay their connectional apportionments at 100 percent. They also help with other missions and ministries locally, nationally and internationally. In the Shinglehouse Church they provide meeting space for WIC and are the distribution center for the area food bank, which is predominantly staffed with persons from the five-point charge.
 

Jean Smith To Serve Belmont UMC

Announced: 03-25-2018

About Jean A. Smith
Rev. Jean A. Smith will be appointed to serve the Belmont United Methodist Church in Johnstown effective July 1, 2018.   Jean is a second-career pastor who has been serving in ministry for the last 10 years, and was ordained as a Full Elder in 2017. She currently serves as pastor of Forestville and St. John's UMCs. 

Prior to answering the call to ordained ministry, Jean was an active lay person, who served on almost every committee in the church, taught Bible study, was a Lay Speaker, and the lay member of Annual Conference.  She also served in ministry as the church secretary at her home church, Center UMC in Natrona Heights, Pa.  As she answered her call to ministry, Jean completed her undergraduate degree in Christian Studies, and then earned a Masters of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Jean’s primary spiritual gifts are Preaching, Teaching and Prophecy.  Integral to her ministry is the proclamation and living out of Grace – she cherishes the title “Inviter” in her ministry.  She claims, “If anyone can say they know Jesus better and love him more because of knowing me, I will feel as if I have fulfilled my call.  I believe that the more we love Jesus, the more we love people; and that kind of love translates into church growth, both spiritually and numerically.”

Jean married her high school sweetheart, Wayne, in 1970, and together they raised a family that now includes  two children, five grandchildren and one great-grandson!  Wayne is retired and devotes his time to supporting Jean in ministry and sharing life with their family.  Lulu Belle and Petey, their pet chihuahuas, will join Jean and Wayne in the Belmont parsonage.
 
About Johnstown: Belmont UMC
The Belmont United Methodist Church in the suburbs of Johnstown was a new church start in the Evangelical United Brethren denomination 65 years ago.  Today a few of the charter members are still living, and many of the second generation members make up the core of the congregation.  The Belmont facility has been upgraded in recent years and is now fully accessible and features central air conditioning throughout the building, as well as a large paved parking lot.  Because of these elements that contribute to a spirit of hospitality, the church is often used for District and Conference functions.

The Belmont church records and airs their weekly worship services on the local cable access channel, thereby offering a valuable ministry to not only shut-in members, but to many others in the greater community.  The ministry schedule at Belmont is full and vibrant, including: involvement with residents at nearby Arbutus Park Retirement Community; a Wellness ministry that offers a variety of seminars and services throughout the year; a healthy music ministry that features the Chancel Choir; a children’s ministry which offers weekly Sunday School and Children’s church, as well as seasonal events and Vacation Bible School; fellowship lunches on the third Sunday of each month; and deep involvement with Operation Christmas Child, serving as a Relay Center as well as sponsoring an annual bus trip to work at the OCC processing center in Charlotte, NC.    The church continues to explore new ways to reach out to more people with the love of Jesus Christ, and are looking forward to partnering with their new pastor in these endeavors.
 

Ken Duffee to Serve Evans Memorial UMC

Announced: 03-25-2018

About Kenneth Duffee
Rev. Ken Duffee believes he has been “crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). He also believes that "the Holy Spirit animates the church and we receive power from Him to be His witness to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). It’s, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty (Zec.4:6). Ken has not yet grown to the point of “[delighting] in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.” However, he knows that “when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Co 12:10).
 
Ken trusts in the Lord his God, but also realizes that some trust in horses (Ps 20: 7), so here is the horse that he rides: Rev Ken Duffee entered pastoral ministry in 1994 as a student pastor and was ordained an elder in 2004.  Ken’s education and experience have prepared him to bring leadership and administrative skills to the church along with engaging preaching and teaching skills that help to nurture and develop congregations. Along with visionary leadership Ken also provides a personal witness to the community by living out his Christian values and principles.

Ken believes that pastoral ministry should be based on Ephesians 4: 11-13, which instructs pastor/teachers to equip “God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” striving for spiritual maturity in Christ. Ken builds up the congregation by developing small group ministries, and by emphasizing continual spiritual formation through worship, prayer, Bible study, and other forms of Christian training. He also believes that the ministry of the laity is an essential part the church. It is important to focus on developing and empowering leaders, and creating an environment within the church that is inviting, encouraging and supportive of all of God’s people; while, forming relationships within the church that are based on acceptance, forbearance, forgiveness, and love.

Ken’s ministry also focuses on having a visible and supportive presence in the community, because building relationships with the unchurched that reflect the grace of our Lord, Jesus is a key to effective evangelism.   
 
About Evans Memorial UMC
The Evans Memorial United Methodist Church is in the Kane District in McKean County, just south of Bradford in the village of Lewis Run, PA. This vibrant church has a strong history in missions and camping ministry. They do a tremendous job of helping children go to camp and of helping with work at Wesley Woods. They are active in mission projects in their own community, nationally and internationally. The congregation is dedicated to helping others come to know the saving love of God through Jesus Christ. During recent evangelistic services they partnered with other local churches to hold a service in the park. It provided a wonderful time of worship and faith sharing that has brought new people into area churches, including Evans.
 
Evans is a loving, caring, family church that is truly multi-generational with an active Sunday School for all ages. Each Sunday people from the age of two to 92 gather for Christian education and worship before going forth to follow and serve Jesus Christ. Evans is active in the Bradford Area Cluster of UM Churches where they have put together cleaning buckets for UMCOR and help with local prescription drug ministry among other outreach initiatives

Wooten to Serve As Army Chaplain

Announced: 03-25-2018

About Brittany L. (Gordon) Wooten
Brittany Wooten, who has served as pastor at the Roxbury St. Paul’s U.M. Church in Johnstown, Pa. since 2016, recently announced that she will serve as Army Battalion Chaplain of the 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, effective August 1, 2018.  She will be stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord near Seattle, Washington and will be promoted on the first day of service to the rank of captain (03).  Brittany has been serving part-time as an Army chaplain candidate while serving full-time in ministry since 2012 while also attending and graduating from Methodist Theological School in Ohio in 2014.

