2022 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Go to summary listing

Sorted by Announced Date


 

Platt to Serve Hyndman Cooperative Parish

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Derek Platt
Derek Platt grew up in Gibsonia in the North Hills of Pittsburgh in a Christian home.  He was actively involved with the youth group, various church activities and mission trips at Bakerstown United Methodist Church until his high school graduation. Derek attended Waynesburg University, graduating in 2012 with a double major in Children & Youth Ministries and Music Ministry, and a minor in Psychology.  He earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

Derek was commissioned as a Provisional Elder in 2016. He spent four years as the Youth Director of Lakeside United Methodist Church in DuBois, Pennsylvania and currently serves the Fay-West Cooperative Parish.  Actively involved with the Conference Youth Ministry Team, he is one of the adult advisors and is very passionate about encouraging children and youth to be involved in the church.

Derek and his wife Erin welcomed their firstborn child, daughter Clara Jean in October 2018.      
About Hyndman Cooperative Parish
The churches of this parish are Cooks Mill, Grace, Gravel Pit, Hyndman: First Ave, Palo Alto, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line.   The six churches lie in the surrounding valleys. The churches are involved in community outreach and are mission-minded, taking part in Hyndman’s ministerium, food pantry, the Hyndman Campground, ramp ministry, and combined community worship services.
 
Cooks Mill:  Cooks Mill United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 as part of the Baltimore Conference and known as the Wills Creek Chapel.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is known for its music.

Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek.  Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts of Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.

Gravel Pit: The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and it was organized under the Evangelical Association in 1877.  Gravel Pit is five miles north of town and sits on the bank of Little Wills Creek, just in front of one the most popular trout fishing holes on the creek.

Hyndman: First Ave grew from a Methodist Society organized in 1840. It was dedicated as a church on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Conference.  The church is a pillar of the camp meeting property in Hyndman and actively leads the summer children and youth camp on that site and the revival services that take place in August.

Palo Alto was organized in 1872 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.  It is known for its cooking especially at its annual peach festival.

Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.  Recently the church building was demolished after a coal truck crashed into the building.  A new building has been erected and expected was dedicated on May 24, 2020.
 

Popson to Serve Meyersdale Charge

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Jeffrey L. Popson
Born in Natrona Heights, Jeffrey Popson graduated from Kiski High School and Clarion State College with a B.S. in Elementary Education. He was an active member of First UMC in Vandergrift and received his call to ministry under Rev. Owen Shields and Rev. Ed Donner. He graduated from United Theological Seminary in 1981 and has served 39 years in active ministry in churches across the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. He is a retired elder and will serve as an associate pastor for the Meyersdale Charge. 

Jeff is married to Audrey (Lowy) of Dunbar.  He has two children and a 4-year-old grandchild. Jeff loves to read, spend time with his Golden Doodle Marley and cheer for the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.
 
About Meyersdale Charge Associate
The Meyersdale Charge includes four churches in southern Somerset County: Garrett, Meyersdale First, Mount Olivet, and St. Johns United Methodist churches.

Garrett United Methodist Church first met as a congregation in a frame building shared with the Lutherans in 1871.  The church grew and joined the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association in 1876.  In 1967 the building was completely rebuilt and remodeled.  Music is a great part of the worship life at Garrett and they enjoy doing cantatas at Christmas and Easter.
 

Meyersdale First United Methodist Church dates from the conference year 1870 when the Reverends Silas Thayer Mitchell and Daniel J. Davis took it as an appointment for a weekday evening on the Somerset Circuit.   The current building was built in 1904.  Today the church has an active school support program and conducted a summer feeding program over the last several years.
 
Mount Olivet United Methodist Church began with members of the Evangelical Association that worshipped for many years in a log cabin church.  On August 11, 1882, the cornerstone was laid to the new church.  Other changes have been made over the years.  Today the church loves to study scripture and reach out into the community.  They have a great Sunday School program.
 
St. Johns United Methodist Church first held services in a union (Richards) church.  In 1877 the first building was built and know as The Centennial Church of the Evangelical Association.  In 1891 the St. Johns church divided as part of the schism that took please in the Evangelical Association.  The United Evangelical Group build a church on the site of the Richards Church.  The Evangelical Association Group continued to worship in the 1877 building.  In 1922 the groups merged and met together again in the original church and a new building was dedicated in 1935.  Today they enjoy worship and fellowship together and hold a special Maundy Thursday Service.

Sands to Lead Northeast Somerset Cooperative

Announced: 05-30-2021
About James R. Sands
Jim Sands is a life-long United Methodist born and raised in Carmichaels, Pa.  Jim served his home church of Carmichaels First United Methodist Church in just about every way imaginable, from Sunday School teacher, to custodian, to president of the youth group, sound technician for worship, and even head of the trustees before being called into itinerant ministry.  A 1995 graduate of Carmichaels Area high School, Jim attended California University of Pennsylvania as an education major.

After graduation from Cal U in 1999, Jim served for seven years as a substitute teacher for two school districts.  During that period, he also worked for a pizza restaurant, becoming general manager and winning several awards: Manager of the Month, customer service, and highest sales increase in the company. Jim served for 11 years as the chairperson of the Greene County Church Dartball League and also severed as league statistician.

In 2011, Jim began serving in itinerant ministry as pastor at Eldersville UMC while attending Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Upon graduation, he  was awarded the Robert M. Ezzell Homiletical Prize for excellence in preaching. Jim was then appointed to Scalp Level Trinity UMC in Windber and  he was ordained as an elder in 2017.  Jim serves as the registrar of the Johnstown DCOM and enjoys mentoring. 

Jim is an avid bowler. He is a self-described “Bible nerd” and enjoys studying scripture with an emphasis on history, science, and philosophy.  He is passionate about women’s issues, particularly as an advocate for women as leaders in ministry, serving on the district COSROW.

Jim met his wife Kristen while counting offerings at church. They were married and have two children, Ryan and Molly.  Ryan is 9 and was born with cerebral palsy.  He loves electronics and dinosaurs.  Molly is 2 and loves pestering her big brother.  Kristen is an avid reader who serves as the co-chairperson of the Conference Disability Concerns Committee.  Jim and Kristen enjoy traveling and visiting museums and historic sites.
 
About Northeast Somerset Cooperative Parish
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.
 

Spiker to Serve Hyndman Co-op Parish

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Rodney E. Spiker
 Rodney Spiker was born in Cumberland Maryland, graduated from Hyndman High School, and joined the U.S. Army as a carpentry and masonry specialist. He currently works for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.  He previously served in Connellsville District as a supply pastor on the Meyersdale Charge.

Rodney is married to Kathy and they have three children and four grandchildren.  They like to hunt, travel and play with the grandkids, and continue learning and growing in the grace of God and sharing that love and grace with others.
 
 
About Hyndman Cooperative Parish
The churches of this parish are Cooks Mill, Grace, Gravel Pit, Hyndman: First Ave, Palo Alto, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line.   The six churches lie in the surrounding valleys. The churches are involved in community outreach and are mission-minded, taking part in Hyndman’s ministerium, food pantry, the Hyndman Campground, ramp ministry, and combined community worship services.
 
Cooks Mill:  Cooks Mill United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 as part of the Baltimore Conference and known as the Wills Creek Chapel.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is known for its music.

Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek.  Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts of Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.

Gravel Pit: The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and it was organized under the Evangelical Association in 1877.  Gravel Pit is five miles north of town and sits on the bank of Little Wills Creek, just in front of one the most popular trout fishing holes on the creek.

