2022 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Go to summary listing

Sorted by Announced Date


 

Linda Dinger To Serve Mill Village/Millers Station

Announced: 06-27-2021
About Linda Dinger
After working as a Dental Hygienist for 20 years in her native Erie, Linda answered the call to ministry through her involvement in Glenwood UMC.  After graduating from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, she was ordained an Elder in 2007.  Linda served multiple church circuits in her 20-year career that included both rural and urban settings.  She retired in 2020.  After two years of ‘full-time retirement,”  Linda is returning to assume the leadership of two small congregations on a “part-time” basis
 
About Mill Village/Millers Station Charge

The Mill Village/Millers Station Charge is a unique alignment of a rural, “country” church and a small town congregation.  The churches work well together and share in each other’s programs and studies. Both have strong and active laity leadership that assists their part-time pastor in pastoral care and administration.

About Mill Village
After suffering the catastrophic loss of its building due to a structural collapse in June 2015, the Mill Village United Methodist Church began worshipping together with the Presbyterian Church of Mill Village.  The two pastors began sharing worship and preaching responsibilities.  Since that time they have been exploring ways to maintain their unique heritages and theological identities while uniting together in service to their community.  They are continuing to develop a plan of unity. The United Methodist congregation has been working on a plan to build a new worship and ministry site on land purchased in Mill Village. 

About Millers Station
Surrounded by farm land, the Millers Station congregation enjoys a vital sense of community and fellowship in their rural setting.  The congregation has a strong women’s fellowship that helps to guide the church’s community outreach and mission.  Bible study and Biblical preaching are important values. 
 
Linda Dinger’s experience of administering the life of small congregations, her teaching and preaching gifts; and her interest in pastoral care will serve the Mill Village and Millers Station Charge well. Her collaborative mindset will assist the continued exploration of ecumenical ministry in Mill Village.
 

Shearer to serve Lander/Chandlers Valley

Announced: 06-27-2021
About Ethan T. Shearer
Ethan Shearer is from Robinson, Pennsylvania.  He studied Karate and earned his black belt, and enjoyed playing soccer in his school years.  He loved the excitement, aggression, and being in constant motion.  During his freshman year in high school he joined the varsity wrestling team, and it made him strong both physically and mentally.

Church was a big part of his life as well.  He attended almost every Sunday with his family, sang the hymns, stayed for Sunday school, and went to Vacation Bible School every summer.  In college he became friends with a leader in CRU.  It was through CRU that his faith in Christ really came alive.

Ethan is exceedingly grateful for this wonderful opportunity to be in ministry with the people of Lander and Chandlers Valley.  As a pastor, he hopes to give sermons that balance hope and the assurance of God’s love for us, with firm honesty regarding God’s calling us to repentance and the vital need to be born again. Working with the youth leaders to combine fun with solid learning; and teaming up with the parishioners to share the Gospel to the unreached are also among my goals.
 
About Lander/Chandlers Valley
The Lander UM Church is a small conservative church located in rural northwestern Warren County. The church  has been serving the Lord since 1861. Lander offers both a contemporary worship service and a traditional service with Sunday School for all ages in between. Children are one of the church's focuses, with a Tuesday evening program that includes dinner, lesson, music, crafts and snack. Summer includes a week of Bible School. The church offers many Bible studies, including via Zoom on Wednesday evening. Because of the pandemic the service was live streamed and continues to be.

Lander is active in missions, providing support for two missionaries. Also Compassion Child and Angel Tree are a regular part of the church. The people at Lander are very caring and ready to help those in need. They will continue to serve the Lord according to His will.

Chandlers Valley is a small membership church nestled in a small village. The congregation is intentional about welcoming visitors with love and saw their efforts rewarded with three new couples worshipping with them. 

As an older congregation they enjoy more traditional worship and are not as into the more modern style. Chandlers Valley UMC has hosted benefit dinners for local families who have fallen on hard times.  Additionally they hosted gospel singers and groups.
 
The church family really enjoys Bible studies and appreciate pastoral visits. They have hosted a spring fishing contest for the young people in the area.

Wells Named Allegheny River Lay Minister

Announced: 06-27-2021
About Terri Wells
Terri Wells grew up in Penfield, Pennsylvania in a family that didn't attend church. She says she has not walked a perfect path in this life, and "I praise Jesus for hanging on to me and not letting me go, even when I was trying to make my own way without him." 
She earned a bachelor's degree in Administration of Justice, with a minor in Psychology, from Penn State University and has worked in retail store management, as Asst. Deputy Warden of Treatment for Clearfield County Jail, Correctional Counselor for Indiana County Jail, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist, for TSS, as a bank teller, a caseworker for Jefferson County Children and Youth and Indiana County Children and Youth, and a forensic Interviewer of children of sexual abuse. She currently is the Foster Care Coordinator for Indiana County Children and Youth.

Terri attended Penfield United Methodist Church, starting at the age of 10 and was confirmed as a member of that church at the age of 14. In 2006, she transferred her membership to the Smicksburg United Methodist Church. She has served the church as Admin Council leader, Women’s Group Leader, Vacation Bible School Leader, Youth Group Leader, and Sunday School leader.  She sang in the choir at Penfield for over 20 years. 

Terri married Ron in 2006 and he is her best friend. She has two adult sons from her first marriage. Keith Crawford is married to Lisa and they have two children Madelyn and Kodi. He is a former Marine and Air National Guard veteran and teaches at a State Correctional Facility in Eastern PA. Jason Crawford, his wife Kim and their sons Cullen and Liam live in Wiesbaden, Germany. He is on year 18 for the 82nd Airborne Paratroopers in the Army. 

Ron has a daughter Alicia Moore, who is married to Pat and they have two sons Peyton and Tanner. Ron also has an adult special needs son, Nathan Wells, who resides in a group home in Black Lick. 

Terri says that with all her life experiences and achievements, she values the next chapter of her life as "the greatest opportunity that I could ever have, to dedicate my life to sharing the love of Jesus Christ. I am so excited to explore the word of the Lord with my new brothers and sisters in Christ. To allow God to work through me and use me to bring souls home to him." 
About Allegheny River Charge
First United Methodist Church of Kittanning is the newest member of the four-point Allegheny River Charge.  The congregation dates back to 1816 and it was one of the original circuit rider churches—a circuit that some believe was 300 miles long!  The church has a rich history in the community, celebrating 100 years in the current building in 2009 and the 200th anniversary of the church in 2016.  Today, the church is actively involved with the Ramps of Hope Ministry, ministry to the aging population with a monthly lunch and program, a vibrant Bible School and Sunday School programs. 

In 2017, the church spent time with John and Christine Zimmerman of About Face Church Outreach Consultants and has incorporated some of the ideas and ministries gained through their work with AFCOC.  
 
Ford Memorial United Methodist Church is a small membership church making a big impact in the community.  The church houses a food bank as well as a care and share clothing shop twice a month.  They provide a free meal to the community on Thursday evenings as well as a free Thanksgiving meal at noon. The local LEO club from the school district helps serve these meals.  The church has active UMW and UMM groups.  The UMM partner with the Cub Scout pack that uses the church facilities to do projects together.  They also participate in Light Up Night, presenting a Live Nativity to help the community hear the reason for the season.  Ford Memorial hosts the ministerium's Lenten meals and services annually.  Members participate in Ramps of Hope and Christstock (a local free event for the community).
 
Manorville United Methodist Church, located along the beautiful Allegheny River at 800 Water Street, was built by volunteers in 1932 during the Great Depression.  Manorville was established as a Methodist Episcopal church in 1889.  It remains a church of volunteers dedicated to mission and service.  Each summer, the entire church participates in Vacation Bible School.  Members are also active in reaching out to the ailing and needy in their own community and beyond.  They annually hosted the Conference spring Licensing School and held the District lay school for many years.  Their beautiful flower gardens, free lunches and dinners with informational and musical programs make Manorville United Methodist a vital member of the community.  Manorville recently added a Casual Church service once a month and have upgraded the facilities to include TV and wifi in the sanctuary and fellowship hall for a variety of new opportunities.
 
Union Avenue United Methodist Church was started as a house church in 1880 and was located in various buildings until locating where it stands today at 421 Union Avenue.  Over the years the church held many weekly revivals and had an outreach youth program for 25+ years.  In more recent history, the church is known for reaching out with mission projects.  The United Methodist Women’s group is very active and provides opportunities for the church to reach out and help others in need through buying Christmas gifts for children who’s parents are incarcerated, collecting mittens, hats, and scarves, building UMCOR kits annually, and providing kids bags to the local ER (along with the rest of the charge). 

