2022 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Go to summary listing

Sorted by Announced Date


Lee Appointed to St. Marys UMC

Announced: 04-17-2022
About Sang Hak Lee
Sang Hak Lee was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea in a devoted Christian household. He learned how to serve God and His church through observing his grandfather, who planted several churches in Korea in the early 20th Century, and his father, who planted a church in Seoul after the Korean War. He adopted his family’s multigenerational calling to extend God’s Kingdom and take care of His people. 

Sang Hak earned his Bachelor’s in Theology at HyupSung University. He has a Master of Theology degree from the Korean Methodist Theological Seminary and a Master of Divinity degree from KangNam University in Korea. He has studied at the Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky for his doctorate. Sang Hak Lee was originally ordained in Korea and has since served in churches around Korea and the United States as a minister and pastor. He has served in Korea in Seoul (a Megacity), Suji (a suburban area), Uljin (a Fishing Village), and Moongyeong (a Mountain village). In the U.S. he has served in various towns in Kansas. He has planted two churches in Uljin and Moongyeong, among other places in Korea.

Sang Hak served as the president of Cozy Mind, an organization that supports children and senior citizens who live alone in Korea. He was the pastor of the Christian High Schools’ Union, the representative of a Counseling Clinic, and a Camp Director for a college students’ summer retreat camp of the Korean Methodist Church. 
Sang Hak Lee is a licensed Sexual Violence Counselor and Domestic Violence Counselor by the Ministry of Gender Equality & Family Republic of Korea. He was fully trained for the overseas mission hosted by the Korean Methodist Church in Seoul, Korea.

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

Sang Hak’s passion is for ministry and aspires to extend God’s Kingdom on Earth and to make and support disciples of Jesus Christ. His spiritual gifts for ministry are preaching, pastoral care, and building up discipleship programs.
He is married to Jong Youn Lee and they have two daughters: Ye Joo and Ye Gang Lee. Ye Joo is a law student at Columbia Law School in New York City, and Ye Gang is a freshman at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS.
About St. Marys First UMC
First United Methodist Church is located in St. Marys PA.  The 150-year-old church is home to a rural congregation who in the summertime occasionally have services at the church’s new off-site pavilion. The church is a long-standing believer in Sunday School with classes available for pre-school through adults.  To keep the members involved with the church and engaged with one another there are a number of offerings available.  The church has a strong United Methodist Women’s group who support numerous missions.  The men’s group and the small groups meet on a weekly basis, keeping each other accountable to God’s word and seeking God. Periodic bible studies are offered. 

An outreach to the community is offered through the free Bowls of Love weekly meals available to those in need and through the Christmas Day Happening which involves home delivery of an abundant meal to individuals and families in need. Another outreach is an invitation to all local children to join our VBS program held at the pavilion. Periodically events such as Easter Egg Hunts are held for our church youngsters and the community.        

Beverly Spore to Serve 4-Point Charge

Announced: 04-10-2022
About Beverly A. Spore
The Potato Creek Charge/Mt. Jewett UMC and Hazel Hurst UMC will become a 4-point charge July 1, 2022 with the Rev. Beverly Spore as  pastor. She currently serves as pastor of the Potato Creek Charge.

Rev. Beverly A. Spore was born and raised in Somerset County, PA.  She earned a BS in Biology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1996, after which she worked as an environmental and industrial health and safety analyst for a defense contractor in Johnstown, PA.  After discerning a call to pastoral ministry, Rev. Spore enrolled in Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY, and she graduated with a Master’s of Divinity in 2008.

Rev. Spore has served churches in the Erie-Meadville, Connellsville, Greensburg, and Kane districts and devotes her ministry to making disciples of all ages through a variety of methods. She sees one of her most important responsibilities as helping others to grow spiritually, while continuing to strive for growth herself.  She focuses her gifts of preaching and teaching through a particularly Wesleyan lens.

Rev. Spore firmly believes in the importance of meeting people where they are to share the love of Christ instead of waiting for them to come to church. Since pastors are appointed to a community, Rev. Beverly actively seeks to participate in local organizations and events outside the church walls. She sees Christ’s command to love one another as the basis for ministries of mercy and social justice and as the core of Methodist tradition.

Even though Rev. Spore is mostly traditional in worship, she has a creative gift which shines through in many aspects of her ministry. She always looks for new ideas for special worship services and has been known for having a live sheep for Sheep Day, planting a tree to celebrate Creation Day, a cowboy theme for summer, a Christmas talk show, and tongues of fire on Pentecost.
About Potato Creek Charge /Mt. Jewett/Hazel Hurst UMCs
The Potato Creek Charge was formed in the last decade to enhance one another’s ministry and mission in and around the McKean county seat.

The United Methodist Church of Smethport is located in the heart of Smethport, directly across the street from the county courthouse.  Formed in 1820, UMCS has is dedicated to worship, learning, nurturing disciple, and reaching out to the community.  The church has close ties with Christian Community Services food bank and is known for providing hospitality for community events held at the courthouse.  Currently the church serves as a holding depot for the conference Mission Barn.
Crosby UMC is located in the village of Crosby, seven miles from Smethport.  The church, established in 1887, has a rustic aesthetic and a family atmosphere, with deep ties to the community.  In addition, the Crosby congregation is noted for providing generously to immediate-need missions, such as disaster-relief. 

The Mt. Jewett United Methodist Church on Boyd Street in Mt. Jewett, PA is a praying and giving church. It has many prayer groups. The church also hosts the food pantry for the community, which is supported by all the churches in Mt. Jewett. The congregation also offers “Kids Klub,”an after-school program. Vacation Bible School is held each summer. Missions and mission support are vitally important to the congregation, which supports several missions. Overall the congregation has a mission to serve God in all the ways they can in Mt. Jewett and beyond.

