2022 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Go to summary listing

Sorted by Announced Date


 

Penrod to Serve Elton Zion, Mt. Olive

Announced: 05-08-2022
About Daryl R. Penrod
Daryl R. Penrod (a.k.a. “D”) was born and raised in Mineral Point, PA  in the Johnstown area). He is a graduate of Conemaugh Valley HS, class of 1983.  After high school, he worked as a home health aide until 1989 and then drove tractor-trailers until 2016. 

Daryl has three adult children, two of whom are married.  They have one beautiful granddaughter and three rambunctious grandsons.  Daryl served several roles in the local church over the years in church:  Jr./Sr. High Sunday School teacher, co-youth advisor, lay speaker, sat on several committees and worked in various mission fields. He answered the LORD’s calling into ministry in 2013 and will now serve the Zion-Elton/Mt. Olive with his wife Lori.
 
About Elton: Zion and Croyle: Mt. Olive UMCs
Croyle: Mt. Olive and Elton: Zion will join together as a charge as of July 1, 2022. They are two different congregations, but share many similarities.
 
Croyle: Mt. Olive is a country church that is alive. Located on route 160, 3 miles from Sidman, the church serves communities and people from Portage to Johnstown. Mt. Olive is a "Preach Christ Crucified" church. It has many vibrant ministries: Men, Women, Youth, and Children’s fellowships; Outreach ministries such as prayer shawl, soup mission, Camp Allegheny, and they are involved with Bible2School, VBS, Forest Hills Ministerium, Grief and Loss Ministry, and other missions. The church is a welcoming, praying church with Bible Study and Sunday School for all ages. Having purchased surrounding property, the possibility of greater ministry and service to those in the community has no limit when trust is in Jesus.
 
Elton: Zion is a rural church that consists of a group of sinners that are doing their best to serve GOD. We are a loving and welcoming church that would love to meet and walk with others that want to discover GOD’s purpose in their lives. We believe that the Bible is the “inspired”, “inerrant”, and “infallible” Word of GOD. That is, GOD is the Bible’s author, it is without error, and it will accomplish what GOD wants. Understand this first: No part of the Holy Writings was ever made up by any man. No part of the Holy Writings came long ago because of what man wanted to write. But holy men who belonged to God spoke what the Holy Spirit told them.” (2 Peter 1:20-21 NLV)
 

Freeburg Appointed to United for God Cooperative

Announced: 05-01-2022
About Linda C. Freeburg
Linda was born and raised in Johnstown, PA.  She is a second career pastor after retiring from UPMC Lee Regional Hospital in 2003 and Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in 2012, where she served as a manager and then Director of Patient Access.  Upon graduation from Johnstown Central High School she attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a voice major and later received her associate degree from Colorado Technical University. In 2017 Linda completed the Course of Study at the Methodist Theological School of Ohio (MTSO).

She has led a life of faith since her childhood, first serving God in music ministry before her call to pastoral ministry. She completed Licensing School in 2003 and was appointed as a Licensed Local Pastor in 2005. She has served part-time at Conemaugh First, Beaverdale as an Interim, Hastings-Bakerton Charge, United for God Cooperative Parish and most recently Northeast Somerset Cooperative Parish at Calvary UM in Windber and Central City UM.

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

Through her faith she knows that His grace is sufficient as she works to share the love of Jesus Christ to all around her. She feels blessed by God beyond measure.
 
About United For God Cooperative
The United for God Cooperative is made up of five congregations: Albright, Bowserdale, Conemaugh First, Cramer, and Mt. Olive (Jackson Twp). The cooperative was originally formed a little over 20 years ago. Since then, the congregations have been working together to serve Jesus and share his love though worship and various ministries both locally and beyond. From ministries providing clothing, toiletries, and other needed items to residents of a veterans’ home to ministries for children and their families, the cooperative reaches out to love and share their faith. Annually they provide children with camping experiences at Camp Allegheny and through the Camp on the Go program. VBS, Children’s Bible Study and Crafts, and CEM: Johnstown are also part of their ministries to children and their families. The Church Ladies group has been making blankets for local EMS workers to give to persons in need and will begin making covers for weighted blankets for a local hospital. The cooperative also has a vibrant prayer and prayer shawl ministry.
 

John Balliet to Serve in New Cooperative Parish

Announced: 04-10-2022
About John Balliet
John loves to bring the reality of the gospel through "rubber meets the road" ministry, meeting people where they are and walking with them in a ministry of reconciliation and healing. John will continue to serve the fine folks at Sloans Hollow, Pine Grove, and Mt. Union, as he enters into a co-operative parish ministry with his wife Kendra.  John has previously served with Kendra at the Clymer Charge. John then served the Harmony Charge in rural Clearfield County for three years, prior to being appointed to the Fishertown Charge last July. John and Kendra have a blended family of five children, including two grand-teens, Christian and Madison. John enjoys fitness, exercising, taking long walks, travel and family time.

Born in Pittsburgh, John is a “preacher’s kid” twice over. Before entering the ministry, John had over 30 years’ experience in management, specializing in training, facility management, and conflict resolution. John also owned and successfully operated a property maintenance and a web hosting firm. After saying yes to God's call to pastoral ministry in 2015, John earned his undergraduate degree in Public Relations/Crisis Management at Geneva College (2018) and completed the M. Div. Program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in January 2022. John's application for Provisional Membership and Commissioning as an Elder was recently approved by the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference. 
 