Dolo to Serve Fairall Charge

Announced: 06-20-2021
About James Dolo
The Rev. Dr. James Dolo grew up in Bong County of Central Liberia, where his mother was very active in the United Methodist Church, especially in the Dementa UMC. During his elementary school years, he went to his mother's church.  Around the age of 14, he attended Sunday school and became active in the United Methodist Youth and other church organizations through high school. He frequently prayed and reflected on his vocation, looking at adults leading the church at the time. "The Spirit helped me realized the sense of peace and fulfillment within me and I began to read the Bible for myself beside Sunday School," he says. "I even began to teach my peers how to read the Bible at the time.  I then developed the style of teaching other children and this led me to develop leadership in the United Methodist Church.  I prayed for confirmation in order to ensure I was making the right decision. After high school, my confirmation came in the form of recommendation by the committee on ministry of the local church and the district because of the gifts and graces they saw within me."  

James was later recommended by his local church to attend the Gbarnga School of Theology (GST), the ecumenical college operated at the time by the Lutherans and the United Methodists. After an interview with the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Liberia Annual Conference, he completed the admission process and was admitted to the college. His  education was disrupted by the Liberian civil war, which went on from 1990 through 2006, delaying his graduation for more than three years.  In 1999, he traveled to the U.S. and continued his education at the Philadelphia College of Bible in Pennsylvania, where he completed his undergraduate program. He later earned a Master's degree from United Theological Seminary in 2008 and completed his doctorate that United in 2019. 

"The current prompting in my life is to become a better caregiver through counseling, develop a great focus on outreach and mission to the local community, effectively preach the Gospel, and encourage a love of Scriptures within the local church where I will serve so that people will understand the Bible and its relevance today," he said. 

Dr. Dolo's passions for ministry are outreach and mission, preaching the Word of God, and providing care for those I serve. The church is the Body of Christ called out of the world to return to that world and share the Gospel through word and actions. There are so many people who are not actively involved in a local church and the church was called not to be self-contained but to also offer forgiveness, love, understanding and salvation to those who seek.  Outreach and mission to all ages, children, youth, adults and the elderly is important because Jesus said whatever we do to the least, we do to him (Matthew 25: 40). I also love preaching Biblical sermons because I believed the Bible has rich treasure that can enrich the lives of God’s people today.  A sermon is an interpretation of a biblical passage so that it is relevant for people in the 21st Century.

His preaching style is usually textual and expository. His preaching is biblical and inspiring allowing listeners to learn new things and feel the power of God through the message. As a pastor, Dr. Dolo sees himself as a shepherd and wants to imitate Jesus as a “Good shepherd” who cares for the sheep. "There is much pain in the world and I want parishioners to know that while there is bad news in the world, there is Good news in the world," he says. 
About Fairall Charge
The Fairall Charge includes three small rural churches in Greene County: Mount Morris, Claughton and Fairall UMCs. 

The churches are involved in ecumenical ministry and support those in need through local food banks and other community efforts. 

Roncolato to Serve New Meadville Charge

Announced: 06-20-2021
About Sara D. Roncolato
Sarah was born in Jamestown NY and grew up in the Swedish Evangelical Covenant Church.  She attended Allegheny College, graduating in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in English.  Her first job out of college was as an outreach worker at Fairview/Fairmont apartments, a low-income housing complex owned by Stone UMC and First Presbyterian Church of Meadville.

Married to her husband Dave in 1982,  together they raised two daughters and two sons. After commuting four years to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Sarah graduated and was ordained in 1995. Over the past 26 years she has served New Richmond/Little Cooley, Grace (Meadville), Wheatland Farrell/New Virginia and Stone UMC (Meadville). During this time Sarah taught courses at Allegheny College and served on a number of Conference boards including the Board of Ordained Ministry, Olmsted Manor and EUMA governing boards, the Conference and district Antiracism teams, and Reconciling Ministries Network. 
   
Sarah and Dave enjoy biking in the summer, cross-country skiing in the winter, and spending time with their six little grandsons all year long.  Her commitment to Christ is best expressed in a passion for racial justice and for the full inclusion of all God’s children in the life of the church.
 
About Meadville: Stone/ Bethany Charge
The creation of this new alignment brings together two historic partners in ministry and promises to bear fruit in the Meadville community today.

Bethany UMC in Meadville is a small neighborhood congregation in the 5th ward of Meadville. Its building originally housed an Episcopal chapel.  In time that congregation disbanded and the Church was acquired by Stone Methodist Episcopal Church for use as a satellite Sunday School site.  In the mid 1930’s the congregation was chartered as a separate congregation from Stone.

Today there is an active adult Sunday School class and Bible study during the week. The church building is also being used by Meadville H.O.P.E. Initiative, in partnership with Women's Services, to provide support for the children and adults of the Fifth Ward.

Stone United Methodist Church has rich history in the story of the Methodist movement in Northwestern Pennsylvania.  It has been and remains an important institution in the city of Meadville. It has also enjoyed many helpful connections to Allegheny College, a United Methodist-related institution.  Many prominent ministers and lay persons have served Christ and community through its ministries.  Today, a vital child care center and a soup kitchen are housed in its newly renovated building. Community ministry remains a hallmark of this congregation’s mission. To develop its outreach into the community, the congregation recently invested in state of the art technology to expand its online presence.  Worship is also broadcast each week over the local television cable network. The mission statement of Stone UMC states their approach to ministry well. "Compelled by God's love, Stone UMC is an inclusive community of faith, meeting people where they are, connecting them with Christ and one another, helping them live as disciples of Jesus Christ". 

Rev. Roncolato’s deep involvement in the community of Meadville, and her passion for social justice ministry, have made her an excellent pastoral leader for Stone Church. These gifts should benefit the congregation of Bethany as they too seek to serve their community for Christ.   
 

Stevens to Serve McDonald UMC

Announced: 06-20-2021
About Marilyn Stevens
Marilyn Stevens earned her  Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Human Resources and business has been the basis for her career.

Marilyn  developed a passion for outreach, participating in mission trips to Paraguay and Honduras
and serving on the Encounter with Christ  committee, hospice events and other local outreach opportunities.
Marilyn lives in Houston and has been a member of The First United Methodist Church of Houston for 51 years. 
During this time she has been involved as Outreach chairman, Sunday school leader, Vacation Bible School and serves on Administrative council, Finance chairman and participates in choir and bell choir.

She enjoys bike riding and is learning to play a mountain dulcimer. Her greatest joy is being the mother to her grown sons Greg and Ryan (wife Samantha) and grandmother to her grandson Beckett.

Marilyn is looking forward  to a new career path serving God in a new capacity as the part-time pastor at  the McDonald United Methodist Church.
 
About McDonald United Methodist Church
McDonald UMC is a community of of believers “committed to Jesus Christ, united in the love of God, called by the Holy Spirit, and dedicated to sharing God’s love through worship, education, caring and service”.  McDonald UMC is a congregation recently revitalized by the merger of the former Noblestown and McDonald United Methodist churches.  Since the merger, the church has nearly doubled in attendance, and more importantly has expanded its witness for Christ in the community and beyond.  Known for its missional outreach and giving heart, McDonald UMC engages in ministries year-round in the greater Washington-Pittsburgh area,, as well as in its own backyard. An active and ongoing children’s Bible Club finds the church reaching area children while continuing to provide meaningful, life-changing encounters with God through worship, adult discipleship and recovery-based ministries. The recent installation of new sound and projections systems provides opportunities for preaching, music and other forms of engagement to effectively reach a new generation of worshippers.  Known in the community as a church where God’s love can be found, at its core McDonald UMC is a church where self-giving love is a way of life!
 

Coats to Serve Faithful Followers Charge

Announced: 06-13-2021
About Michael Coats
Michael was born and raised in New Jersey, and did not grow up in the church. A season of difficulty, followed by a season of blessing lead Michael to turn his attention to the Lord at the age of 36. His first love was music, and Michael continues to sing and play guitar as part of his ministry. Prior to being called into pastoral ministry, Michael was a warehouse worker, appliance salesperson, and part-time musician/country band leader.