Hyndman: First Ave grew from a Methodist Society organized in 1840. It was dedicated as a church on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Conference.  The church is a pillar of the camp meeting property in Hyndman and actively leads the summer children and youth camp on that site and the revival services that take place in August.

Palo Alto was organized in 1872 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.  It is known for its cooking especially at its annual peach festival.

Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.  Recently the church building was demolished after a coal truck crashed into the building.  A new building has been erected and expected was dedicated on May 24, 2020.

Stevanus to Serve Hyndman Co-op Parish

Announced: 05-30-2021
About Ethel J. Stevanus
Ethel Stevanus was born in Cumberland, MD, graduated from Meyersdale High School and majored in Christian Education, with a minor in Bible, at Wesley College in Florence, Mississippi. She worked at the Christian Book Store in Cumberland, Maryland and at Sheetz before serving as a supply pastor on the Four-Point Harmony Charge in 2014.

Ethel and her twin sister, Esther Jean, are on the cradle role at Mt. Harmony UMC in Wellersburg.  Both accepted the Lord at the age of 12 under the ministry of Rev. Perry Pyle.  Ethel is known for wearing interesting hats.
About Hyndman Cooperative Parish
The churches of this parish are Cooks Mill, Grace, Gravel Pit, Hyndman: First Ave, Palo Alto, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line.   The six churches lie in the surrounding valleys. The churches are involved in community outreach and are mission-minded, taking part in Hyndman’s ministerium, food pantry, the Hyndman Campground, ramp ministry, and combined community worship services.
 
Cooks Mill:  Cooks Mill United Methodist Church was organized in 1843 as part of the Baltimore Conference and known as the Wills Creek Chapel.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.  The church is known for its music.

Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek.  Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts of Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.

Gravel Pit: The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and it was organized under the Evangelical Association in 1877.  Gravel Pit is five miles north of town and sits on the bank of Little Wills Creek, just in front of one the most popular trout fishing holes on the creek.

Hyndman: First Ave grew from a Methodist Society organized in 1840. It was dedicated as a church on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Conference.  The church is a pillar of the camp meeting property in Hyndman and actively leads the summer children and youth camp on that site and the revival services that take place in August.

Palo Alto was organized in 1872 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.  It is known for its cooking especially at its annual peach festival.

Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association.  Recently the church building was demolished after a coal truck crashed into the building.  A new building has been erected and expected was dedicated on May 24, 2020.

Alsdorf Appointed to Pleasantville UMC

Announced: 05-23-2021
About Jerome Alsdorf
Jerome has served the community of believers in Titusville for 14 years at Titusville First as a youth pastor and contemporary worship leader and also as a supply pastor at Diamond Evangelical from 2017-2021. He recently finished Licensing School and is looking forward  to pursuing God with his wife and children and his local congregation. 
 
About Pleasantville United Methodist Church
The Pleasantville UMC congregation has been an important part of its community since its beginning. As a “cornerstone” institution in the borough, it works ecumenically with other congregation to provide care and outreach for the community.  The Church has a strong history of evangelism, youth ministry and mission support.  Jerome Alsdorf’s experience and gifts should help them fulfill their goals of growth and disciple-making.
 

Hutton to Serve Buffalo Charge

Announced: 05-23-2021
About Harriet E. Hutton
Harriet was born in Beaver Falls, PA and graduated from Big Beaver Falls High School. She worked at McGuire Memorial Home for Exceptional Children for seven years and developed a deep love for children, especially special needs children. Harriet and her first husband bought and oversaw a working dairy farm in Crawford County. A divorce experience after 17 years of marriage led to Harriet being a single parent for 10 years. She worked hard to support her three children as a computer operator, bookkeeper, and e-commerce analyst.

Harriet has been a member of the United Methodist Church for over 50 years. As a lay person, she served in various positions as Sunday School teacher, youth leader, lay leader, and Certified Lay Speaker. Eventually, she answered God’s call into ministry after her children were raised. She has served as a Licensed Local Pastor for 10 years.

Harriet has been married to Bill Hutton for over 20 years. They have six children in the blended family; seven grandchildren; and two great grandchildren. Harriet loves the Lord and serves Him faithfully. 
 
About Buffalo Charge
The Buffalo Charge consists of three United Methodist churches: Craigsville UMC in Worthington, PA; Fenelton UMC in Fenelton, PA, and McKee Chapel UMC, also in Worthington. These three churches, located on the eastern edge of the Butler District and each with its own history and temperament, share a common mission: to glorify God and to honor the name of Jesus Christ. Their core convictions are that the worship of the Triune God is of primary importance and that the Bible, as God’s inspired Word, is the final authority in matters of life and faith. The churches are eager to enter a new season of ministry in the months ahead.
 

Karen Trask to Serve Lawrence Park

Announced: 05-23-2021
About Karen Trask
Pastor Karen Trask grew up just east of Pittsburgh, PA in McKeesport and graduated from McKeesport Area High School. She began her faith journey as Roman Catholic and had a sense of God’s love in her life at a young age. She worked for 20 years in the Nursing Department of Torrance State Hospital and met her husband Bob there in 1996 when he was working as an after-care coordinator for the clients of Westmoreland County. The couple married in 1998, and with Bob’s encouragement Karen answered the call to become a Local Lay Speaker. After moving forward with the required trainings, Karen became a Certified Lay Speaker, then a Certified Lay Minister and finally a Licensed Local Pastor in 2012. She is currently finishing her last class of Course of Study through the Appalachian Local Pastors School, Tennessee Conference.

Karen served as Chaplain for the Erie UM Alliance for several years working with the residents of the Refuge, Hope House and the Liberty House, a shelter for homeless veterans. Pastor Karen loves to preach and teach the Word of God and is passionate about fulfilling her call and using her gifts and graces to bring all God’s people to know Him and what He has called them to as well.
 
About Lawrence Park United Methodist Church
Lawrence Park UM is currently celebrating its 100th year of ministry to the community.  The congregation maintains vital worship, strong ties of fellowship and is very active in outreach to its local neighborhood and across the City of Erie.  The church has active UMM and UMW groups that support their mission and ministry.  While the congregation is has grown smaller in recent years, they remain committed to reaching their community with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Karen Trask’s passion for the Good News and her gifts of administration, outreach and evangelism should help  the congregation achieve its goals of making disciples of Jesus Christ. 
 

McQuown to Serve Good Shepherd Parish

Announced: 05-23-2021
About Glenn C. McQuown
Glenn McQuown is a retired elder who served 16 years as chaplain at the State Correctional Institution in Forest County. He served rural churches before his ordination as an elder and since then has been in extension ministry, serving at Truck Stop ministries in Pennsylvania, as a crisis counselor and later in child services in Clearfield and Centre counties, before joining the PA Dept. of Corrections as a program manager/chaplain at SCI Forest. 
About Good Shepherd Parish
The Good Shepherd UM Parish was formed in the 1990s from the former Hazen Charge with the following churches—Allens Mills UMC, Hazen UMC, Munderf: Zion UMC and Richardsville UMC. All are located in northern Jefferson Co, near Brookville and Brockway.  The addition of Edeburn UMC and Donahey UMC, located in Jefferson & Elk Co near Clear Creek State Park and Marionville, were welcomed into their family in 2013, making a six-point parish. The churches together are involved with community VBS, church activities and picnics, ministering to local campers, supporting food banks and missionaries around the world. 

Missions have been a big part of the Parish in the past with local teams building ramps and helping with home repairs in the local area and in the U.S. after hurricane disasters.  God has blessed the churches with these mission opportunities over the years.
 

