2022 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

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Sorted by Announced Date


 

Brant Appointed Fay-West Parish Associate

Announced: 05-15-2022
About Joyce E. Brant
Joyce currently serves as a Lay Servant in the Connellsville District.  She started Lay Speaking in 1993, completed Licensing School in 1998 and was appointed that same year to the Dawson Charge. She served as a Local Pastor there under Rev. Roger Applebee from 1998-2002.  Joyce attended the Course of Study at Methodist Theological Seminary.

A native of Somerset, she grew up in a loving family and was raised on a farm.  She grew up in the Church of the Brethren. In 1965 she married Daniel Brant and moved to Uniontown.  Dan had served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church for 20 years.  They celebrated 50 years of marriage in September of 2015 and it was a month later that her beloved husband lost his battle with cancer.  They were blessed with a son and daughter who are both married.  Joyce is a proud grandma of six grandchildren and two-great-grandchildren.  She enjoys spending time with her family.

Joyce has been a member of the Community UMC ever since she moved to Uniontown years ago.  In addition to serving as a Lay Leader, she has been involved with other ministries within the church, including the Pastor Parish Committee. She also taught Sunday School and has been VBS Director.  Joyce enjoys doing outreach and visiting those who are unable to come to the church services.

One of her favorite scriptures from Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  She enjoys sharing the Word of God and His love with others.
 
About Fay-West Cooperative Parish
The churches of this cooperative ministry – Belle Vernon: First; Concord; Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial; Fairview Chapel; Fells; Little Redstone; Monessen; Newell; Perryopolis; Smithton: Winnett; Vanderbilt, and Webster -- serve communities in parts of Fayette and Westmoreland counties. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years. They have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Belle Vernon First United Methodist Church:  The Methodist Class in Belle Vernon was organized in 1830, being the oldest religious organization in the community.  In 1834 the church was made a part of the reorganized Redstone Circuit. The current church building was dedicated in 1908 and the congregation is involved in a variety of ministries and community service. 

Concord United Methodist Church: Early records indicate that in 1830 a group of Methodists from the Fells Church were meeting together in the Concord vicinity. In that year the last of the subscription schools of Rostraver Township, Concord School, was built.  This was the first meeting place of the congregation.  Today the church is known for the candy they make and sell to raise money for the church ministries.

Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial United Methodist Church was organized in 1870, or before, when the town was named Bloomington.  A frame building was built in 1872 and dedicated by Rev. Charles Smith. Mrs. Sarah B. Cochran presented the church with a new brick building in 1900 in memory of her husband.  She replaced it in 1925-27, with an English gothic structure, with complete educational and social facilities.  A devoted Methodist, Mrs. Cochran made it possible for the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church to hold their semi-annual meeting at the Dawson Church in April 1916.  Today the church is reaching out to the community with a new community center.

Fairview Chapel was organized in 1828 with about 40 members.They used a stone schoolhouse for a year for their meeting, then a frame church was built in 1829.  A windstorm took the roof off of that building in March, 1929 and the current brick structure was built and dedicated in the fall of 1929.  Today the church is best known for its delicious turkey dinners.

Fells United Methodist Church has been known as the “Lighthouse on the Hill” since the congregation was founded in 1785.  Pioneer Beazell and Fell families held early Methodist worship services in their homes in 1785.  Seven years later, with an increasing congregation, the two families spearheaded the building of a log cabin church.  On land donated by General George Washington, the stone church was constructed in 1834.  Washington was grateful for tools and leather supplies donated by Benjamin Fell to his soldiers serving at Valley Forge.  Fell opened his home for the men to repair and make shoes.  In 1967 the new Fells church was dedicated a short distance away.  Today the “Lighthouse on the Hill” is where people open their hearts to God’s presence in their lives.  But it is also where they open their doors to the needs of their community.  Fells UMC is both a house of prayer and a center of hospitality, where we bring God’s light to the people of our area.
 
Little Redstone United Methodist Church:  Methodist meetings were held in the early 1850’s in the Baptist Meetinghouse, a schoolhouse, and in the homes of Nathaniel Stephens, Robert Stephens, and Hugh Ford.  The Society organized as a congregation on January 14, 1857.  Land was purchased and a brick Church was erected in 1857.  The church more recently has been part of the Christ 201 Parish and is a light to this rural community.

Monessen United Methodist Church was organized in 1979 through the merger of Monessen First United Methodist Church and Monessen Grace United Methodist Church.  Recently they have been working closely with Webster United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Monessen is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A woman from Monessen said, “The church isn’t just a building to us, it's our home.  It’s where we raise our families and where we worship as a family and draw near to God."

Newell United Methodist Church grew from worship services held in the Newell Public School building by both Methodist and Presbyterian ministers. The land for the church was donated by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company.  The church that was built in 1908 was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 1950s.  The open worship space allows for a variety of powerful and different worship experiences.
 
Perryopolis United Methodist Church, located in the territory of the Redstone Circuit Monongahela District, where a Methodist Class was organized in the community before the laying out of the town in 1814.  Services were held in a schoolhouse and in the State Bank Building on South Liberty Street.  In 1832 the first church was erected within the southwest quarter circle, where the Methodist cemetery is located.  This church served until the current church was erected on Independence Street in 1888.  Today there is an active youth ministry as part of this church.
 
Smithton:  Winnett United Methodist Church had its beginnings in a Sunday School started by Joseph Hough,  at the local Mineral School in 1882 and from revival services held by Reverend Winnett at what was then the Free Methodist Church of Smithton.  The church lot was donated by J. O. Williams. In 1885 the Church was built and dedicated.  The founding fathers honored Reverend Winnett by naming it the Winnett Methodist Episcopal Church. 
 
Vanderbilt United Methodist Church:  The historical record of this church traces back to the Redstone Circuit before 1800 to the Joshua Dickerson home within a mile of the church building.  Today Vanderbilt is known for its music and cantatas.
 
Webster United Methodist Church was organized in 1840 and its first building was erected in 1966 as part of Rostraver Circuit.  The current church was built in 1910.   Recently they have been working closely with Monessen United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Webster is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A quote from a Webster woman: “Although we are small, we are mighty and faithful in our love for thee.”

Huey to Serve Fay-West Cooperative Parish

Announced: 05-15-2022
About John R. Huey
John R. Huey was born in Connellsville and grew up in Morrell. After graduating from Connellsville High School in 1970, he studied Social Studies and took classes at Pitt and Fairmont State University, where he graduated in 1982.

He worked at Connellsville General Hospital and Highlands Hospital, retiring in 2017 after many years of service.  John currently serves as the Lay Leader, Sunday School Teacher and in a variety of other positions at Otterbein United Methodist Church in Connellsville.  The Fay-West Cooperative Parish will be his first appointment.

John's favorite scripture is John 14:1, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God, believe also in me.”
 
About Fay-West Cooperative Parish
The churches of this cooperative ministry – Belle Vernon: First; Concord; Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial; Fairview Chapel; Fells; Little Redstone; Monessen; Newell; Perryopolis; Smithton: Winnett; Vanderbilt, and Webster -- serve communities in parts of Fayette and Westmoreland counties. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years. They have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Belle Vernon First United Methodist Church:  The Methodist Class in Belle Vernon was organized in 1830, being the oldest religious organization in the community.  In 1834 the church was made a part of the reorganized Redstone Circuit. The current church building was dedicated in 1908 and the congregation is involved in a variety of ministries and community service. 