Hazel Hurst United Methodist Church is located at 18 School Street, Hazel Hurst PA  16733. The congregation recently celebrated its 100th birthday, and several families have been members for generations. Known as the “Light On The Hill," the church is viewed as "a place you can turn when you are in need or long for spiritual guidance. Although the membership and worship attendance are small, attendance at community events the church hosts is usually much larger and many express gratitude for the church's presence in the community. The congregation serves the community, supports change and prays for the best!  

Tennies To Serve New Bradford Area Charge

Announced: 04-10-2022
About Jay P. Tennies
Jay Tennies will serve as senior pastor of both Hill Memorial UMC, where he currently serves, and Evans Memorial UMC as the two churches form a two-point charge, effective July 1. 

Jay was born into a preacher’s family. He is the child of the late Rev. Lloyd and Phyllis Tennies and the grandson of the late Rev. DeForest Tennies. Growing up in the church meant an early struggle for faith. That struggle ended with Jay choosing Jesus as Savior and Lord instead of some of the brokenness which he saw in the church. That decision came at a youth retreat; a few years later it was followed by a call to ministry.

Jay studied communications with an emphasis in television production and public relations and has degrees from Butler County Community College, California University of PA, and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

He has served as appointments at Kent’s Chapel, Spraggs, Timblin, Porter, Rural Valley, Whitesburg, Eldred, Johnsonburg, and Kane before coming to Hill Memorial. In addition to his pastoral work, Jay was the Director of the Eldred World War II Museum and spent time on the staff of First United Methodist Church in Bradford.

With a Bible in one hand and guitar in the other, Jay works to build relationships. He does this beyond the local church with his service as a Chaplain and Worship Leader at Wesley Woods, working ecumenically, serving on the Kane District Council and on the Conference Sessions Team.

Jay is married to Angelia Tennies. They have three adult sons, Daniel, Clay, and Joshua; three grandchildren, Rylee, Nolan, and Madelyn and are currently awaiting the birth of twin grandsons. They also had a daughter Elizabeth, who is safely home in heaven.
About Evans Memorial UMC/Hill Memorial UMC
Evans Memorial UMC: In 1961, the Degolia and the Lewis Run churches asked to be united as one church.  After four years of work and planning, this became a reality on October 10, 1965. Rev. Leroy Lundgren was pastor.  The church was named Evans Memorial in memory of Rev. T.E. Evans, who had faithfully served both churches. Currently, Evans is active with a Sunday morning worship service, an Adult Sunday School class, a weekly in-home Bible Study, and an active United Women in Faith (UMW) group.  The church supports several global, domestic, and local mission efforts.  Through the Mission Ministry and a VBS mission project, the church created and maintains three Blessing boxes with food and personal essentials (hyg/clean) in the community. The church has a  strong Prayer Ministry with a prayer chain in place.  The Prayer Team meets each Sunday morning before the Worship service to pray for both the pastor and service.  The congregation also works closely with the local Volunteer Fire Department for several events.

During Covid a Mailing Ministry was established to send a scripture, weekly devotions, and activity page to members and shut-ins. Packets with Sunday School material, crafts, and "Shirley's Cookies" were delivered to the church children.  Before Covid, the church offered a monthly luncheon for seniors which included lunch and a themed program. Evans Memorial is a very blessed, devoted, and serving church, giving their all in the service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Hill Memorial United Methodist Church is a faith community located in downtown Bradford. The church actively lives into the mission of accepting people where they are, as Christ did, and drawing them into a loving and caring fellowship.

The church has a strong Missions emphasis with an Annual Missions Conference and strong Faith Promise Giving that supports local, regional, and global missions. The church also is engaged in camping ministries through Wesley Woods and holds a Ladies Retreat at Olmsted Manor.

Hill Memorial is known as a welcoming place with good cooks and people who will pray. These gifts are lived out through our Sunday Evening Vespers, Holiday Faire, Attic Treasure Sale, Wednesday Soup Lunch and hosting various community events such as the Woman’s Literary Guild and Kindergarten Graduation for The Learning Center.

Calvin Cook to Serve Kane, East Kane UMCs

Announced: 04-03-2022
About Calvin J. Cook
Calvin J. Cook, who has served as pastor of Kane First UMC since 2016, has been appointed to also serve as pastor of East Kane UMC in a new charge alignment. 

Calvin grew up in Dawson, Fayette County PA,  as the son of the late Harry and Martha Jane (Moon) Cook. He has has a sister Christine.  In 1986, on a Lay Witness Mission in Franklin PA, he met Gail Brindle who would become his bride 10 years later. The couple will celebrate their 25th Anniversary this September. 

Calvin accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of 15. He owned various businesses and has worked for various employers, including Seven Springs Resort. In 1999 Calvin founded a retail furniture and mattress store. 

After many years of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, being a lay speaker and being involved in various other missional endeavors, Calvin answered the call to pastoral ministry. Calvin’s pastoral ministry began with Hyndman Larger Parish where he served as a Certified Lay Minister, then became a Licensed Local Pastor.  Calvin later served the Fertigs Charge, which included Fertigs, Ashland, Pine City, and Rouseville.  In 2016 Calvin and Gail answered the call to Kane First United Methodist.

Calvin believes in the abundant grace of Jesus and has great passion for preaching, teaching, and discipleship. Calvin and Gail are actively engaged in mission and ministry in Haiti. Serving in disaster relief ministry also has been an important part of Calvin’s life, and he served on the Conference and District level, including as Conference Disaster Response Coordinator.

Romans 8:28 is one of Calvin’s core verses “All things work together for those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” 
About Kane-East Kane Charge
The Kane First United Methodist congregation dates back to the 1860s when an early circuit rider organized Sunday School for the purpose of organizing a church in the new in McKean County PA community in the middle of the Alleghany National Forest. For the last 157 years, Kane Methodist has been in many different locations in Kane PA . The congregation has been in its present location since 1905 when the current beautiful church building was built after fire destroyed the previous structure.

Throughout the years, the church building has served as a gathering place for many to worship God, enjoy fellowship, and serve as a public gathering place during good times and difficult times. 

n recent years the church has put a renewed emphasis on offering various styles of worship, with three in-person weekend worship services and an on-line livestream. There is an active Sunday School program, Children & Youth Fellowship, United Methodist Women and Men groups. Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, AA, NA, and Al-Anon all utilize space in the church.