Raised in a military family who lived in a variety of places in the United States and around the world, Brittany attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies in 2011.  During her time at IUP, she served as the unofficial “chappy” of the ROTC unit at the University.  Serving as a United Methodist endorsed Army Chaplain is the fulfillment of Brittany’s call to ministry.  She has stated, “I feel led to care for the wounds of war in the souls of our soldiers and their families.”  Her personal mission statement is “to bring humanity to a place where we meet God, experience God, and begin to know God more completely through grace extended by the Church.”
 
Brittany is married to Dirk Wooten, a provisional elder of the Virginia Annual Conference who has been serving “on loan” since 2016 at the Johnstown: Grove Avenue United Methodist Church. Dirk intends to follow Brittany to Washington and hopes to receive an appointment in the Pacific Northwest Conference so that he can fulfill his provisional residency and be ordained in 2019 as a Full Elder.
 
About U.S. Army 5th Battalion Chaplain

Andrew Spore to Serve in Freeport, Natrona Heights

Announced: 03-18-2018

About Andrew Spore
The Rev. Dr. Andrew Spore is a firmly Wesleyan pastor who seeks to define the boundaries of faith while practicing ministry in the midst of a world that continues to grow theologically diverse.  He is constantly refining his understanding of what it means to be saved and what it means to be a Christian according to scripture.  Andrew disciplines himself to practice ministry out of a firm belief in prevenient and sanctifying grace and works hard at meeting people where they are and encouraging them to grow and stretch. Andrew's mission is to develop dynamic disciples through the exercise of gifts of teaching, preaching, and shepherding and styles that include coaching, one-to-one sharing and modeling.

Andy most recently served as pastor of Otterbein UMC in Connellsville and Calvary UMC in Uniontown. He previously served churches in the Erie-Meadville, Indiana and Johnstown Districts. He is married to the Rev. Beverly Spore, who also is an ordained elder in the Conference.
 
About Freeport UMC/ Natrona Heights: Grace UMC

Freeport UMC and Natrona Heights: Grace UMC are churches that, like many in Western Pennsylvania are continuously seeking ways to provide relevant ministry in places where economic conditions have declined during that last 40 years.

Freeport is a small town nestled on the banks of the Allegheny River. Located at the convergence of four counties – Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, and Westmoreland – Freeport UMC finds ways to connect with the community to make God’s love real to others. At present the congregation plans to open a thrift shop to strengthen their connection with people in need in the community.
 
Natrona Heights: Grace is located in a suburban community that is constantly seeking to define itself in new and vital ways. The people who make up Grace church have a never-say-die attitude and rejoice at signs of life that show themselves in the community. During the past two years they have been involved in building new relationships that connect with students in the Highlands School District. Grace also offers a feeding ministry in partnership with United Methodist Church Union.
 

Beverly Spore to Serve in Leechburg

Announced: 03-18-2018

About Beverly A. Spore
Rev. Beverly A. Spore was born and raised in Somerset County, PA, and grew up in a small United Methodist church on a four-point charge.  She married her high-school sweetheart and joined the Roman Catholic Church. Ten years and two children later, she got divorced and moved to Johnstown, PA. There she attended the University of Pittsburgh, earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology, and worked in environmental and occupational health and safety for a Department of Defense contractor. During this time, Rev. Spore returned to the United Methodist Church, grew in discipleship, heard and answered a call to ministry.  
 
Rev. Spore graduated in 2008 with a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY, and was ordained as a full elder in 2012.  She served the Hopeful Heart Trinity Charge in the Erie-Meadville District and Indian Creek (later Yough Parish) Charge in Connellsville District.  
 
Beverly now is married to the Rev. Dr. Andrew P. Spore, also an ordained United Methodist elder. Between them, the couple has six children living in Johnstown, Erie, and Los Angeles, and one grandchild, who lives in Johnstown.  
 
Rev. Spore is an artsy-craftsy type who also enjoys reading, puzzles, games, playing hostess, and watching Survivor. Her gifts for ministry include preaching, teaching, creativity, and organization. She has a passion for helping people grow in their faith in Jesus and maturing in their discipleship. 

Together, the Spores enjoy traveling and have recently purchased property in New Mexico.  
About Leechburg: First UMC
Leechburg First UMC is the most northern church in the Greensburg District.  Its mission is “Growing, Loving and Serving in Christ’s Name.”  The congregation lives out that mission through the various ministries of the church.  They offer two services each Sunday morning and Sunday school for all ages. For adults there are small group studies.

The people of the church are blessed to have the Leechburg Area School District in their  “back yard” and are finding ways to be in ministry to the children in the area.  One of their ministries is the Bible Discovery program, an afterschool program each spring and fall for the elementary students. The congregation works with other churches in the community to provide Vacation Bible School each summer.  There is also a feeding ministry to homeless people that the church participates in every month.  LFUMC also hosts the ministerial food bank.

Emigh Appointed to DuBois First UMC

Announced: 03-18-2018

About John Emigh
John Emigh’s grandfather was a pastor/evangelist in the Methodist church, so he was raised by a P.K. mother who brought the children up deeply involved in the church.  Some of his best spiritual memories are of the little three-point charge his grandfather pastored (in the Central PA Conference) and of attending many revival services with his grandfather. 

His personal mission statement is: “To get to heaven and take as many people with me as I can.”

After graduating from Allegheny College, John was hired by the DoD as a civilian computer programmer at the Philadelphia Naval Base in and later promoted to instructor in Columbus Ohio.  A few years later he answered God’s call to full time ministry. He is a graduate of Ashland Seminary.

He and Amy are excited to come to Dubois First and join in the work of  building up the Kingdom.  Jesus IS Lord!
 
About Dubois First UMC
The people of DuBois First UMC are involved in the life of their church and the life of their communities. They strive to live up to the United Methodist slogan of “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors,” as well as their Mission Statement: “Model Christ’s Love.”

Sunday morning church services are at 8:15 and 11:00 am. There is a casual service on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 called The Gathering. Their is a dedicated choir, choir director and organist who provide inspirational music on Sunday mornings.

The church is in a very visible location in the heart of downtown DuBois, and has used that visibility to reach out to the community. There is a free community soup supper every Wednesday evening starting with devotions at 4:45 p.m. On the second and fourth Wednesday of each month it is combined with a free clothes closet carrying gently used, clean clothing for people of all ages and sizes. Since 2001, the church has  hosted a community 9/11 service that has been well attended each year. In the past several years, they combined that service with a blessing of emergency vehicles and crews.