Concord United Methodist Church: Early records indicate that in 1830 a group of Methodists from the Fells Church were meeting together in the Concord vicinity. In that year the last of the subscription schools of Rostraver Township, Concord School, was built.  This was the first meeting place of the congregation.  Today the church is known for the candy they make and sell to raise money for the church ministries.

Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial United Methodist Church was organized in 1870, or before, when the town was named Bloomington.  A frame building was built in 1872 and dedicated by Rev. Charles Smith. Mrs. Sarah B. Cochran presented the church with a new brick building in 1900 in memory of her husband.  She replaced it in 1925-27, with an English gothic structure, with complete educational and social facilities.  A devoted Methodist, Mrs. Cochran made it possible for the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church to hold their semi-annual meeting at the Dawson Church in April 1916.  Today the church is reaching out to the community with a new community center.

Fairview Chapel was organized in 1828 with about 40 members.They used a stone schoolhouse for a year for their meeting, then a frame church was built in 1829.  A windstorm took the roof off of that building in March, 1929 and the current brick structure was built and dedicated in the fall of 1929.  Today the church is best known for its delicious turkey dinners.

Fells United Methodist Church has been known as the “Lighthouse on the Hill” since the congregation was founded in 1785.  Pioneer Beazell and Fell families held early Methodist worship services in their homes in 1785.  Seven years later, with an increasing congregation, the two families spearheaded the building of a log cabin church.  On land donated by General George Washington, the stone church was constructed in 1834.  Washington was grateful for tools and leather supplies donated by Benjamin Fell to his soldiers serving at Valley Forge.  Fell opened his home for the men to repair and make shoes.  In 1967 the new Fells church was dedicated a short distance away.  Today the “Lighthouse on the Hill” is where people open their hearts to God’s presence in their lives.  But it is also where they open their doors to the needs of their community.  Fells UMC is both a house of prayer and a center of hospitality, where we bring God’s light to the people of our area.
 
Little Redstone United Methodist Church:  Methodist meetings were held in the early 1850’s in the Baptist Meetinghouse, a schoolhouse, and in the homes of Nathaniel Stephens, Robert Stephens, and Hugh Ford.  The Society organized as a congregation on January 14, 1857.  Land was purchased and a brick Church was erected in 1857.  The church more recently has been part of the Christ 201 Parish and is a light to this rural community.

Monessen United Methodist Church was organized in 1979 through the merger of Monessen First United Methodist Church and Monessen Grace United Methodist Church.  Recently they have been working closely with Webster United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Monessen is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A woman from Monessen said, “The church isn’t just a building to us, it's our home.  It’s where we raise our families and where we worship as a family and draw near to God."

Newell United Methodist Church grew from worship services held in the Newell Public School building by both Methodist and Presbyterian ministers. The land for the church was donated by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company.  The church that was built in 1908 was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 1950s.  The open worship space allows for a variety of powerful and different worship experiences.
 
Perryopolis United Methodist Church, located in the territory of the Redstone Circuit Monongahela District, where a Methodist Class was organized in the community before the laying out of the town in 1814.  Services were held in a schoolhouse and in the State Bank Building on South Liberty Street.  In 1832 the first church was erected within the southwest quarter circle, where the Methodist cemetery is located.  This church served until the current church was erected on Independence Street in 1888.  Today there is an active youth ministry as part of this church.
 
Smithton:  Winnett United Methodist Church had its beginnings in a Sunday School started by Joseph Hough,  at the local Mineral School in 1882 and from revival services held by Reverend Winnett at what was then the Free Methodist Church of Smithton.  The church lot was donated by J. O. Williams. In 1885 the Church was built and dedicated.  The founding fathers honored Reverend Winnett by naming it the Winnett Methodist Episcopal Church. 
 
Vanderbilt United Methodist Church:  The historical record of this church traces back to the Redstone Circuit before 1800 to the Joshua Dickerson home within a mile of the church building.  Today Vanderbilt is known for its music and cantatas.
 
Webster United Methodist Church was organized in 1840 and its first building was erected in 1966 as part of Rostraver Circuit.  The current church was built in 1910.   Recently they have been working closely with Monessen United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Webster is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A quote from a Webster woman: “Although we are small, we are mighty and faithful in our love for thee.”
 
 

Spiker to Serve Fay-West Cooperative Parish

Announced: 05-15-2022
About Jessica L. Spiker
Jessica L. Spiker was born in Pittsburgh and raised in the Smithfield area, where she attends Smithfield United Methodist Church.

After graduating from the Laurel Highlands High School, she attended college for nursing and graduated with her masters from Waynesburg in 2014. She currently works as a registered nurse at WVU in Uniontown.  She also teaches nursing at Westmoreland County Community College. 

The Fay-West Cooperative Parish will be Jessica’s first appointment. She currently serves as the Lay Leader for the Smithfield United Methodist Church and is very active in all its committees.

Jessica's favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, “For surly I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
 
About Fay-West Cooperative Parish
The churches of this cooperative ministry – Belle Vernon: First; Concord; Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial; Fairview Chapel; Fells; Little Redstone; Monessen; Newell; Perryopolis; Smithton: Winnett; Vanderbilt, and Webster -- serve communities in parts of Fayette and Westmoreland counties. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years. They have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Belle Vernon First United Methodist Church:  The Methodist Class in Belle Vernon was organized in 1830, being the oldest religious organization in the community.  In 1834 the church was made a part of the reorganized Redstone Circuit. The current church building was dedicated in 1908 and the congregation is involved in a variety of ministries and community service. 

Concord United Methodist Church: Early records indicate that in 1830 a group of Methodists from the Fells Church were meeting together in the Concord vicinity. In that year the last of the subscription schools of Rostraver Township, Concord School, was built.  This was the first meeting place of the congregation.  Today the church is known for the candy they make and sell to raise money for the church ministries.

Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial United Methodist Church was organized in 1870, or before, when the town was named Bloomington.  A frame building was built in 1872 and dedicated by Rev. Charles Smith. Mrs. Sarah B. Cochran presented the church with a new brick building in 1900 in memory of her husband.  She replaced it in 1925-27, with an English gothic structure, with complete educational and social facilities.  A devoted Methodist, Mrs. Cochran made it possible for the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church to hold their semi-annual meeting at the Dawson Church in April 1916.  Today the church is reaching out to the community with a new community center.

Fairview Chapel was organized in 1828 with about 40 members.They used a stone schoolhouse for a year for their meeting, then a frame church was built in 1829.  A windstorm took the roof off of that building in March, 1929 and the current brick structure was built and dedicated in the fall of 1929.  Today the church is best known for its delicious turkey dinners.

Fells United Methodist Church has been known as the “Lighthouse on the Hill” since the congregation was founded in 1785.  Pioneer Beazell and Fell families held early Methodist worship services in their homes in 1785.  Seven years later, with an increasing congregation, the two families spearheaded the building of a log cabin church.  On land donated by General George Washington, the stone church was constructed in 1834.  Washington was grateful for tools and leather supplies donated by Benjamin Fell to his soldiers serving at Valley Forge.  Fell opened his home for the men to repair and make shoes.  In 1967 the new Fells church was dedicated a short distance away.  Today the “Lighthouse on the Hill” is where people open their hearts to God’s presence in their lives.  But it is also where they open their doors to the needs of their community.  Fells UMC is both a house of prayer and a center of hospitality, where we bring God’s light to the people of our area.
 