Moore to Serve Branchton/Ridgeville/West Liberty UMCs

Announced: 05-23-2021
About Brandon Moore
Brandon Moore was born in Rammstein, Germany, and relocated frequently throughout his early life. Eventually settling in the Butler Area, he graduated in 2000 from Butler High School. Brandon left the church for a while until meeting his wife Cheryl, who helped him find his way back to church. After marrying in 2002, Brandon and Cheryl served as lay persons in different denominations.

In 2015, Brandon worked for K-LOVE radio where he discovered a renewed sense of faith as well as a call to pastoral ministry. He ignored the call until God made it very clear this was what Brandon was made to do. With the support of his wife, Brandon entered licensing school and in 2019 received his first appointment to the Little Hill, Shannopin and Glenwillard Charge.

Brandon’s main priority as a pastor is for the church to be encouraged to know Jesus and to care for “the least of these” in everything they do. Brandon is completing a Bachelor’s degree at Grand Canyon University and holds additional employment at a safety consulting firm in Wexford.
 
About Branchton UMC/Ridgeville UMC/West Liberty UMC
 Branchton UMC, Ridgeville UMC, and West Liberty UMC form a three-point charge in the northern part of Butler County. These three congregations make it a priority to worship with joy, to pray with conviction, and to build a sense of community that feels like family in all the right ways. In each of the three churches, the Lordship of Jesus finds expression through substantive Christian education, heartfelt worship, and a loving attentiveness to the deepest needs of the community. The Branchton, Ridgeville, and West Liberty congregations are eager to bear witness to the love and grace of Jesus as a new ministry year begins.
 

Nelson to Serve Bradford First UMC

Announced: 05-23-2021
About Rick Nelson
Rev. Rick Nelson was born and raised in Fairmont, WV. He attended college at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV where he met his wife Barbara and majored in Elementary Education. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC.

Rick, his wife Barbara and their daughter April currently live in Brookville, PA where he has served as Senior Pastor of the Good Shepherd UM Parish since 2018. Rick has been a United Methodist pastor since 1986 where he began serving in the Virginia Annual Conference.  In 1992 Rick moved to the Western PA Annual Conference and was ordained as an Elder in 1994.

During most of his ministry Rick has been involved with The United Methodist Committee on Relief working for The UMCOR - Katrina Aid Today program from 2006 – 2008. Rick served as WPA Conference Disaster Response Coordinator for many years.

Rick believes in the “God image” in all persons and seeks to discover and foster that image in all people. He believes in reaching out through mission with the love of God sharing that nothing separates us from the love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
About Bradford First United Methodist Church
Located in northern McKean County, Bradford First’s mission is to reach the Bradford area by growing disciples through worship, reaching into the community, and children’s ministry.  Bradford First offers two different styles of worship, contemporary and traditional.  Both services continue to draw people into a heartfelt relationship with Jesus.

The church reaches into the community through their food pantry and strong ties with the local feeding ministry, The Friendship Table.  They also reach out to the church worldwide by supporting a sister church in Condega, Nicaragua through prayers, conversations, and finances.  One of the growing areas for Bradford First is young families.  The families are drawn in through children’s program. The church focuses on providing age-appropriate learning environments and having a fun.
 

Odarenko to Serve New Allegheny Valley Charge

Announced: 05-23-2021
About Dora J. Odarenko
Dora Janeway Odarenko was born in Manhattan. She moved to rural New Jersey and then back to the city, attending private schools until moving to Washington DC, where she finally got to enjoy public schools. Starting college at Middlebury, she transferred to Barnard, earning her undergraduate degree and her MA in English at Columbia. Although hearing a call to ministry early in life, she first became a teacher. She taught  at Columbia, Skidmore, Sarah Lawrence, and University of Bridgeport, then—once certified K-6—she taught at the Children’s Storefront in Harlem and in New Haven. She received her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School where she began her journey toward Associate Clergy Membership in the UMC.

Dora loves worship and liturgy. In preaching, prayer groups, and mission, she loves discerning how the Holy Spirit speaks through Scripture, community building, and social justice ministry. She and her husband nurtured foster children and also had a small farm. She is now a widow. She is serious about writing poetry. She serves on a board at Chautauqua and is training to become a spiritual companion.   
 
About Bairdford UMC/Creighton: Janes UMC/Springdale UMC
Bairdford UMC, Creighton: Janes UMC, and Springdale UMC represent a newly-configured three-point charge in the Butler District’s Allegheny Valley and a strategic effort to provide Christ-centered worship, spiritual formation, and outreach in a portion of our conference where the mission field is complex and vast.

Each of these churches brings to the charge both a rich history and an exciting potential. Their priorities are these: creating worship that is as engaging as it is faithful; extending hospitality so that both members and visitors feel known, valued, and loved; and connecting with the surrounding community with the kind of tangible ministry that makes the love of Christ real, especially to those who are suffering. All three congregations eagerly look forward to a new season of ministry.
 

Trent to Serve Harmony Charge

Announced: 05-23-2021
About Barbara Trent
Barby Trent was born and raised in Coalport, in the far southern part of Clearfield County.  She is a previous president and member of the town’s borough council, having served on council since 2015. She is active many other community activities, including the local ministerium, Streetscape, Crime Watch, CERT and serving as an active EMT and firefighter. Barby serves as chaplain and secretary for the Reade Volunteer Fire Department in Blandburg, Pa in Cambria County and is the chaplain and vice-president for the Pinecroft Volunteer Fire Department in Blair County.

She is a member of the Utahville United Methodist Church, where she plays piano on Sundays. She has been a chaplain and lay speaker since 2017 and has filled in playing piano for other churches when needed. Barby also is the choir director, leads ladies Bible study, organizes the Christmas program, serves on the treasury board, creates Powerpoints for the midweek worship service and does the online video ministry via Facebook.

Barby felt God’s call to ministry while working as a home health nurse. There was plenty of time for prayer in the car between patients. Through prayer and alone time with God, she knew she didn’t want to be a Jonah. Without following what God wanted, she would end up nowhere. Success only comes through the plan God has for you. Without God, your life is like running on a treadmill. All you get is tired.
 
About Harmony Charge
Harmony Charge consists of two congregations, East Ridge: Harmony and Westover: Grace in Clearfield County.
 
East Ridge: Harmony has a very active women's ministry, a Bible Study that has been active for over 20 years, an adult Sunday School class, and most recently, a quilters club.  The women's ministry helps support two full-time area missionaries, as well as a member who goes on a yearly mission trip. Additionally, in non-COVID times, the church conducts three Cantatas each year: Christmas, Easter, and the Fourth of July. The church works with the Salvation Army, Angel Tree, Westover Food Bank, Westover Fire Company, and Franklin Graham Ministries. They also hold two community services yearly; Crosswalk/Good Friday and Thanksgiving Eve with Grace United Methodist and Westover Baptist Churches, 
 
Westover: Grace has been a part of Community life in Westover, PA for over 120 years. Grace UMC is a small membership church that is conservative and traditionalist. As part of the Harmony Charge in the Johnstown District, members participate in the East Ridge: Harmony Bible Study that has been ongoing for over 20 years.
 
 

Dan Miller to Serve Pymatuning Charge

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Daniel C. Miller
Daniel Clark Miller was born in Etna and grew up in Shaler Township. He attended Epworth UMC from third grade and was active in VBS, MYF and Sunday School. He was first in the pulpit achieving the God and Country award in Boy Scouts. He started working in retail, where he spent over 40 years. After a severe illness, he returned to the United Methodist Church at Rochester First UMC. He became involved in the Nothing but Nets Anti-Malaria campaign, became the Butler District Lay Leader and started taking Lay Servant Ministry Classes.