About West Bedford Cooperative Parish
The West Bedford Cooperative Parish consists of churches in the western part of Bedford County in the Johnstown District. The churches are: Alum Bank, Buffalo Mills, Helixville, Mount Union, New Paris: First, Pine Grove, Point, and Sloans Hollow. They all are passionate about sharing God’s love and saving grace to all the surrounding communities. Even before the cooperative parish was formed, they worked together in ministry and mission, supporting Rise Against Hunger, holding joint confirmation classes and  joint youth activities, etc. The congregations are excited to intentionally cooperate in ministry together for the Kingdom of God. The pastoral team of Kendra Balliet, John Balliet and Clyde Lasure will bring enthusiasm and stability to the cooperative parish. They look forward to what God has in store for them.

Kendra Balliet Appointed to New West Bedford Parish

Announced: 04-10-2022
About Kendra Balliet
Kendra Balliet’s calling to ministry was not her first vocation. For 20 years, Kendra was a teacher. Although she knew she would not always stay in the classroom, she expected to remain in education, probably moving to administration. Now she serves in both roles, just a different context. Kendra was ordained an elder in full connection at the 2021 annual conference. She is a graduate of United Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity and concentration in leadership and revitalization. Earlier, she graduated from Clarion University of PA with a BS in elementary education and a MS in special education. Kendra was raised in Brockway and DuBois.

Kendra is currently serving at the Shawnee Charge consisting of Buffalo Mills and Helixville United Methodist churches. She has served the Mahaffey Area Larger Parish, the Clymer Charge, the Luthersburg Charge, and as an interim supply associate pastor for Moorhead UMC and the Luthersburg Charge.

Kendra’s husband John serves as the senior pastor of the Fishertown Charge in western Bedford County. John has attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, with graduation and commissioning set for 2022. It is not unusual to find Kendra and John doing ministry together through joint worship services and visitation.

Kendra’s three children and John’s two children are all adults, leaving them empty nesters.  They also have two teenage grandchildren who are adults-in-training.
About West Bedford Cooperative Parish
The West Bedford Cooperative Parish consists of churches in the western part of Bedford County in the Johnstown District. The churches are: Alum Bank, Buffalo Mills, Helixville, Mount Union, New Paris: First, Pine Grove, Point, and Sloans Hollow. They all are passionate about sharing God’s love and saving grace to all the surrounding communities. Even before the cooperative parish was formed, they worked together in ministry and mission, supporting Rising Against Hunger, holding joint confirmation classes and  joint youth activities, etc. The congregations are excited to intentionally cooperate in ministry together for the Kingdom of God. The pastoral team of Kendra Balliet, John Balliet and Clyde Lasure will bring enthusiasm and stability to the cooperative parish. They look forward to what God has in store for them.
 
 

Lasure to Serve West Bedford Parish

Announced: 04-10-2022
About Clyde Lasure
Born in April, 1958 in Somerset, Pennsylvania, Clyde Lasure moved to Helixville, Pa. in 1973 and graduated from Chestnut Ridge High School in Fishertown Pa. in 1976. After graduation he joined the U.S.Marine Corps. Years later, he finds himself back home in Helixville and says he "would not want to be anywhere else in the world." 

Clyde gave his life to Jesus in 2020. As he explains it, "our church was without a pastor and I was asked if I would take on the responsibilities for a few months. I was happy to do so. Soon after, again after a series of events, the few months turned into something longer. I was asked if I would like to take on the responsibilities permanently. Again, I was happy to do so. As I look at how everything fell into place, I know this is where God intended me to be."

Clyde is currently serving as a supply pastor at the New Paris United Methodist Church, which he describes as "a small country church where we all know each other and love each other. I wouldn't have it any other way." He will continue to serve their as an associate in the newly formed West Bedford Cooperative Parish. 
 
About West Bedford Cooperative Parish
The West Bedford Cooperative Parish consists of churches in the western part of Bedford County in the Johnstown District. The churches are: Alum Bank, Buffalo Mills, Helixville, Mount Union, New Paris: First, Pine Grove, Point, and Sloans Hollow. They all are passionate about sharing God’s love and saving grace to all the surrounding communities. Even before the cooperative parish was formed, they worked together in ministry and mission, supporting Rise Against Hunger, holding joint confirmation classes and  joint youth activities, etc. The congregations are excited to intentionally cooperate in ministry together for the Kingdom of God. The pastoral team of Kendra Balliet, John Balliet and Clyde Lasure will bring enthusiasm and stability to the cooperative parish. They look forward to what God has in store for them.

Siciliano to Serve Pittsburgh: Calvary UMC

Announced: 03-20-2022
About Shane J. Siciliano
Born in Southwest Florida, Shane Siciliano has lived in Western Pennsylvania for most of his life.  He earned his bachelor’s degree and Master of Social Work degree at the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in community organizing and social administration, before graduating from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

In Pittsburgh, Shane worked to collaborate with others in the Downtown area when the only homeless shelter for youth closed.  He helped to establish a new location at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center to provide these youth with housing, employment, and educational services.  As a social worker, Shane worked in McKeesport running HIV/AIDS projects.

Shane has served as pastor of Point UMC and Alum Bank UMC in the Johnstown District.  He is currently vice chair of the Conference Commission on Archives and History.  Shane promotes the sacraments and Kingdom-building and works hard to foster the full inclusion of all people in the church.  His three biggest passions for outreach ministry currently are serving as a camp counselor, helping at-risk families, and organizing collaborations.