Michael accepted his first appointment in 2015, as a youth pastor at First UMC of Punxsutawney. From 2016 until 2021, Michael has served the Buffalo Charge U. M. Churches in the Butler District. He is excited to return to the Indiana District to begin serving the Faithful Followers Charge in July 2021.

Michael lives with his wife Debbie, who is the most excellent cook he knows. They have four cats: Jenny, Lexie, Chloe, and Brick.
About Faithful Followers Charge
The Faithful Followers Charge includes Knox Dale, Meade Chapel and Port Barnett United Methodist churches. All three small membership churches are located in Jefferson County and have been part of the same charge since 2005. They participate in community ecumenical services and ministries and support the local food banks. They also support participants on mission trips and help those in need. 

Knox Dale, once part of the United Brethren Church, was organized in 1860 by Reverend J. G. Steiner, a practicing physician and a minister of the Pennsylvania Conference. Meade Chapel was part of the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and dates dates back to the same period, with the first building erected in 1871. Both churches are on Knoxdale Road. Post Barnett is in the borough of Brookville and was once part of the Methodist Episcopal Erie Conference. 
 
 

Davis to Serve South Fork Wesley

Announced: 06-13-2021
About Dawn Davis
Dawn Davis was raised on the original Colver Dairy Farm in Colver, PA and brought up in the Colver Presbyterian Church, where her mother was the church organist and choir director. Dawn was active in the youth and adult choirs, Sunday school, Vacation Bible school, and church camp. 
 
In her 20s, Dawn drifted away from her Christian upbringing.  She married and had two children, Jada, now 24, and Ivan, 16, and worked as a chiropractic assistant in her husband’s office for 17 years.  In her 40s, Dawn had what could only be described as a crisis of faith as she realized that the New Age lifestyle she was living was at odds with the Truth.  The turning point came on a Sunday morning while watching Super Soul Sunday, which she considered to be her “spiritual time”.  She heard Oprah Winfrey ask her guest, “Do you believe there are many paths to God?”  The guest said yes.  Dawn knew that Jesus was the only path to God.
 
Dawn and her husband divorced. She became a massage therapist, opening a private practice in her home exclusively for women and ministers to clients through her practice as God presents opportunities.
 
Although Dawn has lived four blocks from Ebensburg United Methodist Church since 1995, she was invited to the church in 2018 by her neighbor and not long after joined. She attended Sunday school, a weekly cell group and Lay Servant classes. She currently is a lay servant at EUMC. 
 
Dawn knows that God has been inviting her to serve Him in ministry.  Dawn loves the Old Testament stories and finding Christ in them.  She also loves writing and hopes to include writing in future ministry.   Dawn has been married to Wendell Burkett since 2015.
 
About South Fork: Wesley UMC
The congregation was organized in 1881 as a result of prayer meetings in the community. Therefore, prayer is an important piece in the life of the congregation. The name of the church was changed from South Fork Methodist Church to Wesley United Methodist Church following the merger of Methodist Church and Evangelical United Brethren Church. The congregation loves to sing both traditional hymns and chorus music. The small multi-generational congregation has a big heart for the community.
 

Fodor to Serve Little Hill, Blackburn UMCs

Announced: 06-13-2021
About Thomas Fodor
Thomas Fodor was born in McKees Rocks, graduated from Coraopolis High School and earned his BA Degree in Elementary Education with an Art Concentration at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC.  He attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1981-82, and served as the Assistant Pastor at the Coraopolis UMC.

Tom spent 40 years in working in public relations, sales, art and creative development and management in Washington DC, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. He started his own business in 1993 in Coraopolis, PA and operated it until 2014 when he answered God's call to ministry and served as the Pastor at the Blackburn/Little Hill and Shannopin/Glenwillard/Little Hill UMC charges until 2019.

Tom is a member of the West Liberty UMC in Slippery Rock, PA and served as Lay Leader and Certified Lay Speaker at the West Liberty/Branchton/Hillards UMC Charge.  He and his wife also worked in campus ministry at the Slippery Rock UMC.

Tom enjoys singing and playing the guitar and has been playing for the past 20 years using his gift in the churches he has served and in coffeehouse ministries.  He also currently enjoys sailing and golfing and antique cars.

His passion is praise and worshiping the Lord and sharing what God has put in his heart and his life's spiritual/faith journey.
Tom has been married for 26 years to his wife Celeste, who has walked alongside and supported his call to ministry. Tom has one daughter, Coral, who resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico with her 8-year-old twins, Fabiola and Lukas.


 
About Little Hill/ Blackburn United Methodist churches
Little Hill UMC, the quintessential “Little White Church in the Vale,” is in the hills north of Sewickley. The church has several housing developments and communities within a five-mile radius. Its 30+ active worshipers care for one another with diligence. A small adult Sunday School class and an off-site Bible Study are held weekly. The Bible Study originated at Little Hill, but now includes participants from other churches as well. The primary demographic of the area is solid middle-class with a few professionals in the mix. Little Hill is an aging church with most attenders over age 50. The membership supplements offering income with fundraisers held throughout the year. The members support the local food bank with 10-20 bags of groceries donated monthly. Paid staff includes a pianist and a janitor, both part time. 

Blackburn UMC is a small-membership church near Sewickley, PA.
 

Ord to Serve Charleroi/Dunlevy/Speers Charge

Announced: 06-13-2021
About Randy Ord
Randy lives in Aliquippa PA. where he graduated from Hopewell High School.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Robert Morris University and has has worked for 22 years in healthcare settings. He has served as Information Systems Manager at the Greenville Medical Center, as Director of Information Technology  at Renal Endocrine Associates, as well as Partners in Nephrology and Endocrinology.  He currently works as a Business Intelligence Analyst for DaVita, Inc.

Randy has been a member of the United Methodist Church for over 50 years, and has served as a lay speaker at Glenwillard UMC. He completed licensing school in 2020 and is currently serving as a pastor at Little Hill UMC in Sewickley.

Randy is married to Mary Ord, who has worked for over 30 years providing loving care for the mentally disabled. Randy has three daughters and a son, and 11 grandchildren. Randy and Mary enjoy life, family, Christian fellowship, and all genres of music.
 
About Charleroi: First/Dunlevy/Speers Charge
Located in Monongahela River communities that differ in size and description, the Speers, Dunlevy and Charleroi First UM churches have a common desire to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, shining the light of Jesus, and sharing Jesus’ love with everyone they meet wherever they meet them and bringing others to know Jesus as their Savior.” The churches are engaged in community-based ministries to persons from Nigeria, unchurched children and youth, individuals struggling with addiction and in providing food to those in need.  All three churches seek to open their doors and their heart in mission and ministry, making the love of Jesus known to all.  Committed to Christian discipleship and spiritual formation, the Charge seeks to disciple people of all ages, modeling what it means to be a disciple of Jesus by living lives marked with compassion, warmth, hospitality, prayer and imagination!  The laity understand the need to do their part in ministry, rather than relying on the pastor to do it all!

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

Patterson to serve Clintonville Charge

Announced: 06-13-2021
About Charles E. Patterson Jr.
Chuck was raised in Ridgeway Pa., in the hills of the Allegheny National Forest. After high school he served four years in the United States Army, most of the time overseas in Germany and Honduras.

Serving in the United Methodist Church as a leader for over 20 years has been an honor and privilege for him.  Many classes and certificates have been obtained while attending Brockport Charge, Trinity in Ridgway and Grace in Grove City.

Chuck has been married for 40 years to his lovely wife Mary. They have two children, Charles III and Cecilia, and six grandchildren.

Chuck has worked 25 years in the powdered metal plant with the last 15 years as the lab supervisor.  He works as a sales manager at Busy Beaver in Grove City.  He says that serving as Pulpit Supply for the Clintonville Charge will "surely be a fulfilling adventure: Let us worship our God together!"
About Clintonville Charge
The Clintonville charge consists of three churches in southern Venango County: Clintonville: Grace, Rankin Chapel and Peter's Chapel.  The churches have been in a charge for many, many years and worship, work and do ministry very well together.

There is a community food pantry operated out of Grace UMC and supported by all of the churches. Ecumenically, they participate in Vacation Bible School and special worship services during the year. The churches are each very committed to outreach in the communities and beyond. 
 

Peterson to Serve Bethel/White Oak Charge

Announced: 06-13-2021
About Roger Peterson
Beginning September 1, 2021, Rev. Roger Peterson, a retired elder, will serve a realignment of the Titusville: Bethel/White Oak Charge. 