After ignoring God’s call to enter the ministry, he finally broke down and answered the call. After attending licensing school, he was appointed to Branchton and West Liberty UMC, and later picked up Ridgeville. He enjoys the challenge of COS, and likes to read and fish. He has been married to Karen for 36 years.
 
About Pymatuning Charge
The Pymatuning Charge consists of the Westford, Jamestown and State Line United Methodist churches. The churches work together on community fundraisers, mission projects such as packing backpacks for school children, clothing giveaways, free Thanksgiving dinner, a strawberry stand at local fairs and events and fundraising dinners.
 

Hetrick to Serve Summerville Charge

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Dianne Hetrick
Dianne Hetrick was born and raised in Brookville, PA and attended the Calvary Church of the Nazarene.  She is a graduate of the DuBois Business College and has worked as an administrative assistant at the Brookville Area School District for 22+ years, as well as in the healthcare environment and emergency management.
 
Dianne answered the call to ministry while attending the Ohl United Methodist Church and completing Lay Servant Ministry classes.  She became a Licensed Local Pastor in 2020.  She is currently enrolled in course of study at West Virginia Extension COS at Spring Heights, WV.  She currently serves in her first appointment at the Sigel UMC.
 
Dianne appreciates the opportunity to reach out to others with the Word of God.  She and her husband Dean live in Ohl, PA.  They have a blended family of three children and six grandchildren.  Dianne enjoys reading, playing games, and spending time with her extended family.
 
About Summerville Charge
The Summerville Charge consists of two churches: Kingsville and Summerville. Located near Penn’s Woods, Clear Creek Park and the Clarion River, both  churches are within an easy drive to some of W. PA’s most beautiful creation. As a Charge, the churches conduct Christmas Eve, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunrise services. They also cooperate with the Summerville Ministerium for a unified Thanksgiving service.

Kingsville UMC, located at 71 CL Road, Summerville, seeks to model the purpose of the church “to make disciples, one heart at a time’. Each summer Kingsville holds a community Vacation Bible School. The children actively sponsor a mission project, have game activities, a lunch and do a study led by various members of the church. Music is an integral part of our worship service, with the choir singing each Sunday and actively participating in the activities of the Charge.  There is a full spectrum Sunday School following each Sunday Service with time off in the summer. Fellowship and laughter abound. Various missions both local and international are supported by a generous congregation.

Summerville UMC, located at 154 W. Penn St., Summerville, has ample room for growth. The Summerville Church family is active in the community. In order to magnify their effect for the Lord, they cooperate with other Summerville congregations special services and a community picnic. They also cooperate with Kingsville to have an annual summer picnic, usually at Clear Creek State Park. Adult Sunday school is conducted from September through June, as is weekly Bible Study. The church actively supports three missionaries and many other causes.  They are a singing congregation, often using the Hymnal Plus. Sitting on the banks of the Red Bank River, the luminaries of Christmas Eve are beautiful.
 

Mains Appointed to Oil City: Calvary

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Denise Mains
Pastor‌ ‌Denise‌ ‌Mains‌ ‌grew‌ ‌up‌ ‌in‌ ‌Southern‌ ‌Butler‌ ‌County,‌ ‌Middlesex‌ ‌Twp.‌ ‌She‌ ‌worked‌ ‌for‌ ‌many‌ ‌years‌ ‌in care homes ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌Reality‌ ‌Orientation‌ ‌coordinator. These experiences‌ ‌helped‌ ‌develop‌ ‌her‌ ‌love‌ ‌and‌ ‌concern‌ ‌for‌ ‌not‌ ‌only‌ ‌the‌ ‌physical and ‌mental‌ ‌health‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌older‌ ‌community‌, ‌but‌ ‌for‌ ‌their‌ ‌spiritual‌ ‌well‌ -being‌ ‌as‌ ‌well.‌ ‌ ‌
 ‌
Denise was actively involved in the church throughout her life. She began attending Lay School after she moved to Emlenton and became a member of the Emlenton UMC. It was at Lay School that she felt her call to ministry. Denise‌ ‌finished‌ ‌her‌ ‌Course‌ ‌of‌ ‌Study‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌West‌ ‌Virginia‌ ‌extension‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Course‌ ‌of‌ ‌Study‌ ‌School‌ ‌of‌ ‌Ohio‌ ‌in‌ ‌2019.‌ ‌ ‌
 ‌
Currently‌ ‌serving‌ ‌as‌ ‌pastor‌ ‌of‌ ‌Clintonville‌ ‌Charge,‌ ‌Denise ‌‌previously‌ ‌served‌ ‌Kaylor‌ ‌and‌ ‌Queenstown‌ ‌churches‌ ‌in‌ ‌the Butler‌ ‌District.‌ ‌Beyond‌ ‌the‌ ‌local‌ ‌church‌ ‌she‌ ‌serves‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌Franklin‌ ‌District‌ ‌Board‌ ‌of‌ ‌Church‌ ‌Location‌ ‌and‌ ‌Buildings,‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌Conference‌ ‌Nominations‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌Sessions‌ ‌teams.‌ ‌ ‌
 ‌
Pastor‌ ‌Denise‌ ‌is‌ ‌passionate‌ ‌about‌ ‌sharing‌ ‌the‌ ‌love‌ ‌of‌ ‌Jesus‌ ‌Christ‌ ‌.‌ ‌She‌ ‌truly‌ ‌loves‌ ‌connecting‌ ‌with‌ ‌people‌ ‌throughout‌ ‌the‌ ‌community.‌ ‌She‌ ‌encourages‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌members‌ ‌of‌ ‌her‌ ‌congregations‌ ‌to‌ ‌remember‌ ‌that‌ ‌they‌ ‌were‌ ‌all‌ ‌called‌ ‌to‌ ‌leave‌ ‌the‌ ‌church‌ ‌buildings‌ ‌and‌ ‌serve‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌kingdom‌ ‌of‌ ‌Our‌ ‌Lord‌ ‌Jesus‌ ‌Christ.‌ ‌

Denise‌ ‌is‌ ‌widowed‌ ‌and‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌mother‌ ‌of‌ ‌three‌ ‌and‌ ‌grandmother‌ ‌of‌ ‌five.‌ ‌She‌ ‌loves‌ ‌family‌ ‌time,‌ ‌golfing‌ ‌with‌ ‌her‌ ‌grandsons,‌ ‌attending‌ ‌baseball‌ ‌games‌ ‌with‌ ‌them,‌ ‌crocheting‌ ‌and‌ ‌other‌ ‌crafty‌ ‌projects.‌
 
About Oil City: Calvary United Methodist Church
Calvary UMC is a mission-minded church dedicated to serving the community and beyond. They have a “Mission of the Month” that they support through financial giving. Additionally, they are known in Oil City for their “Back Door Café,” an opportunity for people to have lunch and enjoy fellowship. Men’s and women’s Bible Study groups and a Bible Study led by the pastor are important elements of their desire to grow as disciples.
 

Salko to Serve as South Fayette Parish Associate

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Peter Salko
Pete Salko was born and raised in Newell, Pennsylvania and graduated from Frazier High School in Perryopolis in 1979. He attended California University of PA with a major in communications and served as Program Director for the radio station. He completed Licensing School in spring of 2020 and is currently enrolled in course of study in Spencer, West Virginia.