The people of Kane First have a passion for outreach, supporting missions locally and abroad.  The church actively supports ministry, education, and sustainability projects in Haiti. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit, several local mission and ministries have been established in recent years, including the Sharing Room (providing hygiene items); Wednesday drive-up dinners that served 25,000 meals during the Covid pandemic, and a Re-Souled Shop (thrift store) that gives back to ministries in the community. Ministries to all ages and all people is vitality important to the church’s vision for transforming the world for Jesus Christ.

The congregation of East Kane United Methodist Church continues to be resolute in its commitment to Christ.  It is a sincere and family-oriented church, serving God by sharing God’s grace and love with one another.  A small congregation, what it lacks in numbers, is make up for with faith, love of God and love of one another. We are committed to getting the word of Christ out to all.
Their hope is that all who pass through their doors feel as though they are home. To that end, they strive to always be open, accepting and loving, as Christ would have them be, with everyone they encounter. 
East Kane is a very blessed, devoted and mission-minded church with a passion to contribute to many different local and worldwide ministries. 

Cindy Duffee to Serve Fertigs Charge

Announced: 03-20-2022
About Cynthia A. Duffee
Cindy grew up in Coal Hollow in Elk County and graduated from St. Mary's Area High in 1979. After an experience similar to the story of Samuel, she left a retail career and answered God's call into ministry.

Cindy completed the Course of Study in 2017 and has been blessed to serve churches in the Franklin, Erie/Meadville, Indiana and Kane Districts. She looks forward to once again being part of the Franklin District, a place where she calls home.  Cindy’s emphasis for ministry is encouraging congregations (regardless of size and age) to invite people to come into the presence of Christ through the ministry of the church. Her passion is freeing and equipping as many laity as possible to use their gifts in the life of the church: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it”  (1 Cor. 12:27).

Outside the local church, Cindy has served on the district and conference levels. Volunteering at local food pantries is something she greatly enjoys. She is known to frequently say, “The ground at the foot of the cross is level, no clichés or judgments to be found in Jesus. However, it is there you will discover Jesus’ amazing grace.”

Cindy and her husband Ken will celebrate our 43rd anniversary this year. Ken is an ordained elder in the UMC. They have three adult children and five grandchildren: Blaine and his wife Ashley are parents of grandchildren Payton, Maddox and Dexter; daughter Sarah and her husband Trevor Hile are parents of grandchildren Gwen and Greyson, and son Joshua Duffee. Cindy enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and with friends.  She and Ken are avid motorcycle riders and are members of the Christian Motorcycle Association.  They enjoy the beauty of God’s creation and a good cup of coffee. 
About Fertigs Charge
The Fertigs Charge in the Franklin District consists of the Fertigs, Ashland and Pine City UMCs. While each church has its own ministry, they work together well in ministry and outreach. Strengthening and deepening their faith are of primary importance.  Prayer and fellowship are important as well. There is a covenant prayer group that meets weekly, as well as men’s and women’s small groups. The churches sponsor Vacation Bible School, support the local food pantry and have a blanket ministry. Additionally, the churches participate in an annual mission trip and work together with neighboring UM churches to repair homes.

Ken Duffee to Serve Sugarcreek/Grace Charge

Announced: 03-20-2022
About Kenneth L. Duffee
Ken entered pastoral ministry in 1994 as a student pastor and graduated from Ashland Theological Seminary in 2001 and was ordained an Elder in 2004. Currently serving Evans Memorial UMC, his past appointments include: the Greene Hills Parish, Wheatland/Farrell, Emlenton, Clark/ Charleston, and Ringgold/ North Freedom. Ken has served on the Conference Connectional Table, as Chair of the Conference Evangelism Team, on the Franklin District Committee on Ministry and both the Franklin and Kane District committees on Buildings and Location.

Ken and his wife Cindy, a licensed local pastor, have been married for almost 43 years and have three grown children and five grandchildren.

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” while striving for spiritual maturity in Christ. He also feels that the ministry of the laity is an essential part the church. It is essential 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.  His ministry has been focused on having a visible and supportive presence in the community, developing small group ministries, emphasizing continual spiritual formation through worship, prayer, Bible study, and other forms of Christian training.

Ken has been enormously blessed by God in all of his appointments and service to the church. Although there have been challenges and difficulties, overall, he considers it a privilege and joy to serve God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirt with the churches of the WPA Conference.
About Sugarcreek/Grace Charge
The Sugarcreek/Grace Charge in the Franklin District includes Grace UMC, Sugarcreek UMC, Oak Hill UMC, Reno UMC and Lupher Chapel UMC. The churches are located in communities north of Franklin.  Each church has its own distinct ministry and outreach in its community, but since the inception of the charge two years ago, all five churches enjoy worshipping, working and fellowshipping together.

Choi Appointed Kane District Superintendent

Announced: 03-06-2022
About Sang Kong Choi
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi has announced that she will appoint the Rev. Dr. Sang Choi as Superintendent for the Kane District, effective July 1. 
Rev Choi will bring a number of gifts to the Kane District including effective leadership experience in rural and suburban churches and in starting a new congregation.  Rev. Choi earned a Doctor of Ministry in Church Servant Leadership from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Master’s level degree in Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of Seoul Methodist Theological University in South Korea and earned his Master of Divinity degree from Drew Theological School. University in New Jersey.  He has completed the United Methodist Foundation's Pastors Academy for Stewardship and completed Clinical Pastoral Education at Overlook Hospital in Chatham, New Jersey.
Rev.Choi has an evangelical spirit.  He first experienced a call to ministry during his childhood living in a parsonage, but after immigrating to the U.S., he was "struck by grace" during a retreat similar to the Walk to Emmaus. He experienced what John Wesley called  “enlightening of divine grace.”  He has a deep commitment to the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, and discernment. 
Rev. Choi is deeply relational.  He is clear about his personal convictions and has demonstrated an ability to work with people with many different perspectives and from many different cultures. He served a brief time in overseas mission experiences with indigenous tribes in Canada and Peru. 

