2023 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Go to summary listing

Sorted by Announced Date


Anderson to Serve Faith Community UMC

Announced: 04-30-2023
About Emmett Anderson, Jr.
Emmett Anderson, Jr. began ministry in 1977 at the North Indiana Conference. He moved to the Western PA Conference in 1989 and was ordained Elder in 1991. Over the course of ministry he served: Northern Indiana Conference:  Tipton: Kemp 1977-1980; Southern Indiana Conference: Whitewater/ Middleboro February 1987-1989 in Richmond, IN, and the following churches in WPA Conference: Brockport Charge: Brockport/Brandy Camp/Kersey/Toby 1989-1991; Purchase Line 1991-1993; Emerickville 1993-October 15, 1997; Pittsfield: Otterbein October 15, 1997-2002; Grampian Circuit: Chestnut Grove/Grampian: Curry Run/Grampian: Saint Paul/ Hepburnia 2002-2013; Beaver: First 2013-2018. In 2018 he retired in the Beaver Falls area.

Emmett has filled the pulpit for several churches during retirement and looks forward to serving part time at Faith Community on Jefferson, Rochester, PA.

Emmett’s wife, Cindy works at Geneva College as Student Account Manager. Both of his sons are married. Christopher, Ashley, Lydia and Livi live in Fairmount City, PA. Nathan and Christina live in Allison Park, PA.

About Faith Community UMC
Faith Community United Methodist Church has been serving the Rochester area since 1867. In 2014, they boldly opened a second campus at the former Zion UMC in Rochester. First UMC was renamed Faith Community with two campuses, referring to the 341 Jefferson Street location as Faith on Jefferson, and Faith on 68 in the former Zion UMC location, and also joining in ministry with Riverview UMC.

2023 finds the faithful congregation of Faith on Jefferson going solo after the closing of Faith on 68 and the disaffiliation of Riverview UMC. This congregation is serving the Rochester community with many outreach ministries, including Nu-2-U clothing cupboard, monthly free community dinners, and a relationship of approximately 50 years with the Beaver County Mental Health families with multiple events throughout the year including picnic, prom, and Christmas party.

Faith Community is populated with active “doers” and gifted with great lay leadership and music. They bring the word of God to their neighbors and gladly follow Christ’s command to “GO!” We look forward to turning the page on the next version of Faith Community with our newly-appointed pastor.

Bell to Serve Sheakleyville/Calvary Charge

Announced: 04-30-2023
About Sally Bell
Pastor Sally Bell was born and raised in Altoona, Pa. She attended West Virginia University in Morgantown, earning a bachelor degree in journalism. Later, she attended the Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh, where she earned an associate degree in veterinary technology.

Pastor Sally is receiving a Master in Divinity degree after graduating from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO).

Pastor Sally is a licensed local pastor in the Western PA Conference of the United Methodist Church. She is currently serving Calvary UMC in Greenville as senior pastor. She lives with her husband, Drew Bell, and son, Alex, in Hermitage. Pastor Drew Bell is currently serving New Virginia UMC in Hermitage. 
Pastor Sally, Drew, and Alex love family time. They enjoy reading, art, and nature. Their family is extended to include two dogs, a cat, two birds, three guinea pigs, and a hermit crab.
Pastor Sally received her call into ministry while serving as a lay speaker for Polk UMC in the Franklin District. Pastor Sally is a firm believer that, as the apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy, all scripture is inspired by God and equips followers for good works (3:16). Everything we need to know about life can be found in scripture! Pastor Sally is passionate about developing relationship with Jesus Christ and being in community with others. She focuses on Jesus’ commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22: 39) in her ministry. 

About Sheakleyville/Calvary
The Sheakleyville/Calvary Charge is a new alignment of churches in the Franklin district; Sheakleyville UMC, North Salem UMC and Calvary UMC in Greenville. The congregations look forward to continuing ongoing ministries as well as working together in this new charge under Pastor Sally’s leadership.

Lee to Serve Butler: First UMC as Associate Pastor

Announced: 04-30-2023
About Sang Hak Lee
Sang Hak Lee was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, in a devoted Christian household. He learned how to serve God and His church through observing his grandfather, who planted several churches in Korea in the early 20th century, and his father, who planted a church in Seoul after the Korean War. He adopted his family’s multigenerational calling to extend God’s Kingdom and take care of His people. 

