Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.
Sorted by Announced Date
Canter Appointed to Youngsville
Jeff graduated high school from Sewickley Academy in 1977. After high school, he worked and attended college part-time, eventually receiving a BS in Management from Robert Morris University. Along the way he enjoyed multiple professional career paths, from hospitality management to software development to management consulting.
Jeff married his wife Kathy, who works as Practice Manager at Hillman Cancer Center at UPMC Northwest, three years after completing high school. They have been together for nearly 38 years. The Cantors are blessed with three grown children – Sara, Stephanie and Rick, each of whom has created a successful career of their own. They look forward forward to grandchildren one day.
Jeff felt God’s call to ministry at numerous times in his life, but finally responded in 2013. He completed Local Pastor Licensing School in August 2013 and received his first appointment, to Harrisville United Methodist Church, in July 2014.
"God has generously blessed me throughout my life, even when I didn’t understand or recognize God’s grace as such. One of those blessings has been, as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12, a gift of discernment," Jeff says. "This gift has allowed me to remain keenly self-aware, practicing a rigorous form of self-honesty. This has helped me to be better able to relate not only to others as individuals, but to the broader human condition, particularly as it relates to faith and the role it must play in our ultimate peace and serenity.
"I feel that God has called me to put this gift to use, not only in ministry to those who already believe, but to offer a positive, attraction-based example to those struggling with the question of faith in their lives."
The churches describe themselves traditionalists -- believers in God the Father, the Holy Spirit and in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. They believe Christ was born of a Virgin, lived on earth, and theybelieve in the Resurrection and that Christ will come again and judge the earth. They follow John Wesley’s’ teachings and believe in prayer, answered prayer and the Bible as the Word of God.
Youngsville was once a booming town with steel, lumber, and oil industries in the area. A retail and catalog facility has provided employment for over a century. Like many small towns, they have experienced an exodus of many families and young people.
Youngsville First United Methodist Church is a historic church with beautiful stained glass windows facing the Main Street and a side street depicting John Bunyan’s Christian allegory The Pilgrim's Progress. Evangelical United Methodist's newest sanctuary was built in early 70’s and it handicapped accessible.
The churches recently supported an athletic group by preparing meals for the athletes before game time. Fundraisers meals also are prepared for community members and monthly meals are offered during the fall- spring season for those obtaining food distribution. The people are community-minded in the sense that they help one another. Funeral Dinners are prepared for deceased members, deceased member’s families and those families who do not attend any church in the community.
Evangelical United Methodist Church has built and installed 30 ramps for the disabled, including veterans in Warren, Forest and McKean. The First United Methodist church is hosted a June “Fest” with games, face-painting, a bouncy house and a Local Teen Christian Band. The Charge churches also hold annual pies sales, recycling events and a have a booth at the County Fair. A Food Pantry is hosted by Evangelical United Methodist Church, with all churches contributing food and personal items. Second Harvest of Erie PA supplies a large share of food items that the church purchases from the organizations.
A Preschool is held at the First United Methodist Church. Many members from both churches belong to Love Inc. that Mobilize Local Churches, Transform Lives in the Name of Christ. Many members volunteer at a local Thrift Store that supports this organization.
“Shoe Boxes” are filled yearly to be collected by the Samaritans’ Purse ministry. Items are collected for a local camp that provides a week at camp for low-income and at-risk children. The churches both support UMCOR and collect items for varies ministries, as well as providing prayer and financial support for local and international missionaries.
Helmbold to Serve Evergreen Charge
The Enterprise UM Church is located in the southwest corner of Warren County on Route 27. This warm, inviting congregation has a wonderful family atmosphere where everyone is made to feel welcomed and the love of Christ is freely shared. They are known as a place of hope end encouragement in their community while they also share in commitments to missions.
The Grand Valley Church is located right next door to Wesley Woods along Route 27. In their community they are known as the place to go if you need help. In this church you will find people who love Jesus Christ and who readily share their Savior’s love with all that they meet. They enjoy singing new songs as well as old hymns. They support mission, ministry and faithfully pay their connectional apportionments.
The Sanford Church is a next-door to Wesley Woods. This warm, family congregation does a tremendous job caring for one another and those in the community who are in need. They also have some tremendous pie bakers. When they hold a pie auction, don’t come late or the pies may all be sold. They invest in ministry and are steadfast in meeting their connectional apportionments.
Brink to Serve Sheffield, Barnes UMCs
After his service, Douglas held a variety of jobs, including installing fire alarms in New York City corporate facilities and Atlantic City casinos. In all of his jobs, he developed a variety of skills and through them all, he met lost souls and led others to Christ.