Pete worked at Eat’n Park restaurants from 1980 to 1985 as a dishwasher, cook, and manager. He was then a manager for Ponderosa restaurant until 1990. After a two years working for 84 Lumber Company, in 1992 he rejoined Eat’n Park Hospitality Group as a manager for a few years, then worked in the I.T. department at the Corporate Support Center for five years, before moving to his current position supporting the restaurants in the Facilities department.

Pete has a strong drive from the Holy Spirit to go out and do God’s work and make this world a better place and to bring as many souls as possible to God’s unending love. He has served at the Newell United Methodist Church in the Connellsville District as Lay Speaker and Council Chair, and has been very active in live feeding ministries during the pandemic. He has also done pulpit supply service for Fells UMC and Perryopolis UMC.  As a South Fayette Cooperative Parish Associate Pastor, he'll primarily serve the Juniata UMC.

Pete has two daughters, one son-in law and another soon-to-be, and a wonderful grandson Tucker. He loves to go camping in the mountains and read the Bible around the campfire with his girlfriend Lori. He loves traveling and exploring this beautiful world God has given us.
 
About South Fayette Cooperative Parish
About South Fayette Cooperative Parish
The churches of this cooperative ministry –Brownfield; Uniontown: Calvary; Uniontown: Christ; Uniontown: Community; Franklin Memorial; Gans; Hopwood; Juniata; Masontown; Mount Pleasant-Dilliner; Point Marion; Smithfield; Trinity: Fairchance; Upper—service communities in the southern part of Fayette County. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Brownfield United Methodist Church:   was organized as part of the Methodist Protestant Church shortly after revival meetings were held at the Hutchinson School house in 1882.  The services were conducted by Rev. John McCarty of Fairchance and Rev. George McCollum of Uniontown.  The first building was taken over by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1889, but the church continued holding services there until 1897.  A new building with addition was built in 1926.  Since 1965 they have been on a circuit with the Hopwood Church.
 
Uniontown: Calvary United Methodist Church:  was organized on February 11, 1894 as a Methodist Protestant Church under the leadership of Rev. David E. Minerd.  The church was originally called Minerd Chapel.  An education wing was added in 1932 and second brick education wing was added in 1956.  The church loves to reach out to a variety of community groups and is a great supporter of Jumonville.
 
Uniontown:  Christ United Methodist Church:  in the fall of 1830 the “reformer” portion of the Uniontown Methodist Episcopal Church (later Asbury) withdrew from that Church and organized a Class of the Methodist Protestant Church in the Fayette County Courthouse.  The first building was erected in 1841 and was known as the “Little Old Radical church.”    This was the first congregation served by Reverend John Calvin Broomfield when he came to America in 1896 and who later became one of the two original Bishops elected by the Methodist Protestant Church at the Uniting Conference. 
 
Uniontown:  Community United Methodist Church:  in the spring of 1938 Mrs. Ethel Steward asked three members of the staff of the McCrum Community House, a Board of Missions project of the Pittsburgh Conference, to start a Sunday School in Evans Manor.  They met in a school house on West Penn Boulevard .  A charger was granted to the Evans Manor Methodist Church in 1948.  In 1998 Evans Manor and Hutchinson Churches merged to form Smock: Community.  It later became part of the Uniontown Larger Parish.
 
Franklin Memorial United Methodist Church:  About 1835 a Methodist Protestant Church was organized in Woodvale School District and a stone church building was erected on land donated by Joseph Paull.  Mr. Paull also donated the land for a burying ground, which I snow the Franklin Cemetery.  A new Church was erected in 1875 and a church school addition was built in the early 1900s.  The church has a very active Sunday School and youth program.
 
Gans United Methodist Church:  was founded in 1905 when a group of families in the area met in a store to organize a Methodist Protestant Class.  The Church was built in 1905, the original structure is still in use.  An annex was added to the church in 1959.
 
Hopwood United Methodist Church:  was founded in 1828 by members who withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church to reform and join the Methodist Protestant Church.  The church being too small, members began to work for the purpose of building a new Church that was dedicated in 1901.  The basement was excavated in 1927 to construct a hall where the church often gathers for fellowship.
 
Juniata United Methodist Church:  was formed as a Methodist Protestant Church after services were started in the Juniata School on December 1, 1935.  The HC. Frick Company gave the congregation permission to use one of the company houses a Church and it was occupied in in 1936.  Today Juniata is in converted store with a fellowship hall upstairs.  The congregation loves to worship and fellowship together.
 
Masontown United Methodist Church:  was founded in 1819 by Andrew Long, Caleb Hanna, and Alexander McDougle.  The first location was on West Church Street with a cemetery attached.  In 1820 this church was almost ruined by a violent storm.  The church was repaired and rebuilt.  It has survived a fire and stood as a testament to the resilient grace and God and the wonderful people of the community.
 
Mount Pleasant-Dilliner United Methodist Church:  was the northern most church in the Methodist Episcopal Church South and often referred to as the “Dixie Church.”  The church is very active in missions and supports over 20 different mission inside and outside the local area.  The church loves music and is especially known for its mission dinners.
 
Point Marion United Methodist Church:  this church was organized in 1843 through the efforts of Ambrose Dilliner, with four members.  They had no regular place of worship, but met from place to place, such as the Polly Rose house, the Mill house, and the Ferry House.  The cornerstone for the current church was laid on September 11, 1921 and was dedicated on April 16, 1922.  The church houses a food pantry and Fijian worship community.
 
Smithfield United Methodist Church:  Reverend Dennis Battee and a Mr. Stevenson organized the Society in 1819 in the home of Dr. Sackett.  James Smith, a member, had applied to the preacher on the Redstone Circuit to organize a Church and having secured a sufficient number the Society was organized.  In 1833 a Camp Meeting was held on General Alexander McClellen’s farm; the Sabbath meeting had over 3,000 in attendance.  The church grew and today is a special place of worship for the community.
 
Trinity United Methodist Church:  was known as The Independent Methodist Church of Fairchance and was organized sometime previous to 1903.   A new church building was built in 1923, but was later destroyed by fire.  A new church building was erected in 1924 with an addition made in 1965-1966. 
 
Upper Middletown United Methodist Church:  The church claims its origin in the Class that met in the John Jones home on Redstone Creek, which was a preaching appointment on the original Redstone Circuit of 1784-1787.  Reverend Robert Ayres preached there regularly in 1786-1787 and on his first visit on June 21, 1786 Bishop Francis Asbury accompanied him.  The record of the event, in the Ayers journal is as follows: “At friend Jones.  Heard Mr. Asbury preach from Genesis 18; 19 and Harry (Black Harry Rosier) from ‘If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.’ They both spoke very lively and close.  Lodged with Mr. Asbury and rested well.”  That same spirit is still a part of the Upper Middletown Church today.

Seth McClymonds to Serve Sarver: Zion

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Seth McClymonds
Seth McClymonds Jr. was born in New Castle and grew up in Saegertown. He is a graduate of Saegertown High School and Penn State Behrend (majoring in Electrical Engineering). During his junior collegiate year, he followed God’s calling into the ministry by serving as a student pastor at State Line UMC outside North East, PA. He earned his M.Div. at Asbury Theological Seminary and has served Duke Center UMC, Y.E.S.S. Shared Ministry, Grace UMC in Warren (associate) and Covenant UMC, and, most recently, First UMC in Bradford.

In addition to serving the local church, Seth provides leadership in Conference and community ministries. He is the current chair of the Council on Finance and Administration and Finance Chair of Olmsted Manor’s board. In Bradford, he serves on the board of the Friendship Table (an area feeding ministry). He is the board president of Leadership McKean, whose mission is to develop leaders and strengthen community.