Little Redstone United Methodist Church:  Methodist meetings were held in the early 1850’s in the Baptist Meetinghouse, a schoolhouse, and in the homes of Nathaniel Stephens, Robert Stephens, and Hugh Ford.  The Society organized as a congregation on January 14, 1857.  Land was purchased and a brick Church was erected in 1857.  The church more recently has been part of the Christ 201 Parish and is a light to this rural community.

Monessen United Methodist Church was organized in 1979 through the merger of Monessen First United Methodist Church and Monessen Grace United Methodist Church.  Recently they have been working closely with Webster United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Monessen is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A woman from Monessen said, “The church isn’t just a building to us, it's our home.  It’s where we raise our families and where we worship as a family and draw near to God."

Newell United Methodist Church grew from worship services held in the Newell Public School building by both Methodist and Presbyterian ministers. The land for the church was donated by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company.  The church that was built in 1908 was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 1950s.  The open worship space allows for a variety of powerful and different worship experiences.
 
Perryopolis United Methodist Church, located in the territory of the Redstone Circuit Monongahela District, where a Methodist Class was organized in the community before the laying out of the town in 1814.  Services were held in a schoolhouse and in the State Bank Building on South Liberty Street.  In 1832 the first church was erected within the southwest quarter circle, where the Methodist cemetery is located.  This church served until the current church was erected on Independence Street in 1888.  Today there is an active youth ministry as part of this church.
 
Smithton:  Winnett United Methodist Church had its beginnings in a Sunday School started by Joseph Hough,  at the local Mineral School in 1882 and from revival services held by Reverend Winnett at what was then the Free Methodist Church of Smithton.  The church lot was donated by J. O. Williams. In 1885 the Church was built and dedicated.  The founding fathers honored Reverend Winnett by naming it the Winnett Methodist Episcopal Church. 
 
Vanderbilt United Methodist Church:  The historical record of this church traces back to the Redstone Circuit before 1800 to the Joshua Dickerson home within a mile of the church building.  Today Vanderbilt is known for its music and cantatas.
 
Webster United Methodist Church was organized in 1840 and its first building was erected in 1966 as part of Rostraver Circuit.  The current church was built in 1910.   Recently they have been working closely with Monessen United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Webster is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A quote from a Webster woman: “Although we are small, we are mighty and faithful in our love for thee.”
 
 

Hoke to Serve Connellsville Cooperative Parish

Announced: 05-08-2022
About Allen R. Hoke
Allen R. Hoke was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Connellsville Area High School. He currently works at the Duraloy steel mill in Scottdale in the maintenance department. 

The Connellsville Cooperative Parish will be Allen’s first assigned as a pastor. His call to ministry is rooted in his lay ministry school experience.  He loves lay school and the opportunity to learn how to better serve Jesus Christ.

Allen is married to Michelle (Seman) Hoke and they have two children, Michael and Andrew.  He loves hunting and helps his brother milk dairy cows.
 
About Connellsville Cooperative Parish
The churches of the Connellsville Cooperative Parish –  Connellsville: Albright; Acme: Calvary; Davistown: Indian Head; Connellsville: Greenwood; Mill Run; Mount Salem; Normalville; Ohiopyle; Connellsville:Otterbein; Pennsville; Pleasant Hill; Connellsville: Wesley; and Dunbar: Wesley—serve communities around the Connellsville Area School District. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Albright in Connellsville was organized as part of the Evangelical Association and was first known as the White Rock Appointment in 1989.  In 1900 a building was erected on Searson Street near Wine.  The new sanctuary was built in 1930 and an education unit added in 1956.  Albright will serve as the lead church in the Connellsville Cooperative Parish.
 
Calvary, Acme split from the Mount Olivet Evangelical Association church in 1891.  It became Calvary United Evangelical Church.  The building was dedicated in 1896.  The church had a basement added in 1951-1952 and an educational unit in 1969 to 1972.  The building was cased in brick. The church added a beautiful picnic pavilion for Vacation Bible School and church meetings.

Davistown Indian Head Begun possibly as early as 1814, it was organized in 1831 as a member of the Evangelical Association.  A frame building was erected in 1845, known as Bethlehem Evangelical church.  On May 2, 1929 it was wrecked by a tornado.  Plans were made to rebuild.  A brick building on the opposite side of the road was dedicated on June 22, 1931.
 
Greenwood, Connellsville:  The original planning for a Church in this section of Connellsville was done in the Crawford School Building, after a split with the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Connellsville, over the choice of where a new church was needed and should be built.   McKeesport District Superintendent Reverend John J. Hill organized Greenwood on May 11, 1921 in the Old Greenwood School house on the West Side.  The corner stone for the new church was laid June 14, 1922.  I was dedicated on May 26, 1926.  Built from native stone the Church presents an inviting appearance, Gothic structure being careered out in both exterior and interior building.
 
Mill Run:  Mill Run UMC is located on PA Rte. 381 in the community of Mill Run. The congregation worships in a modern facility. The people at Mill Run support various missions, families in need and provide meals both delivered and in the church.  A winter coat drive and a shoe box collection are annual events held at the church. Mill Run UMC and Indian Creek Baptist Church worship together Sunday evening in a combined service during the school year and during the summer. The worship site alternates between the two churches. Mill Run UMC is a member of the Fayette County Sunday School Association.
 
Mount Salem:  The first services were held in the home of Jeremiah Stouffer.  In1868 the services were moved to the Stouffer School House.  The church was built in 1881 as the Stouffer Evangelical Association Church.  Additions to the church were made in 1959 and 1967.  The church in enjoys serving Easter breakfast and having community campfires.
 
Normalville:  As early as 1825 the Rev. James Green Sansom occasionally preached at the house of Solomon Kern.  A class was formed and preaching services were held in the schoolhouse.  In 1844 a society was formed and a house of worship was built.  In the fall of 1863 it was consumed by fire lit by the hands of an incendiary, which was refused the hand of fellowship owing to his failure to observe its ordinances.  Again the meetings were held in schoolhouses and in the United Brethren Church until a new frame church as build in 1881.

Ohiopyle UMC is located at Sherman St. in the borough of Ohiopyle. The community of Ohiopyle is a tourist destination with the Youghiogheny River running through the town. Outdoor activities, nearby camping and whitewater rafting draw people to Ohiopyle. Though the congregation is small – it offers assistance to support organizations and its strength is fellowship among its members

Otterbein, Connellsville:  Otterbein was organized in January 1901 with services held at Kooser’s Hall and Stader’s Hall.  The Church was dedicated February 1, 1903.  Originally, First Church, it became Otterbein Church in 1970 with the merger and on January 1, 1974 merged with Central Church which was destroyed by a fire and became the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  The church holds the trust funds for the Connellsville Area Community Ministries.
 
