Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.
Sorted by Announced Date
Chung to Serve as Johnstown DS
One of the Rev. Chung's strengths is his varied experience in local churches. He has served as an associate pastor, pastor of a multiple-point charge in a rural area, pastor in a small town, and pastor of an inner city church. All of them have been cross-racial/cross-cultural appointments.
Before being appointed to the Otterbein church, he served West Middlesex from 2008-2013, Clintonville Charge (Clintonville: Grace, Peters Chapel, and Rankin Chapel) from 2003-2008, and Mercer as an associate from 2001-2003. All are in the Franklin District.
He has served many years on the District Committee on Ministry, both in the Franklin and Greensburg districts. He also has served as a clergy mentor.
On the Conference level, he has been part of the Believe Again! Implementation Team, Directional Oversight Team, Conference Connectional Leadership Team, Ethnic Local Church Concerns, Conference Budget Team, Clergy Evaluation Task Force, and Board of Ministry.
Rev. Chung was elected as a delegate to the 2016 Jurisdictional Conference and is currently a member of the Rules Committee of Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference.
He earned his B.A. degree in theology from Hyupsung University in South Korea and his Master of Divinity degree from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas and was ordained an Elder in 2006.
He and his wife Jihye have three children: Andrew,16; Leah, 12, and Daniel, 8 months. Andrew, an 11th grader, serves on the denomination's General Board of Global Ministries and on the Conference Youth Ministry Team.
Rev. Chung's passion for ministry is to share Christ’s love with all the people in daily ordinary life. He believes that every day is a blessing of God, every person is an image of God, in every place there is the presence of God, and every moment is an opportunity to witness the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Chung said he is very humbled and honored to be the first Asian-American District Superintendent in the Western Pennsylvania Conference and looks forward to wonderful ministries with the faithful disciples in Johnstown District.
Among the notable ministries on the District are United Methodist Human Services of Johnstown, a mission agency that has been offering tangible resources to persons in need since 1977; Arbutus Park, a retirement community rooted in the United Methodist tradition that offers multiple living options; and JUMP, a volunteer home repair ministry centered in the city of Johnstown that has recently expanded into offering transitional housing for men seeking a more stable life. In addition to these particular ministries, all of the churches are involved in implementing and supporting local, national and global missions and ministries.
Hand Appointed as Pittsburgh District Superintendent
Her 38 years of ministry began in 1980 when she served as a Youth Ministry Team member and youth delegate to the Western North Carolina Annual Conference, as well as a Southeastern Jurisdiction youth devotional leader. Since then, Rev. Hand has served on several boards and foundations, including the United Methodist Communications Board of Directors, the Chris Canty Foundation, and the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina. She also has been a part of missions to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Belize.
Before being appointed to Foundry, Rev. Hand was an Associate Pastor at Matthews United Methodist Church in Matthews, NC. Hand was one of five associate pastors who together with the lead pastor helped care for the spiritual growth of the nearly 3000-member suburban congregation.
Prior to parish ministry, Hand served on the staff of the Western North Carolina Conference. Joining the staff in 1991 as Assistant Director of Communications, she became its Director in 1996 and served until 2006 when she was commissioned as a probationary elder and appointed to a local church. She was ordained an elder in 2009.
A prominent advocate for social justice, Hand has been active in a variety of local and national initiatives including immigration reform, alleviating child poverty, ending chronic homelessness, providing affordable housing, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and the sanctuary, sacred resistance, and Black Lives Matter movements. She has a special passion for young people and is deeply committed to efforts to correct the grave injustices prevalent in our society.
A native of Charlotte NC, Hand is a product of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public school system and graduated from West Charlotte High School. She earned a Baccalaureate degree in Mass Communications from Winston-Salem State University and a Master of Divinity degree from Hood Theological Seminary. At Winston-Salem State University, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in which she continues to be active. From 1989 until 1991, she worked at WBTV, a CBS affiliate in Charlotte.
Hand enjoys travel, music, sports, hiking and cycling. She is an avid NFL and WNBA fan. She likes to cook and has an adventurous appetite for food. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially with her nieces Ashlee and Micah and nephew Walter, whom she calls her “three heartbeats.” She loves to laugh and suggests that God has a wonderful sense of humor for calling her to ordained ministry.
"It is my privilege and joy to serve in the cabinet of Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi as Superintendent for the Pittsburgh District," Rev. Hand said. "I am grateful for this opportunity and excited to begin this part of my ministry journey. I look forward to serving in the WPA Conference and am eager to learn more about the mission and ministry of the Conference and the District.