Shane spends time visiting his family in Central PA, and he enjoys Marvel movies, tabletop games, and exercise competitions with his best friend.  HIs friends are his family, too, sharing visits and vacations.  Shane has traveled to many states and countries, including mission trips to Mississippi, South Africa, and Lesotho.  He believes that we are all meant to be part of a team, joining to build up God’s Kingdom here on earth.
 
About Pittsburgh: Calvary United Methodist Church
Calvary celebrates its more than 125 years of ministry on the Northside of Pittsburgh. The Calvary chapel opened on Christmas Eve 1893, but the sanctuary was not completed for another two years, in June of 1985, when the official opening services took place. Today Calvary is an active and growing congregation, welcoming everyone, not just to worship services, but as part of its family.  Missional outreach, educational opportunities and excellent musical offerings with concerts and weekly worship generating much excitement and faith-filled energy.
Every year thousands of people visit the historic, nationally archived "parlor cathedral", patterned after the Gothic cathedrals of Europe, but about one-tenth the size. The church is blessed by  the thousands of people who come there for weddings, various programs, concerts and weekly worship services. As its sign proclaims: You are God’s Beloved and you are welcome here!
 

Virgin Appointed to Serve in South Carolina

Announced: 03-20-2022
About J. R. Virgin
J.R. Virgin was born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.  He has also earned a Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary. 

J.R. has served in the Western PA Annual Conference for 15 years, including appointments to the Hyndman Larger Parish, Fishertown Charge, and what has become the Ebensburg Network. He has also served as the Chairperson of United Methodist Human Services and the Johnstown District Committee on Ministry.  He also serves on the Conference Board of Ministry.
 
J.R. and his wife, Allison have three children; Elijah, 10; Evelyn, 7; and Madison, 5.  They are all looking forward to what God has in store, as they faithfully move forward in ministry. 
 
About St. Paul’s Waccamaw United Methodist Church
St. Paul’s Waccamaw United Methodist Church (SPW) is located in Pawley's Island, South Carolina, a rapidly growing coastal area.  The congregation is dedicated to leading people to an encounter with God  through Jesus Christ by inviting all people into fellowship with God and the community of faith, nurturing and making them disciples of Jesus Christ, and equipping and sending them forth to share the love of God through witness and ministry.
 
SPW is deeply committed to missions, such as the Christian Haitian Orphan Development and Bakersfield Food Pantry. The church’s annual Peach Festival for almost 20 years has supported local ministries in the Pawley’s Island community, raising and distributing almost $125,000 to various local charities.

Worship at SPW includes two Sunday morning services, as well as a worship service at The Lakes at Litchfield retirement community. Service opportunities in worship include the choir, praise band, handbell choir. Dinner theaters, Joyful Gatherings, and support groups are also part of the experience at SPW.
 
Fellowship and fun, discipleship and service combine to create the community of St. Paul’s Waccamaw United Methodist Church.
 

Wellner to Serve NE Somerset Cooperative

Announced: 02-20-2022
About Erica B. Wellner
Erica Wellner grew up in the little town of Saxonburg in Butler County and was raised in the Cabot United Methodist Church. After high school she earned a degree in Elementary Education at Slippery Rock University. During four years of substitute teaching, she discerned and answered her call into ministry through mission trips to Louisiana and Paraguay.

Erica attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore Kentucky, where she earned her Master of Divinity degree along with a Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation. She began full-time pastoral ministry in January 2015 after graduating from Asbury Seminary.

Erica's passions and gifts for ministry are, in no particular order, missions, preaching and teaching, spiritual formation, Wesleyan small groups, and working with clergy and laity from other denominations. She has taught at and co-chair Lay Servant Ministry School and has served on the board for Wesley Woods for five years. Erica has  also helped to create a weekly podcast with two Lutheran pastors for several years. She loves to attend and support the children and youth of the church and local community at their different events, such as the local fair, band and choral concerts, and sporting events.

Erica is single and is the proud parent of a sweet terrier mix, Miss FeFe, whom she adopted shortly after beginning full-time ministry. Miss FeFe will be 12 this October, and while she’s a bit of a senior dog, she still acts like a puppy and loves to meet new people.
 
About Northeast Somerset Cooperative Ministry
This is a new cooperative ministry in Johnstown District which consists of four churches: Central City, Scalp Level Trinity, Shanksville, and Windber Calvary. This is an exciting time for the churches.
 
Central City UMC is deeply committed to meeting the needs of community members through a variety of soup meals and “Love Give Away” events that provide household essentials and clothing offered without price in a yard-sale format. The congregation is dedicated to supporting UM camping ministries.  In addition to supporting many local ministries such as the Central City Food Pantry, church members of all generations go all in to plan, host and participate in their yearly VBS program, attracting children from other local churches and offered each week during the Lenten season.  Most recently, the church became aware of their reputation as a church trusted to faithfully pray for the people of Central City.They plan to be even more intentional in those efforts.
 
Scalp Level Trinity UMC was established as an Evangelical congregation in 1866.  The current building is its fourth, the third building having been destroyed in the 1977 flood.  Upon the previous building’s loss, the church moved to a site of about 10 acres on a nearby hill and has become known as “Christ’s Lighthouse on the Hill.”  The church’s building and grounds are used for a variety of community activities including Scouts, soccer practice for the local high school, and as a location for supervised parental visitations for child services.  The church’s mission is based on Matthew 25:40 – that when we care for those in our community, we are encountering Jesus in everyone we serve.  The church’s annual coat drive has given away more than 2,000 coats to area residents in need. It's annual school supply drive has collected materials for many local school districts, and the annual Christmas food drive has provided necessary supplies for multiple area families. 
 
