2018 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Sorted by Announced Date

Chung to Serve as Johnstown DS

Announced: 02-05-2018

About Sung Shik Chung
Sung Chung, a native of Seoul, South Korea, has served for 17 years in the Western PA Conference, the past five years at Otterbein United Methodist Church in Greensburg District. During that time he has served beyond the local church at the District, Conference and Jurisdictional levels. 
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.

About Johnstown District
Centered in the breath-taking Laurel Highlands, the Johnstown District encompasses all of Cambria County, as well as portions of Somerset, Bedford, Clearfield, and Indiana counties. The Johnstown District is home to 84 United Methodist churches – some are small, others are large; some are single-point churches, while others share ministry on multi-point charges or in cooperative parishes; some are in the city, while others are in small towns and rural settings; some offer traditional expressions of worship, while others praise God through contemporary worship. No matter their differences, all of the churches of the Johnstown District have a passion for serving Jesus Christ! Across the District, United Methodist clergy and laity are striving to make disciples for Jesus and transform the world for the sake of our Savior!

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

Announced: 02-05-2018

About Dawn M. Hand
The Rev. Dawn M. Hand is an ordained elder of the Western North Carolina Conference who in 2011 was appointed to Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. and currently serves as its Executive Pastor and Chief of Staff.  In this role she is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of an historic downtown church with a congregation of more than 1200 members.

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." 
About Pittsburgh District
The Pittsburgh District includes the city of Pittsburgh and most of its suburbs in Allegheny County, a region that has more bridges than any other metropolitan area in the world. Just as the bridges provide vital links between the hills and valleys and across three rivers, the United Methodist congregations and agencies of the district endeavor to serve as bridges to offer God’s love to all.  The current model of ministry includes a variety of cooperative and inter-parish relationships to more faithfully and fully use our gifts to reach God's children with the good news of the grace of Jesus Christ. The churches of the district include 22,599 members, 58 congregations, 88 pastors and several outreach programs and agencies.

Park Named as Butler District Superintendent

Announced: 02-05-2018

About Eric S. Park
The Rev. Eric S. Park, who has served as senior pastor of Butler First UMC since September 2013, will be appointed as the Butler District Superintendent, effective July 1, 2018.  

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/.
About Butler District

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

Announced: 02-05-2018

About Dennis W. Swineford
Rev. Dennis Swineford is a life- long United Methodist, baptized, confirmed, converted and called to ministry among the people of Grace United Methodist Church in Indiana PA. 

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. 

About Erie-Meadville District

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

Announced: 02-04-2018

About Timothy J. Goodman
Tim Goodman, who has served at Butler First UMC since 2014, will become the pastor at Beaver United Methodist Church effective July 1, 2018. Tim is passionate about a relational ministry that helps individuals to encounter Jesus Christ for the first time and helps disciples of Jesus to be equipped for team ministry to show God's love in the world. He seeks to gather people and cultivate in them a sense of belonging, compassion, and purpose so they can more fully and gratefully participate in the worship and mission of Jesus Christ locally and globally. Tim has the interpersonal skills to respectfully relate to others who are very different from himself and see their God-given potential and identity in Christ. .

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.
About Beaver United Methodist Church
The Beaver United Methodist has a rich tradition of providing ministries that connect people to Jesus and the steadfast love of the Lord that endures forever. Located in the Beaver County seat, the Beaver UMC stands poised to grow into the next expression what this church will be. There is much excitement in the area with the building of the nearby Shell Cracker Plant and the promise of new economic development. The leaders of Beaver UMC are excited to receive a new pastor who will be able to lead them in connecting with younger people who make up a growing portion of the population.  