Sang Hak earned his Bachelor’s in Theology at HyupSung University. He has a Master of Theology degree from the Korean Methodist Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity degree from KangNam University in Korea. He has studied at the Asbury Theological Seminary
in Wilmore, Kentucky for his doctorate.

Sang Hak Lee was originally ordained in Korea and has since served in churches around Korea and the United States as a minister and pastor. He has served in Seoul (a Megacity), Suji, Korea (a suburban area), Uljin, Korea (a Fishing Village), Moongyeong, Korea (a Mountain village), and various towns in Kansas. He has planted two churches in Uljin and Moongyeong, among other places in Korea.
Sang Hak served as the president of Cozy Mind, an organization that supports children and senior citizens who live alone in Korea. He was the pastor of the Christian High Schools’ Union, the representative of a Counseling Clinic, and a Camp Director for a college students’ summer retreat camp of the Korean Methodist Church. 

Sang Hak Lee is a licensed Sexual Violence Counselor and Domestic Violence Counselor by the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family Republic of Korea. He was fully trained for the overseas mission hosted by the Korean Methodist Church in Seoul, Korea.

At the Great Plains Conference in Kansas and Nebraska, Sang Hak was a member of the Connecting Council and the Convener of the Mission Alignment Team. He also acted as a member of DCOM and was a Network leader in the Salina District.

Sang Hak’s passion is for ministry and aspires to extend God’s Kingdom on Earth and to make and support disciples of Jesus Christ. His spiritual gifts for ministry are preaching, pastoral care, and building up discipleship programs.  

He is married to Jong Youn Lee, and they have two daughters: Ye Joo and Ye Gang Lee. Ye Joo is a law student at Columbia Law School in New York City, and Ye Gang is a sophomore at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS.

About Butler: First UMC
First Church is a multi-campus, community-driven church located in Butler, Pennsylvania. The initial charter of the First United Methodist Church in Butler was in 1825. In 1903, construction began on the current downtown stone structure. This Downtown Campus boasts the original stained-glass windows, an amazing pipe organ, and significant connection to the community through a weekly feeding ministry and a ministry center that partners with local community organizations to provide assistance to families in our area. The Route 8 Campus houses the God’s Country Service on Saturday night and the contemporary Crossfire Service on Sunday morning. The mission embraced by the congregation is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of Butler, PA, and beyond. Worship, community outreach, and discipleship at First Church is energizing and spirit-filled.

Mason to Serve Otterbein UMC

Announced: 04-30-2023
About Debra Mason
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Debra Mason has worked in large corporations, nonprofits, higher education, and as a business owner. She relocated to Pittsburgh in 1993 with the Xerox Corporation, where she worked as a senior staff member in sales, staffing and development, and client operations. She has also served as the Director of the Office of Racial Diversity and Inclusion for the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh.
In 2004 she started her own firm, Victory Management, an organizational management and employee consulting/training business specializing in diversity, leadership, and process improvement.  In 2011, Debra began work at Seton Hill University’s Woman Business Center as their Education and Training Manager.  In 2015, she became Seton Hill University’s first Diversity & Inclusion Officer.
The highlight of Debra’s career, however, was when she was appointed pastor of John Wesley UMC in Washington, PA in 2013. Preaching, teaching and providing pastoral care has created a desire for Debra to be in full-time ministry.
Debra was appointed Coordinator of Diversity Development and Inclusion for the Western PA Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2020.

About Otterbein UMC
In 1854, Otterbein’s roots in downtown Greensburg began in the United Brethren tradition. The current building is the third facility and second location. Otterbein has a beautiful stone façade with a large dome at the top and giant red doors that make it a distinct edifice in the area. When you come instead, the dome is a beautiful stained glass piece of art that has everyone looking up when they enter the sanctuary.
Otterbein UMC has a lively and diverse congregation who are incredibly welcoming. The congregation is well-known for outreach especially with our neighbors in need. We have become a safe haven for those who are struggling. 

Corner to Serve Coalport Charge

Announced: 04-23-2023
About Larry Corner
Larry Corner grew up in Crawford County.  His undergraduate studies were completed at Edinboro University of PA, and he has a Master of Divinity from Ashland Theological Seminary.  He has served at several United Methodist churches all in the WPA Conference and he currently serves at Crosstown Ministries at Punxsutawney.  He and his wife Cindy have been married 43 years and they have one adult son, Nathan.  He tends to read a little (usually before bed) and he enjoys an occasional stroll with Cindy. He tries to do his best to help people sort out who God in Christ is and how this is presently working in their lives.  