At Shanksville UMC, worship is a vital practice of this faithful community.  They became known more recently for being a vital resource in the response to the September 11 terrorist attacks and providing comfort to the families of the Flight 93 victims, as well as local emergency responders.  Currently, they financially support many vital, local and international ministries such as the Berlin Food Pantry, Operation Christmas Child, collections of toys and gifts for local families in need at Christmas and Heifer International.
 
Calvary UMC is a community-minded congregation located in the heart of the Windber area. It is known for its hospitality to many outside groups that operate and meet within its walls, including Cub and Girl Scout groups, Christian Counseling Associates, AA, Al-Anon, GED classes and, most prominently, the Windber Area Community Kitchen or WACK.  WACK serves hundreds of meals twice a month to anyone in the community who wishes to come and be nourished, body and soul.  In cooperation with local schools, this vital ministry also serves area school children by providing “WACKpack” meals for weekends and health essentials such as toothpaste and toiletry items. In addition, Calvary hosts a Tea Time fellowship and Prayer Shawl ministry that includes members from other area churches.  They continue to step up in mission efforts, recently partnering with other local UM churches for outreach events such as Trunk r Treat, Easter Egg Hunt and the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box project. Internally, they support both local and international missionaries and both clergy and laity members are active in the Windber ministerial group.
 

Sands to Serve Aliquippa First, Monaca UMCs

Announced: 02-06-2022
About James R. Sands
Jim Sands is a life-long United Methodist from Carmichaels, PA and served his home church in various ways. He is a 1999 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania with an education major.

Jim worked as a substitute teacher and as general manager of Vocelli Pizza in Waynesburg until being called into ministry in 2011.

He was appointed to serve as pastor at Eldersville UMC in 2011 while attending Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Upon graduation, Jim was appointed to Scalp Level Trinity in 2015, and as lead pastor of the Northeast Somerset Cooperative in 2021.

Jim’s gifts in preaching were affirmed by his seminary as he received the Robert M. Ezzell Homiletical Prize for excellence in preaching. He was ordained an elder in 2017 and serves as the registrar of the Johnstown DCOM and as a member of the Lay Ministry Committee. He enjoys teaching and studying scripture with an emphasis on history and philosophy.
  
Jim is joined in life and ministry by his wife Kristen and their children, Ryan and Molly
About Aliquippa First/Monaca Charge
Aliquippa First United Methodist Church and Monaca United Methodist Church both have a long history of providing vital ministry in the southern portion of Beaver County. Located along the Ohio River in communities with rich industrial histories, both churches are committed to offering creative worship, Christian education and spiritual formation for all ages, and missional outreach to their surrounding neighborhoods. Having cultivated a bold vision for strategic ministry in this challenging season, this relatively new two-point charge is eager to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
 

Davis to Serve South Fork Wesley

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

Fayette to Serve Beulah/Summit Chapel

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

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

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

Freeburg to Serve Northeast Somerset Cooperative

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

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

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

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

Katzenstein to Serve Northeast Somerset Cooperative

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

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

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

Sands to Lead Northeast Somerset Cooperative

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

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

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

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

Jim met his wife Kristen while counting offerings at church. They were married and have two children, Ryan and Molly.  Ryan is 9 and was born with cerebral palsy.  He loves electronics and dinosaurs.  Molly is 2 and loves pestering her big brother.  Kristen is an avid reader who serves as the co-chairperson of the Conference Disability Concerns Committee.  Jim and Kristen enjoy traveling and visiting museums and historic sites.
 
About Northeast Somerset Cooperative Parish
This new cooperative ministry in the Johnstown District consists of four churches in Somerset County: Central City, Scalp Level Trinity, Shanksville, and Windber Calvary. It’s an exciting time for the churches.
 
Central City UMC is is deeply committed to meeting the needs of community members through a variety of soup meals and “Love Give Away” events that provide household essentials and clothing offered without price in a yard sale style.  The congregation is dedicated to supporting UM camping ministries.  In addition to supporting many local ministries such as the Central City Food Pantry, church members of all generations go all in to plan, host and participate in their yearly VBS program attracting children from other local churches and offered weekly during the Lenten season.  Most recently, the church has become aware of their reputation in the community as a church entrusted to faithfully pray for the people of Central City and are currently planning to be even more intentional in those efforts.
 
Scalp Level Trinity UMC was established as an Evangelical congregation in 1866.  The current building is its fourth, the third building having been destroyed in the 1977 flood.  Upon the previous building’s loss, the church moved to a site of about 10 acres on a nearby hill and has become known as “Christ’s Lighthouse on the Hill.”  The church’s building and grounds are used for a variety of community activities including Scouts, soccer practice for the local high school, and as a location for supervised parental visitations for child services.  The church’s mission is based on Matthew 25:40 – that when we care for those in our community, we are encountering Jesus in everyone we serve.  The church’s annual coat drive has given away more than 2,000 coats to area residents in need.  Its annual school supply collection provides materials for many local school districts, and the annual Christmas food drive brings in necessary supplies for multiple area families. 
 