The church supports UMCOR and served as the central location for work teams and the distribution of UMCOR cleaning buckets when flooding hit the area a few years ago. They participate in Community Days each June by hosting a children's program and providing a train for children to ride around the City Park. The church also hosts  the DuBois Ministerium's annual Lenten lunches and services. Each Easter morning, they host a community sunrise service at an outdoor location.

Sunday School classes for all ages offer Bible-based teachings. With three adult classes to choose from, there is something of interest for everyone. Youth Group meets each Wednesday evening and our youth help with the Wednesday evening soup suppers. Various bible studies are offered throughout the year.

Since our pre-school, Sonny Days, opened its doors several years ago, the response of the community to a Christian based pre-school has been very enthusiastic. Classes for children aged 2-1/2 to 5 are well attended; in fact, Sonny Days is now offering summer classes.

Prayer is an integral part of the life of the church, with an active prayer chain and encourage our congregation to uphold one another in prayer.
 

Lance Tucker to Serve Oakland Dempseytown

Announced: 03-18-2018

About Lance Tucker
Born in Warren, PA., Lance Tucker was adopted at 6 months old and said he is am blessed to understand what being chosen and raised by loving parents meant. He grew up in the Epworth United Methodist Church in Warren where he was very involved in church youth program and ministries.

"Like many people, I felt I knew best for my life and followed the path that I laid down for many years," said Lance. "I have held many jobs in my life including general contracting, heavy equipment owner/operator, railroad dismantling, logging, trucking, car dealerships general manager, garbage collector, horse farm owner/manager, and sales representative.

"God finally got my attention again and I returned to His presence and developed a relationship with Him. I moved to Lander United Methodist Church where I became very involved in its ministry. As I began to grow in my relationship with our Father in Heaven, I felt God calling me to serve and shepherd His people and I again felt chosen and knew I had to obey and follow."

In 1999, at the age of 40, Lance said he "surrendered to God -sort of- stipulating that if pastoral ministry was where He wanted me, then He would have to open the doors, as my life was very full at the time.  Well, He did. God opened the door for me and I became a Full Time Local Pastor in 2001 doing the Course of Study at Wesley Theological Seminary, and going on to become an Associate Member of WPAUMC in 2007."

  Lance has served as senior pastor on the Bear Lake/Lottsville Charge, Brockport Charge, Hyndman Larger Parish, and DuBois First United Methodist Church.  He also serves as the Chair of Arrangements on the Conference Sessions Team, as well as head of Conference Safety, and on the Board of Directors for Wesley Woods.

Lance and his wife Amy have a blended family of five wonderful grown children and 14 "not spoiled, but greatly loved grandchildren."

As he and Amy move forward in this spiritual journey that God has placed before them, they look forward to faithfully serving in His love and grace.
 
About Dempseytown: Oakland UMC
The mission statement of the Oakland United Methodist Church is: "We seek to encourage communion with God. We seek to increase commitment to Christ. We seek to serve in the community of faith. We seek to enlarge the Kingdom of God." 

The congregation lives into that mission statement in many ways. Sunday worship is a dynamic, blended service for the multi-generational congregation. The church pariticpates in and supports many missions, both locally and globally. The Annual Missions and Minisstry Auction, which was first held in May 2010 is Oakland's largest fundraising event of the year.  Proceeds are used to support both the Mission Team and Oakland Building fund. The annual goal for the event is to raise $6,000, and it is often exceeded.  

The VEnango-Hatchie Project is going into its 17th year and has helped countless people in the community and across the globe. Its mission is to help elderly and those at risk of losing their homes due to repair issues.  The church also supports the local food bank, hosts a "Celebrate Recovery" group and has an active children's and youth ministry. Oakland UMC is located in the village of Dempseytown in the northernmost area of the Franklin District. 

Little Appointed to Saegertown UMC

Announced: 03-18-2018

About Jeffrey B. Little
Jeff Little was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania. He graduated with an art degree from Edinboro University and was an aspiring cartoonist. Jeff worked with youth ministry while trying to break into the world of art. He ended up working as a campus minister at Edinboro University with the CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach).

After working with campus ministry Jeff worked as a manager of a Christian bookstore and eventually became a full-time youth director at a United Methodist church in Franklin, PA. Growing up in the United Methodist Church he realized while doing youth ministry that he had been running from pastoral ministry.

Jeff graduated from Asbury Seminary in 2007. He began his opportunity of ministry serving both Johnsonburg United Methodist Church (as a senior pastor) and Kane First United Methodist Church. In 2011 he continued the pastoral journey at Franklin First United Methodist Church where he currently serves. He will begin a new chapter July 1 at Saegertown UMC.

Jeff loves to incorporate art in worship has a passion for discipleship and relational small group ministries. When not involved with ministry, Jeff enjoys drawing, bike riding, board games and hanging out with his cat Sam.
 
About Saegertown UMC
Saegertown Church has been a source of strength and stability for the folks in Crawford County since 1829, when an ecumenical effort among Methodist, Lutheran and German Reform persons founded “Three Faiths Church.”  Since then, the Methodist Church has grown and prospered; today the congregation is visionary and vital.  Their ministry touches the lives of children, youth and adults.  They partner with community groups to reach out in several ways.  They care for one another and for those who have no one else to whom to turn.  They are always dreaming about the next-best-step, deep in prayer to discern the will of God for them and for the world.  They offer various styles of worship and lots of educational opportunities in order to meet the spiritual needs of persons from various backgrounds and walks of life.
 

Verner to serve Girard/Weis Library Charge

Announced: 03-18-2018

About Andrew Verner
R. Andrew Verner was born on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, and he grew up around Naval Stations and Marine Corps bases in the United States and Europe.  He graduated from Camp LeJeune High School in North Carolina, earned an undergraduate degree from Campbell University, and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary.

Andy began ministry in 1992 as a student pastor in the Washington District and has spent the last 26 years serving small, medium and large churches. He has specialized in church growth, evangelism, congregational transformation and family ministry.  He is a gifted preacher, leader and administrator focused on building strong effective teams for the work of God’s kingdom in the local church. Currently he serves as pastor of Weis Library UMC.
 
Andy and his wife Julie met at Camp Allegheny and have been married for 23 years.  They are the proud parents of four children: Tom, 21, a senior at Grove City College; Ryan, 18, a recent enlistee to the United States Navy; Jesse, 16, a sophomore at Fairview High School, and Emily, 12, in seventh grade at Fairview Middle School.
 