About Coalport Charge
The churches of this charge are Glen Hope, Irvona, and Coalport: First. The churches are located in the northeast corner of Johnstown District in Clearfield County.
Glen Hope’s ministry started when circuit riders as early as 1820 from the Baltimore Conference. Services at Irvona were first held about 1888 in a school house. Colaport First was created as the merger of two churches, Coalport First Methodist Episcopal Church and Coalport Christ United Brethren in 1971 but their ministries started in 1880’s. They all have a heart for God and share the love of God with people. They are known for their helping hands in various mission projects for the community.

Dixon to Serve Luthersburg/Mt. Zion Charge

Announced: 04-23-2023
About Ann Dixon
Born and raised in Salamanca, New York, Ann moved to Pennsylvania for a job in St Mary’s, PA. She then attended DuBois Business College majoring in Accounting - Business Administration. After graduation she worked at North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission for almost 29 years. To supplement her income she also worked at several retail department stores. Ann is currently working at Ross Dress for Less.
Ann’s first pastoral assignment was as a supply pastor at the Grampian Charge. As a Local Pastor she was appointed to Sigel UMC, Tylersburg UMC and the Good Shepherd Charge. She is currently serving as the pastor at Emerickville UMC.
Ann’s ministry passion has always been mission work. She has served with a team in Guatemala since 2009.  Projects in Guatemala included, concrete flooring, roofing, constructing beds, installing stoves as well as medical and humanitarian aid. The mission trips to Guatemala were life changing.
Ann and her husband Scott, reside in Falls Creek, PA along where there fur babies Zac and Zoe who allow them to live with them. They have three granddaughters in Virginia.

About Luthersburgh/Mt. Zion Charge
The Luthersburg/Mt. Zion charge consists of Luthersburg UMC, Home Camp UMC, Salem UMC and Dubois: Mt. Zion in the Indiana District. These churches have been working together as two charges and have now decided to become one charge. Pastor Ann Dixon will be serving as a co-pastor with Rev. Nancy Shute. The churches are committed to reaching out to the communities with the love of Jesus Christ.

Findley to Serve Resilient Charge

Announced: 04-23-2023
About Len Findley

Len Findley is a Local Licensed Pastor born in Windber Pennsylvania. Pastor Len heard the call to ministry while serving in Sunday School at the age of thirteen. After Graduation from Windber Area High School, he received his Associate degree in Accounting Management from the ICM School of Business and spent most of the first part of his life working in the Automobile industry, eventually answering the call to ministry in 2011.

Len grew up in the United Church of Christ for 25 years before becoming a member of Elton United Methodist Church in 2001. In answer to his call, Len began as a Lay Speaker and then a Certified Lay speaker. From 2010-2019 Len began serving as a part-time Local Licensed Pastor in the Ferndale Charge.  Then he began with the Coalport Charge in 2020. Len graduated from the Course of Study school in Spring Heights West Virginia and has been serving as a mentor for other Local Licensed Pastors.

Len understands the intricacies of the small membership church, especially working within multi-point charges. He loves participating in kids programs even sponsoring his own puppet ministry. He is passionate about preaching the gospel and translating it to today’s world.
Len has been married to his beautiful wife Deborah for 2.5 years. Len has two kids, Zack and Brandon who both graduated in 2019 from Ferndale Area High School. Len and Deborah are looking forward to this new ministry opportunity in Northern Pennsylvania. 

About Resilient Charge (Smethport, Eldred, Ceres)
Eldred UMC is in a small town in rural northwestern Pennsylvania. As is the case with most small rural communities, everyone knows your name and often your business, but a more caring, giving and compassionate place would be hard to come by. The congregation reflects those same characteristics. As one active member put it: "We are family. We laugh together, work together and play together, support and encourage one another and yes, even disagree sometimes, but through it all we stay united. United in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

The Ceres Church is over 230 years old, it set on Pa. and Ny state line. There about 20 to 25 people who come to it . It has a good faith in God, and they always start the service with praise songs. One of the outreaches the church has is the food bank in Shinglehouse. Another thing the Ceres does is their prayer for the member of the church. The Ceres church wants to stay a traditional church in the UMC. 