At Shanksville UMC, worship is a vital practice of the faithful community.  They are known for being a vital resource in the response to the September 11 terrorist attacks and providing comfort to the families of the flight 93 victims, as well as local emergency responders.  Currently, the congregation financially supports many local and international ministries such as the Berlin Food Pantry, Heifer International and Operation Christmas Child, and collects toys and gifts for local families in need at Christmas.
 
Calvary UMC is a community-minded congregation located in the heart of Windber. It is known for its hospitality to many outside groups that operate and meet within its walls, including Cub and Girl Scout groups, Christian Counseling Associates, AA, Al-Anon, GED classes and, most prominently, the Windber Area Community Kitchen or WACK.  WACK serves hundreds of meals twice a month to anyone in the community who wishes to come and be nourished, body and soul.  In cooperation with local schools, this vital ministry also serves area school children by providing “WACKpack” meals for weekends and other health essentials such as toothpaste and other toiletry items. In addition, Calvary hosts a Tea Time fellowship and Prayer Shawl ministry that includes members from other area churches.  They continue to step up in mission efforts, recently partnering with other local UM churches for outreach events such as Trunk or Treat, Easter Egg Hunt and the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box project. Internally, they support both local and international missionaries and both clergy and laity members are active in the Windber ministerial group.
 

Trent to Serve Harmony Charge

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

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

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

Landman to Serve South Fork

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bunnell To Serve Johnstown Calvary UMC

Announced: 05-02-2021
About David Bunnell
David Bunnell is an Elder who served 6 churches in the Western Pennsylvania Conference.
Retiring after 38 years of service, he and his wife Ellen moved to Johnstown, Pa. and are
enjoying being closer to sons David and Nathan and their families in Maryland and Johnstown
and traveling to daughter Amanda and her family in Irvine, California. Six grandchildren, Julian,
Jackie, Samantha, Caleb, Zoe and Ari are their joy. This June they will celebrate their 50th
wedding anniversary.
 
Dave has served both as chairperson of the Western Pennsylvania Prison Outreach Ministry
(wpapom.org) and teaching a faith-based program, Threshold, at Loretto FCI to over 120 men.
As an Intentional Interim, Dave has consulted and pastored on the Johnstown District with the
Alum Bank and Calvary churches. Ellen and Dave also minister to churches throughout the US
and Canada with Close Encounters Ministries (cemlife.com) with Ellen’s writing.
 
About Johnstown: Calvary UMC
The people of Calvary UMC in the West End of Johnstown are dedicated to the task of the Great Commission: Making disciples of Jesus Christ.  This loving and welcoming congregation does its best to meet the community around them where it is.  Annually, the congregation engages in several different outreach projects meant to meet the needs of the neighborhood.  Summer movie nights for the kids, clothing giveaways, and food drives are common projects they engage in to help build relationships with those whom God has called them to love. 
 
Calvary has a strong education ministry as well.  Its Sunday School ministry has made an impact on the lives of many throughout the community through the decades.  Calvary Preschool has also left its mark on the community for over 40 years.
 
Calvary UMC continues to look forward, discerning how it can best meet the goal of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 
 

Wood To Serve Bright Hope Charge

Announced: 05-02-2021
About Patricia Wood
Patricia Wood is a native of Cambria County and grew up in Ebensburg, PA, where she currently lives.  She is the wife of Thomas E. Wood Jr. and together they have one daughter.  She is the daughter of Nickolas and Cynthia Datsko, formerly of Ebensburg, PA. Patricia is a member of the Ebensburg United Methodist Church, where she has attended for many years. She has been involved in numerous ministries of the church, including the Shoe Box ministry, the booth at the county Fair, the Evangelism and Fellowship Committee and the Missions Committee.  Trish participates in numerous bible studies and devotions, both in person and on zoom, and on mission trips.  She is currently pursuing candidacy for ministry and is part of the mentoring program.  

A graduate of Central Cambria High School, studied business and finance at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), then earned her Juris Doctor degree at Dickinson School of Law. Currently Trish is a financial services professional for New York Life, where she assists her clients in planning for their futures and attaining their dreams.

Trish has been a lay speaker committed to the Bright Hope quad of churches since September 2020.  She finds herself called to proclaim the message of God to His people. Being able to be of service in a time of need and the assistance she provides at the Bright Hope charge is fulfilling.  Trish says she is humbled not only by this experience God is providing, but that  He sees fit to use her in this way.
 
About Bright Hope Charge
The Bright Hope Charge includes the United Methodist churches of Nanty Glo, Belsano Red Brick, Belsano Faith and Strongstown.  These congregations have been together as a charge since 2007.   Each church is located in a small rural community in either Cambria or Indiana County. All are within the Johnstown district.  Each church has representation on a common group which meets to make decisions for the charge.

Services are offered independently each week in three churches on Sunday mornings.  At the Belsano Red Brick Church services are held two Saturday evenings each month - and on Sunday mornings on other weeks.  A combined service held quarterly at a rotating location helps to keep the congregations acquainted and focused on common goals.  Weekly Bible Study is offered via Zoom, and Nanty Glo UMC streams their Sunday morning service live on FaceBook.  Every church has a fellowship hall in its basement which is available for Christian functions.

Other Charge community outreach programs include participation in food collections, packing and distribution at the local interfaith food bank, Veteran's leadership program which identifies needs and serves veterans  in the Johnstown area , and youth group, which is attended by church families and community children.  Nanty Glo UMC offers an onsite church camp to  church and community youth for one week each summer through Camp Allegheny.   The vitality of the Charge is in working together as a faithful church for members and our community.
 