Pennsville:  The first class meeting (United Evangelical) was organized February 10, 1897 with 16 members.  First services were held in the brick Union Meeting House.  The Little Church on the Hill was dedicated in October 1899.
 
Pleasant Hill:  Pleasant Hill also known as Springfield: Pleasant Hill because of its history on the Springfield Circuit first held its meeting about 1875 in a schoolhouse. In 1889 a Church was built.  An educational unit was added in 1955.  The church loves singing and studying God’s Word.
 
Wesley, Connellsville:  A Methodist Class was formed in the home of Zachariah Connell, for whom Connellsville is named, in the 1790’s.  It was a preaching place on the Pittsburgh Circuit.  When Pittsburgh was made a Station in 1811 Connellsville became the head of the Circuit.  It continued to have various Circuit relationship until 1863 when it became a station appointment.  The fir Church was a stone building.  Bishop Francis Asbury dedicated the partially completed binding on July 10, 1808. The church grew several other church buildings were built until it moved to its present location on Pittsburgh Street in 1925. 
 

Logan to Serve Bedford-Somerset Parish

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Leona R. Logan
Leona Logan will serve as an associate pastor in the new Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish.  Leona is a mother of four, grandmother of 11, a preacher's wife (married to Rev. John Logan), a registered nurse since 1978 and certified nurse midwife since 1995. She graduated in 1975 from Concordia College, Bronxville, NY, with an associate degree in psychology. She then attended Emory University, Atlanta, Ga. and earned her BSN, in nursing and psychology. She completed her graduate education in Midwifery at Frontier Nursing University, Hyden, KY, in 1995.

She currently serves the Connellsville Cooperative Parish as a Local Pastor and is attending the Course of Study as she answers God's call to pastoral ministry. 

Some things folks may not know about Leona: "German was my first language; I was the first midwife that was not wearing an Amish bonnet and was the first non-physician given hospital delivery privileges at Punxsutawney Hospital, in Jefferson County."

In her spare time, she loves to sing (when no one is home), sketch, paint Bob Ross landscapes, and talk without moving her lips with her sidekick puppet, Hildegard. She loves spending time with her grandchildren, the sunshine, the seashore, kayaking with her husband and family reunions.
 
In her midwifery career, she has had the privilege to deliver hundreds of babies and provide health care for thousands of women. She has provided care for incarcerated women, those struggling with addictions and disabilities as well as facilitated numerous women's support groups throughout the years.

Leona's passion for evangelism and missions might be genetic as her grandfather was a pastor during WWII in East Germany, her brother is a pastor, her uncle and aunt were missionaries in Africa. Leona has participated in mission trips to the Dominican Republic with the Annual Conference's East German Partnership, and last year spent a week in Kenya as part of a medical mission team to an orphanage and its community. Her zeal for Christ is contagious.
 
About Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish
The Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish combines churches of the Hyndman Cooperative Parish and the Meyersdale Charge into a newly formed parish. The new parish churches are: Cooks Mill; Garrett; Grace; Gravel Pit; Hyndman: First Ave; Meyersdale First; Mount Olivet; Palo Alto; St. Johns, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line in Bedford County and Meyersdale sits in southern Somerset County.   The ten churches lie in the surrounding valleys. All are community outreach and mission-minded, taking part in ministeriums, food pantries, 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.
Garrett:  Garrett United Methodist Church first began to meet 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.
Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek in Hyndman. Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts for Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.
Gravel Pit: Bethel The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and 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:  A Methodist Society was organized in 1840 and later became the church, dedicated on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual 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, as well as the revival services in August.
Meyersdale First:  Meyersdale First United Methodist church dates from the conference year 1870 during the which time the Reverends Silas Thayer Mitchell and Daniel J. Davis took it as an appointment for a weekday evening on the Somerset Circuit.   The current church was built in 1904.  Meyersdale First is moving to merge with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church.
Mount Olivet:  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.
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. 
St. Johns:   St. Johns United Methodist Church first held services in a union (Richards) church.  In 1877 the first building was built and known as The Centennial Church of the Evangelical Association.  In 1891 the St. Johns church divided as part of the schism that took place 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 worshiping and fellowship together and hold a special Maundy Thursday Service. 
Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association. In April, 2017, the church building was hit by a tractor-trailer that missed the curve at the bottom of a long steep hill. While awaiting a demolition permit, another truck crashed into the building. A new building,  erected farther away from the road, was dedicated on June 14, 2020.

Platt to Lead New Bedford-Somerset Coop Parish

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Derek R. Platt
Derek Platt, who has served churches of the Hyndman Cooperative Parish since 2020, will be appointed as the lead pastor of those and other churches that will form the new Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish, effective July 1, 2022. 

Derek grew up in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, in Gibsonia, PA, where he was raised in a Christian home and attended Bakerstown United Methodist Church. He was actively involved with Bakerstown's youth group and various church activities, mission trips, etc. until high school graduation.

Derek attended Waynesburg University, where he majored in both Children & Youth Ministries and Music Ministry, and minored in Psychology, graduating in 2012.  He also is a graduate of Methodist Theological School in Ohio.

Derek is a Provisional Elder, commissioned in 2016. He spent four years as the Youth Director of Lakeside United Methodist Church in DuBois, and served the Fay-West Cooperative Parish before moving to what was the HYndman Larger Parish in 2020.

Derek has been actively involved with the Conference Youth Ministry Team, acting as one of the adult advisors, since 2016. He is very passionate about encouraging children and youth to be involved in the church.

Derek and his wife Erin welcomed their their first child, daughter Clara Jean, in October 2018.      
 
About Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish
The Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish combines churches of the Hyndman Cooperative Parish and the Meyersdale Charge into a newly formed parish. The new parish churches are: Cooks Mill; Garrett; Grace; Gravel Pit; Hyndman: First Ave; Meyersdale First; Mount Olivet; Palo Alto; St. Johns, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line in Bedford County and Meyersdale sits in southern Somerset County.   The ten churches lie in the surrounding valleys. All are community outreach and mission-minded, taking part in ministeriums, food pantries, 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.
Garrett:  Garrett United Methodist Church first began to meet 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.
Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek in Hyndman. Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts for Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.
Gravel Pit: Bethel The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and 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:  A Methodist Society was organized in 1840 and later became the church, dedicated on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual 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, as well as the revival services in August.
Meyersdale First:  Meyersdale First United Methodist church dates from the conference year 1870 during the which time the Reverends Silas Thayer Mitchell and Daniel J. Davis took it as an appointment for a weekday evening on the Somerset Circuit.   The current church was built in 1904.  Meyersdale First is moving to merge with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church.
Mount Olivet:  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.
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. 
St. Johns:   St. Johns United Methodist Church first held services in a union (Richards) church.  In 1877 the first building was built and known as The Centennial Church of the Evangelical Association.  In 1891 the St. Johns church divided as part of the schism that took place 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 worshiping and fellowship together and hold a special Maundy Thursday Service. 
Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association. In April, 2017, the church building was hit by a tractor-trailer that missed the curve at the bottom of a long steep hill. While awaiting a demolition permit, another truck crashed into the building. A new building,  erected farther away from the road, was dedicated on June 14, 2020.
 

Popson to Serve Bedford-Somerset Coop Parish

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Jeffrey L. Popson
Jeffrey L. Popson, a retired elder who currently serves as an associate in the Meyersdale Charge, will continue to serve as the charge becomes part of the new Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish.  