Fuska Appointed to Johnstown: First UMC

Announced: 04-16-2023
About Bernie Fuska
Bernie Fuska has served as an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren since 1975.  He pastored two churches in Johnstown (Pleasant Hill and Scalp Level) before he and his wife Debbie moved to Virginia in 1992.  It was there that Bernie accepted a call to serve as full-time pastor of the Timberville congregation and Debbie taught at “Morning With My Friends Preschool” sponsored by the church.  They both retired from their positions after thirty years in Timberville and moved back to Johnstown in August of 2022.  Bernie and Debbie are glad to be back “home” in the town where they were born and raised.  They are enjoying time here with blended family members including six children and thirteen grandchildren.  Bernie has accepted invitations to provide pulpit supply in Presbyterian, United Methodist and Church of the Brethren congregations since returning to Johnstown.  Bernie has cultivated a love for preaching, Bible study and pastoral caring for nearly 50 years of full-time pastoral ministry.  He remains open to the Spirit’s call as he discerns and accepts this appointment at Johnstown First.
Bernie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministry from St. Francis College (now University) in Loretto, PA.  His Master’s thesis focused on “Conflict Transformation in the Local Congregation.”  He welcomes opportunities for formal continuing education.  However, some of his best learning experiences still come from sharing with pastoral colleagues as well as members of congregations he serves.    

About Johnstown: First UMC
First United Methodist Church began in 1838 as a United Brethren “class.”  In 1943 a church was organized known as First United Brethren Church of Johnstown.  Our current building was built in 1910.
In 1946 the Church was the scene of the merger of the United Brethren with the Evangelical denomination, becoming known as “First Evangelical United Brethren Church.   In 1968 it participated in the merger of the Evangelical United Brethren denomination and the Methodist denomination, becoming First United Methodist Church of Johnstown.  It also was involved in the merger between the Evangelical United Brethren Conference and the Methodist Conference of Western Pennsylvania, which became the Western Pennsylvania conference of the United Methodist Church.
In 1996 the General Conference of The United Methodist Church designated First United Methodist Church of Johnstown as a “Heritage Landmark.”
First Church has survived three major floods, 1889, 1936 and 1977, bouncing back each time to continue their mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ.  We previously hosted the United Methodist Human Services, and currently host several AA meetings in our efforts to reach out to the community.

Check to Serve Christ Community UMC

Announced: 04-16-2023
About Dawn Lynn Check
Dawn Lynn grew up in Braddock Hills, PA and has been a lifelong United Methodist. She received her BA in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She began her career in broadcast media at WTAE as a producer for Myron Cope and Stan Savran. She continued her media career at KDKA and freelanced for the Post-Gazette as well as other media outlets.
Dawn Lynn pursued her call to ministry and graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a MDiv. She began serving as Executive Director United Campus Ministry representing seven denominations at the Chatham College, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh. She has served as pastor at Swissvale, Janes UMC, West Side and Dravosburg UMCs, Freeport and Grace UMCs and Otterbein UMC in Greensburg. Dawn Lynn was also the director of communications for WPAUMC. She is the chair of Church & Society for the conference.
Discovering ways to reach people through creative communication is one of Dawn Lynn’s passions. She is adamant about continuing her education to keep pace with the changing climate in church ministry.
Dawn Lynn has been married to Doran for 35 years and has three adult children—Jacob, AJ and Regan. She loves Disney World, reading, and spending time with her four canine kids.  

About Christ Community UMC
Christ Community United Methodist Church is a diverse congregation where backgrounds, views, age, race, and faith stories are varied.  We have a casual service and traditional service to allow for various types of worship and communion is served the first Sunday of every month.  The traditional service is on Facebook live.
At the center of our community of faith is a deep desire to know, serve and be more like Jesus Christ.  Our unity is not uniformity.  We hope others will feel welcomed here and find something that touches them with God’s grace.  We are a caring and giving congregation that reaches out to the community in various ways to share God’s love with everyone. 
We have a large preschool that serves not only Butler, but the surrounding area and offers a safe, loving environment for children.  We have several groups within the church such as quilters, sewing group, and prayer shawl group.  The church is a meeting place for several groups such as Intermediate League,  PASR (retired teachers), Girl Scouts, and AA meets weekly at the church.

Brown to Serve the Wattsburg/Phillipsville Charge

Announced: 04-16-2023
About Terry Brown
Terry is a graduate of the Course of Study from Appalachian Local Pastors School in Barbourville, Ky. He heard God’s call at 21 after being discharged from the Navy and was led to teach Jr. high Sunday school. It was at Valley UM in Conneautville where he and his wife Kathy both taught and served as youth leaders. He spent 30 years leading youth to Christ, then eight years teaching the over 65 class. For many years he served as a Certified Lay Speaker and filled the pulpit in many churches in the Crawford County area.