His best job, he says, was working as a shepherd for his wife's uncle in Somerville, New Jersey. The 600-acre spread just 40 miles west of New York City was the largest sheep farm east of the Mississippi river with nearly 2500 sheep. Dealing with that many sheep made scripture references really come alive for him and provided great illustrations in preaching. When urban sprawl and other factors intruded on his life, Doug once again answered God's call and returned to his roots of Western Pennsylvania to begin the process of ministry.
He Douglas completed licensing school in 2007 and later graduated from Course of Study at MTSO. His first appointment was to the Cherry Tree Charge of the Johnstown District. After nearly eight years, he moved to his current appointment at the Mt. Joy Charge in Franklin District. As senior pastor there, he brought the three churches into a real working relationship with each other and also with two ecumenical groups. The relationships led to combined services and a pulpit exchange that resulted in strong bonds with their communities.
Douglas believes that if the church is not outside of its buildings and working with local organizations in making communities better places to live, then the church is not alive. The Charge has provided free coffee along the rest stops of Interstate 80 during the holidays, helped raise funds for struggling fire companies, and supported local schools. The St Petersburg church provides a free spaghetti dinner every month for the community and Foxburg may be the only church that uses a hotdog cart as an outreach along the Allegheny River trails.
Douglas proudly calls himself "Circuit Rider" because he loves the excitement of traveling to the many different churches and bringing the Good News of the Gospel to the people of our rural areas because "they are the church."
Barnes UMC is in the heart of the Allegheny National Forest at the intersection of Route 948 and 666. They partner with Sheffield in BYKOTA and the monthly community dinners. They support missions locally and globally. Barnes is a warm, inviting, family-oriented church with all generations present at worship. In 2017 they received the highest number of new members in the Kane District relative to their average worship attendance.
Dom to Serve Tionesta First, West Hickory
She and her husband Ray have six adult children: Sons Shawn and Stacey are his and the other four -- Jim, Jeff, JoAnn and Jeanna--are hers. All are married and have given them 20 grandchildren and 5 great-granddaughters.
Currently Kathy and Ray live in Manns Choice, PA with Squirt and Rascal, their two dachshunds.
Ray is very supportive of Kathy and the call upon her life to serve her Lord and master. He is standing beside her in this new adventure in her life.
"I am grateful and give praise to my Savior Jesus Christ for this opportunity to serve at the Tionesta/West Hickory Charge, Kathy says, quoting from Romans 11:36 -- For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever.
Tionesta is the county seat of Forest County. The congregation continues to be a beacon of Christ’s light in the community and region offering vibrant, traditional worship including choir anthems and more. They operate a second hand store next door to the church to help those in need. They are also involved in other missions. They host the Forest County Choir Cantatas each year and are the hub for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and Alcoholics Anonymous.
Tionesta and West Hickory UMCs are located along the Allegheny River in Forest County. West Hickory has a long history of being a place where people receive love and care in the name of Jesus Christ. It is one of those congregations that actually increases in worship attendance during the summer because of all of the campers and seasonal residences in the surrounding area. When you come to West Hickory, you are always assured a ready and warm welcome of Christian love.
Tionesta is the county seat of Forest County. The congregation continues to be a beacon of Christ’s light in the community and region offering vibrant, traditional worship including choir anthems and more. They operate a second hand store next door to the church to help those in need. They are also involved in other missions. They host the Forest County Choir Cantatas each year. They are also the hub for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and Alcoholics Anonymous.
Andy Blystone to Serve in Corry
In the fall of 2004 Andy entered Asbury College (now University) and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Christian Ministries. He continued to return to Wesley Woods during the summers and worked as a lifeguard, program staff counselor, and as the summer program director. While in college Andy took advantage of the opportunity to serve the people of Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina with four different work crews over three years. While those trips were formative in thinking about what it means to help people on a variety of levels, his most meaningful memory was meeting a young woman from Florida who was also an Asbury student named Sandi. After graduating, they married in Wilmore, KY and returned to NWPA.
For three years Andy served as the program director at Wesley Woods. In 2012 he answered God’s call to pastoral ministry and began serving the Tionesta-Tylersburg Charge as the associate and as the senior pastor in 2013. Sandi and Andy have doubled the size of their family since living in Tionesta and are the proud parents of Jason,4, and Joseph, 2. Andy enjoys time with family and friends, cooking, baking, grilling and smoking (meats), is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan and relishes the magic of theme parks. Sandi works as a hospice social worker and enjoys documenting the adventures and exploits of her family in photo books.
Andy is currently enrolled as a student in Course of Study. He looks forward to using his gifts for ministry to help the church be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need and far from God and teaching and leading groups as they grow together in Christ. He continues to be active as a summer chaplain and Bible study leader at Wesley Woods and together with his wife has a heart for disaster relief and international missions. While they have loved the beauty of God’s country in Forest and Clarion Counties and have been humbled by the people of the Tionesta and Tylersburg Charge, they look forward to what God has in store as they begin the next chapter of their story at Corry Evangelical UMC in July 2018.