About Girard/Weis Library Charge
The Girard/Weis Library Charge is new alignment of two strong churches located in the western suburbs of the City of Erie. Preliminary meetings of the leaders of the congregations reveal a cooperative spirit of two communities of faith ready to work together to change the world for Jesus!
 
Girard Church traces its history back to 1815, including a revival in 1847 that lasted 72 days!  Bishop Matthew Simpson, a personal friend of President Abraham Lincoln, preached at the dedication service of the present building in 1870. The building has been enhanced over the years to provide for better services. They are involved in vital and important ministries to children and youth, and in community ministry.
 
The congregation of Weis Library Church began its life together when a sermon was preached on the site of the current church building in 1833.  Meetings and worship services were held in homes, school houses and even barns, until the first church building was erected in 1858.  Since then, the church’s physical presence has been enlarged and enhanced, but the congregation still gathers at the same location.  They have a lively presence in the community that they have called “home” since 1833, ever adapting and changing to meet the needs of a changing community.

Yurko to Serve Youngwood:Christ UMC

Announced: 03-11-2018

About Joseph Yurko
Joseph Yurko was born and raised in North Braddock PA, where he grew up in the Muhleman Memorial UMC.  As a young person, he was active in local, district, and conference United Methodist youth programs. 

A 1993 graduate of Thiel College in Greenville, he earned his M.Div. from The Methodist Theological School of Ohio in 1998. He has served in a variety of settings since his return to Western Pennsylvania, most recently as pastor of Sharpsville and Oakland Ave. UM churches in the Franklin District. 

Joe has always been passionate about relationships, and sought ways to better those relationships, both with others and with God. His preaching and teaching style is conversational and he strives to meet people on a variety of levels. 

Married in 2006, Joe and his wife Adaina (Dana) have two children, Tyler (20) and Zakery (15).  Joe’s mother Rebecca also lives with the family.  The family includes two boxer dogs, Owen and Leia.  For fun, the family likes to go fishing, but also enjoys being together no matter where they are. 
        
 
About Youngwood: Christ UMC
Christ United Methodist Church is located two blocks off Rt 119, south of Greensburg in the community of Youngwood, where there are two United Methodist churches. Christ offered two weekly worship services, one traditional and one contemporary with a time of fellowship called Mission Café between them. The church has rebounding children (K-Force) and youth ministries (G-Force) that meet weekly. 

The well-maintained, fully accessible facility is used by multiple community groups. It houses a Community Clothing Closet and Food Bank, hosts weekly NA and AA groups, and provides meeting space for civic and business groups. This last year it  were the regional drop-off for Operation Christmas Child boxes.
 
The leadership has set their goals around the theme of HOPE:
  • Hospitality - inviting, welcoming, receiving of new people;
  • Offering Christ - offering opportunities to make a commitment to Christ;
  • Participation-growing in faith by participating in the means of grace;
  • Engaging the Community – Sharing God’s love by serving others in word and deed.

Alyce Weaver Dunn to Serve as DCM

Announced: 03-09-2018

About Alyce Weaver Dunn
The Rev. Alyce Weaver Dunn, will be appointed as the new Director of Connectional Ministries, effective July 1, 2018.  She has served as the Johnstown District Superintendent since 2010.
 
“Alyce will bring a plethora of administrative and relational gifts that will help us to continue living into the blessing of being a connectional church,” said Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi.
 
The appointment was announced Friday by Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi after the Connectional Leadership Team affirmed a recommendation made jointly by a search committee, the Bishop, and the Appointive Cabinet. The process began after the Personnel Committee reviewed the DCM job description to determine if it remained consistent with the mission and ministry needs of the annual conference. Then, according to Conference Rules, a search committee was convened to review resumes submitted by ordained elders who wanted to be considered for the position.
 
As the Johnstown District Superintendent, Alyce joyfully partnered with clergy and laity in proclaiming Christ to the world.  During her tenure as DS, she served as the Cabinet Treasurer (2011-2014) and Dean of the Cabinet (2014-2018).  Elected as a delegate to the General Conference in 2012 and 2016, the WPA Delegation chose her as its vice-chair for the 2016-2020 quadrennium.  Alyce also has served as an elected clergy delegate to the Northeast Jurisdictional Conference since 2004.
 
Currently, Alyce serves on the Board of United Methodist Communications and as vice-chair of the Northeast Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals. In the Conference, she has been a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry, serving as candidacy registrar from 2003-2008 and Secretary from 2008-2010. She also chaired the WPAUMC Committee on Disability Concerns when it launched the annual retreat for persons with disabilities at Olmsted Manor.
 
Since 1990, Alyce has served as the dean of Music, Art and Creative Drama Camp (MACD) at Wesley Woods. She often has said that the highlight of every year for her is spending time with the MACD/SACK family at Wesley Woods and sharing Christ with the campers! Because of her passion for camping, Alyce and her husband, the Rev. Keith A. Dunn, currently serve as co-chairs for clergy gifts on the “Deeply Rooted, Upward Reaching” capital campaign steering committee. Alyce has also enjoyed serving as a mentor for young adults at several Exploration events, which are designed to help persons discern a call to ministry.
 
Alyce has been married to Keith, her best friend and partner in ministry, for 30 years. Her mother, Doris Weaver, joined the Dunn household in 2014. The Dunns are diehard Pirates, Penguins and Steelers fans and enjoy hiking and traveling.  Alyce and Keith are grateful to have successfully lost a combined 150 pounds since 2015 and even amazed themselves when they ran and completed their first ever 5K race in the Spring of 2017!

 
About Director of Connectional Ministries
The director of connectional ministries serves as an officer of the annual conference and sits with the cabinet when it considers matters relating to coordination, implementation or administration of the conference program. In partnership with the Bishop and Cabinet and the elected leadership of the Conference, the director of connectional ministries has the following primary responsibilities:
  • To serve as steward of the vision of the annual conference, including the development, clarification, interpretation, and embodiment of the vision
  • To serve as leader of the continuous process of transformation and renewal necessary for the annual conference to be faithful to our Christian identity in a changing world
  • To ensure alignment of the total resources of the conference to its vision
  • To ensure the connections among the local, district, annual conference, and general church ministries for the purpose of networking, resourcing, and communicating their shared ministry. 