Terry and his wife Kathy have been married 50 yrs. with two grown children and five grandsons. Their daughter is the pianist at Lake Pleasant UM and their son pastors at Hydetown. They have always worked as a team in ministry, serving part of that time at Meadville Medical Center in the Stepping Stones program as volunteer counselors to families of alcoholics and drug addicts.  Terry has served as a Scout Master, as a Fireman, Fire Police and EMT. He sang as a lead in Yesterday’s Sound Barbershop chorus and the MBRRS quartet as well as the tree topper in Conneaut Lake Trinity UM living Christmas tree. While pastoring at Enterprise he was a cook at the Titusville Food Pantry. He is retired after 41 years as a Master Electrician from Meadville Forging. Having reached mandatory retirement age, Terry will gain the status of a retired local pastor, but will continue to serve in this new appointment as a part-time retired local pastor.

Terry and Kathy have served at Diamond UM, Diamond / Enterprise charge, and the New Ireland / Lake Pleasant charge. They are excited to have been called to serve by pastoring the Wattsburg / Phillipsville charge.

About Wattsburg and Phillipsville
The Wattsburg/Phillipsville Charge is composed of two small congregations in the borough of Wattsburg and in the rural village of Phillipsville. The congregations have a long history of working together in outreach and ministry. Significant community ministry is done by both Churches and they enthusiastically support EUMA, Ramps of Hope, Chosen Ministries and Love Inc. through funding and volunteerism.  They have a history of both global and regional mission trips. A school release program, called Kid’s Alive has been an important part of their ministry in the past. They have hopes of a restart. The Churches collect school supplies for the local elementary school; staff a Baby Changing Station at the Erie County Fair in Wattsburg; and participate in an Angel Tree ministry, through the local food pantry. Both congregations share an intentional discipleship plan that includes many short term small group studies, as well as promoting opportunities for service and witness.
Pastor Brown’s experience as a local pastor and his commitment to “hands on” ministry, will help these congregations continue to serve their communities and develop new ministries.

Kpadeh to Serve Monongahela First UMC

Announced: 04-16-2023
About Rev. Dr. Zayzay Gwepougee Kpadeh
Rev. Dr. Zayzay Gwepougee Kpadeh is a career broadcast journalist and a social work manager with extensive experience in working with African immigrants, African Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians in Philadelphia. Rev. Kpadeh is versed in immigration issues, truancy, homelessness, parenting, and mental health counseling services.  

Rev. Kpadeh earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree (D. Min.) from Drew University, where his focus was on immigration issues facing African immigrants. As a student of history of the Christian Church, he believes in the incredible power of the Holy Spirit. He believes that the Holy Spirit has transformative power in working with and through humanity to bring about transformational change in the world. Rev. Kpadeh also earned his Master of Divinity Degree (M.Div.) from Drew in 2010. He currently works as a volunteer innovator for the Christian Vision Broadcasting Network, a Philadelphia based internet radio project dedicated to fighting for social justice and global evangelism. He is a motivational speaker and an agent of transformational change in Liberia and the West African diaspora community in the United States.

In December 2019, Rev. Kpadeh earned a Master of Sacred Theology Degree (STM), with a specific emphasis in Environmental Justice and Ecology.  Rev. Kpadeh is a community organizer and advocate for global human rights. He is the Executive Director of the Refuge Ministries International, a Pennsylvania-based non-profit dedicated to serving homeless, abandoned and orphans in his native land of Liberia.
 Rev. Dr. Kpadeh is a staunch advocate in the  educational empowerment of marginalized and oppressed people around the world. He is currently involved in a global campaign to ensure that marginalized and oppressed children in the developing world are brought to the participatory table of global leadership in the Global South.  
Rev. Kpadeh is an ardent believer in the fight for justice and social peace in the world. He is a strategic thinker and social justice advocate for an egalitarian and formidable society that seeks justice and greater opportunities for the oppressed and marginalized peoples of the world.