The congregation has been a tenacious presence in the Borough of Corry, offering the Good News of Jesus Christ for a long time. They are an active community partner, working with agencies and other churches to bring relief to those who are marginalized or underserved. One of those community partners, Love INC (Love in the Name of Christ) has offices located in the church building. They also have a long and proud history of support for global missions and provide leadership for an annual Missionary Conference.
C. Duffee to Serve Mt. Jewett/Hazel Hurst UMCs
Cindy’s life experiences and her heart for all people are her strengths in ministry. She is passionate about putting Christ front and center of the ministry of the church. She believes when the church of Jesus Christ lives out its faith, on a personal level and through the body of Christ, God’s grace comes shining through and the kingdom of God will not only grow, but become a beacon of light to those who are searching for hope and peace in their lives.
Cindy believes the church must be seen and participate in community events and meet the needs of its neighbors. But, most importantly, serving others must be from the heart. She is a strong advocate for those who are struggling and need a helping hand to put food on the table. Cindy also firmly believes laity hold the keys to the vitality and impacting presence of God in the worship service and community. She supports, encourages and is thrilled to see laity using the gifts God has given them in ministry.
Cindy was raised in Coal Hollow, Elk County, and is a graduate of St. Mary’s High School. Cindy and Rev. Ken Duffee have three grown children and are blessed with five grandchildren. She enjoys family time, riding a motorcycle, and a good cup of coffee.
The churches help support an orphanage in Kenya and a missionary doctor in Papua New Guinea. The Mt. Jewett Church is the site for the local food pantry, and both churches are well known in their communities as the place to go when one needs help or someone to pray with. The churches also offer significant prayer support of the local hospital staff and patients.
Hutchins to Serve Oswayo Valley Charge
In 2005 God finally got Preston’s attention again by God’s saving grace. Preston later became a lay speaker for the Slippery Rock United Methodist Church, then a lay preacher, but God still called. It was in 2007 he began preparing to become a licensed local pastor. He attended licensing school in 2008 and was appointed to the Glasgow Larger Parish in the Johnstown District where he served as the associate pastor and then senior pastor.
Preston met his wife Robin in 2005 and can say that he married his best friend in 2008. They are a blended family and are blessed with eight wonderful children, 26 grandchildren and five great grandchildren that are all truly loved and adored. As Preston and Robin move in the direction God leads them, they share the passion that they want everyone they meet to come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ and to see them go to heaven.
These churches help make Christ known among their communities and also proudly pay their connectional apportionments at 100 percent. They also help with other missions and ministries locally, nationally and internationally. In the Shinglehouse Church they provide meeting space for WIC and are the distribution center for the area food bank, which is predominantly staffed with persons from the five-point charge.
Ken Duffee to Serve Evans Memorial UMC
Ken trusts in the Lord his God, but also realizes that some trust in horses (Ps 20: 7), so here is the horse that he rides: Rev Ken Duffee entered pastoral ministry in 1994 as a student pastor and was ordained an elder in 2004. Ken’s education and experience have prepared him to bring leadership and administrative skills to the church along with engaging preaching and teaching skills that help to nurture and develop congregations. Along with visionary leadership Ken also provides a personal witness to the community by living out his Christian values and principles.
Ken believes that pastoral ministry should be based on Ephesians 4: 11-13, which instructs pastor/teachers to equip “God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” striving for spiritual maturity in Christ. Ken builds up the congregation by developing small group ministries, and by emphasizing continual spiritual formation through worship, prayer, Bible study, and other forms of Christian training. He also believes that the ministry of the laity is an essential part the church. It is important to focus on developing and empowering leaders, and creating an environment within the church that is inviting, encouraging and supportive of all of God’s people; while, forming relationships within the church that are based on acceptance, forbearance, forgiveness, and love.
Ken’s ministry also focuses on having a visible and supportive presence in the community, because building relationships with the unchurched that reflect the grace of our Lord, Jesus is a key to effective evangelism.
Evans is a loving, caring, family church that is truly multi-generational with an active Sunday School for all ages. Each Sunday people from the age of two to 92 gather for Christian education and worship before going forth to follow and serve Jesus Christ. Evans is active in the Bradford Area Cluster of UM Churches where they have put together cleaning buckets for UMCOR and help with local prescription drug ministry among other outreach initiatives
Jeff Foor Appointed to Strattanville Charge
The churches reach out to their communities to spread the good news of the Gospel as well to help those who are in need. They serve meals to their neighbors through Clarion Food for Friends, are very involved in the Second Harvest Food Distribution, participate in Operation Christmas Child and the Potato Project in the district. They celebrate their long history of ministry and fellowship.