After graduating from Houghton College in 1975, Roger became the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at The First United Methodist Church in Corry, when Reed J. Hurst was pastor. While there, Roger joined the United Methodist Church, met his wife Abbie, and entered the process toward Ordination. He went on to Asbury Seminary and, after graduation, was ordained by Bishop Roy C. Nichols and received his first appointment to Oil City Bethel and Plumer.

After 41 years of ministry, seven appointments (lasting between three and nine years) and living in nine different parsonages, Roger retired and moved back to Corry, Abbie’s hometown. He said, “It feels as if life has come full circle.”

Roger believes that God has used him to be, “An Instrument of God’s Peace,” and is grateful for the many ways God has blessed he and Abbie along the way. 

"People recently have asked me what I am going to do in retirement," he said. "I guess the answer is, more of the same…  Besides being involved in the community, and finding a new rhythm for daily living, I will be continuing to serve the Lord as God has gifted me in and through the local church. May His Kingdom come, His Will be done, on Earth, in The UMC, at Bethel and White Oak and in my life, as it is in Heaven."
 
About Titusville: Bethel/White Oak Charge
The Bethel congregation has a significant part in the story of Methodism in Northwestern Pennsylvania and also in the history of the Titusville area.  Through the years the congregation and its buildings have served as a hub of its rural community.  To this day, the congregation maintains a recreational pond for the community’s use and is frequently a gathering place for community events.  The congregation still hosts a community Memorial Day service that goes back to days following  the Civil War.  Several prominent ministers and community leaders have been nurtured by this congregation.  A scholarship fund that makes awards for post-secondary education to young people from the community is an important part of their legacy.  The congregation values pastoral care and vital worship as key components of their fellowship. 
 
White Oak, located on the Spring Creek road northeast of Titusville, is a small, rural, family-oriented church that values genuine fellowship and connection between its members.  Vital worship, heart-felt biblical preaching and teaching, and pastoral care have been important to maintaining their identity and disciple-making ministry.

Roger Petersons experience as a pastoral leader and his passion for helping congregations make disciples of Jesus Christ will help these congregations continue to grow and maintain vital ministry. 
 

Schall to Serve Kiski Charge

Announced: 06-13-2021
About Brenda Schall
​Brenda Loraine Sommerville-Schall, who has served as pastor of the Germany UMC since January 2018 and associate pastor four-point Allegheny River Charge. Brenda was an active lay member in local churches, teaching and leading Sunday School for many years. She served as a lay speaker in several churches before serving as a pastor. 

Brenda was married for 30 years to David Sommerville when he died unexpectedly in 2011. At that time, she said, "I asked God to help me through this and I would do whatever he asked of me, so here I am. The Lord has been good to me."

The mother of two and grandmother of five married  Chester Schall in October of 2016.  Brenda felt God’s call early in her life, but “made many excuses as to why it was not time.” Born in Muncie, Indiana, she lived most of her life in Buckhannon, W.Va. with her mother and seven younger brothers. 

She said she loves mission work and visiting with people and youth have a special place in her heart. Brenda said her desire is to be and do what God wants of her. 
About Kiski Charge
First United Methodist Church, Vandergrift is a small town church with a small membership but a mighty heart, often referring to itself as the little church that could.  The congregation is very strong in their mission and outreach, holding Dollar Dinners, distributing free lunches, housing the local food pantry, participating in combined Rise Against Hunger packaging events since 2013, and other local mission opportunities as they present themselves.  Vandergrift has a strong history of participating in ecumenical services and events. Vandergrift is continually growing in their love of God and service for the Kingdom.
 
New Beginnings United Methodist Church outside of Apollo is located in a rural setting. This church is blessed to have the space and the heart to host events that invite the community to the church, including Trunk-or-Treat, a Living Nativity, and an Easter Egg Hunt.  An outreach ministry to the high-rise building in Apollo includes providing quarterly meals to the residents.  New Beginnings has been the organizing force behind the Rise Against Hunger packaging events that have been happening since 2013. Up to nine churches have participated in some years. Growing in mission and ministry they are seeking to be an active force for the Kingdom of God

Turner Appointed to Marianna

Announced: 06-13-2021
About Monte Turner
Monte Turner was born in Bedford PA and lived on a farm in Schellsburg called Falkland Farms, where his mother still resides. He is married and has three children and four grandchildren.  He earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from St. Francis University.  After completing licensing school, he was appointed to Scenery Hill UMC in 2014. He served various other churches throughout the Washington District until 2018 and has completed two years of the Course of Study.  
About Marianna United Methodist Church
Located in a coal mining community above 10 Mile Creek in Washington County, Marianna UMC is a small membership church in a borough whose population is about half of what it was when the mine closed in the 1980s. Nevertheless, the congregation provides support for the local food pantry and families in need. 

Walker to serve Shannopin, Glenwillard UMCs

Announced: 06-13-2021
About Brenda Walker
Brenda Walker was born and raised in Toronto, Ohio. She received a BFA in theatre from Point Park University and an M.Div from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Brenda toured with Saltworks Theatre Company and the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum.

She has served as lead pastor at West View, Homestead Park, Bridgeville and Houston UM churches and as a staff member at Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community and St. Paul’s UMC. She also served as an interim at Chinese Community UMC in Oakland, CA.

Brenda has a passion for learning people’s stories – especially those in the margins. She has two adult sons, Carlyle and Daniel, and many friends in the Pittsburgh area who are like family to her. Brenda currently works as a parental support advocate for the non-profit Allegheny County Bar Foundation.

She loves cheese, bicycling, and weight training and can dead lift 125 lbs.
 
About Shannopin UMC/Glenwillard UMC
Glenwillard is a village on Rt. 51 along the Ohio River with a blue collar history. It's located near J & L Steel and barge terminals. There are about 25 core members who support the church.  Weekly activities include Sunday morning worship and Monday evening Bible Study.  The church also holds a bi-annual Flea Market, an Easter Egg Hunt for children and a yearly Summer Picnic in Shoust Park in August. There is also a traditional Sunrise Service on Easter at 7 am.
 
Shannopin is located in an area known as South Heights along Rt. 51, just 5 minutes away from Glenwillard UMC. The congregation is supported by 15 core members.  In addition to Sunday morning worship, the children's Sunday School has 6-8 regulars. The church supports a food pantry and offers Vacation Bible School in August.
 

Foland to Serve New Charge

Announced: 06-06-2021
About Richard L. Foland
Richard was born near Pittsburgh, PA and grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio. His family was nomadic as far as church attendance went while he was growing up, and he thus has a very ecumenical background. In 1986 he graduated from South Side High School in Hookstown, PA, then attended Clarion University of PA where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 1991

Beginning in 2002, he served a few years as the Youth Leader at Fairview United Methodist Church in Erie County. He has also served in audio/visual ministries at several churches over the years. Richard is currently a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Erie.  He confesses that he has heard the call to pastoral ministry at several times in his life. His current pastor, Rev. Roseanne Oliver, has helped him to discern the call once more and to discover a pathway to answering it. He is currently an exploring candidate for ordained or licensed ministry.

Richard is married to Leslie. They have nine children and seven grandchildren, with another on the way.  They are a team in every possible way and enjoy spending devotional time together. They believe that sharing time with God draws them closer to Him and to each other.
 
About Diamond/Hydetown/Tryonville Charge

The Evangelical United Methodist Church of Titusville is found in the rural village of Diamond west of the city on Route 27.  This historic Church has deep roots in the Evangelical United Brethren wing of our denomination.  The congregation has a deep sense of community that is centered in their common faith in Jesus Christ.  Meaningful Christian fellowship, vital worship, biblical preaching and Christian education are key components of their ministry.  

Hydetown United Methodist Church is a small, active congregation in the borough of Hydetown, north of Titusville. The congregation values Biblical Preaching and teaching. They have a legacy of maintaining a strong community presence and participate with other congregations in Hydetown for VBS and community worship services.  Their mission is to reach their community for Jesus Christ and to make Disciples for Him. 

Tryonville United Methodist Church is a small, family-oriented congregation in the rural village of Tryonville, north of Titusville.  The congregation has a strong desire to reach its neighbors for Jesus Christ.  Like their partners on the Charge, they value vital worship and leadership that will help them fulfill their mission to make Disciples.