In 2001, Rev. Choi was commissioned by the General Board of Global Ministries and appointed to the Pittsburgh District to launch new Korean congregation, which met at Mt. Lebanon UMC. He served there for five years before being appointed to serve Houston and Bentleyville UMCs.He then served at Erie First UMC from 2013-2015, when he began serving in his current appointment at Christ UMC in North Huntingdon. 
Before coming to Western Pennsylvania, Rev. Choi served churches in the New York and the Detroit conferences, so he will bring to Kane experience with cold weather and snow.  He will also bring with him a spirit of joy. One of his favorite Bible verses is 1 Thessalonians 5:16 which reads, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 
Rev. Sang Choi is joined in ministry by his wife Grace Choi.  They have two grown children. Jeannie is a graduate student atCarnegie Mellon University and Tiffany is a Laboratory Technologist at Allegheny General Hospital. 
About Kane District Superintendent
From the rolling farmlands of western Warren County, to the scenic beauty of the Allegheny National Forest, to the ancient wonder of the Appalachian foothills in Elk, Cameron, and Potter counties, the Kane District is a place where the glory of God’s Creation is on full display. The largest of our 10 districts by land area, the Kane District is comprised of all or part of seven Pennsylvania counties – Cameron, Clarion, Elk, Forest, McKean, Potter, and Warren.

The phrase “town and country ministry” is an excellent way to describe the ministry settings in the district. Many faithful and creative lay and clergy leaders are reaching out to their communities in rural areas, towns, and a few small cities.

This district supports the work of three historic United Methodist ministries that are located within its bounds – Wesley Woods Camp, Olmsted Manor Retreat Center, and the Ruth M. Smith Center. To equip and deploy its people for the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, the district has organized into cluster groups, expanding efforts in cooperative ministry and bringing the words of Ephesians 4:16 to life – “From Christ the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Hoover Appointed to South Harborcreek

Announced: 02-20-2022
About J. Timothy Hoover
“Pastor Tim” is a lifelong United Methodist.  He was born and raised in Clearfield, PA, where he attended West Side UMC.  He is a graduate of Clearfield High School and of Penn State University with a degree in Agricultural Education and General Science.  Prior to his call to ministry, he worked for Heath Consultants Inc., inspecting natural gas lines across the United States; the City of Harrisburg at its Advanced Wastewater Treatment facility and for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a Public Water inspector until 2003.
While working for the state, Tim felt the nudge to ministry.  For many years he served as a Certified Lay Speaker, as the Holy Spirit continued to push him toward ordained ministry.

In 2001 he became the Associate Pastor for the Mahaffey Larger Parish that included New Washington, LaJose, Mahaffey, Glen Campbell, and Smithport Churches. From 2003-2007, he attended and graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC.  Since then he has served in Mt Pleasant and since 2013 in Saint Marys.
He married Nancy in 1990 and they have two children, Ashley and Ian.  Ashley is the mother of their two grandchildren and Ian serves in the United States Army.  
Rev. Hoover strongly believe in the use of small groups to keep people connected to their church and congregation, but more importantly to hold them accountable to being in the Word, in prayer, caring for their soul and seeing God in new and wonderful places each day.  He has a strong interest in community ministry and in evangelism that meets people “where they are and gives them all the grace God has shown each of us.”
He enjoys the outdoors, hunting, fishing, geocaching, biking, kayaking, and occasionally golfing with friends.   
About South Harborcreek United Methodist Church
South Harborcreek is a vital and growing congregation of people who seek to know God more and to care for one another and their community as ambassadors of Christ. The congregation is committed to love and serve God; one another and the community. They believe they have been blessed by God to be a blessing to others in the church and community. 

While its origins date back to the 1830’s, SHUMC is a new church with much of its congregation ‘new’ to Methodism, to the call of Christ and the call to move toward Christian perfection – growing in the sanctification of heart and life. Their aspire to be a ‘light on the hill’, a fragrance of Christ to the community so the world may be a better place. The congregation has open doors to welcome all who are seeking GOD, and is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  

Pastor Tim’s strong emphasis upon making disciples through small group ministry and in engaging persons outside the Church through community outreach will be important gifts to bring to the continued growth and  vitality of South Harborcreek United Methodist Church.

Lenox to Serve Indiana: Trinity UMC

Announced: 02-20-2022
About J. Patrick Lenox
Patrick Lenox was born and raised in Crawford County, PA. in a Christ-centered home. He worked with his parents on their small farm and in their hardware store. Family was hugely important in his life.

Pat graduated from a small high school before going to Alliance College and Edinboro University of PA, earning Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and in secondary math education respectively. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Duke University. Pat is married to Grace and they have two adult daughters.

Pat received his call to pastoral ministry during college. He has a deep passion for helping people come to a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and become increasingly faithful disciples. He has been privileged to serve in longer-term appointments serving at: Bradford First as associate pastor from 1989-93, as lead pastor at Russell/Akeley from1993-2002; at Glenwood from 2002-2014 and, since 2014 as the Kane District Superintendent. He has served as Dean of the Cabinet since July 2018.

In every appointment Pat seeks to encourage all believers to let the Holy Spirit use them to share with others the love and salvation they themselves have received from Jesus Christ. 
About Indiana: Trinity United Methodist Church
Trinity UMC is located in the heart of Indiana, Pennsylvania and has a heart for making disciples. Worship experiences have included an informal Saturday evening service, traditional Sunday morning worship, as well as  a Korean worship service hosted by the church on Sunday. The congregation is involved in the Family Promise Transitional Housing program. They support the Ramps of Hope ministry in the Indiana District, CROP Walk, a food cupboard and a food distribution site in the community, and a Back to School Bash.  On a global scale, they support many facets of ministry and outreach in Haiti. 