J. Kennedy to Serve Bridgeville/Canonsburg/Fawcett

Announced: 04-25-2021
About Jerome F. Kennedy
Jerome Forkpa Kennedy grew up in Lofa County in northern Liberia, where his family was active in the William P. Kennedy UMC, a church named in memory of his grandfather, who was a local leader of the United Methodist Church. Jerome attended Sunday school and was active in the United Methodist Youth and other church organizations through high school.  While in high school, as he prayed and reflected on his vocation, Jerome said, "The Spirit helped me realize the sense of peace and fulfillment within me when I organized and/or led activities related to the church, as well as my desire to transform lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ."  

After accepting the call to ministry, Jerome studied at Gbarnga School of Theology (GST), the ecumenical theological college operated at the time by Lutherans and United Methodists.  His years at GST were disrupted by the Liberian civil war, which began on December 24, 1989 and by early 1990 had reached central Liberia, where GST was located.  The college was forced to close.  Students and faculty left the area and went to Monrovia while the war continued to spread.  In 1992, GST was relocated to Monrovia and Jerome continued his studies, graduating in 2005 with the Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) degree.

Jerome's passions for ministry are outreach and mission, preaching the Word of God, and providing care for those he serves. "There are so many people who are not actively involved in a local church and the church was called not to be self-contained, but to also offer forgiveness, love, understanding, and salvation to those who seek," he says.  "Outreach and mission to all ages, children, youth, adults and the elderly is important because Jesus said whatever we do to the least we do to him (Matthew 25:40)." Jerome loves preaching biblical sermons and he preaches from the lectionary, which allows him to develop the discipline of doing exegesis on various passages, not just on those that might be his  favorites.  Jerome also is focused on empowering laity for active roles in the church. 
 
About Bridgeville First/Canonsburg First/Fawcett UMCs
Bridgeville First UMC is located in a residential neighborhood a few blocks from the main business district and near Interstate 79.  It is a welcoming congregation, where all people can discover their faith and discipleship, experience the joy of Christ’s love, and grow in their Christian faith. The church's strengths include active adult and older adult ministries, committed laity, and community outreach. The people of Bridgeville First value the importance of service and stewardship as an expression of thankfulness to God. The congregation hosts, supports, and partners with a new non-denominational church plant called Beloved, which shares its space, and seeks to collaborate with other churches. 

Canonsburg First United Methodist Church is involved in several community outreach ministries. The church hosts a clothing "pantry" and a free spaghetti dinner monthly, working in partnership with other churches in the community who host the area food pantry and a "diaper pantry."  The church also supports UMCOR through creating cleaning buckets. The church also hosts exercise groups and a Narcotics Anonymous group.

Fawcett UMC has roots in 1793, when the home of John Fawcett, a native of Ireland, was a preaching place on the original Ohio Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Preaching continued there until 1811. Bishop Francis Asbury preached there on August 30,1803. The current church is located near Chartiers Creek on the border of Washington and Allegheny counties.
 

John Balliet to Serve Fishertown Charge

Announced: 04-18-2021
About John F. Balliet
John Balliet has been serving the Harmony Charge as their Senior Pastor since 2018. During the pandemic, John began broadcasting services and mailed his congregation weekly bulletins and newsletters, sending CD's to those who did not have internet access. John and his wife Kendra, pastor of the Luthersburg Charge, did several joint services during Lent and Advent, with people from both charges participating. John loves bringing the Word and teaching Bible Study, but says the “rubber-meets-the-road” in pastoral care ministry as it is where relationships are built!

Born in Pittsburgh, John is a “preacher’s kid” twice over. Before entering the ministry, John spent over 30 years in retail, sales, and long-term care management, specializing in training. After finally saying yes to God's call to pastoral ministry in 2015, John completed his undergraduate degree in Public Relations at Geneva College and will complete his M. Div. Program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in January 2022. John has served as both Treasurer and Vice-President of the United Methodist Student Fellowship at PTS and serves on the WPAUMC Higher Education Committee.

John and Kendra have a blended family of five children and two grand-teens. John enjoys fitness, exercising, taking long walks, travel and spending time with Kendra. John and Kendra are both serious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and have lost a combined 150 pounds through diet and exercise.
 
About Fishertown Charge
The churches of the Fishertown Charge have been in existence from the late 1800’s when they began as classes with the Evangelical Association. While they have been part of other charges over the years, these three churches became the Fishertown Charge in 1970. Their heartbeat is for family, community, and tradition. So many of the members in these churches are related and for those who are not this charge makes sure you feel like family.
 
Sloans Hollow United Methodist Church traces its roots to the preaching of Jacob Albright, the founder of the Evangelical Association, and first worshipped at the home of Henry Earnest. In 1896 they purchased the old schoolhouse which, though modified throughout the years, is where worship continues today. They have a passion for Scripture and lively Sunday School discussions each week after worship, and have a generous heart for missions.
 
Pine Grove United Methodist Church first met in the Pine Grove Schoolhouse. The first church (built in 1892) was lost to fire in 1947 and the current building was dedicated in 1949. Members have a heart for local missions and enjoy men’s and women’s Bible studies hosted in conjunction with several other local churches.
 