The addition of Evangelical UMC strengthens this charge's presence in the area. It brings potential for coordinated outreach and disciple-making ministry to their area.  Richard Foland’s strong sense of evangelical mission and call to pastoral ministry should serve all three congregations well. 
 

Bonomo Appointed to Ambridge First/Bridgewater/Economy Charge

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Thomas P. Bonomo
Thomas P. “Thom” Bonomo was born in New Brighton, PA—the fifth child of Virginia (Chiappetta) and Pio Bonomo, both immigrants from Italy. He grew up in the Beaver Falls area, attending local schools and graduating from Beaver Falls High School. He attended college to escape working at a steel mill. Without a goal or purpose in his studies, however, he eventually dropped out and got a job…in a steel mill!

God used his search for meaning during that season to reroute his life toward Christian ministry. He went back to Geneva College, graduating with a B.A. in Bible. A combination of ministry involvements cemented his call to ministry (including membership in a Summer ministry team and the Peru “Teen Team”).

After ordination, Thom served in many different ministry settings over four decades, beginning in Midland. He has served churches in Hollentown, Somerset, Latrobe, Mill Run, Ohiopyle, Ford City, Kittanning, Aliquippa, and McDonald. He has two adult daughters, Christy and Julie, two young adult grandchildren, Tom and Virginia, and a delightful wife, Sheelagh.
 
About Ambridge First UMC/Bridgewater UMC/Economy UMC
These three Beaver County churches (Ambridge First UMC, Bridgewater UMC, and Economy UMC) offer joyful and Christ-honoring ministry in the southwestern portion of the Butler District. Each of the churches has a rich history and a vibrant legacy. The three congregations share a common mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ through faithful worship, nurturing fellowship, interactive Christian education, and a coordinated ministry of outreach to their communities. Always eager to bless others with the love of Jesus, the churches of this charge are beacons of faith and hope, especially for those who are desperate for both.
 

Bowman to Serve South Hills Partnership

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Margaret Bowman
Margaret G. (Peg) Bowman was born Abington, PA and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She graduated from Wissahickon High School, earned her BS in Music Education at Duquesne University and an MDiv from Trinity School for Ministry.

Peg taught music in elementary schools and gave piano lessons. She founded Computer Training Consultancy and taught computer software for local corporations and community colleges, and was an organist and choir director for churches in a variety of denominations.
 
The South Hills Partnership (Pittsburgh) will be Peg's first permanent pastoral appointment. She previously served as supporting clergy at Incarnation Church Pittsburgh, an Anglican church plant, did pastoral work at Atonement Episcopal Church in Carnegie PA and was part of a student clergy team at the Beaver County Jail during seminary.
 
Peg has a passion for church renewal, community-building, and welcoming those who come from other countries.
 
She is married to Neil and has two stepsons and four grandchildren. She volunteers in cat rescue and loves travel, gardening, reading and spending time appreciating God’s creation.
About South Hills Partnership
The South Hills Partnership consists of four small-membership churches with big hearts and powerful ministries in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, coming together in mission and outreach. The SHP was formed in 2009 and is made up of Carnegie, Fairhaven, Hill Top, and Spencer UMCs.

Carnegie United Methodist Church is located on a central street of the borough of Carnegie. The congregation has taken part in several neighborhood prayer walks and ecumenical events, and, on a weekly basis, faithful members come together to cook, package, and sell the tastiest pierogis in the whole Pittsburgh area! The church has recently been opening its doors to the community for the borough’s annual Carnegie Days, as well as for special worship services featuring beautiful music, including a Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols and an upcoming Service of Lamentation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The town of Carnegie is growing and changing, and Carnegie UMC is seeking to be an active part of mission there.

Fairhaven United Methodist Church, or, as it is known to members and friends, “The Country Church in the City,” shines the light of Christ from its location at the busy intersection of Routes 51 and 88 in the Overbrook neighborhood of Pittsburgh. There, it’s become known to thousands of commuters for its sign in the front yard, always offering a pithy saying or encouraging word to those driving by. But, far more important than that is the ministry that goes on inside the little white church building. Fairhaven church has become a central hub in the community for fighting against the opioid epidemic that has ravaged our neighborhoods. Every week, Fairhaven offers support groups and ministries for people struggling with addiction and those who love them, and proudly hosts Prevention Point’s harm reduction services.

Members from Fairhaven built and routinely stock a Little Free Pantry to address hunger needs in the community and a Clothing Closet in their back parking and support the First Food & Friends soup kitchen. There are also two Bible studies that meet weekly and welcome members from the entire South Hills Partnership and beyond, and the church serves as host for numerous community events. Fairhaven is a mission-oriented church, always ready to support the work of Christ in its community and beyond: at the beginning of the pandemic, the church set up a fund to ensure (in the spirit of the Jerusalem church in Acts) no one in the congregation or community would be unable to pay their bills.

Hill Top United Methodist Church is a multiracial congregation in the diverse and growing Pittsburgh neighborhood of Allentown (located between the South Side and Mt. Washington areas). The church’s diversity in race and class testifies to the presence of the Holy Spirit. Hilltop is the home of the Allentown Senior Center (begun decades ago as a ministry of the church, a pioneer in ministry to older adults), open five days a week to serve the senior citizens of the community.  A few years ago, a major fire at the church left its people worshiping down the street in an apartment building for a year. The congregation came back strong, and with a revived commitment to its neighborhood. The restored sanctuary was dedicated with a marathon public reading of the entire Bible, with members, friends, and neighbors signing up to take shifts until they had read the entirety of God’s holy word out loud. Since that time, the church has built a heavily-used Little Free Library, served kids through a summer meal program, and hosted numerous community events such as block parties, Trunk-or-Treats (which helped revive trick or treat in the neighborhood), Christmas breakfasts, and neighborhood cleanups. Through the pandemic, community ministry has continued, with two $1 Clothing Sales that welcomed hundreds of people to receive new clothing at an affordable price, as well as prayer.

Hill Top will host the Partnership’s Christmas Store this December, a ministry designed to help lower-income families afford Christmas gifts for their families while affirming their dignity. It is a founding partner in a new ministerium and community development partnership in the Hilltop neighborhoods known as A. Company.

Spencer United Methodist Church serves Jesus Christ in Carrick, at the crossroads of Pittsburgh, Brentwood, and Baldwin. In addition to Sunday worship, it holds a weekly dinner and contemporary worship service on Thursday evenings known as Beyond. It also serves as the host site for support groups for those suffering from addiction, as well as a thriving Christian congregation of Bhutanese refugees. The rummage sale it holds twice a year has become a popular event in the community, through which the United Methodist Women raise money for mission. Spencer’s annual Vacation Bible School is lively and well attended by neighborhood kids. Members of this church have embarked on prayer walks around the neighborhood, participate regularly in Bible study, and volunteer regularly for the Daily Bread program on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

 


Fayette to Serve Beulah/Summit Chapel

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Wanick Fayette
Wanick Fayette came to America 26 years ago from Haiti when he was 3 years old. He grew up in Roanoke, Virginia and, after graduating from college married his lovely wife. He planned to attend medical school in the Caribbean, but he points out that God has a sense of humor, so he ended up a pastor in flood city Johnstown. As he looks back from where he is now and to what lies ahead, he sees that he has been groomed and prepared to go into ministry his whole life. "I recall going to bible studies throughout the week in high school when most of my friends were out being kids, and my mentors constantly challenging me to memorize scripture and read my bible every day and to remain faithful to the LORD," he says. "I look back and all I can say is thank you. I started attending church, and as I continued to grow in my faith, I was finding myself wanting more of God.

Wanick considers himself an Evangelical Christian. He believes in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and loves to preach and teach scripture. He believes the blueprint of the Christian faith is in the Bible, and is committed to ministry and outreach so that the neighborhood around the church is aware of the church’s presence there. in that neighborhood. He preaches and teaches discipleship and wants to help the church put it into action in their everyday lives.

Wanick says he loves the Word of God too much to preach from behind the pulpit: It is too much to contain and stay in one area. He looks forward to growing with the churches and seeing what the Lord has for their ministry.
 
About Beulah/Summit Chapel
Beulah and Summit Chapel will form a charge as of July 1, 2021. It’s a new journey for these congregations.
 
Beulah UMC is centered in the heart of Johnstown. At Beulah church, the aim is to continue Christ's ministry of preaching, teaching, healing and caring. At Beulah, you will find people and a pastor who truly care, who will surround you to share your joys and struggles, and who have found a spiritual family as they walk through their faith journey together. The heart of Beulah United Methodist Church is a ministry to the surrounding community. Beulah Church is changing Johnstown one community at a time.
 