"As I approach this new challenge I am looking forward to touring the District and listening to the hopes and concerns of those who serve there," she added. "I believe strongly in a “partnership” ministry where laity and clergy engage together to serve God and achieve the goals we set in kingdom building."
Park Named as Butler District Superintendent
Rev. Park spent his childhood and youth in three Western Pennsylvania towns (Washington, Grove City, and Indiana), graduating from Indiana Area Senior High School in 1984. He said he learned to read with a Bible in one hand and a comic book in the other. He wrote his first song in ninth grade and has been doing his best to create music ever since.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA; a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina; and a doctoral degree from Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey.
Eric and his wife Tara met in 1986 when they were both students at Dickinson College. Cast as romantic leads in the college musical, their first kiss was on stage. The rest is history.
Tara and Eric believe that the best day of their lives was January 18, 1992, when together they entered the covenant of marriage. They love to read, laugh, travel, and go to movies. And, since neither of them cook all that much, a good restaurant is always one of their favorite places. Eric still collects comic books!
His new appointment won’t be his first time as a district superintendent. He was serving as the Washington DS when Butler First’s long-time pastor, the Rev. J. David Panther, died in 2013 after a prolonged battle with cancer. In the midst of the Bishop and Cabinet’s discernment process to find a senior pastor for Butler First, he was called to serve there.
Rev. Park’s ministry has touched many lives in Western PA and beyond. After serving three years as pastor of First UMC in McDonald, he was appointed in 1995 as an associate at Christ UMC in Bethel Park. There he and his wife Tara launched a popular Sunday evening contemporary worship service with progressive rock band Ten-Point-Ten. Tara played keyboard and was vocalist. In 2005, she released her first solo CD, Things Unseen, with music and lyrics written by Eric. Since then, the couple has released two other CDs, mostly with original music.
In July 2002, he moved to Central Highlands Community UMC as senior pastor and served there until he was appointed to fill a vacancy as superintendent of the Washington District beginning Jan. 1, 2009.
Rev. Park was nominated by the annual conference as a candidate for Bishop in both 2008 and 2012. He sat on the denomination’s General Board of Discipleship from 2008-2016, often serving in leadership positions.
He has served on several Conference boards and agencies, including the Board of Ordained Ministry, Parish and Community Development and Discipleship. He has also been a board member for Jumonville and the United Methodist Foundation of Western Pennsylvania.
His blog, A Gracious Graffiti, can be found at https://pewboy.net/.
The Butler district includes United Methodist congregations who have been bringing the good news of Jesus to life for over 200 years in Beaver, Butler, and Lawrence counties, as well as a few areas of Armstrong County and the upper Allegheny valley area of Allegheny County. The Butler District provides worship settings located in urban, suburban, and rural locations. Average attendance ranges from eight to 1500 in weekend worship activities. The churches of the Butler District strive to bring the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ to a region that has experienced decline in population and economic vitality throughout the last 40 years.
During any given week the churches of the Butler District are engaged in ministries that provide radical hospitality, inspiring worship, intentional faith development, mission opportunities, and extravagant generosity. The communities of faith in the Butler District seek to fulfill God’s call to be disciples of Jesus who invite others to believe, engage new as well as long established participants in activities that encourage each other in their faith, and who look for effective ways to make God’s love real in their communities and the world beyond.
Swineford Appointed Erie-Meadville DS
He is a graduate of Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary. In 1993 he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a focus on stewardship programming.
Ordained a deacon in 1981 and an Elder in 1984, Rev. Swineford served five pastoral appointments across 36 years of ministry. The settings include rural, urban, small town and suburban areas, including the Titusville Bethel Charge (1982-1988); The Sharpsburg/Millvale Charge (1988-1993); Cabot UMC (1993-2003); Bradford First UMC (2003-2010); and Bakerstown UMC (2010 to present). They include rural, urban, small town and suburban congregations.
"I have found each setting to be challenging and rewarding and each congregation to be a blessing," he said. "In each of my appointments I have worked with congregational leaders to discern the unique gifts and calling of each congregation to win and grow disciples of Jesus Christ.
My passions have been preaching and teaching God’s Word and developing congregational programs and projects that help people apply its values to to their daily living," he said. "I firmly believe that genuine faith can only be worked out through relationships with others, both within the congregation and with those not yet a part of the faith community. Pastoral Care of individuals has been and remains a priority of my ministry."
Rev. Swineford has been married to Deborah, a United Methodist minister’s daughter, since 1979. They were married by her father in one of his former Churches in Sebastian Florida. After the service, Rev. Swineford said, his -new father-in-law shook his hand and said, “Well, at least she knows what she is getting into.”