Siciliano Appointed to Point, Alum Bank UMCs

Announced: 03-04-2018

About Shane J. Siciliano
In June 2017, Shane J. Siciliano received both a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.  On July 1, 2017, he  was appointed to the Point U.M. Church on the Johnstown District as a part-time licensed local pastor. 

As pastor of the Point U.M. Church, Shane has worked with the congregation in developing a comprehensive plan to engage in ministry through the “Five Areas of Focus,” leading out of his strengths and prior experiences in community outreach and mission work. Shane has been approved by the WPA Board of Ordained Ministry to be commissioned as a Provisional Elder at the 2018 session of Annual Conference.

Since November 2017, Shane and the Point church have been involved in conversations with the nearby Alum Bank U.M. Church about entering into a shared ministry partnership.  Effective July 1, 2018, Shane will continue in his appointment at the Point U.M. Church and will add the responsibility of leading the Alum Bank U.M. Church.   Shane has been active in various ministries on the Conference level.  At annual conference, he has worked with the Youth Caucus, volunteered at the Parish & Community Development Coffee Shop, and is currently a member of the Conference Sessions Team (2017 - present). He also serves on the Conference History & Archives Commission (2016-present).
 
About Point UMC/ Alum Bank UMC
Point United Methodist Church is located outside Schellsburg in the Bedford County section of the Johnstown District.  The church and adjacent parsonage are on scenic Church Road, a lovely setting where deer, eagles, and other wildlife can often be spotted.  The small congregation is proud of their deep spiritual heritage and community presence.  In addition to Sunday morning worship, Bible study, fellowship groups and a bi-monthly nursing home outreach are vital parts of their ministry.  Annually, the church co-sponsors a week-long Mission Festival with the neighboring Fishertown U.M. Charge.  Throughout the year, mission support is an important emphasis for the congregation.  Also, every Fall, the Point U.M. Church hosts three days of revival services featuring various speakers, including several of our Conference approved evangelists.  Many of the congregation are life-long members of Point U.M. Church and are excited to see what God is going to do next in their ministry, especially as a new partnership with Alum Bank U.M. is formed!
 
Alum Bank United Methodist Church is located in the town of Pleasantville in the Bedford County section of the Johnstown District.  Rising out of the tragedy of a fire several decades ago, the church building is a one-level facility that is welcoming and efficient for worship, Sunday School, and various ministries throughout the week.  In addition, the church has an Annex one block from the main building which serves as a Fellowship Hall and community gathering space.  The church has a legacy of strong clergy and lay leadership and has had an active ministry, proclaiming Christ and sharing the love of God with the community.  Annually, the church holds a Mission Festival, featuring many of the missionaries that are supported throughout the year.  There is an excellent music ministry which includes choirs of various ages, as well as frequent hymn sings that are open to the community.   Bible studies and age-level and family ministries, as well as Sunday morning worship, are key components of church life at Alum Bank. The congregation looks forward to a new partnership with the Point U.M. Church as together they strengthen their witness for Jesus Christ in this section of the Johnstown District!
 

Check To Serve Greensburg Otterbein UMC

Announced: 03-04-2018

About Dawn Lynn Check
Dawn Lynn Check was born and raised in Braddock Hills, just outside of Pittsburgh. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, she began her career in broadcasting as the third generation of her family to work at WTAE. She moved on to be a talk show producer at KDKA Radio, where she met her husband Doran.
 
Dawn Lynn was executive director of United Campus Ministry, serving the campuses of Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh and Chatham University for 11 years. She went to seminary at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained a deacon in 2001.
 
After UCM closed, she served Swissvale UMC part-time and worked full time in public relations for the Plum Borough School District. She also served as pastor of Creighton: Janes UMC and began serving as director of communications for the Conference in 2011. Ordained an elder in 2014, she moved back into local ministry as pastor of McKeesport: West Side and Dravosburg  UMCs in September of 2015  She has served at at Freeport UMC and Natrona Heights: Grace UMC, since July 1, 2016. 
 
Dawn Lynn and her husband have three children—Jacob, 28; AJ, 23; and Regan, 19.
 
About Greensburg: Otterbein UMC
Otterbein United Methodist Church is located in the cultural district of the city of Greensburg. There are two services each Sunday and Sunday School for all ages.  Otterbein is a very community-minded congregation and well known for many outreach ministries. The church  hosts the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner and supports many agencies across Greensburg and Westmoreland County. Otterbein is also the home of Feeding the Spirit, a non-profit group dedicated to nourishing the bodies, minds and spirits of those in need in the Greensburg community. 
 
In addition to outreach programs, Otterbein offers many children and youth programs such as Wacky Wednesday, VBS, and a youth group, as well as many family friendly activities all year long. Otterbein also is known for its many music ministries - choir, youth chime choir, hand bell choir as well as many individuals with musical talents.
 
The Otterbein congregation believes that Greensburg, the township, the county and the whole world are places where God calls us to serve! God is always calling us to new ways to serve!
 

Keith Dunn to Serve Bakerstown

Announced: 03-04-2018

About Keith A. Dunn
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has appointed The Rev. Keith A. Dunn, an ordained Elder, visionary, gifted and engaging preacher and excellent administrator as Senior Pastor at Bakerstown UMC.  Rev. Dunn is entering his 30th year of full-time ministry since graduating in 1989 from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where he met his wife, the Rev. Alyce Weaver-Dunn. 
 
In addition to preaching, administration, and leadership, his strengths for ministry include teaching and pastoral care. He embraces the role of pastor as a sacred calling and prefers to be called “pastor” over all other religious vocational titles.  He describes himself as an extrovert with strong relational skills and the gift of laughter that creates space for easy but meaningful engagement and conversation with others.
 
Pastor Keith currently serves at Belmont in Johnstown UMC where he has been senior pastor since 2010.  His previous appointments have been to Oakmont, Nixon, Monessen and Webster, the former Sonrise church and Central UMC, Beaver Falls. 

He considers it an honor, privilege, and sacred charge to serve the WPA Conference in a variety of ways. Pastor Keith currently is co-chair of Clergy Gifts for the Bishop’s Camping and Retreat Initiative. Serving in this role grows out of his passions for children and youth and camping ministry.  For many years, he has served as the Bible teacher for the Music, Arts, Creative Drama Camp and chaplain of the week at Wesley Woods. 
 