Summit Chapel UMC is located in the northern part of Johnstown in Cambria County. Summit Chapel is a very friendly and loving congregation that focuses on a ministry of caring for the congregation and the community. They have active laity and ministries such as active UM Women and men's groups. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve been very active on social media to reach out to people. They have a heart for children and youth, providing educational programs and sending them to Camp Allegheny to experience God’s love and to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. The congregation has a love of music and many gifted individuals provide music during the service. They look forward to various ways to build the Kingdom of God.
 
 

Foor to Serve Brockport Charge

Announced: 05-30-2021
About D. Ann Foor
Dorothy H. (Ann) Foor was born and raised in south central Pennsylvania.  Ann graduated from Huntingdon Area High School, and throughout the years has taken college classes in finance/business management and psychology.  She served as Controller at a not-for-profit agency and at a for-profit business, was the executive director for a tri-county 700-acre landfill, and was the executive director of a not-for-profit agency that provided services and advocated on behalf of low-to-moderate income clients.

Ann was a member of the McConnellstown UMC and served as a Certified Lay Speaker for several years before finally obeying God’s call on her life.  She completed a two-year lay seminary course in March, 2013 at Center for Spiritual Formation.  Ann began her active ministry by serving three churches at the East Freedom charge as a Certified Lay Minister until 2016 and was then assigned to 12th Street UMC in Huntingdon PA.  Ann graduated licensing school in March, 2017.  Currently she is enrolled in Course of Study at METHSCO in Delaware, Ohio.

Ann and her husband Charles J. (Jim) Foor have been married for 53 years.  They have three daughters and sons-in-law, five grandchildren, and one great-grandson.  They have owned their home in Hesston PA since 1980, but look forward to relocating to St. Marys.
 
 
About Brockport Charge
The Brockport United Methodist Charge consists of the Brockport, Toby, and the Kersey United Methodist churches and is located in Horton and Fox townships in Elk County.  These three churches have nurtured and served the surrounding communities for over 100 years.
 
Each church has its own individual history, style of Sunday morning worship service and special events. The Brockport UMC hosts Weight Watchers, monthly Saturday morning pancake dinners and an annual Chicken BBQ and Bake Sale.  The Toby United Methodist Church hosts an annual auction and Christmas Dinner.  The Kersey UMC hosts Boy Scouts of America, an annual Yard Sale and various holiday bake sales.  The Kersey UMC also joins the other Kersey churches in an annual Christmas Church Tour.
 
Although individual churches, the parishioners of each church worship together at special worship services during Lent, Easter, Advent and Christmas.  Charge-wide Bible studies and Vacation Bible school are also held, as well as a Summer picnic.  In addition to the Charge supporting the local ministerium and community service organizations, the Charge “Mission Pennies” are collected each Sunday and given quarterly to United Methodist organizations and various charitable and community foundations.
 
The churches of the Brockport Charge are small community churches, but offer a vital key to spreading the Gospel of our Lord to the area.
 

Freeburg to Serve Northeast Somerset Cooperative

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Linda C. Freeburg
Linda was born and raised in Johnstown, PA and is a second career pastor. Upon graduation from Johnstown Central High School she attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, studying music as a voice major, and later received her associate degree from Colorado Technical University. She retired from UPMC Lee Regional Hospital in 2003 and Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in 2012, serving as a manager and then Director of Patient Access. 

Linda has led a life of faith since her childhood, first serving God in music ministry before her call to pastoral ministry. She completed Licensing School in 2003 and was appointed as a Licensed Local Pastor in 2005. She has served part-time at Conemaugh First and Beaverdale as an Interim before being appointed to Hastings-Bakerton Charge as a full time Local Pastor. After retirement in 2017, she continued to serve part time, and currently serves the United for God Cooperative Parish as an associate pastor. In 2017, Linda completed the Course of Study at the Methodist Theological School of Ohio (MTSO).

Linda is the mother of three children: Chad, Kelly and Cory; grandmother of six Kyra, Brandon, Delaney, Dalton, Alex and Tristen, and great-grandmother of three, Brooklyn, Easton and Savannah. She loves visiting and being “Grandma and Gi Gi” to all of her kids.

Through her faith she knows that His grace is sufficient as she works to share the love of Jesus Christ to all around her. She feels blessed by God beyond measure.
 
About Northeast Somerset Cooperative Parish Associate
This new cooperative ministry in the Johnstown District consists of four churches in Somerset County: Central City, Scalp Level Trinity, Shanksville, and Windber Calvary. It’s an exciting time for the churches.
 
Central City UMC is is deeply committed to meeting the needs of community members through a variety of soup meals and “Love Give Away” events that provide household essentials and clothing offered without price in a yard sale style.  The congregation is dedicated to supporting UM camping ministries.  In addition to supporting many local ministries such as the Central City Food Pantry, church members of all generations go all in to plan, host and participate in their yearly VBS program attracting children from other local churches and offered weekly during the Lenten season.  Most recently, the church has become aware of their reputation in the community as a church entrusted to faithfully pray for the people of Central City and are currently planning to be even more intentional in those efforts.
 
Scalp Level Trinity UMC was established as an Evangelical congregation in 1866.  The current building is its fourth, the third building having been destroyed in the 1977 flood.  Upon the previous building’s loss, the church moved to a site of about 10 acres on a nearby hill and has become known as “Christ’s Lighthouse on the Hill.”  The church’s building and grounds are used for a variety of community activities including Scouts, soccer practice for the local high school, and as a location for supervised parental visitations for child services.  The church’s mission is based on Matthew 25:40 – that when we care for those in our community, we are encountering Jesus in everyone we serve.  The church’s annual coat drive has given away more than 2,000 coats to area residents in need.  Its annual school supply collection provides materials for many local school districts, and the annual Christmas food drive brings in necessary supplies for multiple area families. 
 
At Shanksville UMC, worship is a vital practice of the faithful community.  They are known for being a vital resource in the response to the September 11 terrorist attacks and providing comfort to the families of the flight 93 victims, as well as local emergency responders.  Currently, the congregation financially supports many local and international ministries such as the Berlin Food Pantry, Heifer International and Operation Christmas Child, and collects toys and gifts for local families in need at Christmas.
 
Calvary UMC is a community-minded congregation located in the heart of Windber. It is known for its hospitality to many outside groups that operate and meet within its walls, including Cub and Girl Scout groups, Christian Counseling Associates, AA, Al-Anon, GED classes and, most prominently, the Windber Area Community Kitchen or WACK.  WACK serves hundreds of meals twice a month to anyone in the community who wishes to come and be nourished, body and soul.  In cooperation with local schools, this vital ministry also serves area school children by providing “WACKpack” meals for weekends and other health essentials such as toothpaste and other toiletry items. In addition, Calvary hosts a Tea Time fellowship and Prayer Shawl ministry that includes members from other area churches.  They continue to step up in mission efforts, recently partnering with other local UM churches for outreach events such as Trunk or Treat, Easter Egg Hunt and the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box project. Internally, they support both local and international missionaries and both clergy and laity members are active in the Windber ministerial group.

Harman to Serve Erie: Christ UMC

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Paul A. Harman
The son of a United Methodist clergyman, Paul was born in Lynchburg, VA.  After sensing the call of God to ministry, Paul studied at Methodist Theological School in Ohio and received a Master of Divinity in 1993. He was ordained and served as a pastor full-time for 12 years in the United Church of Christ.  He then returned to the United Methodist Church and pursued Conference membership and recognition of his orders in Western Pennsylvania. He completed the Provisional Member process in 2020, and looks forward to being received into Full Conference Membership at Annual Conference 2021. 

Paul enjoys Biblical study, especially New Testament studies. His primary gifts are Biblical preaching, teaching and working together with laity of lead congregations in ministry development.
 
About Erie: Christ UMC
Christ UMC in Erie is a community of faith with a passion for Jesus and compassion for people.   They have a developed plan of discipleship for their members that seeks to build followers of Jesus who practice: Radical Hospitality; Passionate Worship; Intentional Faith Development; Serving and Connecting; and, Extravagant Generosity. 

The congregation sponsors a strong pre-school program that helps them engage their community.  Youth and Children’s ministry and small group ministry for adults are important aspects of their plan to make disciples. The congregation values strong biblical preaching; vital worship in both contemporary and traditional expressions; and active lay involvement in mission and ministry.