Seth is married to Beth. They have two children, Jacob (a 7th grader) and Josh (a 4th grader).
 
 
About Sarver: Zion United Methodist Church
Located in the southeastern portion of Butler County in the community of Sarver, Zion United Methodist Church is a dynamic faith community energized by this mission: To invite people to know Jesus Christ; to grow those who respond into disciples; and to serve all people in the name of Jesus. Zion UMC makes it a priority to offer radical hospitality and strives to be a place where all feel seen, heard, and valued. The church offers an expansive and intergenerational ministry that includes creative worship and music, expansive Christian education, exceptional programming for children and youth, and a commitment to missional engagement in the community and world. At Zion UMC, people love deeply, serve faithfully, pray fervently, worship joyfully, and grow daily into the likeness of Jesus.
 

Shute to Serve Luthersburg Charge

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Nancy Shute
Nancy Shute is an ordained elder enjoying her first year of retirement after 20 years of pastoral ministry. She has served several churches in the WPAUMC.  Nancy has been involved in helping congregations discern ways in which to enter into co-operative ministries with other congregations and organizations to best serve their local and global communities.
 
Her passions include sharing God’s love with those in, as well as those struggling with, recovery from various addictions, and working with congregations who desire to embark on the journey of discerning who they are called to be in this place at this time within God’s Kin-dom.
 
Nancy lives in the country with her husband Richard. They have two grown daughters Heidi and Leah, as well as three grown grandchildren, Desmond, Grayson, and Violet. They live with their canine fur babies Elvis Joe and Jolene. 
 
 
About Luthersburg Charge
 As part of the Indiana District, the Luthersburg Charge is a rural, three-point charge, located in Clearfield County outside of DuBois on the Rts. 322 and 219 corridor. The charge has a long history of working cooperatively in ministry with each other and within the DuBois cluster.

Luthersburg UMC has been a prominent part of the community with loving and faithful members. Luthersburg UMC is located prominently at the joining of Rts. 322 and 219 in Luthersburg, PA.

Home Camp UMC is located outside of Rockton, PA and is known as the church by the DuBois Reservoir. The church is motivated to be the hands and feet of Christ by serving humankind both locally and abroad.

Salem UMC is located in Brady Township outside of DuBois, PA on Rts. 322 and 219. The church building was built in 2012. The congregaton is actively ministering to multiple generations and is active in local missions.

Sill to Serve McKean UMC

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Janet R. Sill
Janet was born and raised in Latrobe. PA and nurtured by the faithful folks at Latrobe First UMC. She  attended the Greater Latrobe School district and after graduation attended Edinboro University, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood and graduate certification in Special Education. At an early age Janet felt God’s call to ministry, but it wasn’t until she was married and had a family that she felt it was God’s plan to become a Certified Lay Minister. She served the Evangelical/Elgin, McCray, and Wayne Valley Charge as an associate for seven years.  This experience helped Janet to discern God’s call into licensed pastoral ministry.  She was licensed in 2015 and was  appointed to the Titusville – Bethel/ White Oak and Pleasantville charge.

Janet and husband Lynn have been married for 46 years and have four grown children, Courtney Courtemanche (Patrick), Douglas, Scott (Liz), and Amy Hromek, (Kristopher) and eight grandchildren, Addison, and Jenna, Xander and JJ, Gabby, Ellie, Sadie, and Owen. Lynn will retire in July from the State Correctional Facility in Albion and as an Education Guidance Counselor.

Janet loves playing with her grandchildren, redecorating their century old home, sewing and quiet moments of devotions and tea.  
 
About McKean United Methodist Church
McKean UMC is a small town congregation with a rich 202-year history of shining the light of Jesus in the McKean community and beyond.  As a welcoming and joy-filled congregation, they live out their heartfelt desire to be used by the Holy Spirit in leading others to Christ through the varied ministries of the church.  Included in those ministries are a Prayer Shawl Ministry to the sick and grieving, support of the local food pantries, participation in Ramps of Hope, a morning and evening Bible Study, a summer VBS and Prayer Tent, both of which are offered in ministry with the churches of McKean, and an annual Ladies Retreat.  They look forward with much joy and anticipation to welcoming new members into their church family in the near future, as they work alongside one another in the name of Jesus Christ, to the glory of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Janet Sill’s passion for preaching, pastoral care, and community outreach make her an excellent match for this vital congregation that seeks to reach its community with the love of Christ.
 

Soltis Appointed to Butler North Charge

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Kathy Soltis
Kathy Soltis was born in Pittsburgh and raised in Elizabeth Pa. She graduated from Pennsbury High School near Philadelphia, from Rider University with a degree in Education, and from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree.
 
While studying, she was student pastor to three churches in the Pittsburgh District. After graduation, she was appointed to the Boyers, Ridgeville, and Hilliards churches in the Butler District.  Later, Bethel UMC in Eau Claire was added to this parish. In 2009, she retired from her church role as pastor.
 
Since retirement, Kathy has always had a strong desire to serve the church again. Her passion is bringing the Word of God and the saving grace of salvation through Jesus Christ to all who might hear. The decision to re-enter the pastoral role comes from a love of God, love of these congregations, and the belief that “The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect  you.”
 
Kathy and husband, Steve,  have two sons, three grandsons, and an abundance of friends and blessings.
 
 
About Butler North Charge
The Butler North Charge, which includes Boyers UMC, Eau Claire: Bethel UMC, and Hilliards UMC, continues to offer gracious and faithful ministry in northern Butler County for the cause of Jesus Christ. Through their engaging worship, their sacrificial generosity, their gracious hospitality, and their creative outreach to their communities, these three congregations bear witness to the Gospel while creating the kind of Christ-centered environment where strong friendships can be built and where all are welcome. The Butler North Charge looks forward to all that God will continue to accomplish through its ministry in the days ahead.
 

Tom Phillips Appointed to Cranberry, Rockland UMCs

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Tom Phillips
Tom was born and raised in Franklin, Pennsylvania, graduated from Valley Grove High School in 1969, and attended Penn State University, graduating in 1973 with a BS in Animal Science. He worked in the Social Service field for 25 years, helping people become re-employed after losing their jobs. Tom felt his call to full-time ministry in 2003 and said yes to God’s call upon his life.  All of his experiences while attending Grace United Methodist in Rocky Grove prepared him for a life in ministry. He attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and graduated in 2012.

After serving for 15 years at two charges, Greater Oil City United Methodist Charge (7 years) and then Blacklick Community United Methodist (8 years), Tom planned to retire from full-time ministry and serve as a fill-in as needed.   Tom’s gifts for ministry are preaching, listening, being present and visitation as well as a gift of helps.

Tom and his wife Karen will be celebrating their 49th anniversary this July and enjoy when they can get together with their three children and their families.   They also have six grandchildren to take up some of their time as schedules allow.  Tom also enjoys gardening, hunting and fishing in Pennsylvania and building things with his hands.   
 
About Cranberry & Rockland United Methodist churches
The Cranberry and Rockland UMCs are located near Cranberry in Venango County. The churches have been together on a charge for many years and share special worship services and Bible studies. Both churches are very dedicated to supporting local, Conference and international ministries and missions.
 

Varrato to Serve Allegheny Valley Charge

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Ruth Ann Varrato
Ruth Ann Morley Varrato, was born and raised in Sheffield, Pennsylvania. Upon graduating from high school, she worked first in retail, then as a mother, and finally as a credit union employee for nearly four decades.