In Liberia, Rev. Kpadeh served as Associate Pastor of the Refuge United Methodist Church in the Voinjama District of the UMC.
Baptized and ordained in the United Methodist Church, many years ago, Rev. Kpadeh remains steadfast, faithful and dedicated to working for the church and its mission in the world. Rev. Kpadeh is married to Grace. They have five kids: Two  kids currently in the United States:  Sametta and Samuelyn. A daughter in the Netherlands, Emily(an engineer) and Zayzay Kpadeh, Jr,(a developmental and peace studies major) Christopher, a University of Liberia Science Major) both residents of Liberia, West Africa. 

About Monongahela First UMC
The First United Methodist Church has been serving the needs of Monongahela since 1813.  Now in our third century of serving the cause of Christ, we seek to be a witness of God’s love.  Worship, education, and service to others are at the heart of who we are.  If you don’t have a church home, we invite you to consider us to be your church home.

Kociban to Serve Christ United Methodist Church of North Huntingdon

Announced: 04-02-2023
About Deb Kociban
Deb Kociban was born in Reading, PA and was raised in Montoursville, PA. just outside of Williamsport.  She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in biology in 1979.  She worked as a research technician in the Cancer Research labs at Allegheny General for more than 20 yrs. Pastor Deb answered the call to ministry while a member and youth leader of Laketon Heights UMC in Penn Hills.  She graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2003 with a Master of Divinity degree.  Ordained as an elder in 2010, she has served congregations in N. Braddock, McKeesport, Templeton, and Kittanning. She and her husband, George have been married for 40 years and have one daughter, Whitney.  Whitney is currently a resident in nearby Elizabeth Township.

After a joy-filled meeting with Christ’s SPRC, Pastor Deb and George are looking forward to what God will accomplish through her new appointment at Christ UMC in N. Huntingdon.  She has a passion for encouraging joyful worship, nurturing both lifelong and new relationships with Christ, and for reaching others with the love of Christ.

About Christ United Methodist Church of North Huntingdon
Christ United Methodist Church of North Huntingdon is a faith community in Westmoreland County, serving North Huntingdon, McKeesport, White Oak, Coulter and Penns Woods. It grew out of the former Coulter United Methodist Church, whose pastor became the first pastor of the new congregation. Since then, Penns Woods church has joined with Christ to continue their mission of “Knowing Christ and making Him known.”

The congregation is active in its community, supporting a local Food Pantry, Blackburn Center Women’s Shelter, and Bountiful Blessings, among others. A community preschool, Sonbeam Preschool, meets in the building three mornings a week. They host “Happy Hearts,” a monthly senior citizens’ luncheon and program, and a weekly AA meeting.

Worship and Education activities include Sunday School, VBS, Vocal Choir, Bell Choir and Bible Studies. They  also enjoy getting together for roast beef dinners and peach and strawberry festivals throughout the year.

Mix to Serve Allegheny River Charge

Announced: 04-02-2023
About Dayton Mix
Dayton Mix grew up mostly in the Shinglehouse area, the far northern and eastern part of our conference. His parents moved the family to the neighboring school district when Dayton was his last three years of high school, partly so Dayton could experience a bigger school before college. He graduated in a class of 88, but met his future wife, Gay, while there at Otto-Eldred.

Dayton worked a variety of jobs (housekeeping, orderly, houseparent, reporter, disc jockey at a Christian radio station, and a church youth director) before graduating from Edinboro University of PA in 1992. After graduation, he worked as a bank teller and then as a substitute teacher in the Clymer (NY) School District.

Gay and Dayton married in 1991, while Dayton was serving as youth director of the Evangelical UMC in Corry. They became foster parents in 1994, adopted two girls in 1995 and one in 2016. In 2003, Gay birth to Joshua. Many others have been a part of the Mix family for a night or month or a season of years. Some still keep connected as often as they can. The original daughters grew, moved, out, and established their own families, giving us four grandchildren… so far.

Dayton graduated from United Theological Seminary with a M.Div. in 1999, while serving his first two churches. He has served churches in Spartansburg, Union City, Patton, DuBois, Reynoldsville, Clarks Mills, and Carmichaels. He has served on district and conference. His hobbies are reading, photography, camping, history, genealogy, writing, and blogging.

About Allegheny River Charge
As the name implies, the churches of the Allegheny River Charge, Kittanning:First, Union Ave, Ford Memorial and Manorville border the Allegheny River in the communities of Kittanning and Ford City. The churches are committed to doing ministry in their communities and together as a charge.