Paul Harman’s gifts of Biblical preaching and teaching; along with his passion for lay involvement in ministry, will make him an effective leader of this vital congregation.
 

Henck Appointed to Herminie/West Newton Charge

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Barry Henck
Raised in the Church of the Nazarene in upstate New York, Barry Henck attended Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. He returned to New York for an MA in English Literature from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Barry appreciates the multi-cultural aspect of the body of Jesus Christ.  He developed a passion for teaching and pastoral care while volunteering at a Korean-American congregation in Highland, NY.

Barry left a career in marketing and communications in 2016 when he and his wife Nikki followed the Lord’s lead to relocate to Pittsburgh. Within a few weeks, Barry began serving at Roots of Faith, a ministry of Faith United Methodist Church (Fox Chapel).  During 2018, he answered the call of God to serve as a licensed local pastor.  He completed Licensing School in 2019 and was appointed Associate Pastor at Faith UMC/Roots of Faith in 2020.

Barry is dedicated to his wife and two fast-growing teenage sons. He is passionate about worshipping the Lord through music, teaching people from the Bible, and encouraging people’s faith. He loves to tell stories and play sports.
 
About Herminie/West Newton First Charge
Herminie United Methodist Church was originally an Evangelical United Brethren Church and became a United Methodist congregation in 1969 because of the merger of the EUB and the Methodist Church. The current building, constructed after a Feb. 11, 1945 fire destroyed the original building, was dedicated on May 19, 1946.  An educational wing was dedicated in 1970. Since that time, many improvements have been made to the structure, including new furnaces (complete with central air), an elevator to make the fellowship hall accessible for all, and new glass doors installed in 2020. Prior to COVID, the church was engaged in many community events. The congregation is beginning to plan events once again.
 
WEST NEWTON: FIRST UMC was established on February 28, 1839. The present church (Snyder Chapel) was built in 1880. West Newton UMC has a vital music ministry supported by an accomplished organist who plays a pipe organ installed on October 29, 1905 and registered by the Organ Historical Society. The original price of the organ was $3000 with $1250 donated by Andrew Carnegie. The church has a talented praise team and an active bell choir with members from both the Herminie and the West Newton churches.

The congregation reaches out to the community through a Christmas Angel Tree project with the local elementary school, Meals on Wheels, and mission involvement through its UMW unit.  A quilters group meets every Tuesday morning and the proceeds from quilt sales goes to mission support. The West Newton church enjoys worshipping with its sister congregation at Herminie at various times of the year such as Lent and Holy Week and an annual summer worship and picnic celebration.

Both congregations are anticipating a new chapter in their ministries together under the leadership of Pastor Barry Henck.
 

Jackson to Serve Creekside/Tanoma

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Lois Jackson
Lois Jackson was born in Vandergrift, PA, and raised in the Church of God and eventually became a member of Widnoon United Methodist Church. She graduated from Elderton High School and is now enrolled in United Theological Seminary.

Lois has worked as a secretary and bookkeeper for her late husband’s construction business. During this time, she created and sold candles and soap at home parties and online sharing the light of God’s love to others.

While at Widnoon UMC, Lois served God by teaching adult Sunday School, leading praise, and worship, while holding several positions on church council including Lay Leader. Lois was also an active member of United Methodist Women as local secretary, program resources and Indiana District Communications and Treasurer.

God called Lois into the ministry after her husband of 37 years passed away. God uses our suffering to help others; he does not waste anything. After completing Licensing School in 2017, Lois was appointed to Valier Charge working with people in ministry by preaching, teaching Bible Study, hospital visits including Pittsburgh and home visits taking communion to shut ins. Lois also serves on District Location and Building Committee

Lois has two grown sons, two lovely daughters-in-law, a grandson and granddaughter. Interests include traveling, going to Sight and Sound Theater, walking, bicycling, and spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys teaching candle and soap making classes at Jumonville CAT Camp. 
About Tanoma UMC/ Creekside UMC
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. 
 

Katzenstein to Serve Northeast Somerset Cooperative

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Robert H. Katzenstein
Robert H. Katzenstein Jr. was born and raised in Johnstown, PA. A graduate of Westmont Hilltop High School, he was nurtured in the faith at Johnstown Trinity UMC, where he gave his life to Jesus as a teenager. He served in many different capacities at Trinity, including Chair of PPRC, as well as Chairman of the Administrative Council for several years. In 1998, Robert was encouraged to begin his journey in the Lay Speaking program of the Johnstown District and was a Certified Lay Speaker for over 10 years.

More recently, Robert was locally ordained to the Community Open Door Church in 2015 and served as pastor for five years. In 2020 the church closed due to the pandemic and the loss of the building lease where they met. Robert continued to encourage his congregation and others by weekly uploading video messages to You Tube and Facebook reminding them of God’s love and care through difficult times. Robert is currently pursuing candidacy for ministry as a Licensed Local Pastor and is part of the mentoring program. 

Robert lives with Emilie his wife of 38 years in Johnstown and they are the proud parents of two children, Marissa, married to Will Fisher, and Casey, who recently became engaged to Mary Reagan. Robert and Emilie are also the proud grandparents of Dylan and Liam Fisher. Robert is currently employed as a Customer Service Representative by Health Federal Services in Johnstown. He enjoys reading and hiking and spending time with his family.
 
About Northeast Somerset Cooperative - Associate
This new cooperative ministry in the Johnstown District consists of four churches in Somerset County: Central City, Scalp Level Trinity, Shanksville, and Windber Calvary. It’s an exciting time for the churches.
 
Central City UMC is is deeply committed to meeting the needs of community members through a variety of soup meals and “Love Give Away” events that provide household essentials and clothing offered without price in a yard sale style.  The congregation is dedicated to supporting UM camping ministries.  In addition to supporting many local ministries such as the Central City Food Pantry, church members of all generations go all in to plan, host and participate in their yearly VBS program attracting children from other local churches and offered weekly during the Lenten season.  Most recently, the church has become aware of their reputation in the community as a church entrusted to faithfully pray for the people of Central City and are currently planning to be even more intentional in those efforts.
 
Scalp Level Trinity UMC was established as an Evangelical congregation in 1866.  The current building is its fourth, the third building having been destroyed in the 1977 flood.  Upon the previous building’s loss, the church moved to a site of about 10 acres on a nearby hill and has become known as “Christ’s Lighthouse on the Hill.”  The church’s building and grounds are used for a variety of community activities including Scouts, soccer practice for the local high school, and as a location for supervised parental visitations for child services.  The church’s mission is based on Matthew 25:40 – that when we care for those in our community, we are encountering Jesus in everyone we serve.  The church’s annual coat drive has given away more than 2,000 coats to area residents in need.  Its annual school supply collection provides materials for many local school districts, and the annual Christmas food drive brings in necessary supplies for multiple area families. 
 
At Shanksville UMC, worship is a vital practice of the faithful community.  They are known for being a vital resource in the response to the September 11 terrorist attacks and providing comfort to the families of the flight 93 victims, as well as local emergency responders.  Currently, the congregation financially supports many local and international ministries such as the Berlin Food Pantry, Heifer International and Operation Christmas Child, and collects toys and gifts for local families in need at Christmas.
 
Calvary UMC is a community-minded congregation located in the heart of Windber. It is known for its hospitality to many outside groups that operate and meet within its walls, including Cub and Girl Scout groups, Christian Counseling Associates, AA, Al-Anon, GED classes and, most prominently, the Windber Area Community Kitchen or WACK.  WACK serves hundreds of meals twice a month to anyone in the community who wishes to come and be nourished, body and soul.  In cooperation with local schools, this vital ministry also serves area school children by providing “WACKpack” meals for weekends and other health essentials such as toothpaste and other toiletry items. In addition, Calvary hosts a Tea Time fellowship and Prayer Shawl ministry that includes members from other area churches.  They continue to step up in mission efforts, recently partnering with other local UM churches for outreach events such as Trunk or Treat, Easter Egg Hunt and the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box project. Internally, they support both local and international missionaries and both clergy and laity members are active in the Windber ministerial group.