An active and faithful member of the Sheffield United Methodist Church, Ruth Ann does not remember a time when Jesus wasn’t the center of her life. As a certified lay speaker, she had the opportunity to share the Word of Jesus Christ at churches throughout the Kane District. She also served as the Kane District Lay Leader for many years and was a member of the Conference Connectional Leadership Team.

Passionate about working as a missionary, in 2012 Ruth Ann was challenged and blessed to be one of seven individuals from Western Pennsylvania to travel to Zimbabwe, where they each lived, worked, and worshipped for six weeks with a local family as a part of the Zimbabwe Immersion Program.

Ruth Ann felt her call to ministry several years ago, but after completing Licensing School, her dream had to be placed on hold due to family responsibilities. She knew that the plans, so graciously given by God, would come in time. And finally, the day came, and Ruth Ann said with a joyful and thankful heart, “Okay, God. It's time.”
 
About Allegheny Valley Charge
Clarendon: Trinity United Methodist Church's members are older and conservative, with a few who are liberals. Attendance is declining. The Lord has called them to serve him by being involved in the CMA and Prison Ministry.  The church provides Christmas gifts and school backpacks to the inmate’s children plus Bible studies with the inmates.  The five financially to 11 ministries, support local families by providing free winter coats to school age students, ring the bell for our area food pantry, Christmas gifts through Angel Tree and a prayer hotline.  Prior to COVID we have been blessed to have a talented choir and adult SS class. 

Stoneham UM Church dates back to December 29, 1907. It has always been a small congregation, but in its early years there much activity, involving adults as well as children. Even amidst all of the struggles, tensions, pandemic and declining membership the congregation still meets every Sunday, sings their  favorite hymns, enjoys fellowship, and are spiritually fed as they worship and acknowledge God.  The church may be small in numbers, their faith and love of God is great. The five church members are elderly, but manage to get to our church on the hill in all types of weather.  Their hope and prayer is that others in our neighborhood will feel the calling upon them from God to come and see what is behind our doors.  We have verbally and by written invitation invited people to come and patiently anticipate that one day they will come. With prayer and hope in our hearts we feel this just may happen.

The Tiona United Methodist Church includes sinners saved by Grace ranging in age from 90 to 3, with the majority in their 60's and 70's. With Covid restrictions, they averaged about 17 in Sunday worship. They are involved in 11 mission outreach programs with the Clarendon church. They have participated in the Angel Tree project and Shoebox ministry.  Several members are Bell Ringers for the food pantry. They have baked brownies and cookies for the essential workers in their small community. Before Covid they had an active Youth Group of approximately 8-12 youth a week. They like to hold  community  dinners and have a very successful Trunk and Treat each year. But the most important factor is that the church is welcoming. A man who didn't know any of them attended worship one Sunday and was welcomed. He has been for the last 10 years. He said he had attended six other churches before coming to Tiona and what made the difference was not just the people, but that the moment  he entered the church, he felt the presence of the  Holy Spirit and still does.

Zickefoose to Serve Bradford Area Parish

Announced: 05-16-2021
About C. Fred Zickefoose
Fred Zickefoose was born and raised in the Sewickley area and graduated from Quaker Valley High School in 1987. After graduation he entered the workforce, but always seemed to maintain some connection to the church. Fred married his high school sweetheart Joyce in 1992, and they have two grown sons, Josh and John. He was fortunate to officiate at both of their weddings. They also have four wonderful grandchildren.

After moving to Venango County in 2002 the family started attending Barkeyville UMC, where he and Joyce became youth group leaders. During that time the Pastor, Stephanie Thompson, recognized something in Fred and helped him to discern if he was being called into pastoral ministry. She was able to help him realize that there had been a call in his life since his teenage years. Fred entered into his first appointment, a three-point charge in the Greensburg District, in 2012. He is currently serving a two-point charge in the Connellsville District. He completed Course of Study in 2019, attending Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC.

Fred and Joyce will greatly miss the people of the Hyndman area, even as they are excited about this new opportunity to be in ministry with the people of the Bradford Area Parish.
 
 
About Bradford Area Parish
The Bradford Area Parish consists of three churches: West Branch, Asbury and Custer City. Though these churches have been a viable part of their communities for years, they are very young in the make-up of their membership. Due to many of the Saints of old taking up new membership in the heavenly church, many members are fairly new.  All three churches are very active in providing for many needs of economically challenged people in the community. They also make it a goal to support Wesley Woods camp annually through giving and sending young people to camp.

West Branch is a big sponsor of the annual Willow Creek Triathlon which supports veterans of McKean County. Asbury UMC has focused on many community ministry through children's summer lunch programs and a monthly toiletry item ministry providing essentials and hygiene products to those in need. Custer City is located by the most popular ice cream store for miles, known as the Custer City Diner. This congregation has a heart for reaching and sharing the gospel with children through a yearly VBS and a monthly Children’s program known as Kids Night Out. All three congregations center their ministry around relationships within the walls of the church, as well as out into the community.
 

Davis to Serve Homewood UMC

Announced: 05-09-2021
About Jan Davis
Jan Tronzo Davis was born and raised in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, attending the Otterbein and Riverview United Methodist churches and graduating from Beaver Falls High School.

After graduating high school, Jan earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. She also received a Master’s in Social Work from Geneva College. Jan felt a strong calling to ministry over 35 years ago but resisted the Holy Spirit’s promptings. In 2012, during a season in which she and her husband had both been diagnosed with cancer, Jan finally surrendered to God’s call and began her journey into vocational ministry.

Previously, Jan served Koppel UMC and Clinton UMC. She currently serves Central UMC and Bennetts Run UMC in Beaver Falls, and will continue to serve those two churches as she begins her appointment at Homewood UMC. Jan enjoys her work with the feeding ministry in her community. Jan is also Chaplain at Heritage Valley Beaver

Jan’s husband, Terry, passed away in October of 2019 after 36 years of marriage. She has a beautiful daughter, Mallory, and three grandkids, Bryson, Brooke, and Hope.
 
About Homewood United Methodist Church
Homewood United Methodist Church is a small but vibrant and loving community of Christ-followers, located in a quiet and picturesque portion of Beaver Falls, PA. They are a congregation that feels like family, and are always eager to welcome new family members! At Homewood Church, they worship God with conviction, reach out to the community with an eagerness to bless, and love God and one another with a joy that is truly contagious. The  congregation is deep-hearted and mighty in spirit, and fully committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
 

Graham to Serve Bradenville

Announced: 05-09-2021
About Olivia Graham
Although retired for a number of years, Olivia Graham has kept her hand in the life of the local church by serving in retirement in a number of locations. Visitation, pastoral care, and compassion are all strengths that Olivia identifies as being key to her work in pastoral ministry. Those strengths have served her well in the various appointments she has held, and in her affiliation with Bradenville.

Olivia has been involved with the life and ministry of the Bradenville UMC in recent years, and has provided leadership and pulpit supply when Pastor Paul Wilson was ill. The Bishop’s appointment of Rev. Graham to Bradenville is a natural fit with a congregation with whom she already relates and provides leadership and support.
 
About Bradenville United Methodist Church
Formed in 1891, Bradenville is a small church dedicated to worship, learning and reaching out to the community.  Their traditional service starts at 10 AM Sunday.  The congregation especially enjoys summer services, June thru September, where they are held out of doors at their pavilion and picnic grounds.