Born in Natrona Heights, Jeffrey graduated from Kiski High School and earned a B.S. in Elementary Education at Clarion State College. 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 40 years in active ministry in churches across the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. 

Jeff is married to Audrey (Lowy) of Dunbar.  He has two children and a pre-school age grandchild. Jeff loves to read, spend time with his Goldendoodle Marley and cheer for the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.
About Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish
The Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish combines churches of the Hyndman Cooperative Parish and the Meyersdale Charge into a newly formed parish. The new parish churches are: Cooks Mill; Garrett; Grace; Gravel Pit; Hyndman: First Ave; Meyersdale First; Mount Olivet; Palo Alto; St. Johns, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line in Bedford County and Meyersdale sits in southern Somerset County.   The ten churches lie in the surrounding valleys. All are community outreach and mission-minded, taking part in ministeriums, food pantries, 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.
Garrett:  Garrett United Methodist Church first began to meet 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.
Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek in Hyndman. Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts for Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.
Gravel Pit: Bethel The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and 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:  A Methodist Society was organized in 1840 and later became the church, dedicated on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual 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, as well as the revival services in August.
Meyersdale First:  Meyersdale First United Methodist church dates from the conference year 1870 during the which time the Reverends Silas Thayer Mitchell and Daniel J. Davis took it as an appointment for a weekday evening on the Somerset Circuit.   The current church was built in 1904.  Meyersdale First is moving to merge with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church.
Mount Olivet:  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.
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. 
St. Johns:   St. Johns United Methodist Church first held services in a union (Richards) church.  In 1877 the first building was built and known as The Centennial Church of the Evangelical Association.  In 1891 the St. Johns church divided as part of the schism that took place 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 worshiping and fellowship together and hold a special Maundy Thursday Service. 
Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association. In April, 2017, the church building was hit by a tractor-trailer that missed the curve at the bottom of a long steep hill. While awaiting a demolition permit, another truck crashed into the building. A new building,  erected farther away from the road, was dedicated on June 14, 2020.
 

Spiker to Serve Bedford-Somerset Parish

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Rodney E. Spiker
Rodney Spiker currently serves as a supply pastor in the Hyndman Parish will continue in that role in the new Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish. He previously served in  on the Meyersdale Charge.

Rodney 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.  

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 Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish
The Bedford-Somerset Cooperative Parish combines churches of the Hyndman Cooperative Parish and the Meyersdale Charge into a newly formed parish. The new parish churches are: Cooks Mill; Garrett; Grace; Gravel Pit; Hyndman: First Ave; Meyersdale First; Mount Olivet; Palo Alto; St. Johns, and Wellersburg: Mt. Harmony. The town of Hyndman sits just seven miles north of the Maryland State line in Bedford County and Meyersdale sits in southern Somerset County.   The ten churches lie in the surrounding valleys. All are community outreach and mission-minded, taking part in ministeriums, food pantries, 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.
Garrett:  Garrett United Methodist Church first began to meet 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.
Grace: Grace is “in town” and stands tall and proud with its stone exterior, not far from Wills Creek in Hyndman. Grace had its origins as part of the evangelistic efforts for Frank Bone who served as its first pastor in the Evangelical Association in 1872.
Gravel Pit: Bethel The first meetings of the church were held in a shook shop and 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:  A Methodist Society was organized in 1840 and later became the church, dedicated on October 12, 1851 as part of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1970 it became part of the Bridgeport Circuit in the Western Pennsylvania Annual 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, as well as the revival services in August.
Meyersdale First:  Meyersdale First United Methodist church dates from the conference year 1870 during the which time the Reverends Silas Thayer Mitchell and Daniel J. Davis took it as an appointment for a weekday evening on the Somerset Circuit.   The current church was built in 1904.  Meyersdale First is moving to merge with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church.
Mount Olivet:  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.
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. 
St. Johns:   St. Johns United Methodist Church first held services in a union (Richards) church.  In 1877 the first building was built and known as The Centennial Church of the Evangelical Association.  In 1891 the St. Johns church divided as part of the schism that took place 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 worshiping and fellowship together and hold a special Maundy Thursday Service. 
Wellersburg:  Mt. Harmony was organized in 1846 as part of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Evangelical Association. In April, 2017, the church building was hit by a tractor-trailer that missed the curve at the bottom of a long steep hill. While awaiting a demolition permit, another truck crashed into the building. A new building,  erected farther away from the road, was dedicated on June 14, 2020.
 

Jack to Serve Fay-West Cooperative Parish

Announced: 03-20-2022
About Charles Jack
Chuck Jack grew up in the mountains of Fayette County on a small farm near Confluence, PA.   He was nurtured by many wonderful Christian mentors while growing up in Johnson Chapel United Methodist Church. After graduation from Turkeyfoot Valley Area High School, he attended Dickinson College and the Candler School of Theology.

Following seminary Chuck returned to the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference and served his first appointment at Creighton.  Later he served Knox and Mt. Joy in Clarion County for 15 years. He has also served Alum Bank, Homestead Park, and most recently Brookville Evangelical United Methodist Church.

During Chuck’s second year at Brookville, he became engaged to Gerry, from West Mifflin, and in 2018 they were married. Chuck will “retire” on July 1, 2022, however because he loves being a minister and wants to continue to serve the Lord with all his strength, he's accepting an appointment to the Fay-West Cooperative Parish.

Chuck has two grown children. His son lives in Altoona with his wife and three children, while his daughter and son-in-law live with their three children in the Boardman, Ohio area. Chuck can’t wait to see what God has in store of the next chapter of his life.
 
 
About Fay-West Cooperative Parish
The churches of this newly formed cooperative ministry – Belle Vernon: First; Concord; Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial; Fairview Chapel; Fells; Little Redstone; Monessen; Newell; Perryopolis; Smithton: Winnett; Vanderbilt, and Webster--- serve communities in parts of Fayette and Westmoreland counties. The congregations have worked together in various configurations for many years; they have decided to formalize the kindred spirit that already exists among them.
 
Belle Vernon First United Methodist Church:  The Methodist Class in Belle Vernon was organized in 1830, being the oldest religious organization in the community.  In 1834 the church was made a part of the reorganized Redstone Circuit.    The current church building was dedicated in 1908 and the congregation is involved in a variety of ministries and community service. 

Concord United Methodist Church:  Early records indicate that in 1830 a group of Methodists from the Fells Church were meeting together in the Concord vicinity. In that year the last of the subscription schools of Rostraver Township, Concord School, was built.  This was the first meeting place of the congregation.  Today the church is known for the candy they make and sell to raise money for the church ministries.

Dawson:  Philip G. Cochran Memorial United Methodist Church was organized in 1870, or before, when the town was named Bloomington.  A frame building was built in 1872 and dedicated by Rev. Charles Smith.  Mrs. Sarah B. Cochran presented the church with a new brick building in 1900 in memory of her husband.  She replaced it in 1925-27, with an English gothic structure, with complete educational and social facilities.  A devoted Methodist, Mrs. Cochran made it possible for the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church to hold their semi-annual meeting at the Dawson Church in April 1916.  Today the church is reaching out to the community with a new community center.