"We have been 'into it' together since and in each congregation Deborah has found her place of service," Rev. Swineford said. Her top priority, he added, has always been the discipling of their five children: Sarah Taylor (Nick); Hannah Daugherty (Jake); Rev. Rebekah Clapp (Ben); Leah, a student at the Deaf Missions Training School in Council Bluffs IA, and Caleb, a student a CCAC. Recently this task has expanded to include a growing contingent of grandchildren.
The Erie-Meadville District is a place of extreme diversity. Within its borders are found every expression of faith and life, including a large city, several smaller cities, suburban areas, small towns, vast farmlands and a completely undeveloped wildlife reserve! Residents and visitors enjoy a beautiful shore line, rolling mountains, and numerous lakes and streams.
The faith community in the district is equally diverse, including small churches, traditional worship services, large churches, contemporary services with praise bands and mutli-media elements, urban and rural ministry, service teams, outreach to the homeless and the home-bound, a United Methodist-related college (Allegheny in Meadville) and a United Methodist retirement community (Wesbury).
Within the diversity the people and churches of the district embrace unity in Jesus! They live, worship, serve, reach out and care because of their common love for our Savior. It is a beautiful place to live, worship and serve!
Goodman Appointed to Beaver UMC
Prior to being appointed to Butler First UMC, where he has been executive pastor, he served as the pastor of Creekside UMC, the youth pastor of Trinity UMC, and the teaching pastor of Indiana: Grace UMC’s college ministry at Indiana University of PA. He also served as a Pittsburgh Theological Seminary intern at Eighth Avenue Place in Homestead, PA. Tim is married to Melissa and they are the proud parents of Joshua and Madelyn.
Kraus to serve Tylersburg, Tionesta Charge
Tylersburg, Scotch Hill and Helen Furnace reach out to their communities and the nearby campgrounds. They help with the local food bank and are involved in providing ministry to an area nursing home. Known in their communities as the place for people to turn when in need of help, they are warm, welcoming congregations who enjoy serving Christ by sharing God’s love with everyone they meet.
Megan Berkebile to Serve Fells UMC
Megan is actively involved in Kappa Phi, a Christian Women’s Service club, encouraging college women to deepen their relationship with Christ. She is the Secretary for the Conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women and also serves on the Disability Concerns committee. Megan is passionate about encouraging youth to be involved in the church.
In 1967 the new Fells church was dedicated a short distance away. Today the “Lighthouse on the Hill” is where the people open their hearts to God’s presence in their lives. But their church is also where they open doors to the needs of our community. Fells UMC is both a house of prayer and a center of hospitality: where the congregation brings God’s light to the people of their area.
Chambers Appointed To Bellview Charge
Involved in church life from an early age and part of a Methodist church since age 8, Linda said she didn't intend to become a pastor. "I was a speech therapist and enjoyed that career. God called me into ministry while I was working for the summer at one of our conference camps. Initially, I understood that call to be as a lay person, but later found it to be as an ordained pastor," she explained.
While in seminary, Linda was co--pastor for a two church Charge. Since graduating, she has served at six charges and lived in five districts of our Annual Conference. The local church is where she has enjoyed living and serving. "It is my belief that God calls and uses all of us in ministry to build the body of Christ. All have a part to play and God supplies what is needed for us to be His body."
Linda and her husband Ken Chambers, who married in 1982, have four adult children and five grandchildren.
Sommerville-Schall to Serve Germany UMC
The mother of two and grandmother of five children, Brenda felt God’s call early in her life, but “made many excuses as to why it was not time.” Born in Muncie, Indiana in 1954, she lived most of her life in Buckhannon, W.Va. with her mother and seven brothers. Brenda served as a lay speaker for about 11 years and taught many Sunday classes. For 10 years she was the Sunday School superintendent at Mt. Zion UMC in Girty. Yet, she said, she felt God saying He wanted more from her.
Brenda said her late husband David told her “that I needed to listen to God. He was very supportive of me. He passed away in 2011 after 30 years of marriage." She married again in 2016. "I have been very blessed over the years," she added. "No matter what our GOD will not leave us, he will see us through it.”
Jeff Foor Appointed to Strattanville Charge
The churches reach out to their communities to spread the good news of the Gospel as well to help those who are in need. They serve meals to their neighbors through Clarion Food for Friends, are very involved in the Second Harvest Food Distribution, participate in Operation Christmas Child and the Potato Project in the district. They celebrate their long history of ministry and fellowship.