Kraus to serve Tylersburg, Tionesta Charge

Announced: 02-01-2018

About Melissa Kraus
Melissa Kraus, a licensed local pastor, comes to the Kane District from Summerville, where she lives with her husband Jim, a retired laborer, and son August, a student at Clarion University.  Melissa has been involved with education in the public and private sector from preschool to adult literacy. She brings to the pulpit an literary approach to Scripture, seeking the Living Word of God through careful reading and spiritual enlightenment. She especially enjoys the Gospel writings as they serve to motivate the church of the 21st Century much as they did in ancient times. Her go-to passage comes from Philippians 4: 4--Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice…and further on …think about these things. Melissa appreciates the discipline of the United Methodist Church and embraces the Wesleyan  faith. She is midway in her Course of Study at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and began serving at the charge on Feb. 1, 2018.
About Tionesta, Tylersburg, Scotch Hill and Helen Furnace UMCs
The Tionesta, Tylersburg, Scotch Hill and Helen Furnace churches are along Route 36 and Miola Road in Forest and Clarion counties. First UMC, Tionesta is located in the county seat of Forest County and carries forth a vital ministry with a used clothing and household goods store next to the church. They are also involved with the local food pantry. The church works with the local prison for inmate work projects. First UMC also hosts the annual community choir cantata and participates in the community festival. They have a passion for Christ and to make Christ known.

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

Announced: 01-28-2018

About Megan Berkebile
As the youngest child of a preacher, Megan Berkebile grew up in many places,  including Johnstown where her mother and stepfather currently reside. Megan attended West Virginia Wesleyan College where she studied Christian Education and Music. She then attended the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, where she earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2007 and a Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries in 2009. A licensed Behavior Specialist in Pennsylvania, Megan spent more than five years supporting children with mental and behavioral health needs. She has served as pastor of the three churches of the Allegheny River West Bank Charge in Butler District since July, 2015

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. 
About Fells United Methodist Church
Fells United Methodist Church, in the Connellsville District, has been known as the “Lighthouse on the Hill” since the congregation was founded in 1785.  Pioneer Beazell and Fell families held early Methodist worship services in their homes in 1785.  Seven years later, with an increasing congregation, the two families spearheaded the building of a log cabin church.  On land donated by General George Washington, the stone church was constructed in 1834.  Washington was grateful for tools and leather supplies donated by Benjamin Fell to his soldiers serving at Valley Forge.  Fell opened his home for the men to repair and make shoes.

In 1967 the new Fells church was dedicated a short distance away.  Today the “Lighthouse on the Hill” is where 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

Announced: 01-21-2018

About Linda Chambers
Linda Chambers, who moved to the Punxsutawney area after retiring from active ministry in 2015 and served two years as part-time pastor of the three-point charge Valier Charge, has been appointed to serve the three churches of the Bellview Charge on an interim basis. She began serving on Feb. 1, 2018.

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.
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. 

Sommerville-Schall to Serve Germany UMC

Announced: 12-10-2017

About Somerville-Schall, Brenda E.
Brenda Loraine Sommerville-Schall has been appointed to serve Germany UMC, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

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.”
About Germany UMC
Germany UMC, in a rural area north of New Florence on PA Route 259, has about 300 members.  The congregation  grew out of a class on the Erie Methodist Conference's Indiana Circuit with Elliott Robinson as Class leader from 1841 to 1853. The church was built in 1853 and it was placed on the Black Lick Circuit, which was organized that year. In 1887, Germany became part of the Bolivar circuit,  later was on a charge with New Florence, and was again on a charge with Bolivar from 1966-2010. 

Jeff Foor Appointed to Strattanville Charge

Announced: 11-01-2017

About Jeffrey Foor
Jeffrey currently serves as a part-time Associate Pastor of the Tionesta/Tylersburg/Helen Furnace/Scotch Hill Charge.  Jeff has enjoyed a distinguished career of over 35 years in banking, most recently as a Vice President and Small Business Specialist with First Commonwealth Bank.  After feeling a call from God to go deeper in ministry, Jeff will retire from First Commonwealth Bank effective December 31, 2017.  He is excited to begin his work as the full time Local Pastor of the Strattanville/Asbury/Corsica Charge on January 1, 2018.  Jeff and his wife Glea currently reside in Clarion. Their daughter Brittany and her husband Adam, who live in Swissvale, and are expecting their first child in February. 
About Strattanville Charge
The Strattanville Charge consists of the Strattanville, Asbury and Corsica United Methodist churches. The three churches have been on a charge together since 1970. They are all located on Rt. 322 from eastern Clarion County to Corsica, in Jefferson County. The Corsica UM church is at the eastern boundary of the Franklin district.

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.

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