2019 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Sorted by Announced Date

Becky Edwards to Serve Tanoma, Creekside UMC

Announced: 04-07-2019

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

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

Caleb Fugate to Serve New Charge

Announced: 04-07-2019

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

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

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

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

Courtemanche To Serve as Chippewa Associate

Announced: 04-07-2019

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

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

Meier to Serve Realigned Elderton Charge

Announced: 04-07-2019

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

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

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

Pope to Serve New Charge

Announced: 04-07-2019

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

Rogosky to Serve Erie: Wesley UMC

Announced: 04-07-2019

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

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

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

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

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

Sandra Conti to Serve New Marianna/Mt. Zion Charge

Announced: 04-07-2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anette Gerber to Serve Christ Community UMC

Announced: 03-31-2019

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

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

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

John Gerber Appointed to Cabot UMC

Announced: 03-31-2019

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

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

Brenda Shaffer Appointed Somerset: Grace Associate

Announced: 03-17-2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gardner to Serve Baldwin Community UMC

Announced: 03-17-2019

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

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

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

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

Jones to Serve New UM Charge for Christ

Announced: 03-17-2019

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

Winston Thomas To Serve First Bethel UMC

Announced: 03-17-2019

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

Jason McQueen to Serve Dayton UMC

Announced: 03-09-2019

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

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

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

Richter to Serve New Marienville Charge

Announced: 03-01-2019

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

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

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

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

Davis To Serve White Chapel, Balm UMCs

Announced: 02-24-2019

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

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

Ea Kyoung “Amy” Jun

Announced: 02-24-2019

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

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

Heckman Appointed to Blairsville Parish

Announced: 02-24-2019

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

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

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

Hilton Appointed to New Brighton UMC

Announced: 02-24-2019

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

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

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

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

Justin Judy to Serve New Charge

Announced: 02-24-2019

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

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

Pryor Appointed to Aliquippa

Announced: 02-24-2019

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

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

Tori Heath to Serve Waterford Asbury UMC

Announced: 02-24-2019

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

Brett Dinger Appointed to Lakeside UMC

Announced: 02-17-2019

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

Dixon Appointed Good Shepherd Parish Associate

Announced: 02-17-2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kendra Balliet to Serve Luthersburg Charge

Announced: 02-17-2019

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

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

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

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

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