Shearer to serve Lander/Chandlers Valley

Announced: 06-27-2021
About Ethan T. Shearer
Ethan Shearer is from Robinson, Pennsylvania.  He studied Karate and earned his black belt, and enjoyed playing soccer in his school years.  He loved the excitement, aggression, and being in constant motion.  During his freshman year in high school he joined the varsity wrestling team, and it made him strong both physically and mentally.

Church was a big part of his life as well.  He attended almost every Sunday with his family, sang the hymns, stayed for Sunday school, and went to Vacation Bible School every summer.  In college he became friends with a leader in CRU.  It was through CRU that his faith in Christ really came alive.

Ethan is exceedingly grateful for this wonderful opportunity to be in ministry with the people of Lander and Chandlers Valley.  As a pastor, he hopes to give sermons that balance hope and the assurance of God’s love for us, with firm honesty regarding God’s calling us to repentance and the vital need to be born again. Working with the youth leaders to combine fun with solid learning; and teaming up with the parishioners to share the Gospel to the unreached are also among my goals.
About Lander/Chandlers Valley
The Lander UM Church is a small conservative church located in rural northwestern Warren County. The church  has been serving the Lord since 1861. Lander offers both a contemporary worship service and a traditional service with Sunday School for all ages in between. Children are one of the church's focuses, with a Tuesday evening program that includes dinner, lesson, music, crafts and snack. Summer includes a week of Bible School. The church offers many Bible studies, including via Zoom on Wednesday evening. Because of the pandemic the service was live streamed and continues to be.

Lander is active in missions, providing support for two missionaries. Also Compassion Child and Angel Tree are a regular part of the church. The people at Lander are very caring and ready to help those in need. They will continue to serve the Lord according to His will.

Chandlers Valley is a small membership church nestled in a small village. The congregation is intentional about welcoming visitors with love and saw their efforts rewarded with three new couples worshipping with them. 

As an older congregation they enjoy more traditional worship and are not as into the more modern style. Chandlers Valley UMC has hosted benefit dinners for local families who have fallen on hard times.  Additionally they hosted gospel singers and groups.
The church family really enjoys Bible studies and appreciate pastoral visits. They have hosted a spring fishing contest for the young people in the area.

Peterson to Serve Bethel/White Oak Charge

Announced: 06-13-2021
About Roger Peterson
Beginning September 1, 2021, Rev. Roger Peterson, a retired elder, will serve a realignment of the Titusville: Bethel/White Oak Charge. 

After graduating from Houghton College in 1975, Roger became the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at The First United Methodist Church in Corry, when Reed J. Hurst was pastor. While there, Roger joined the United Methodist Church, met his wife Abbie, and entered the process toward Ordination. He went on to Asbury Seminary and, after graduation, was ordained by Bishop Roy C. Nichols and received his first appointment to Oil City Bethel and Plumer.

After 41 years of ministry, seven appointments (lasting between three and nine years) and living in nine different parsonages, Roger retired and moved back to Corry, Abbie’s hometown. He said, “It feels as if life has come full circle.”

Roger believes that God has used him to be, “An Instrument of God’s Peace,” and is grateful for the many ways God has blessed he and Abbie along the way. 

"People recently have asked me what I am going to do in retirement," he said. "I guess the answer is, more of the same…  Besides being involved in the community, and finding a new rhythm for daily living, I will be continuing to serve the Lord as God has gifted me in and through the local church. May His Kingdom come, His Will be done, on Earth, in The UMC, at Bethel and White Oak and in my life, as it is in Heaven."
About Titusville: Bethel/White Oak Charge
The Bethel congregation has a significant part in the story of Methodism in Northwestern Pennsylvania and also in the history of the Titusville area.  Through the years the congregation and its buildings have served as a hub of its rural community.  To this day, the congregation maintains a recreational pond for the community’s use and is frequently a gathering place for community events.  The congregation still hosts a community Memorial Day service that goes back to days following  the Civil War.  Several prominent ministers and community leaders have been nurtured by this congregation.  A scholarship fund that makes awards for post-secondary education to young people from the community is an important part of their legacy.  The congregation values pastoral care and vital worship as key components of their fellowship. 
White Oak, located on the Spring Creek road northeast of Titusville, is a small, rural, family-oriented church that values genuine fellowship and connection between its members.  Vital worship, heart-felt biblical preaching and teaching, and pastoral care have been important to maintaining their identity and disciple-making ministry.

Roger Petersons experience as a pastoral leader and his passion for helping congregations make disciples of Jesus Christ will help these congregations continue to grow and maintain vital ministry. 

Foor to Serve Brockport Charge

Announced: 05-30-2021
About D. Ann Foor
Dorothy H. (Ann) Foor was born and raised in south central Pennsylvania.  Ann graduated from Huntingdon Area High School, and throughout the years has taken college classes in finance/business management and psychology.  She served as Controller at a not-for-profit agency and at a for-profit business, was the executive director for a tri-county 700-acre landfill, and was the executive director of a not-for-profit agency that provided services and advocated on behalf of low-to-moderate income clients.

Ann was a member of the McConnellstown UMC and served as a Certified Lay Speaker for several years before finally obeying God’s call on her life.  She completed a two-year lay seminary course in March, 2013 at Center for Spiritual Formation.  Ann began her active ministry by serving three churches at the East Freedom charge as a Certified Lay Minister until 2016 and was then assigned to 12th Street UMC in Huntingdon PA.  Ann graduated licensing school in March, 2017.  Currently she is enrolled in Course of Study at METHSCO in Delaware, Ohio.