Mount Union United Methodist Church was established by the Evangelical Association in 1864. The original building stood on the knoll in the cemetery. The current church was dedicated in 1896 and has seem many additions and renovations as the church grew throughout the years. The Spruce Hollow schoolhouse was purchased during the 1980s and has been renovated into a fellowship hall. The church has several Sunday School classes, an active youth group, regular fellowship events, and a heart for the needs of their community. They continue to play an active part in Bethel Park Camp meetings in July,
 

Kendra Balliet to Serve Shawnee Charge

Announced: 04-18-2021
About Kendra L. Balliet
Kendra Balliet’s call to ministry came while she was a teacher, her vocation for 20 years. She knew she would not always stay in the classroom, but she anticipated she would remain in education, probably moving to administration. She has remained in both fields, just a different context. Kendra will be ordained an elder in full connection at the 2021 annual conference in June. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary with a concentration in leadership and revitalization. She also holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's in special education from Clarion University of PA. Kendra was raised in Brockway and DuBois. She still has ties to the area as her mother, stepfather, and grandmother reside in DuBois, and her stepmother and brothers reside in Jefferson County.

Kendra currently serves the Luthersburg Charge, consisting of Home Camp, Luthersburg, and Salem (DuBois) United Methodist churches. She previously served the Mahaffey Area Larger Parish, the Clymer Charge and was as an interim supply associate pastor for Moorhead UMC and the Luthersburg Charge.

Kendra’s husband John serves as the senior pastor of the Harmony Charge in southwestern Clearfield County. John is a student at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with graduation and commissioning set for 2022. Kendra’s three children and John’s two children are all grown, leaving them empty nesters. 
It is not unusual to find Kendra and John doing ministry together through joint worship services and visitation.
 
About Shawnee Charge
The Shawnee Charge is made up of three churches: Manns Choice, Buffalo Mills, and Helixville. The Shawnee Charge is filled with loving people who love God and their neighbor. The charge holds a connection through various “charge” worship gatherings during special times throughout the year. They also have different ministry and mission events that connect them, including a charge Bible study and Rise Against Hunger.

Manns Choice UMC is located in the borough of Manns Choice. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, Manns Choice UMC “adopts” families who are in need and provides meals and Christmas gifts. They are a loving church, encouraging one another in their faith journey.

Buffalo Mills UMC is located on top of the hill in Buffalo Mills. Buffalo Mills is involved in a number of different ministries such as a Fall Fest/Trunk or Treat, Operation Christmas Child, Easter Egg hunts, and a VBS/ Fun in the Son outreach. Buffalo Mills is a church filled with love for God and one another.

Helixville UMC is located on the mountain off Helixville Road. Helixville UMC is a loving church family that is anointed with the gift of prayer. Through their prayer ministry they have been a witness of Jesus to people who may not have a connection to the church. They are continually finding ways to help those who are in need.
 

Adkins To Serve Holsopple: Bethel/Centennial

Announced: 03-14-2021
About Sarah Adkins
Having earned an M. Div. with a concentration in pastoral care at United Theological Seminary, Sarah Adkins has served three churches as lead pastor for the past three years. She did her Clinical Pastoral Education as a chaplain intern at the Pittsburgh VA Hospital. Prior to that, she also served as associate pastor in charge of pastoral care at another two churches.

Prior to being a pastor, I she held jobs in education, adult education, and intelligence analysis, among others. She also earned  an MFA in writing/poetry and has published some of her poetry. She excels at utilizing social media as part of her ministry.

Sarah grew up in the church, with her dad as a pastor. Her spouse of five years is a big support for her and they have cats. In addition to her mom and dad, she has one brother. The family hosted a foreign exchange student from Japan who Sarah considers a sister.

In her free time, she enjoys Bible journaling, listening to music and podcasts, and riding her bicycle. She recently started to learn Zentangle. She also loves to travel. She been on a mission trip to Mozambique, and traveled to Turkey, Bulgaria, Trinidad and Tobago, Ireland, Germany, Holland, and Canada, as well as places in the U.S.
 
About Holsopple: Bethel/ Centennial Charge
The Bethel and Centennial congregations have been together as a charge for 10 years. Both churches are located in Conemaugh Township in Somerset County. They are active in local communities and in ministerium work. They support a food pantry and participate in a Live Nativity sponsored by Conemaugh Township Ministerium. They have a desire to work together for the Kingdom of God.

Bethel UMC is located in Hollsopple and has provided many outreach ministries to the community. They have suffered through floods, but they overcame each time and have great stories to share.

Centennial UMC has a unique history. The name reflects the congregation's start when the United States celebrated the 100th anniversary of its birth. Although located in a remote area, their heart for ministry is always in the community. The congregation has a great love for music ministry.
 
 

Hernan Appointed to Johnstown Belmont UMC

Announced: 03-14-2021
About Robert Hernan
Rev. Rob Hernan was born and raised in Franklin and nurtured in the faith by Franklin First UMC. He served as president of the local UMYF and the Franklin District Youth, as a youth delegate to annual conference, and in various offices in the Conference Youth.  After graduating from Franklin Area High School in 1985, Rob attended Clarion University where he was active in theatre and earned a BA in Humanities.  He continued at Clarion as a graduate student in English composition, but left the program to finally answer a call to ministry and go to seminary.  
 
Rob graduated with an M.Div. from The Methodist Theological in Ohio.  He was ordained an elder in 2001 and has served 13 churches on five charges—including four years as a student pastor in Ohio. He has served since 2011 at Smethport UMC, and since  2017 also has been pastor of Crosby UMC. Rob served briefly of the Conference Connectional Table, taught at Lay Speaking School in the Franklin and Kane districts, served on the Board of Olmsted Manor, and has been involved in camping ministries at Camp Allegheny and Wesley Woods.
 
