2023 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

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Sorted by Announced Date


C. Fugate Appointed to Serve Erie: Wesley

Announced: 03-05-2023
About Caleb Fugate
Caleb was born and raised in the heart of western Pennsylvania --- Punxsutawney. Having been a member of Punxsutawney First UMC from the time he was eight, serving in choirs, youth groups, tech teams, conference page, Youth Ministry Council, and even as a lay preacher as a teenager, he has been surrounded by the wonderful people called Methodists. He attended Messiah College and graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in religion and communications. He attended Seminary at Duke Divinity School and graduated in 2019 with his M.Div.  Caleb has since served at Clymer Charge as a Campus Minister for IUP Campus ministry. He met the love of his life, Jessie, while serving in Indiana, and they were recently married on Oct 1st, 2022. One of Caleb’s joys as a United Methodist has been serving alongside his brother and father. Though not originally a family of pastors, they all heard their call to ministry at similar times.

One of Caleb’s passions in ministry is reaching college students and helping them grow in their faith and love of the Church. He has worked with college students for the past seven years at Duke and IUP and loves to see campuses transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ. In addition, he enjoys hunting, hiking, ultimate frisbee (really any outdoor recreational activity), writing, and enjoying a good movie with his wife. All in all, he is just blessed to be a worker in God’s kingdom.
About Erie: Wesley
Wesley United Methodist Church is situated in the urban suburb of Wesleyville in the Erie Metro Area.  The congregation has a rich history dating back to the original settlement of became Wesleyville. The community took its name from the Methodist Church building that it surrounded.  The congregation has continued to be a community oriented congregation that seeks to serve Christ by serving its community.  Its expansive facility includes the Church building and the Wesley Center which contains a gym, fellowship hall, kitchen and meeting rooms.  These facilities positon the congregation to be involved in ministry that reaches the whole person. The congregation is involved in youth and children’s ministry and feeding ministries that reach the whole community. Wesley seeks to be a welcoming and life transforming congregation. The core values of the congregation best depict their vision for this ministry:
We strive to live by:  Love
We strive to pursue:  Personal transformation
We strive to build:  Community
We strive to:  Take Risks
We strive to:  Celebrate with each other!
Located less than 2 miles from the Penn State Behrend Campus, Wesley UM provides an opportunity for Rev. Fugate to employ his gifts with college students and youth to expand the existing outreach of the Wesley Congregation.  His passion for biblical teaching and relational style of pastoral care should help the Wesley congregation to continue to fulfill its vision for ministry

Smith Appointed to Clarion: First UMC

Announced: 03-05-2023
About Jodie Smith
Jodie is a native of New Castle and has been part of the United Methodist Church all of her life. She graduated from Slippery Rock University with a BS degree in Education and while serving as a substitute teacher, a legal secretary and in public relations and marketing, she felt a call to ministry. After beginning her seminary career at MTSO, she graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2002. Jodie was ordained an Elder in 2005 and served White Chapel UMC and the Redbank Valley United Methodist Ministry before being appointed as the Franklin District Superintendent in 2017 and then the Indiana District Superintendent in 2021. Jodie is excited and grateful to be appointed to First Church in Clarion to return to the ministry of the local church, which she firmly believes can change the life of individuals, communities and even the world, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the fellowship of believers. Jodie and her husband Jerry look forward to being apart of the Clarion community.
About Clarion: First

First United Methodist Church’s core value is “WE ARE ONE CHURCH!

It is an amazing adventure to step out in faith and offer the hope and healing of Christ. We believe in the transformation of the whole person--physically, emotionally and spiritually--whether they are in our community or the other side of the world.” The congregation is faithful in living out this value through their traditional and contemporary worship services, education opportunities for all ages, youth group, annual mission project, Love Cupboard food pantry, fellowship gatherings and hosting community groups among many other ways that they shine the light of Christ in their community and beyond.

Spencer to Serve Trinity Tower

Announced: 03-05-2023
About Greg Spencer
Greg Spencer was born in Erie, PA and raised in both Titusville and Warren, PA. He graduated  from the University of Mount Union with a BA in Psychology and is also a graduate of Drew Theological School with a Master of Divinity degree. 