Ann and her husband Charles J. (Jim) Foor have been married for 53 years.  They have three daughters and sons-in-law, five grandchildren, and one great-grandson.  They have owned their home in Hesston PA since 1980, but look forward to relocating to St. Marys.
About Brockport Charge
The Brockport United Methodist Charge consists of the Brockport, Toby, and the Kersey United Methodist churches and is located in Horton and Fox townships in Elk County.  These three churches have nurtured and served the surrounding communities for over 100 years.
Each church has its own individual history, style of Sunday morning worship service and special events. The Brockport UMC hosts Weight Watchers, monthly Saturday morning pancake dinners and an annual Chicken BBQ and Bake Sale.  The Toby United Methodist Church hosts an annual auction and Christmas Dinner.  The Kersey UMC hosts Boy Scouts of America, an annual Yard Sale and various holiday bake sales.  The Kersey UMC also joins the other Kersey churches in an annual Christmas Church Tour.
Although individual churches, the parishioners of each church worship together at special worship services during Lent, Easter, Advent and Christmas.  Charge-wide Bible studies and Vacation Bible school are also held, as well as a Summer picnic.  In addition to the Charge supporting the local ministerium and community service organizations, the Charge “Mission Pennies” are collected each Sunday and given quarterly to United Methodist organizations and various charitable and community foundations.
The churches of the Brockport Charge are small community churches, but offer a vital key to spreading the Gospel of our Lord to the area.

Karen Trask to Serve Lawrence Park

Announced: 05-23-2021
About Karen Trask
Pastor Karen Trask grew up just east of Pittsburgh, PA in McKeesport and graduated from McKeesport Area High School. She began her faith journey as Roman Catholic and had a sense of God’s love in her life at a young age. She worked for 20 years in the Nursing Department of Torrance State Hospital and met her husband Bob there in 1996 when he was working as an after-care coordinator for the clients of Westmoreland County. The couple married in 1998, and with Bob’s encouragement Karen answered the call to become a Local Lay Speaker. After moving forward with the required trainings, Karen became a Certified Lay Speaker, then a Certified Lay Minister and finally a Licensed Local Pastor in 2012. She is currently finishing her last class of Course of Study through the Appalachian Local Pastors School, Tennessee Conference.

Karen served as Chaplain for the Erie UM Alliance for several years working with the residents of the Refuge, Hope House and the Liberty House, a shelter for homeless veterans. Pastor Karen loves to preach and teach the Word of God and is passionate about fulfilling her call and using her gifts and graces to bring all God’s people to know Him and what He has called them to as well.
About Lawrence Park United Methodist Church
Lawrence Park UM is currently celebrating its 100th year of ministry to the community.  The congregation maintains vital worship, strong ties of fellowship and is very active in outreach to its local neighborhood and across the City of Erie.  The church has active UMM and UMW groups that support their mission and ministry.  While the congregation is has grown smaller in recent years, they remain committed to reaching their community with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Karen Trask’s passion for the Good News and her gifts of administration, outreach and evangelism should help  the congregation achieve its goals of making disciples of Jesus Christ. 

Nelson to Serve Bradford First UMC

Announced: 05-23-2021
About Rick Nelson
Rev. Rick Nelson was born and raised in Fairmont, WV. He attended college at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV where he met his wife Barbara and majored in Elementary Education. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC.

Rick, his wife Barbara and their daughter April currently live in Brookville, PA where he has served as Senior Pastor of the Good Shepherd UM Parish since 2018. Rick has been a United Methodist pastor since 1986 where he began serving in the Virginia Annual Conference.  In 1992 Rick moved to the Western PA Annual Conference and was ordained as an Elder in 1994.

During most of his ministry Rick has been involved with The United Methodist Committee on Relief working for The UMCOR - Katrina Aid Today program from 2006 – 2008. Rick served as WPA Conference Disaster Response Coordinator for many years.

Rick believes in the “God image” in all persons and seeks to discover and foster that image in all people. He believes in reaching out through mission with the love of God sharing that nothing separates us from the love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
About Bradford First United Methodist Church
Located in northern McKean County, Bradford First’s mission is to reach the Bradford area by growing disciples through worship, reaching into the community, and children’s ministry.  Bradford First offers two different styles of worship, contemporary and traditional.  Both services continue to draw people into a heartfelt relationship with Jesus.

The church reaches into the community through their food pantry and strong ties with the local feeding ministry, The Friendship Table.  They also reach out to the church worldwide by supporting a sister church in Condega, Nicaragua through prayers, conversations, and finances.  One of the growing areas for Bradford First is young families.  The families are drawn in through children’s program. The church focuses on providing age-appropriate learning environments and having a fun.

Seth McClymonds to Serve Sarver: Zion

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Seth McClymonds
Seth McClymonds Jr. was born in New Castle and grew up in Saegertown. He is a graduate of Saegertown High School and Penn State Behrend (majoring in Electrical Engineering). During his junior collegiate year, he followed God’s calling into the ministry by serving as a student pastor at State Line UMC outside North East, PA. He earned his M.Div. at Asbury Theological Seminary and has served Duke Center UMC, Y.E.S.S. Shared Ministry, Grace UMC in Warren (associate) and Covenant UMC, and, most recently, First UMC in Bradford.

In addition to serving the local church, Seth provides leadership in Conference and community ministries. He is the current chair of the Council on Finance and Administration and Finance Chair of Olmsted Manor’s board. In Bradford, he serves on the board of the Friendship Table (an area feeding ministry). He is the board president of Leadership McKean, whose mission is to develop leaders and strengthen community.

Seth is married to Beth. They have two children, Jacob (a 7th grader) and Josh (a 4th grader).
About Sarver: Zion United Methodist Church
Located in the southeastern portion of Butler County in the community of Sarver, Zion United Methodist Church is a dynamic faith community energized by this mission: To invite people to know Jesus Christ; to grow those who respond into disciples; and to serve all people in the name of Jesus. Zion UMC makes it a priority to offer radical hospitality and strives to be a place where all feel seen, heard, and valued. The church offers an expansive and intergenerational ministry that includes creative worship and music, expansive Christian education, exceptional programming for children and youth, and a commitment to missional engagement in the community and world. At Zion UMC, people love deeply, serve faithfully, pray fervently, worship joyfully, and grow daily into the likeness of Jesus.

Varrato to Serve Allegheny Valley Charge

Announced: 05-16-2021
About Ruth Ann Varrato
Ruth Ann Morley Varrato, was born and raised in Sheffield, Pennsylvania. Upon graduating from high school, she worked first in retail, then as a mother, and finally as a credit union employee for nearly four decades.