Rob is an avid reader and cinephile.  He also has a passion for writing poetry (especially haiku), hymns, and liturgy. Two of his responsive readings were published in the “Worship & Song” hymnal supplement.  Rob also love preaching, teaching, and putting his gifts and graces to work for the reign of God.
 
Rob is married to Bridgot, a fellow graduate of Clarion, and they have three college-age children: Shelby, a graduate student at Pitt; Alie, an undergrad at Mom and Dad’s alma mater; and Cabot, who plans to attend Mercyhurst in the Fall.  They also have a very big white dog and a fairly small black cat. 
 
About Johnstown: Belmont United Methodist Church
Belmont UMC is located in the Richland area of the city of Johnstown. They are a loving church with a family atmosphere. Their  mission statement is to strive to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and to bring people into a saving relationship with him; nurture the spiritual growth of the congregation and serve as Christ would in meeting the spiritual and physical needs of our community and world.
 
Belmont has historically been a mission-minded congregation, contributing to both local and global mission projects, everything from the local food bank to United Methodist missionaries around the world. The one constant for many years has been Operation Christmas Child. The church fills hundreds of shoeboxes every year and serves as a local collection center for organizations to bring their shoe boxes. We look forward to increasing our contribution to this wonderful cause every year.
 
 

Kolacz Appointed to Blacklick Community

Announced: 03-14-2021
About Julie Kolacz
Rev. Julie S. Kolacz is a native of Venango County, where she started her journey as disciple of Jesus Christ at the age of eight by attending Sunday school and church in Pleasantville.  Pastor Julie graduated from Grove City College where she majored in psychology and religion. She holds a M.S. in community counseling from Georgia State University and a M.Div. in pastoral counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary.
 
Her ministry with the UMC began in 1999 when she was hired as a director of Christian education.  Shortly thereafter, she was a director of youth ministry.  She has pastored local churches since 2005, primarily in rural communities and most recently in Oil City, PA.  Julie has 10 years of experience serving as a part-time chaplain at Meadville Medical Center (extension ministry).  She has worked as a mental health therapist in various community settings. Pastor Julie was ordained as an elder in 2016.
 
Julie’s passion in ministry is bringing healing and wholeness to the body of Christ through preaching, teaching, pastoral counseling, and discipleship. In her free time, she enjoys the beauty of nature and recreational activities – hiking, cycling, kayaking, and physical fitness.
 
Julie has a son, John Stephen, a cadet in training at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia.  Additionally, there is Bandit, her Shih Tzu canine companion.
 
About Blacklick Community United Methodist Church
Blacklick Community United Methodist Church is located in Southern Indiana County in a pleasant valley along the Blacklick Creek and is part of the Johnstown District. Blacklick is a community of families whose ancestors have been in the in the area since the 1830s.  Many have very deep roots, both in the area and the church. 

This family of believers have open hearts that reach out to meet many needs.  They provide an after-school program for elementary grades, a pre-school, are active in the Backpack lunch program and other activities with the local school.   They have a heart for missions, both locally and nationally.   There is a very active Sunday school program for children through teenagers.  They also open up for many participants from the community with a game dinner, lawn fest, and VBS.  One of their big projects is collecting and sending out the Christmas Shoe boxes.  A heart for God’s work is strong in this congregation.
 

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.

Williams to Serve Ridgway-Johnsonburg

Announced: 03-07-2021
About Matthew Williams
Rev. Matthew Williams was raised in Cambria County in the small town of Loretto, PA.  He attended college at Saint Francis University and earned his degree in Biology, Pre-Medicine in 2015.  In 2018, he graduated from Drew University Theological School with a Master of Divinity degree.  He is currently a Provisional Elder and is up for ordination as a Full Elder in 2021.  

Rev. Matt has a passion for building connections with the community, church revitalization, and mission work.  He served as the associate pastor at Ebensburg United Methodist Church from 2016 through 2017, when he was appointed to Calvary UMC in Johnstown, where he currently serves.

He is blessed to have his wife Taila and daughter Margot by his side as they walk in ministry and faith together.
 
 
About Ridgway: Trinity/Johnsonburg Charge
Trinity United Methodist Church of Ridgway is in a lovely small town offering lots of opportunities for recreation and fun on the Clarion River and Rails to Trails for walking, running or biking along the river.  The church sits in a prime location across the street from the Elk County Courthouse. The congregation is small, but members enjoy fellowship with one another and their community by organizing fundraising dinners and lunches, pumpkin roll sales, Easter egg sales, and a free annual community picnic. Children are offered a scholarship to Wesley Woods. The church also provides a meals for members recently released from the hospital.  The church has participated in Operation Christmas Child, other Christmas gift opportunities, and members volunteer to ring the bell for The Salvation Army Red Kettle.  Several members participate in Rotary and help out with VBS and a backpack giveaway program through The Salvation Army.  The church offers Sunday worship and Sunday School as well as women’s exercise classes and Bible study that are popular in the community.  

The Johnsonburg United Methodist Church is located at 5 Clarion Road, Johnsonburg, PA.  It is a small town church that is within the Pennsylvania Wilds.  In existence since the 1900's, it serves the people of the community and surrounding areas.  The church offers Sunday morning worship and Sunday School and Bible study during the week.  The congregation is involved with ecumenical VBS, UMCOR, the local food bank and any other volunteer work where needed.  The people love God and their doors are always open to any newcomer. There is excitement when visitors come.