Greg currently serves Trinity UMC in Brackenridge. He previously served Cambridge Springs, Armagh, Garden City, Bradford First, Ebenezer/Rockawalkin in Hebron, MD; South Greensburg; Valier Charge and Cochranton. He has worked with various camping and youth ministries, serving as the Erie-Meadville District Youth Coordinator, Canoe Camp Dean, and Adventure Camp Dean. He has served on a number of other conference and district committees. 

Greg is married to Christine and is father to sons Benjamin and Jackson. He enjoys camping and spending time at the beach, and his hobbies include martial arts, music, skiing, travel, and water sports. Greg is passionate about making Christian faith and discipleship attractive, accessible, practical, enjoyable and effective for all people. “Live your faith!” is the message he stands by. 
About Trinity Tower
Trinity Tower United Methodist Church is a faith community in the eastern part of Allegheny County, serving the communities of Penn Hills, Plum, Verona, Oakmont & Murrysville. The church’s stated mission is to love God and call people to become His disciples to make a difference in our world.
The congregation is known as a mission & outreach oriented church, supporting a variety of mission groups including being the primary support for a local Food Pantry, a purse ministry for the women’s shelters of Pittsburgh, and a Disaster Recovery Mission Team that takes an annual mission week with UMCOR to a region of the USA.  Hilltop Preschool also meets in the building five days a week.
Worship and prayer are still the primary concentration of church life, through such activities as two worship services: Contemporary & Traditional, Livestream worship, Monday evening Zoom prayer time, Vocal Choir, Bell Choir, Praise Team and a weekly Bible Study.

Hernan to Serve College Ave UMC

Announced: 02-26-2023
About Robert Patrick Hernan
Rob was born and raised in Franklin, PA. He graduated from Franklin Area High School in 1985 and from Clarion University in 1991. He attended seminary at MTSO, graduating in 1998.
Before entering ministry, Rob worked as a radio DJ, stand-up comic, camp counselor, dish-washer, library aide, reader for the blind, English tutor, and teaching assistant.
Since 1994, Rob has served 14 churches on six charges in 5 districts across 2 annual conferences. He’s served as a chaplain at Wesley Woods, a director at Camp Allegheny, a member of the Board at Olmsted Manor, and taught both intro and advanced courses for Lay Ministry School in three different Districts. He has also served in various ways on the local, District, and Conference levels.
Rob has a passion for preaching and teaching, worship and liturgy, poetry, and movies.
He’s married to Bridgot, and they have three children: Shelby, Aae, and Lucas.
About College Ave UMC
College Avenue UMC (CAUMC) is a new congregation formed from College Hill UMC and Beaver UMC. Sunday School for all ages is at 10 am and Sunday worship service is at 11 am from the fall to the spring. Sunday worship is at 10 am during the summer. Several capital improvements have been made over the last few years, including air conditioning in the sanctuary and a large kitchen renovation. Eight recovery groups use the church building during the week. A women’s group continues to thrive. The Courtney Memorial Library provides Christian literature and great literature to the preschool, church, and community. The preschool continues to enjoy a season of stability and improvement.

J. Balliet to Serve Linesville/Harmonsburg Charge

Announced: 02-12-2023
About John Balliet
Prior to ministry, John had thirty years’ experience in management, specializing in training, facility management, and conflict resolution. John also successfully founded and operated two small businesses. John completed his undergraduate work at Geneva College in Public Relations/Crisis Management in 2019, and his Master of Divinity at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2022.
John loves to bring the reality of the gospel through a "rubber meets the road" ministry, meeting people where they are at, and walking with them in a ministry of reconciliation and healing. John currently serves with his wife Kendra in the West Bedford Cooperative Parish, each bringing their own gifts and graces.
Previously, John served the Fishertown Charge and Harmony Charge in Johnstown District, and the Clymer Charge in the Indiana District. John and Kendra have a blended family of five children, and two grand-teens. John enjoys nature, long walks, travel, quiet time, reading, research, and family time. 
About LInesville/Harmonsburg Charge
About Linesville UMC
Linesville United Methodist is a small but important congregation in the borough of Linesville PA.  It is very active in community and ecumenical ministry, sharing outreach efforts with other congregations in the area.  The congregation values Ecumenical ministry through the local Ministerial Association that includes both lay and clergy representation.  They are involved in a clothing ministry, a food distribution program in the local school system and a community food pantry.  Among the ministries in which members share their gifts are, an outreach to a local rehabilitation facility, music ministry, and Sunday School.  Their disciple making plan includes Bible Study, small groups and local mission involvement.  Their proximity to Pymatuning State Park make them a favorite worship site for tourists and campers in the summer season. 
About Harmonsburg
Harmonsburg United Methodist Church is set in the center of a small rural village. The congregation strives to be a place where “everyone is known and everyone matters.”   The congregation values building good relationships and works hard at outreach and welcoming ministries.  As the “only Church in town” they are a spiritual and social center this community of 400 persons. They house a food bank that distributes food to needy families in the area. Bible studies and social gatherings are an important part of their disciple-making plan. “” Doughnut Tuesdays” are a popular gathering at the Church where the whole community is invited for fellowship.
Rev. Balliet’s relational style and strong pastoral care and preaching skills should strengthen these congregations in their efforts to love their communities into Christian discipleship.