An active and faithful member of the Sheffield United Methodist Church, Ruth Ann does not remember a time when Jesus wasn’t the center of her life. As a certified lay speaker, she had the opportunity to share the Word of Jesus Christ at churches throughout the Kane District. She also served as the Kane District Lay Leader for many years and was a member of the Conference Connectional Leadership Team.

Passionate about working as a missionary, in 2012 Ruth Ann was challenged and blessed to be one of seven individuals from Western Pennsylvania to travel to Zimbabwe, where they each lived, worked, and worshipped for six weeks with a local family as a part of the Zimbabwe Immersion Program.

Ruth Ann felt her call to ministry several years ago, but after completing Licensing School, her dream had to be placed on hold due to family responsibilities. She knew that the plans, so graciously given by God, would come in time. And finally, the day came, and Ruth Ann said with a joyful and thankful heart, “Okay, God. It's time.”
About Allegheny Valley Charge
Clarendon: Trinity United Methodist Church's members are older and conservative, with a few who are liberals. Attendance is declining. The Lord has called them to serve him by being involved in the CMA and Prison Ministry.  The church provides Christmas gifts and school backpacks to the inmate’s children plus Bible studies with the inmates.  The five financially to 11 ministries, support local families by providing free winter coats to school age students, ring the bell for our area food pantry, Christmas gifts through Angel Tree and a prayer hotline.  Prior to COVID we have been blessed to have a talented choir and adult SS class. 

Stoneham UM Church dates back to December 29, 1907. It has always been a small congregation, but in its early years there much activity, involving adults as well as children. Even amidst all of the struggles, tensions, pandemic and declining membership the congregation still meets every Sunday, sings their  favorite hymns, enjoys fellowship, and are spiritually fed as they worship and acknowledge God.  The church may be small in numbers, their faith and love of God is great. The five church members are elderly, but manage to get to our church on the hill in all types of weather.  Their hope and prayer is that others in our neighborhood will feel the calling upon them from God to come and see what is behind our doors.  We have verbally and by written invitation invited people to come and patiently anticipate that one day they will come. With prayer and hope in our hearts we feel this just may happen.

The Tiona United Methodist Church includes sinners saved by Grace ranging in age from 90 to 3, with the majority in their 60's and 70's. With Covid restrictions, they averaged about 17 in Sunday worship. They are involved in 11 mission outreach programs with the Clarendon church. They have participated in the Angel Tree project and Shoebox ministry.  Several members are Bell Ringers for the food pantry. They have baked brownies and cookies for the essential workers in their small community. Before Covid they had an active Youth Group of approximately 8-12 youth a week. They like to hold  community  dinners and have a very successful Trunk and Treat each year. But the most important factor is that the church is welcoming. A man who didn't know any of them attended worship one Sunday and was welcomed. He has been for the last 10 years. He said he had attended six other churches before coming to Tiona and what made the difference was not just the people, but that the moment  he entered the church, he felt the presence of the  Holy Spirit and still does.

Zickefoose to Serve Bradford Area Parish

Announced: 05-16-2021
About C. Fred Zickefoose
Fred Zickefoose was born and raised in the Sewickley area and graduated from Quaker Valley High School in 1987. After graduation he entered the workforce, but always seemed to maintain some connection to the church. Fred married his high school sweetheart Joyce in 1992, and they have two grown sons, Josh and John. He was fortunate to officiate at both of their weddings. They also have four wonderful grandchildren.

After moving to Venango County in 2002 the family started attending Barkeyville UMC, where he and Joyce became youth group leaders. During that time the Pastor, Stephanie Thompson, recognized something in Fred and helped him to discern if he was being called into pastoral ministry. She was able to help him realize that there had been a call in his life since his teenage years. Fred entered into his first appointment, a three-point charge in the Greensburg District, in 2012. He is currently serving a two-point charge in the Connellsville District. He completed Course of Study in 2019, attending Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC.

Fred and Joyce will greatly miss the people of the Hyndman area, even as they are excited about this new opportunity to be in ministry with the people of the Bradford Area Parish.
About Bradford Area Parish
The Bradford Area Parish consists of three churches: West Branch, Asbury and Custer City. Though these churches have been a viable part of their communities for years, they are very young in the make-up of their membership. Due to many of the Saints of old taking up new membership in the heavenly church, many members are fairly new.  All three churches are very active in providing for many needs of economically challenged people in the community. They also make it a goal to support Wesley Woods camp annually through giving and sending young people to camp.

West Branch is a big sponsor of the annual Willow Creek Triathlon which supports veterans of McKean County. Asbury UMC has focused on many community ministry through children's summer lunch programs and a monthly toiletry item ministry providing essentials and hygiene products to those in need. Custer City is located by the most popular ice cream store for miles, known as the Custer City Diner. This congregation has a heart for reaching and sharing the gospel with children through a yearly VBS and a monthly Children’s program known as Kids Night Out. All three congregations center their ministry around relationships within the walls of the church, as well as out into the community.

Blake Appointed to Polk/East Grove/Center Charge

Announced: 05-02-2021
About Matthew Blake
Matthew Blake is a native of Titusville, PA. When God called him into ministry, the Holy Spirit guided and encouraged him to sell everything and follow Jesus. He has been blessed ever since.  He has served appointments in the Franklin, Johnstown and Kane districts where he currently serves a chrge in Bradford.  

Matthew’s ministry model is of the evangelistic style, through preaching, teaching and leading. He believes in meeting people where they are within the community; building relationships and forming gathering places outside the walls of the church, whether it be in a store front, coffee shop, or a walk in the woods. Personal relationships are integral to Matthew’s ministry, first between the believer and God and Jesus Christ as personal Savior and then between pastor and parishioner and community. He strongly encourages evangelism and disciple-making in his ministry and loves trying new and exciting ventures within the church and community.