Fairview Chapel was organized in 1828 with about 40 members.They used a stone schoolhouse for a year for their meeting, then a frame church was built in 1829.  A windstorm took the roof off of that building in March, 1929 and the current brick structure was built and dedicated in the fall of 1929.  Today the church is best known for its delicious turkey dinners.

Fells United Methodist Church has been known as the “Lighthouse on the Hill” since the congregation was founded in 1785.  Pioneer Beazell and Fell families held early Methodist worship services in their homes in 1785.  Seven years later, with an increasing congregation, the two families spearheaded the building of a log cabin church.  On land donated by General George Washington, the stone church was constructed in 1834.  Washington was grateful for tools and leather supplies donated by Benjamin Fell to his soldiers serving at Valley Forge.  Fell opened his home for the men to repair and make shoes.  In 1967 the new Fells church was dedicated a short distance away.  Today the “Lighthouse on the Hill” is where people open their hearts to God’s presence in their lives.  But it is also where they open their doors to the needs of their community.  Fells UMC is both a house of prayer and a center of hospitality: where we bringing God’s light to the people of our area.
 
Little Redstone United Methodist Church:  Methodist meetings were held in early 1850’s in the Baptist Meetinghouse, a Schoolhouse, and in the homes of Nathaniel Stephens, Robert Stephens, and Hugh Ford.  The Society organized as a congregation on January 14, 1857.  Land was purchased a brick Church was erected in 1857.  Today the church is part of the Christ 201 Parish and is a light to this rural community.

Monessen United Methodist Church was organized in 1979 through the merger of Monessen First United Methodist Church and Monessen Grace United Methodist Church.  Recently they have been working closely with Webster United Methodist Church; the two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Monessen is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A woman from Monessen said, “The church isn’t just a building to us, it's our home.  It’s where we raise our families and where we worship as a family and draw near to God."

Newell United Methodist Church grew from worship services held in the Newell Public School building by both Methodist and Presbyterian ministers.  The land for the church was donated by the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company.  The church that was built in 1908 was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the 1950s.  The open worship space allows for a variety of powerful and different worship experiences to take place.
 
Perryopolis United Methodist Church, located in the territory of the Redstone Circuit Monongahela District, a Methodist Class was organized in the community before the laying out of the town in 1814.  Services were held in a schoolhouse and in the State Bank Building on South Liberty Street.  In 1832 the first church was erected within the southwest quarter circle, where the Methodist cemetery is located.  This church served until the current church was erected on Independence Street in 1888.  Today there is an active youth ministry as part of this church.
 
Smithton:  Winnett United Methodist Church had its beginnings in a Sunday School started by Joseph Hough,  at the local Mineral School in 1882 and from revival services held by Reverend Winnett at what was then the Free Methodist Church of Smithton.  The church lot was donated by J. O. Williams. In 1885 the Church was built and dedicated.  The founding fathers honored Reverend Winnett by naming it the Winnett Methodist Episcopal Church. 
 
Vanderbilt United Methodist Church:  The historical record of this church traces back to the Redstone Circuit before 1800 to the Joshua Dickerson home within a mile of the church building.  Today Vanderbilt is known for its music and cantatas.
 
Webster United Methodist Church was organized in 1840 and its first building was erected in 1966 as part of Rostraver Circuit.  The current church was built in 1910.   Recently they have been working closely with Monessen United Methodist Church. The two congregations get along very well and enjoy working on joint mission projects including supporting the Rostraver Food Bank.  Webster is active in “Little Things for Little People” program sponsored by the Belle Vernon Ministerial Association.  A quote from a Wester woman, “Although we are small, we are mighty and faithful in our love for thee.”
 

Washabaugh to Serve as South Fayette Associate

Announced: 03-13-2022
About Ryan Washabaugh
Ryan Washabaugh was born and raised in Vanderbilt, PA where he graduated from Connellsville High School. He received a B.A in Arts with a Technical Theatre concentration and a M. Ed with an Elementary Concentration and PA state teaching certification. Ryan plans to attend Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in the Fall.  Ryan has worked in several professional settings. In his latest position, he has served as Vice-Principal and science, history, and Bible teacher at Armbrust Christian Academy.

Ryan has served as the Youth Leader at Cochran Memorial in Dawson and a Lay Speaker and adult Sunday school teacher at his home church, Mt. Salem UMC.  He is currently appointed as an associate pastor on the Fay-West Cooperative Parish and preaches at Belle Vernon First and Perryopolis United Methodist churches. Ryan has a passion for small group ministry and youth ministry. 

Ryan has been married since 2006 to Heather. They have three lively boys: Evan, who is 11; Eli,10, and Asher, 3. As a family they enjoy going to their cabin in the summer and having meals together. Ryan has a passion for wood crafting and making things from upcycled materials. He also has a passion for hospitality and is willing to roll his sleeves up and prepare a good meal in the kitchen. 

​Ryan is excited to fulfill his call into pastoral ministry and help others grow in their faith and knowledge of a loving and grace filled God. 
 
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 and Upper Middletown—serve communities in southern Fayette County. The congregations worked together in various configurations for many years before deciding to formalize the kindred spirit that already existed among them.

Brownfield United Methodist Church was organized as part of the Methodist Protestant Church shortly after revival meetings were held at the Hutchinson Schoolhouse 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 was launched in the fall of 1830 when 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 Pittsburgh Conference Board of Missions project, to start a Sunday School in Evans Manor.  They met in a school house on West Penn Boulevard. A charter 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 is now 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 and 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 building 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 H.C. Frick Company gave the congregation permission to use one of the company houses as a Church and it was occupied in 1936.  Today Juniata is in a 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 adjacent.  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 of 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 missions inside and outside the local area.  The church loves music and is especially known for its mission dinners.
 
Point Marion United Methodist 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 McClellan’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 before 1903.   A church 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 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.
 
 

Roscoe Appointed to Chicora, Karns City

Announced: 02-20-2022
About Beverly K. Roscoe
Bev Roscoe was born and raised in Uniontown. She graduated from Laurel Highlands High School and Indiana Wesleyan University. Bev is a second career clergy, responding to God’s call after spending almost 30 years working in the private sector as a program supervisor and care/service coordinator for geriatric healthcare and adults with disabilities. She completed the UMC Course of Study at Duke Divinity School and Methodist Theological School of Ohio and was received as an Associate Member at the 2018 Annual Conference. Her passions for ministry include working with the marginalized, ecumenical ministry, and camping and retreat ministries.

Bev has been married for 26 years to John, and they have three adopted adult children: Jessica, Justin, and Maria; and two grandchildren, JR and Millie Jean. In their spare time, they hike, bicycle, motorcycle, camp and visit National Parks.

Bev’s motto is that "every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future."  She loves to hear peoples’ stories and walk beside them on the journey to discover who it is God is calling them to be. 
About Chicora/Karns City Charge
Chicora United Methodist Church and Karns City United Methodist Church form an active two-point charge in two different but geographically close Butler County communities. Both churches are known for their intentional hospitality, their commitment to mission and outreach, their Christian education and spiritual formation, and their joy-filled worship of God. Chicora UMC and Karns City UMC are the kinds of faith communities that feel like healthy families, and they are eager to move into a new season of ministry as they continue in the work of making disciples for Jesus and equipping people to live out their faith.
 