Randolph to Serve Trinity: Brackenridge

Announced: 04-02-2023
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 (Christian Ministry Leadership B.S). She attended Greater Works Outreach School of Ministry, focusing on outreach ministry and pastoral counseling. She matriculated at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and earned her M.Div (including a Missiology Intensive, an Urban Ministry Certificate, and field education at Charter Oak UMC).

Math, science, computer preoccupied, Diane has worked as an Engineering Apprentice, Research Technician and Control Teller for Westinghouse Electric; in physics and Artificial Intelligence at Carnegie Mellon; in Magee and Presbyterian Hospital Laboratories; and for Mellon Bank and Allegheny County.

Randolph currently serves as Senior Pastor of Freeport/Grace Natrona Heights charge. She has also served as Associate Pastor of South Hills Partnership and Senior Pastor of Millvale UMC. Diane serves on the UM Church Union Board and previously ministered at Miracle COGIC, Christ Church at Grove Farm, Greater Works and missioned to Jamaica, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and Lesotho.

Diane sensed her calling to The United Methodist Church for the holiness of its Wesleyan theology and dedication to justice and understands her call to ordained servant leadership as a sacred calling and responsibility. Her passion is worldwide justice; ethical, social and economic. Her pedagogic talents toward spiritual growth and her coaching approach to leadership reflect this passion. Philippians 2:13 is her favorite scripture.

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 children.

About Trinity: Brackenridge
Trinity United Methodist Church, Brackenridge was born in 1960 by a merger of Brackenridge Methodist, Tarentum Methodist, and United Church of Christ congregations. The church stands tall on the hilltop overlooking the Town of Tarentum and the Allegheny River and is noted for its distinctive red doors and tall white cross on the outside and amazing architecture and acoustics on the inside.

Known for its monthly community spaghetti dinners, children’s “Storytime in the Park”, and a wide variety of community events including car cruises, laser shows, movie nights, fine musical concerts, support of AVAC the regional social services ministry, and unique worship services, the church has been a beacon of light to persons of all ages across the Allegheny Valley. In recent years, like many churches, Trinity has persevered through several many difficult challenges including structural repairs, the loss of heat from frozen pipes (twice), and effects of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, the congregation like an old TV ad for Timex watches “takes a licking and keeps on ticking!” In recent months a new and positive spirit in the church is rising. There is a renewed passion and zeal for her ministry in worship, hospitality, and education. Attendance has been growing steadily for several months. Improvements are being made, and the vision and hope for the future is growing brighter. When COVID drove everyone into lockdown, Trinity church scrambled, and continues to provide an online presence via pre-recorded worship. With the growth in attendance there is a growing positive spirit, new vision, and enthusiasm.

In the heart of the Pittsburgh area’s Allegheny Valley, Freeport and Grace UMCs have both a vibrant history and a future that is rich with potential.  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!


Stump to Serve Central Highlands Community UMC

Announced: 04-02-2023
About Adam Stump
Adam Stump is a husband and father of four wonderful sons.  He has served in various ministry roles since 1999, and was ordained as an Elder in the Church of the Nazarene in 2009.  After serving in various pastoral roles in the Church of the Nazarene, he entered the United Methodist Church in 2014, appointed as pastor of Creekside UMC and Youth Pastor of Trinity UMC in Indiana, Pa.
He has pastored Clarks Mills UMC for seven years.  During that time, he has been focused on intercessory prayer ministry, discipleship, healing ministry, and conflict resolution.  Each spring, he hosts a spiritual disciplines retreat, focusing on various spiritual disciplines, including prayer, fasting, Bible reading, discernment, spiritual gifts, etc.  His passion is for preaching and teaching the Gospel, evangelism and increasing the kingdom, and pastoral care of his parishioners.
He graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University with degrees in Sociology and Anthropology, and received his MDiv from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  His hobbies include historical research, archaeology, metal detecting, and woodworking.  In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, his four sons, and his four legged daughter, Sophie.

About Central Highlands Community UMC
Central Highlands Community United Methodist Church is a loving family of Christian faith located in Elizabeth Township, Pennsylvania. 

We exist to make disciples of Jesus Christ through ministry of the WORD: Worship, Outreach, Relationships, and Discipline.

Worship: We worship because it is the only response that God deserves. Our Church's worship life embraces a variety of liturgical expression, both traditional and contemporary.

Outreach: We believe that the Church is faithful to its calling only when it is reaching out with the love and ministry of Christ to those outside the Church who are hurting, broken or lost.