Pastor Keith is a trained facilitator for a Clergy Community of Practice and recently completed a year with a group.  He previously served with distinction as a member of the Board of Ordained Ministry for 12 years and led efforts related to clergy call and recruitment.  At the district level, Pastor Keith has worked with committees on ministry, served as a ministry mentor, and taught classes for laity on preaching.
 
Having grown up in northern Washington County, where he graduated from Canon-McMillan High School, Pastor Keith earned his bachelor's degree from Robert Morris University and is a life-long fan of the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. He and Alyce are pleased to share their home with his mother-in-law. 
 
Pastor Keith joyfully anticipates returning to Bakertown area, where his wife Alyce served as the student assistant  from 1986 to 1988, to renew connections and walk alongside of the people as they continue to grow as disciples in service to Jesus Christ.
 
About Bakertown UMC
Bakerstown United Methodist Church has a long-standing tradition and presence in the Gibsonia area dating back to 1832. Traditional, contemporary, and periodic revival worship services are enhanced with state of the art sound and visual systems, excellent music ministry, and a strong tradition of biblical preaching and teaching.  Its Chapel in the Woods, dedicated to 12-year old girl, offers a quiet place of reflection and meditation and beautiful setting for weddings.
 
Members, friends, and visitors learn, grow, and deepen their spirituality through pastor and lay-led Bible studies; covenant discipleship classes; Christian education and Sunday school classes; men, women and other small group ministries; Christian mentoring; and a Care and Share team. The congregation embraces children and youth through a vibrant youth fellowship, children’s ministry, VBS program, highly regarded day school and pre-kindergarten, summer camp, and financial support of Camp Allegheny, Jumonville, and Wesley Woods.
 
The Bakerstown congregation partners with Faith: Fox Chapel’s Roots of Faith ministry in Sharpsburg; Hosanna Industries; The Lighthouse serving over 6,000 children, adults, seniors, and families; and the North Hills Community Outreach organization to meet the spiritual, emotional, physical and material needs of people in Allegheny County. Their extensive outreach initiatives include: financial support UMCOR; Advance Specials; and UMW projects; ramp building; Habitat; clothing, Angel Tree, Food Pantry, and feeding ministries; Circles Program; and participation in the Interfaith Hospitality Network, Northside Common Ministry, Campus Coalition, Hipwell’s Missionary, Christian Sports International, and Richland Ministerium. They host an International Student Dinner and events for My Hope America the UM Army. Their mission endeavors include China Outreach Ministries, the Heifer Foundation, and trips to Alajuela, Costa Rica, and the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
 
The church is forward-looking, as it continues to add small group ministries using a class-meeting model, to strengthen its hospitality evangelism, and to deepen its community and global engagement.
 

Greenawalt To Serve Franklin: Christ UMC

Announced: 02-25-2018

About Darrell Greenawalt
Rev. Dr. Darrell Greenawalt has been serving Saegertown UMC since 2012. Darrell grew up in Nixon UMC, south of Butler, where he graduated from Knoch HS. He earned a BFA in art history/photography from Ohio University, then returned to WPA in 1989 after earning a MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL. Recently, Darrell completed a DMin program at Ashland Theological Seminary, where he focused on Pastoral Counseling - specifically fatherhood.

Darrell’s 29-year ministry career began at Jeanette: Gethsemane UMC. He later served Lander UMC, South Greensburg UMC and Girard/Lake City UMC’s before moving to Saegertown, where he has been helping the church to develop an intentional discipleship plan focusing on small group development.

Darrell married Sharon in 1998 and is the very proud father of four boys: Nathan, 28; Aaron,26; Noah,16, and Toby,13. The family enjoys hiking, biking and traveling. Their family also includes a black cockapoo dog named Trixie.

During Darrell’s ministry, he has served on the Sessions Ministry Team, the Superintendency Committee of the Greensburg District, the Erie-Meadville District Committee on Ministry, the Episcopacy Committee, and on the board of directors of EUMA (The Erie United Methodist Alliance).
 
About Franklin: Christ UMC
Christ United Methodist Church is located in the heart of the city of Franklin. Worship is at the center of the life of the church. There are three services each Sunday, including both traditional and contemporary worship. Music ministry is a strong asset of Christ Church, with many people using their talents and gifts to enhance worship. This intergenerational church has ministry and educational opportunities for all ages. The church has a strong Sunday School program and, in addition, an active youth ministry, Kingdom Bound Kids Club for elementary age children, a small group ministry and women’s ministry.  Christ Church is committed to reaching out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it be in Venango County or around the world. Mission trips to Appalachia, the Dominican Republic and to Native American Missions are planned each year.
 

Lori Walters Appointed to Greenock

Announced: 02-25-2018

About Lori Walters
The youngest of six children, Lori Walters grew up in Wellsburg, WV. She responded to God’s call on her life to enter into ordained ministry in 2011, attended Local Pastor’s Licensing School and is now completing her last year as a student in the Master of Divinity program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  Like others who have said “yes” to God’s call mid-life, Lori heard God calling her when she was young.  After years of discernment and an encounter with God, Lori surrendered her life to Jesus as her Lord and Savior and describes her journey as a “testimony to God’s grace”. 

Prior to her appointment at Midway/Federal UMCs in 2012 and her current appointment at Dunlevy/Speers and First Charleroi UMCs on the Washington District, Lori was a teacher in the South Hills and worked for 27 years with the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh where she developed a passion for children with autism.  As a pastor in the local church, Lori has a passion for discipleship and for helping others develop deeper, more intimate relationships with God.  Lori also has a heart for ministry with the elderly, especially those who were once active in the local church, but who are no longer able to be.  Lori’s understanding of ministry includes more than just preaching. For Lori, ministry includes loving and caring for others “doing all the good she can, wherever she can, and for whomever she can.”  Wanting to reach the community where she serves for Christ, especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, children who are at risk, ministry for Lori extends beyond the local church.

Lori is married to Whitney (a.k.a. “Whit”) whom she says is the “best gift God ever gave her.”  Lori and Whit are the parents of three sons and two grandchildren, Kailee and Beau, whom they dearly love.  
 