Heckman to Serve Paradise UMC

Announced: 02-06-2022
About J. Mark Heckman
Born in Brookville, PA, Mark graduated from the Punxsutawney Area School District. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Indiana University of PA, a Master of Education Degree in School Administration from California University of PA, a School Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Edinboro University of PA, and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH.  Currently, Mark is in the Doctor of Ministry program through Global Awakening Theological Seminary of Family of Faith Christian University. 

Mark spent 25 years in public education as a music teacher, elementary and secondary school principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent of schools in New York and Pennsylvania. Prior to accepting the call to pastoral ministry, he served the church for over 25 years in positions such as director of music and organist in churches in New York (Goshen) and Pennsylvania. 

Mark first entered the pastoral ministry with an appointment to the Punxsutawney First United Methodist Church where he served as the Associate Pastor and Director of Outreach and Youth Ministries.  He currently serves as the Senior Pastor for the Greater Blairsville Cooperative Parish on the Indiana District. Mark is a Provisional Elder in the WPAUMC, and upon completion of the Conference’s residency program, he will appear before the Board of Ministry this spring for examination and approval as a fully ordained Elder. 

God began to move powerfully in Mark’s life following an early-morning encounter with the Holy Spirit.  Mark’s spiritual gift of healing demonstrates God’s anointing on his life and the manifestation of God’s Spirit in the world today.  God’s love can be seen through the healing ministry that God is developing in Mark, all pointing to God’s glory.  Mark ministry passion and calling are based on Matthew 10:7-8.  Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!  Mark believes that all Christians are to share and demonstrate the gospel in every opportunity God puts before them and to freely help others find and employ their own spiritual gifts, so that through the Church, a hurting world can find a loving God. 

Mark serves the Church with Michele, his wife of 30 years.  They have two adult children: Elizabeth is a music specialist in the Curwensville Area School District, and Luke is a Computer Science and Engineering major at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park.
 
About Paradise United Methodist Church
Paradise United Methodist Church is located in the Greenlick Valley in Bullskin Township, in Fayette County. It was created in 1874 when a pastor drove his horse and buggy to lead a Sunday School. A church was built in 1876 and has been thriving, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ ever since.  

The ministries of Paradise include a monthly food pantry, bi-weekly backpack blessings, weekly bible studies, United Methodist Women, a men’s dart-ball team, plus Sunday School classes for all ages. The church offers two worship services each week, one traditional and one contemporary.  Even though the pandemic they continue making disciples for Jesus Christ and sharing Him through weekly worship and through their webpage.  
 

Lester to Continue at Wesley Chapel

Announced: 01-30-2022
About Denton Lester
Denton Lester, an Associate Member who has served as pastor of Wesley Chapel in Rockwood since 2005, will continue serving as pastor in retirement. Denton was born in Johnstown, Pa and graduated from Forrest Hills High School in Sidman, Pa.  He spent three years in the United States Army, serving in Germany in the late 1960s and early 70s. Following his military service, he worked for Bethlehem Steel in Johnstown until the flood of 1977. 

In 1979, Denton attended Vale Technical Institute, graduating with an associate degree.  He was employed as an automobile mechanic until he entered active ministry in 1991.  He attended Mount Aloysius College and Wesley Theological Seminary, graduating in 1996. 

Denton has served the Mahaffey Charge, Ferndale UM Church and currently Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church.  He has served on the board at Camp Allegheny and on the DCOM for the Connellsville District.   Denton was ordained an Associate member and Deacon.  His passion is preaching.

Denton and Cathie Lester have been married for 53 years and have five children and 15 grandchildren.  They enjoy the ministry together and have been actively involved together since the beginning of the journey.  They enjoy traveling and seeing the country.  Denton is an avid hunter and likes to garden while Cathie is a crafter and seamstress. 
 
About Wesley Chapel UMC
Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in Rockwood is located in the Laurel Highlands along the ridges of Somerset and Fayette counties.  Wesley Chapel is a country church with an active congregation involved in their community and with a mindset on mission. Many of the church's programs are ministry to the local community, including feeding programs and other local missions.

Wesley Chapel recently celebrated 150 years of ministry and are looking forward to another 150 years in faithful service to the Lord.  Wesley Chapel is a congregation of families, young and old, who are involved in the church.  Fathers attend, mothers attend, families attend and they are faithful on a weekly basis.  The congregation is conservative and very bible-based.  There are many Sunday school classes for all ages, including good youth participation.  A weekly bible study is well attended. Wesley Chapel is sound in doctrine and sound in faith.  We continue to grow.
 

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.

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.

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.

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.
 

Ellson Appointed Connellsville District Ministry Assistant

Announced: 03-14-2021
About Robert V. Ellson
Robert Ellson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and grew up in the Pittsburgh region. He earned his BS and MBA degrees from Robert Morris University and his MDiv from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Prior to entering full-time vocational ministry, Bob was involved in industrial manufacturing as a business owner and general manager in the design and construction of industrial furnaces for the primary metals industry.   

Bob served as student pastor, and later as the associate pastor of First UMC in Murrysville before being appointed to the Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, where he currently serves as pastor.

Before entering full-time ministry, Bob served on the Board of Directors of The Pittsburgh Project, worked directly with their homeowner services group, and was involved was other social support agencies throughout the Pittsburgh area.  Bob taught budgeting and money-management skills at the Salvation Army drug and alcohol recovery center on the Southside of Pittsburgh and has participated in and led numerous regional, national and international mission efforts. 

Bob enjoys the many roles and responsibilities of pastoral ministry, including leading and communicating a vision, sense of ministry and purpose for the local church.  Creating an environment for others to draw into a closer relationship with Christ through the teaching and preaching the Word of God is a great joy and passion of his ministry.

Bob and his wife Jill have been married for 39 years.  Jill earned both her Bachelor’s and Master of Science degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in speech pathology and audiology. She is currently employed as a speech therapist in early childhood intervention for a human services organization in Pittsburgh. Bob and Jill have three adult children, Cassandra, Joshua, and their daughter-in-law Frankie, and one-year-old granddaughter Lucy. In his spare time Bob enjoys woodworking and furniture building, reading, kayaking with his wife and hanging out with his granddaughter.
 
About Connellsville District Ministry Assistant

The District Ministry Assistant for the Connellsville District will play an important part in the new Shared Ministry model that will be implemented in the Connellsville and Indiana districts on July 1. The District Ministry Assistant will serve part-time to carry out some of the duties of a superintendent that can be delegated to elders. These may include conducting charge conferences, facilitating  district ministries, and organizing district Volunteer in Mission projects, as well as relating to district pastors and congregations.
Rev. Ellson will continue to serve as pastor of the Mt. Pleasant church. 

Foos To Serve Acme/Barren Run

Announced: 03-14-2021
About Kimberly L Foos
Kim Foos was raised and still resides in the Irwin area.  She grew up as a member of Arona United Methodist Church in the Greensburg District.  Kim earned her BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and her MDiv from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. 

Kim has served Pleasant Unity UMC for the past four years and has been serving Lycippus: Calvary UMC for this past year. She also served Herminie #2 UMC for a short time

Her husband Steve and her children, Abby, 11, and Alex,12,  along with her extended family, form an amazing support system. 