In conjunction with the volunteer fire department, they organize a community memorial service held Memorial Day weekend.  At Christmas, they provide a service of songs, scriptures and readings to a local senior facility.  They provide winter coats, hat and gloves to Maranatha, along with cash assistance to sponsor one Friday evening meal for homeless Pittsburghers.  The ladies of the church prepare lunches twice a year for the local Meals on Wheels.  Three or four other rotating local needs are also addressed each year. 
 

Jacob Judy to Serve West Alexander

Announced: 05-09-2021
About Jacob Judy
Jacob Judy graduated from West Greene High School, attended Waynesburg University, graduating with a B.A. in 2006, and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2019. He's currently working toward a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Leadership at PTS. Jake has served the Fairall Charge in the Washington District for seven years. He serves as facilitator of a Clergy Communities of Practice group and was a member of the Conference Task Force for a Way Forward.

Jake loves to read theology and engage in intellectually challenging conversations and he enjoys teaching. He's hosted an ecumenical online Bible Study for the past three years and in 2020 began teaching Introduction to the Old Testament at Waynesburg University. 

He has been married to Juliane Marie for 11 years and they are the parents of two energetic, intelligent and loving children, Lydia, 9, and Levi, 6.

Jake played football in high school and was a wrestler in both high school and college. He still enjoys watching and following both sports. He also plays the guitar for his own enjoyment. 
About West Alexander United Methodist Church
Located in a rural Washington County community between I-70 and the National Road (U.S. 40) near the West Virginia state line, the West Alexander congregation recently completed a new building and looks forward to fully using it.  The congregation is involved in community outreach ministries, including the local food pantry, has a pantry box where anyone in need can get get items. The church offers a Bible studies and VBS. They work have worked with other area churches to support Rise Against Hunger. Their yearly mission trips include those from other United Methodist churches and other congregations. 

Landman to Serve South Fork

Announced: 05-09-2021
About Randy Landman
Rev. Randy Landman was born and raised just outside of Uniontown, PA.  Pastor Randy gave his heart to Jesus when he was 13 years old.  He graduated from Laurel Highlands High School, then attended the University of Pittsburgh where he earned a BS in Chemistry.  Near the end of his junior year of college, Pastor Randy sensed a call to full-time Christian ministry.  After graduating from Pitt, he attended and graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary with a M.Div. degree. 

Pastor Randy has pastored churches in both Los Angeles, CA, and in Western Pennsylvania, and is currently the pastor at both the Herminie UMC and First UMC of West Newton, in the Greensburg District.  He stresses preaching and teaching the Bible.  Additionally, Pastor Randy believes that the Gospel is spread not only from the pulpit, but through the development of relationships. 

Pastor Randy loves reading, traveling, sports (he is a big-time Pirate and Steeler fan), and anything historical…not to mention virtually any kind of donut. 

Pastor Randy is married to Dawn, who is the ideal ministry spouse.  Over the past 23+ years of marriage, Randy and Dawn have had three wonderful girls.  Mollie, a widow who was married to Brady Hunker who is now in Heaven, is a student at Grove City College.  Malorie is in 8th grade and Mylie is in 5th grade.  Additionally, no mention of the Landman family would be complete without Muffie and Maui, two Ragdoll cats who are most certainly a part of the family.  While the pastor is the one appointed to a church, the Landman family see themselves as a ministry family, realizing the great honor and responsibility of being able to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
 
About South Fork First UMC
South Fork First United Methodist Church is located along PA Route 219 in Cambria County. The congregation traces its roots to the early 1800's. Attendance remains strong with a vibrant worship experience.

The church supports a robust Christian Education program. Youth and children's ministry continues to be a strong emphasis at the church, with a large youth group and two children's groups -- the Lil Frogs (ages 3-3rd grade) and the God Squad (4th-6th Grade). Outreach to children includes a large VBS program and a Bunny Breakfast. The Church supports and assists sending its children and youth to camp each summer. There are also several adult Sunday School classes and other classes for all age levels.

South Fork First UMC congregation has several talented musicians and has several choirs: an adult choir, a men's choir, youth choir, children's choir and a children's bell choir. The church also supports various ministries in the community, such as food pantries and a Helping Hands Ministry, and is heavily involved with the Forest Hills Ministerium. South Fork has always been faithful in its worship, witness, and generosity.

Melissa Geisler To Serve Franklin First UMC

Announced: 05-09-2021
About Melissa Geisler
Melissa Geisler was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and has earned several degrees, an Associate of Arts in Elementary Education from Broward Community College, a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of South Florida and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. She is currently working on a Master’s degree in Social Work from Edinboro University.

Melissa’s life has always been nurtured by the church. Activities she participated in as a youth and college student confirmed her call to ministry. She was commissioned as a Diaconal Minister of Christian Education in 1992 and was ordained an elder in 2016.

She served as an Associate Pastor for the Community Churches Charge in Washington, PA (Beallsville UMC, Mt. Zion UMC, Marianna UMC, Taylor UMC, and Centerville UMC), and as Senior Pastor at both Trinity UMC and Lawrence Park UMC in Erie, PA. 

Her spiritual gifts include teaching, helping, and administration.  Personal interests include spending as much time as she can with family, searching for sea glass on the shores of Lake Erie, reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, crafts, and walking. Melissa is the mother of two young men (Andrew, 18 and Caleb, 21) and the wife of 25+ years to Ron, an Ordained Elder in the Western PA Annual Conference
About Franklin: First UMC
First UMC in Franklin is a friendly, welcoming congregation located in the heart of downtown Franklin. The congregation is involved in the Franklin Ministerium and participates in its mission and worship events. Additionally they support many local, Conference and international ministries. They offer a free community dinner on a monthly basis for their neighbors in the area.

Randolph to Serve Freeport, Natrona Heights Grace

Announced: 05-09-2021
About Diane Randolph
Diane Curry Randolph is Pittsburgh born. Raised in Mt. Calvary Church, she is an honors graduate of Wilkinsburg High and Geneva College. She attended Greater Works Outreach School of Ministry, focusing on pastoral counseling. She matriculated at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where she experienced her calling to the UMC and earned her M.Div (including a Missiology Intensive, an Urban Ministry Certificate, and field education at Charter Oak UMC).
 
Prior to vocational ministry, Diane worked as an Engineering Apprentice, Research Technician, and Control Teller respectively for Westinghouse, Carnegie-Mellon, Magee and Presbyterian Hospital Laboratories, Mellon Bank, and Allegheny County.
 
Currently Associate Pastor of South Hills Partnership, Diane previously served Millvale UMC. She serves on the Church Union Board and has done mission work in Jamaica, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and Lesotho.
 
Her passion is worldwide justice; ethical, social, and economic. Spiritual growth is her focus, reflected in her coaching approach to leadership.
 
The granddaughter of a Methodist pastor, Diane accepted her call to ministry as a young wife and mother of three and is now the proud grandmother of three young grandchildren.
 
About Freeport UMC and Natrona Heights Grace UMC
In the heart of the Pittsburgh area’s Allegheny Valley, Freeport UMC and Natrona Heights Grace UMC have both a vibrant history and a future that is rich with potential. Both congregations navigated the pandemic with patience and compassion and now look forward to a post-pandemic resurgence of creative worship, high-impact outreach, and a joyful commitment to sharing the love of Jesus.

The churches want to be known for their radical hospitality, their commitment to Biblical teaching and consistent disciple-making, and their unwavering devotion to Jesus, his grace, his Lordship, and his love. They are entering a new season of figuring out how best to build some Christ-shaped bridges between the hearts of our people and the deepest needs of our communities. They love being a Christ-honoring United Methodist presence in the Allegheny Valley!
 

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