About Greenock UMC
Greenock UMC is one of 13 churches in Elizabeth Township and one of two in the community of Greenock, “a trail town located on the great Allegheny County passage”.  Throughout its history the church has had a strong tradition of bringing people to know Christ and serving the community.  Committed to mission and service in the community and the world at large, including in Zimbabwe, the church is known for the warmth of its people, a willingness to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of others, a music program that helps usher people into the presence of God, prayer ministries, year-round preschool, vacation Bible school, a commitment to reaching youth and, it’s annual “apple festival”.  Church leaders say they believe Jesus is calling the church in the next five year to become “one that focuses on the needs of the community and that continues to be a beacon of light that welcomes all, while expanding the church’s mission and ministry beyond its doorsteps”. 

 

Greg Cox Appointed to Ingomar

Announced: 02-18-2018

About Gregory D. Cox
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has appointed Gregory D.  “Greg” Cox as Co-Pastor at Ingomar United Methodist Church.  Greg declares that Christ is the center of who he is, and continually challenges himself to grow in relationship with Jesus, as he presses forth on his road of ministry.
 
A graduate of Allegheny College and Duke Divinity School, Greg is an ordained Elder in our Conference with 20 years of pastoral ministry experience in rural, small town, and suburban settings. He grew up in St. Paul's UMC in Allison Park, PA.
 
Greg’s spiritual gifts include teaching, preaching, administration, and leadership.  He is passionate about relationship building, leadership development, and stewardship.
Greg has served for eight years with distinction as the Conference’s Director of Connectional Ministries, leading a large staff and overseeing the broad ministry and mission of our Annual Conference, while staying engaged in the local church as a guest preacher and small and large group teacher, presenter, and facilitator.  
 
Understanding service as an extension and expression of a deepening relationship with God, Greg has traveled extensively on local, national, and international mission trips and gained valuable experience.  He has led delegations of both adults and youth on international mission trips. 
 
In addition to his Conference responsibility, Greg has been a delegate to the 2012 and 2016 Northeast Jurisdictional Conferences and has served on the Jurisdictional Vision Table for more than 6 years.  He served eight years on the General Commission on Communications and currently serves as president of the Foundation for United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tennessee.
 
Greg is part of a clergy couple. His wife Tracy is Senior Pastor at Coraopolis United Methodist Church. They are the proud parents of three daughters: Sarah, (a sophomore at Allegheny College), Rebekah and Elisabeth.  Greg enjoys running and has participated in several marathons.  He also enjoys hunting.
 
Greg is passionate about helping congregations grow and become vital, excited about sharing his gifts and passions for ministry within the local church once again, and finds joy in building relationships with others who serve.  He looks forward to serving and growing alongside of servants at Ingomar as they continually deepen their relationship with Christ through worship, service, witness, and stewardship.

 
About Ingomar UMC
Ingomar United Methodist Church, located in the growing North Hills suburbs of Franklin Park and McCandless, is a large membership church that offers three creative traditional and contemporary worship experiences, enhanced by a strong music ministry, each Sunday.  An active children and youth ministry, well-respected pre-school and child care programs, creative VBS, and active, capable laity leadership are among its strengths. 
 
Ingomar offers a wide array of spiritual formation, discipleship, and nurture ministries for people of all ages, including multiple Bible studies, extensive small group opportunities, and Christian education/Sunday school classes for people of all ages.
 
The congregation is actively engaged in community, regional, national, and global outreach. Its many initiatives include Support our Troops, building ramps, neighbors helping neighbors, Wonders of Christmas family program, Food Pantry, clothing and feeding ministries, participation in Habitat for Humanity, as well as volunteer and financial support for other UM churches and local, regional, national and global organizations.  

Mission is integral to Ingomar’s identity.  The Church staff does mission projects.  Other local and global mission and ecumenical projects include a Share in Mission Trip to Honduras with Bakerstown Presbyterian Church, Youth Mission Trip to Philippi, WVa, Pittsburgh Project, Kenya Mission Trip, and an annual Thanksgiving Eve Service with Northmont Presbyterian Church.  
 
The congregation is actively engaged in an ongoing visioning initiative as it seeks to make disciples, grow, and become an even more significant presence for Jesus Christ and in the community and around the world. 

Bargar to Serve Rimersburg/Lawsonham Charge

Announced: 02-18-2018

About John F. Bargar
John Francis Bargar was born in Franklin, and has lived most of his life in Western Pennsylvania.  After graduating from Meadville Senior High School, he went off to college and then was invited by “Uncle Sam” to tour the world via the U.S. Navy for six years.  John met his loving wife Lynne (37+ years) after leaving the Navy and re-joining the collegiate world.  After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, he entered the business world, working for a small company in Meadville for 18 years.

During those 18 years, John and Lynne raised two wonderful kids, Joshua and Sarah.  Joshua and Sarah have now completed their collegiate careers and have “left the nest.”  John also graduated from Gannon University with a master’s degree in business administration, served as a Lay Speaker of the Saegertown UMC for 12 years, and enjoyed doing prison ministry for seven years at Albion SCI.  John and Lynne maintain a residence in Saegertown, PA since Lynne is a teacher with the Penncrest School District, and has been the Treasurer of the Saegertown Library for several years.  After all their married years of life together, they still enjoy Friday Night “Date Night,” enjoying home-made gluten free pizza, movies, board games and the kids when they stop by for a visit.

And then God called again.  John left the business world, working as assistant chaplain at Wesbury United Methodist Retirement Community in Meadville and serving the Shermansville and Palmer United Methodist churches as a student pastor (2005 – 2008) and as an interim pastor of the Congregational Christian Church in Meadville. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Ashland Theological Seminary in 2007. John served under full-time appointment with the Pymatuning Charge (Jamestown, State Line, and Westford) in Franklin District for eight years (2008 – 2016), and the past two years has served as pastor of the Cochranton UMC in the Erie-Meadville District.

John’s passion is to make disciples for Jesus Christ, helping them to realize that asking Jesus to be Lord and Savior is only the beginning of an awesome adventure of life eternal in Christ Jesus.  He enjoys his annual sojourn to Aldersgate Renewal Ministries’ Holy Spirit Conferences, playing a round of golf and riding his bicycle on occasion. He is humbled to be able to serve in any capacity as a servant of the Lord and is looking forward to rejoining the Franklin District to make new disciples in the communities of Lawsonham and Rimersburg, as pastor of that Charge.