Kim loves sharing the Word of God with others, and she is looking forward to serving her new appointment as a Provisional pastor
About Acme/Barren Run Charge
The Acme/Barren Run Charge is comprised of Acme and Barren Run United Methodist churches.  The Charge was established in 2000. Each congregation has been shaped by the history and traditions of their rural setting.  They are committed to share the Gospel of Jesus to the world.

Acme UMC is known for its “Christmas in the Barn” service and their Community Day outreach.  The church has a beautiful new physical plant, built by members of the of congregation.  Because of its central location in the Connellsville District, it hosts many district events and meetings.

Barren Run UMC is known for its children and youth programs and is a center for gathering of the surrounding community.  The church is a vital congregation that has overcome its church being destroyed by fire and has rebuilt with a beautiful new physical plant.     
 

Golla to Serve Friedens: Pleasant Hill

Announced: 03-07-2021
About James T. Golla
James Golla was born in Pittsburgh, PA and raised in Gibsonia, PA. He attended Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Pastoral Ministry and a Master of Ministry degree. He earned his Master of Divinity degree at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. While living in Ohio, he worked with youth at First Church of the Nazarene and assisted the chaplain at Knox County Hospice. During seminary he served at Christ Community United Methodist Church in Butler as the Director of Connectional Ministries, and also worked for a furniture refinishing shop.  

His first appointment, in 2016, was to the Shawnee Charge in Bedford County, where he currently serves. The Shawnee Charge is made up of Manns Choice, Buffalo Mills, and Helixville UMCs. He currently serves on the Conference Young Adult Council.

In ministry, James loves meeting and coming alongside people in their faith journeys. He is passionate about teaching Scripture and theology. His gifts for ministry include: Prophet, knowledge, teaching, and pastoring.

James and his wife Dana are the parents of two sons, Eben and Lucas, and a daughter Sophie. They are an active family and enjoy sports and outdoor activities. In addition to family activities, he loves spending time getting to know new people. He appreciates conversations on a wide range of various topics and also enjoys reading theological books and commentaries.

 
About Pleasant Hill UMC, Friedens
The Pleasant Hill UMC, standing on the outskirts of both Friedens and Somerset, is a small/moderate church which proudly proclaims Jesus as Lord! The history of the church spans from the 1800’s as a little country church. The congregation has grown in numbers and the building grew accordingly, with the current Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall being completed in 1972. The importance of this history is maintained in the display outside the Fellowship Hall.

The congregation has included business owners and blue-collar workers. Many have been independent thinkers, conservative in theology and traditional in values, serving as God’s people where they live, work, and play. This goal is close to their hearts and in their minds. Pleasant Hill members say what they mean and expect the same from their pastor. They do not just talk the talk!

While the church membership is aging, it includes some younger families and about 15 young children. While traditional in values, and occasionally stubborn, Pleasant Hill is filled to the brim with love. In this congregation, love trumps differences, though to be sure, they sometimes need to be reminded! When someone is in crisis, when a call goes out for support, Pleasant Hill shows up. Its thriving men’s group, the Hubert Group, collects funds for the needy in the surrounding communities, while sponsoring fundraisers to supplement individual needs. In addition, the church faithfully donates to the surrounding community through seventeen community missions, including Ramps-R-Us; the Gideons; Salvation Army; and Prison Ministry. Over and above, every year Pleasant Hill participates in yearly missions and work efforts at nearby Camp Allegheny, Habitat for Humanity, and the Somerset Towers.

In the last seven years, Pleasant Hill has spent considerable effort updating the facility, to create more user-friendly spaces such as the Activities Hall.  Electronics and audio/visual equipment have been updated along with  tables, chairs, racks, storage and restrooms.

Heidi Helsel to Serve Marienville Charge

Announced: 02-14-2021
About Heidi L. Helsel
Rev. Heidi M. Helsel has served as pastor of the Calvary United Methodist Church in Windber, PA, since July 1, 2017. Two years later, in July, 2019, Calvary became part of a three-church charge, yoking the Central City and Shanksville United Methodist churches together under her leadership.

 Rev. Helsel earned her Master of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2012.  She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from St. Vincent College, and an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Westmoreland County Community College. She has earned continuing education credits with emphasis in church revitalization.

A life-long United Methodist, Pastor Heidi was ordained an Elder in the Western PA Conference in 2014.  She eagerly shares the Good News of Jesus Christ through her gifts for ministry, including creativity in worship, a love for outreach to the community, a deep commitment to servant leadership, and above all, a passionate faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 

Pastor Heidi is part of a clergy couple; her husband Rick serves the Somerset: Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church. Pastors Heidi and Rick are blessed with two beautiful, talented teenaged daughters, Sarah and Christina. Their household also includes three cats and a German Shepherd dog.

Apart from ministry, Pastor Heidi’s passions include family time, gardening and photography.

 
About Marienville Charge
Marienville United Methodist Charge includes three churches: Marienville, a small membership church with a big heart on the fringes of the beautiful Allegheny National Forest in Marienville, PA; Greenwood UMC, a beautiful small country church not far from the prestigious virgin pines of the Cook Forest State Park, and Tylersburg UMC, a small church established in 1900 in rural Tylersburg on St. Route 36.

The churches work with others in the area to support local food banks, ecumenical services and events at Thanksgiving and during Lent, and participate in community events such as Oktoberfest. Greenwood UMC holds a popular annual Strawberry Festival. All three also support local and national mission agencies and ministries, such as the Kane District ramp ministry and the Ruth M. Smith Center. They also open their doors for community groups and events. 
 

Rick Helsel to Serve Good Shepherd UMC

Announced: 02-14-2021
About Richard Helsel
Rev. Rick Helsel is from Braddock, Pennsylvania, attended St. Vincent College for a BS is Psychology and earned his M.Div at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He has a continuous hunger to see the church united on Christ Jesus as Lord. It is his desire, his center and his being to witness the church withstanding our divisive culture, and, rather than being a mirror of the secular world, be the example to which the world conforms because we are conformed to Christ.

Rick has 25 years of experience in ministry and currently serves as pastor of Pleasant Hill UMC in Friedens.
He is married to the Rev. Heidi Helsel and they have two daughters, Sarah and Christina.
 
About Good Shepherd UMC, North Clarion
Good Shepherd (North Clarion) United Methodist Church takes seriously the call to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  They welcome people to come as they are and to feel God’s love in a new and refreshing way as part of the Good Shepherd family!  The congregation has been worshiping at its current location since 1989, but its however roots run deeper than that.  Discussions of merging congregations in the area to form a station church began in 1968 when the merger of the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren churches formed The United Methodist Church. 

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church was formed in 1986 in a merger of Leeper Covenant, Lickingville, and Washington United Methodist churches.  As noted on the cornerstone wall, this church and our forebears have had a spiritual presence here in our community since the mid 1800’s.  Many lives, dreams, and prayers have been involved in establishing the historic and current ministry of this congregational family. 

The “Church in the Cornfield” is known for a caring community focus.  We pray that The Good Shepherd continues to grow us in the Holy Spirit, root us firmly in Christ’s Love, and empower us to joyfully and fruitfully carry out God’s ministry into our community well into the future.