Relationships: A healthy Church is a Church that nurtures people's relationship with Christ and their relationship with other people. We endeavor to be a relationship-building Church.

Discipline: A spiritual discipline is any activity, practiced regularly, that helps one to become more attentive to the presence of God at Central Highlands Community United Methodist Church. We believe that the practice of spiritual disciplines is crucial to the development of vibrant discipleship. 

Allen to Serve Flourishing Ministries Parish - Russell & Sugar Grove

Announced: 03-26-2023
About Bay Allen

Pastor Robert “Bay” Allen is the son of a pastor, who has a passion for church revitalization and new starts, and a commitment to helping others live into their potential in Christ.

Feeling perfectly at home in either traditional or contemporary settings, he strives to worship, and lead worship, beyond any particular typecast.  For Bay, it is not about how we worship, but who we worship.  God is interested in the heart, and our outward expressions must first start there — rooted in Christ, no matter how we worship, we will do so with authenticity.

Bay has been married to his lovely wife Mary since 2004, whom he met in 1998 as a theater major at IUP; he is also father to one daughter (Kailey, 16), and a son (Gavin, 8).  Bay is interested in music, art, literature, and the theater, and when he is not preaching or ministering as pastor, he is trying to be a good steward of the other gifts God has given him by growing in them.  

Bay has completed the Course of Study through Methodist Theological Seminary of Ohio (MTSO), and is currently serving as a Full Time Local Licensed Pastor in the United Methodist Church.  Bay has worked alongside three previous District Superintendents with them as his Senior Pastor, and has engaged in ministry at some of the larger churches in the Western Pennsylvania Conference.

Previously appointed to the Russell/Akeley charge in the Kane District, he is excited to embrace the new opportunity of the newly formed Russell/Sugar Grove Charge, and as Lead Pastor in the Flourishing Ministries Parish of the Kane District

About Flourishing Ministries Parish
Sugar Grove UMC is a welcoming, small,  yet vibrant church near the New York border within the Kane District, that supports local and  world missions. A faithful adult Sunday School and a children’s church spearhead the emphasis on continuing Christian education. A blend of traditional and contemporary hymns are included in weekly worship . The prayer chains, Bible studies, homebound visitation care team and grief support team focus on spiritual growth. Currently, Sugar Grove UMC is enthusiastically involved in the Pathways for Innovative and Intentional Ministry, the WPAUMC ministry enrichment program. Ministry includes: blood pressure screenings, school backpack programs, mitten and hat giveaways, support of food pantry and school release programs, angel tree gifts, and many other outreach programs supported by 86% of the active members. Sugar Grove UMC also supports the community through the Manross fund.

Cannistraci to Serve Allegany Headwaters Charge

Announced: 03-19-2023
About Jim Cannistraci

Jim grew up in Tyrone PA and preached his first sermon at his home church when he was 16 years old. When he finished preaching, he felt God's call to ordained ministry. Jim spent the next 10 years "wrestling with God" before going to seminary. Along the way he received a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration from Slippery Rock State College and worked as a local government administrator for the City of Altoona and the Borough of Clarion. He then completed a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary.

While serving in pastoral ministry Jim felt God's call to attend law school and use those gifts to support his ministry with the elderly and at-risk children. He received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh Law School while serving an urban church in Pittsburgh. Jim has served in a variety of ministry settings as a full-time staff chaplain at a major medical center in Washington, DC; executive director of MUSA, a faith based social services agency in Homestead, PA; and pastored local churches in urban, rural and small town settings in the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.

Jim enjoys serving God in the local church, leading Bible Study, preaching, and sharing coffee and conversation about God's love and grace. Inviting people to receive the hope filled promise of eternal life and the gift of the Holy Spirit inspire Jim's ministry. Jim enjoys walking, reading and spending time with his adult son Michael.

About Allegany Headwaters Charge

Riverside UMC is located in Roulette, PA. They had been part of the Susquehanna Conference until 2015 when we received them into WPA. They are working at reaching into the community in the colder months they do monthly "Soup Runs" where folks place orders for the homemade soup. Some people come pick it up, but most of it is delivered.

Port Allegany is located about 20 minutes from Olean, NY and 15 minutes from Coudersport, PA. They have been an active ministry partner with the other churches in Port Allegany to care for the needs of the community. They sponsor an annual "Breaking the Chains" event that focusses on issues of addiction and depression. They assist with the clothes closet at the local schools. 

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.  

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