 
About Rimersburg/Lawsonham Charge
Located in southern Clarion County, the Rimersburg and Lawsonham churches are well known in the community for their ministries. The centerpoint is an afterschool program, “King’s Kids,” held weekly during the school year for elementary age children.  The weekly attendance is over 100 children. Along with that ministry, the church participates in the “Blessing Kids Project,” to provide food for needy children in the Union School District and hosts school children during release time. In addition, the churches send out mission teams on a regular basis, do a monthly nursing home visitation and sponsor a “Celebrate Recovery” group. The charge offers opportunities for individuals to use their God-given talents in the church, community or around the world.  

Nagy to Serve New Charge

Announced: 02-18-2018

About E. Robert Nagy
E Robert Nagy has been appointed to the Scottdale: Trinity and Hickory Square Charge effective July 1, 2018.
 
Bob is a native of Portage PA and a 1970 graduate of Portage Area High. After working in the US government and various financial institutions, he felt the call into ministry in 1999.  Bob and his wife Marie have been married since 1992. Marie attended Indiana Trinity UMC and invited Bob to attend. There Bob heard the Gospel and in 1995 accepted Jesus as his Lord.
 
Bob graduated from MTSO in Delaware, Ohio and has been serving as a Local Pastor since 1999. The charges he has been appointed to include the Marchand Charge in Indiana County, Hastings/Bakerton in Cambria County, Hyndman Grace/Gravel Pit Bethel Charge in Bedford County and his current appointment at Mill Run/Ohiopyle in Fayette County.  Bob and Marie have nine children, two daughters-in-laws and four  exceptionally beautiful grandkids.
 
About Scottdale:Trinity/Hickory Square UMCs

For 135 years, Scottdale: Trinity United Methodist Church has been living up to Acts 4:32.   The people who have believed and received Jesus Christ have become as one with him in heart and soul.  They have been sharing their treasure, Jesus Christ, with the community of Scottdale and areas beyond.  Both clergy and laity have brought forth  rich ministries that have filled the sanctuary with Sunday School, with worship, and with praise that bring laughter and tears to all who enter Trinity’s doors. 

Ministry has reached out beyond these walls through at least seven of the congregation who have received their call to ordained ministry through the encouraging words of teachers and preachers of Trinity.  Many others have become lay leaders of the Church and District.  Our goal at Trinity for the next century is to continue making disciples for Jesus Christ for the building of His kingdom so that future generations can say, “God’s faithful have truly been serving the past and the present to inspire discipleship for the future.”
 

Hickory Square United Methodist Church welcomes Christians and those who seek to understand Christianity. Our aim is to make contact with and encourage others to join us in our life-enhancing Christian journey. Hickory Square United Methodist Church is a friendly Christian community where we welcome others to join us in our worship and service to God. Our emphasis is on learning and understanding the Bible and following the example of Jesus and his followers.

The vision of Hickory Square Church is to make an impact for God by helping people understand the enriching messages of eternal hope given to us by Jesus Christ through His words and deeds. Everyone is welcome, no matter your age, beliefs or background. Come just as you are - we'd love to get to know you better.

Peterman Appointed to Harrison City

Announced: 02-18-2018

About Jerrad Peterman
Jerrad Peterman, who has served the Leechburg First UMC since 2012, will become the pastor of congregational care at Community United Methodist Church, Harrison City, effective July 1, 2018.  Prior to being appointed in Leechburg, he served as pastor at Oak View UMC (Waynesburg), Sykesville Grace UMC, Pleasant Valley UMC, and Trinity UMC (DuBois).  While in seminary he also was hired by his district superintendent to serve Port Barnett UMC and Mead Chapel UMC.
 
Jerrad graduated from Clarion University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and in 2003 earned a Master of Divinity degree from Methodist Theological School in Ohio. While at Clarion, he met Becky, whom he married in 1995. The couple has one daughter, Emma, who will graduate from Leechburg High School in May 2018.  She has been accepted andcommitted to attend Allegheny College in the fall to study neuroscience and psychology.  Her plan is to become a forensic pathologist.
 
Beyond the local church, Jerrad has been a member of the Washington District DCoM.  Jerrad, Becky and Emma all serve on the Annual Conference Sessions housing team.  He also is the Conference Sessions voucher agent.

 
About Harrison City Community
Recognized for their weekend worship experiences, Community offers vibrant modern and meaningful traditional worship. Lifting up Jesus and the authority of God’s Word, the unchurched and de-churched are connecting with Jesus. With overflowing adult, student, and children’s ministries, Community is in the middle of a building project. The new worship space, café/gathering areas, and youth and kids’ wings will become places where people gather to follow Jesus and then launch into the world to lead others to Him. Community actively meets the needs of people locally, regionally, and globally. Building and supporting sister churches in Uganda and India, they believe the world really is within their reach. Their hope is to become a multi-site movement along with “mothering” challenged churches and planting new churches.
 
The pastor of community care (PCC) is tasked with the responsibility of leading and developing proactive care ministries. The PCC will provide strategy and oversight of the Pastoral Care Team, manage care ministries (Grief Share, Divorce Care), supervise Stephen Ministry, counsel and administer solutions for families in need, and lead and launch teams for other caregiving in the church and community.

 

Janz To Serve Butler First UMC

Announced: 02-11-2018

About David D. Janz
The Rev. David Janz, a gifted teacher and preacher who serves as co-chair of the Conference Board of Ministry, has been appointed as senior pastor of Butler First UMC. Since 2007, Rev. Janz has served as the senior pastor of Christ UMC in Franklin, which has experienced growth in professions of faith and worship attendance and offers a variety of worship experiences. He is skilled in building and working with teams in the local church, as well as at the district and Conference level.

Rev. Janz's preaching style is conversational and interactive and, although his administrative skills are evident, his greatest joy comes from preaching and teaching. Before being appointed to the Franklin Church, Rev. Janz served eight years as pastor of Christ UMC in Erie. A graduate of West Virginia University with a major in music education, he earned his master of divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. 

Rev. Janz and his wife Betsy have an adult son and a daughter who is a college student. 
 
About Butler: First UMC
Butler First United Methodist Church offers the same message in a variety of worship settings at three campuses for about 1100 people each week. Traditional services are offered at its downtown campus sanctuary at 6 p.m. Saturday and twice on Sunday mornings; a God's Country service with country music and communion follows a 6 p.m. dinner on Saturday evenings, also at the downtown campus. The Crossfire campus outside Butler offers contemporary worship on Sunday mornings. Butler First offers several small groups and ministries to those in the community through a community meal, an addiction recovery ministry and a ministry to those transitioning back into the community from prison. 

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