K. Balliet to Serve Meadville: Stone/Bethany Charge

Announced: 02-12-2023
About Kendra L. Balliet
Kendra Balliet’s calling to ministry was not her first vocation. For the first 20 years of employment, Kendra was a teacher. She knew she would not always stay in the classroom, but she anticipated she would remain in education, probably moving to administration. She has remained in both, just a different context. Kendra was an ordained elder in full connection at the 2021 annual conference. She is a graduate of United Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and concentration in leadership and revitalization. She also graduated from Clarion University of PA with a BS in elementary education and a MS in special education. Kendra was raised in Brockway and DuBois.
     Kendra is currently serving at the West Bedford Cooperative Parish consisting of Alum Bank, Buffalo Mills, Helixville, Mt. Union, New Paris, Pine Grove, Point, and Sloans Hollow United Methodist Churches. She brings the message to Buffalo Mills UMC, Alum Bank UMC, and Point UMC weekly. She has served the Mahaffey Area Larger Parish, the Clymer Charge, the Luthersburg Charge, the Shawnee Charge and has served as an interim supply associate pastor for Moorhead UMC, and the Luthersburg Charge.
      Kendra’s husband, John, serves as the co-pastor of the West Bedford Cooperative Parish in western Bedford County. John has attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with graduation and commissioning in 2022. Kendra’s three children and John’s two children are all grown leaving them empty nesters.  They also have two teenage grandchildren who are adults-in-training.
      Kendra and John enjoy doing ministry together through joint worship services, visitation, and a whole host of other activities as their gifts blend well for serving.
About Meadville: Stone/Bethany Charge
About Bethany
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. This small and vital congregation partners with this initiative to accomplish significant ministry in its neighborhood.

About Stone United Methodist Church
Stone UMC has rich history in the story of the Methodist movement in the Northwestern Pennsylvania region.  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.  In order to develop its outreach into the community, the congregation recently invested in state of the art technology in order 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. Balliet’s has a passion for teaching the gospel in ways that lead others into community engagement. These gifts should benefit the congregations of Bethany and Stone as they seek to serve their community for Christ.   

Fickley to Serve Dutilh UMC

Announced: 01-01-2023
About Bud Fickley
Bud Fickley was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA where he graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School. He graduated with a BSME in Mechanical Engineering from Grove City College. Since graduating from Grove City College, Bud has served as the Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry at Slippery Rock UMC, the Director of Youth and Program Ministry at First UMC – Murrysville, and most recently as the Director of Student Ministries at Dutilh UMC.  In addition to serving the local church, Bud has been involved with conference youth events and supported Annual Conference and other conference event with the tech teams.

Bud is passionate about connecting students with a faith that is their own and supporting parents in being a part of the faith development of their students.  He also has a passion for worship.

He has been married to his wife Grace for 9 years and they have 3 boys, Tripp (5), Elliot (3), and Liam (infant).  Bud enjoys camping, cooking, and any project that involved tools.  As a family, they enjoy spending time at the park, traveling, and any activity that involves friends and family.
About Dutilh United Methodist Church
Dutilh UMC was born in 1844 when two farming families started worshiping together in a barn. 178 years later Dutilh UMC is a vibrant congregation seeking to make disciples of Jesus Christ who love God, love others, and love to serve. Serving in the heart of Cranberry Township, the congregation’s vision is to form a community where everyone is known by name, loved for who they are, and empowered to follow Jesus Christ.