Konegen To Serve Allison Park: Epworth

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Rebecca Konegen
Rebecca was born in Rome, N.Y. and lived in Massachusetts, North Dakota and New York while her father served in the Air Force before settling in Santa Clara, California her senior year of high school.  Her undergraduate degree is from DePauw University in Indiana.  She earned an M.A. in English Literature with a focus in Medieval and Renaissance Literature at the University of California, Riverside.  
 
When her husband’s job brought the family to Pittsburgh, she planned to finish her Ph.D. but wasn’t able to find a similar program locally.  Her pastor, knowing that she was trying to figure out what was next, asked if she had ever considered going to seminary.  That was the first moment of her call, and many confirmations have followed.  She has completed two years of seminary at PTS and expects to receive her M. Div. degree after one more year of study.
 
During the 18 years she was at home raising her four children, Becky became an accredited La Leche League leader. She took calls and led meetings for 17 years, helping new parents with breastfeeding and parenting concerns.  She taught English writing classes for several years to first-year college students, including to many for whom English was a second (or third) language.  Her passions in ministry include Scripture study, writing, and working one-on-one with people.
 
Becky's family includes her husband of 27 years, Wayne Speir, and four children:  Emma, 23, Margaret, 20, Matthew, 17, and Lucy, 10.  Personal interests include reading, knitting, and gardening, and sometimes cooking. 
About Allison Park: Epworth
Epworth is a small church with a big heart. Located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Allison Park, the congregation's strength is its passion to reach out to others through missions. Epworth supports mission efforts in their community and beyond. The church is a loving community of believers who work together in all programs and projects of the church. Epworth has an active Christian education program for adults and youth on Sunday and Wednesday afternoons. The Vacation Bible School is always a big hit with the children in the church and community.  
 

Lorraine Knapp to Serve Penfield UMC

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Lorraine Knapp
Lorraine was born in Elkland PA and raised there until she was 11 years old, when she moved to live with her paternal grandparents in Munderf PA. She graduated from Brockway Area High School, and attended Penn State University as an adult student, earning an associates degrees in Business  Administration and in Physical Therapist Assistant, and well as Bachelor of Arts degree. She has  worked for over 20 years as a physical therapist assistant and currently works as an ESL teacher, which she enjoys very much. She will attend Licensing School this summer.

Lorraine was married for 37 years to her late husband Gary Knapp. They were blessed with three children and two grandchildren.
She enjoys spending time with family, reading, crafting, cooking and baking.

She is in love with God and his work and is looking forward to serving in her first pastoral assignment at Penfield UMC.
About Penfield United Methodist Church
Penfield United Methodist has been around since the 1870's. When the original church showed signs of deterioration in the upper structure, the congregation moved to the downstairs for worship. A new church was built in 1973 and is currently in use for worship. Originally a Methodist congregation, it united with Evangelical United Brethren churches in the area in 1968 when the denominations merged to become The United Methodist Church. 

With a rich 150-year history, the congregation's goal is to continue to be a solid presence in their  area. They believe that to grow as Christians, they need to read God's word and to feel connected to Him, have a relationship with Jesus and work together doing good works. The congregations provides monthly support for two children in Africa, has paid for over 70 smiles for kids that cannot afford the operation to correct cleft palates and currently sends close to 200 Operation Christmas Child boxes to children in need worldwide. They send Christmas cards to  soldiers and also buy Bibles to send. The church prepares many funeral meals for families in the community. 

The congregation is small, but we needs their church to continue on their journey and to help so many others find their path as well. 

McConnell to Serve Sigel UMC

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Alex McConnell
Alex McConnell is a native of Brookville, PA , where he currently resides with his wife Rachel and 5-year-old son Grayson.  Prior to being called to ministry, Alex served on active duty Air Force and in the PA Army National Guard.  He is currently employed as a counselor with the Department of Veterans Affairs with specialties in treating combat trauma and marriage and family therapy. He has been serving as an associate at Brookville First UMC. 

Alex has experience with youth ministry, and diaconal work outside of the church.  He has a passion for helping people to be the hands of feet of Christ through discipleship.  Hobbies include hunting, hiking, and camping with his family. 
 
About Sigel
Sigel United Methodist Church is a small congregation in the rural community of Sigel north of Brookville on Route 949. The church was organized by Mr. and Mrs. Washington Kahle under the leadership of Reverend James Gilfillan, pastor of the Corsica Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Erie Conference in 1854. By 1863 the congregation had grown to 28 and that year the first Church was built of white pine logs and was erected on the Washington Kahle farm. It was known as Ebenezer Church. The next Church was dedicated on May 16, 1992. 

McVay to Serve Cherrytree/Worden Chapel/Coopertown

Announced: 05-30-2021
About David McVay
David McVay has been assigned as a supply pastor for the newly formed Cherrytree/Worden Chapel/Cooperstown Charge in the Franklin District. A member of Seneca United Methodist Church where he has served on the worship committee and as a worship leader, David served as a supply pastor for the Cherrytree church and Worden Chapel for the past year.

Born and raised in Cranberry Township, Venango County, he is a graduate of Cranberry High School and Venango Technology Center. For the past 12 ½ years, David has served as the Office Administrator for the Jacob A. Weaver/Willis E. Sommers Companies in Cochranton, PA.

In the summer of 2011, God called David to baptism and full communion with the church. Since that time, he has been called to many of ministries, including teaching Sunday School, Children’s Church, and Vacation Bible School. Following his passion with food and cooking, he has been involved in the Monthly Community Breakfast at Seneca United Methodist Church.

David has felt God’s call for many years, but much more strongly over the last few years. Under the mentorship of his pastor, he engaged in more active ministry and enrolled in the Lay Servant Program. He has begun the candidacy process to become a local pastor.
About Cherrytree/Worden Chapel/Coopertown Charge
These three churches are located in northern part of the Franklin District and are forming a new charge alignment as of July 1, 2021. The congregations are committed to supporting mission, being involved in community activities and fellowship. They each try to impact their community through their faith in Jesus Christ. Each year they support Relay for Life through monthly soup suppers.
 

Peightal to Serve Germany UMC

Announced: 05-30-2021
About David Peightal
Pastor David Peightal grew up in Blairsville, Pa. While a senior in high school, he joined the Army as an active duty Combat Engineer. He was stationed in Germany, Fort Knox KY, Houston TX as a recruiter and conducted three combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His time in the Army taught him invaluable life lessons. 
 
After his discharge from the Army, Pastor Dave attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, graduating In 2018 with a Bachelor of Sociology degree with a minor in Psychology. In 2020 he completed the United Methodist Licensing School at Manorville UMC. He is currently enrolled in Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where he is focusing on Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care. His continuing education plan includes returning to IUP for a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. 
 
In 2018 Pastor Dave participated in a joint mission trip of the East Ohio and Western PA  conferences to Puerto Rico to assist in hurricane disaster relief. While there he had an amazing spiritual awakening. God had healed the past and filled him with the Holy Spirit to answer his calling.

Dave serves on the Indiana County Veterans Providers Board, is a Chaplain in the Blairsville American Legion Post 0407, assists in Military Honors funerals, and is active in many mental health and faith-based addiction recovery groups. God has called him to be a voice, an advocate, and to walk beside other veterans and those who suffer from mental health and substance abuse disorders.
 
He ‌is‌ ‌passionate‌ ‌about‌ ‌sharing‌ ‌the‌ ‌love‌ and life ‌of‌ ‌Jesus‌ and spreading the Gospel throughout the community.‌ Pastor Dave ‌encourages‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌members‌ ‌of‌ ‌his ‌congregations‌ ‌to‌ ‌remember‌ ‌that‌ ‌they‌ ‌were‌ ‌all‌ ‌called‌ ‌to‌ ‌leave‌ ‌the‌ ‌church‌ ‌buildings‌ ‌and‌ ‌serve‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌kingdom‌ ‌of‌ ‌Our‌ ‌Lord‌ ‌Jesus‌ ‌Christ.‌ ‌
 
Pastor Dave enjoys family time, fishing and swimming with his wife, Dawn, and their five daughters and two adult fosters. Pastor Dave and his family live by the motto; “when God blesses you, you build a larger table. Not a taller wall.” He also enjoys going to basketball and softball games with his family and his quiet time with his hobbies in the evening. 
 
He is dedicated to following God’s plan and calling on his life. And he prays every day that God continues to use him, to mold him, and help him reach others. God has given Pastor Dave several gifts and abilities. He believes it takes the whole church to be the positive catalyst for Christian change He has called us to be in our communities.
 
About Germany United Methodist Church
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. 

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