Matthew is married to Laura and between them they have six children and 14 grandchildren. On his days off you will find him on the family farm tending to the herd of Black Angus cattle that he and Laura own or hunting, fishing, trapping or camping.
About Polk/East Grove/Center Charge
The churches in this charge are very mission-minded, whether it be through supporting international missionaries or children and those in need in their communities. Polk and East Grove churches each host after school programs during the school year. Together the churches sponsor Blessing Boxes at different places in the community for those who are food insecurities.

Andy Spore to Serve Emporium

Announced: 04-25-2021
About Andrew Spore
The Rev. Dr. Andrew P. Spore is a 1985 graduate of Youngsville High School who holds a B.A. degree in Broadcast Communication from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.Div. degree from Asbury Theological Seminary, and a D.Min. degree with a concentration in Bible in Ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation.  Additionally, he holds the Diplomate credential in Logotherapy (Franklian Psychology) from the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy and has taught graduate level courses in that discipline.

Ordained an elder in 2002, Andy has been serving churches since 1995, conducting his ministry according to a three-word vision: Developing Dynamic Disciples.  He is appointed presently to the Freeport and Natrona Heights: Grace United Methodist churches.  His primary gifts are teaching and preaching, with a strong background in New Testament interpretation (with an emphasis on the book of Revelation).  He also brings management and administration skills to the churches he serves.

Andy is an avid scuba diver, holding a variety of certifications in both recreational and technical disciplines, including the solo diver and master diver ratings.  Most of the year he spends his days off in Ohio diving in quarries.  He also enjoys diving in the Great Lakes, the Atlantic Ocean off Florida, and the Caribbean Sea.  Andy also enjoys playing the guitar.

He is married to the Rev. Beverly A. Spore and, between the two of them, they have six adult children and five grandchildren.  They love to travel, enjoying the Southwestern U.S. especially.
About Emporium First United Methodist Church
The people of Emporium First UMC believe that Jesus Christ is the way, truth and life and the only way to the Kingdom of God. They are a theologically diverse group that believes they are called to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:44 reminds us that we have all things in common and that we need to set aside differences and focus on winning souls for Jesus Christ. The congregation's  goal is to build bridges to our community and not walls that isolate us from the world.

Worship at the church is somewhat traditional, but focuses on thankfulness that brings unity in Jesus Christ and his healing presence. Emporium First UMC believes that the best place for church to be is outside of the walls of the building showing that everyone has value and is worthy of the love of the Most high God. It's community outreach programs provide a strong visible witness to the love of Jesus Christ.

Beverly Spore to Serve Potato Creek Charge

Announced: 04-25-2021
About Beverly Spore
Rev. Beverly A. Spore was born and raised in Somerset County, PA.  She earned a BS in Biology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1996, after which she worked as an environmental and industrial health and safety analyst for a defense contractor in Johnstown.  After discerning a call to pastoral ministry, Rev. Spore enrolled in Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY, and she graduated with a Master’s of Divinity in 2008.

Rev. Spore has served churches in the Erie-Meadville, Connellsville, and Greensburg districts and devotes her ministry to making disciples of all ages through a variety of methods. She sees one of her most important responsibilities as helping others to grow spiritually, while continuing to strive for growth herself.  She focuses her gifts of preaching and teaching through a particularly Wesleyan lens.

Rev. Spore firmly believes in the importance of meeting people where they are to share the love of Christ instead of waiting for them to come to church. Since pastors are appointed to a community, Rev. Beverly actively seeks to participate in local organizations and events outside the church walls. She sees Christ’s command to love one another as the basis for ministries of mercy and social justice and as the core of United Methodist tradition.

Even though Rev. Spore is mostly traditional in worship, she has a creative gift which shines through in many aspects of her ministry. She always looks for new ideas for special worship services and has been known to have a live sheep for Sheep Day, plant a tree to celebrate Creation Day, a cowboy theme for summer, a Christmas talk show, and tongues of fire on Pentecost.
About Potato Creek Charge
The Potato Creek Charge, which includes the UMC of Smethport and Crosby UMC, was formed in the last decade to enhance both churches' ministry and mission in and around the McKean County seat.

The United Methodist Church of Smethport is located in the heart of Smethport, directly across the street from the county courthouse.  Formed in 1820, UMCS has is dedicated to worship, learning, nurturing disciple, and reaching out to the community.  The church has close ties with Christian Community Services food bank and is known for providing hospitality for community events held at the courthouse.  Currently the church serves as a holding depot for the conference Mission Barn.
Crosby UMC is located in the village of Crosby, seven miles from Smethport.  The church, established in 1887, has a rustic aesthetic and a family atmosphere, with deep ties to the community.  In addition, the Crosby congregation is noted for providing generously to immediate-need missions, such as disaster-relief. 

Short Appointed to Brookville First

Announced: 04-11-2021
About Joseph Short
Pastor Joe Short was raised in Patton, a small town in Cambria County, the youngest of seven children. Most of his pastoral ministry has been in small communities, a setting where he feels most at home. It was in Patton that he met his wife Jenny while they attended high school together. They married in 1986, and have three grown children -- Chris, Becky and Cathy--along with three grandchildren. Joe is a second-career pastor.
Pastor Joe has an Associate’s degree from Cambria County Community College in Human Services, A Bachelor’s degree from Geneva College in Human Resource Management and a Masters in Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. He was ordained as an Elder in 2012. Joe enjoys being active in the communities that he serves, including being a volunteer firefighter.
Pastor Joe has served at the Glasgow Larger Perish in The Johnstown District, The Benson and Curry Churches in the Kentucky Annual Conference, The Redbank Valley United Methodist Ministry in the Franklin District and The Emporium 1st UMC in the Kane District.

His ministry for the Kingdom of God is one that calls for church to grow outside of the walls of buildings with a joy and excitement that comes from a deepened relationships with Jesus the Christ. Joe’s favorite quote comes from Mark Twain, “No one can kill a good story like a preacher!” So, he presents the word of God in a lively and life applicable way. Pastor Joe loves Jesus and it shows.
About Brookville First United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church is located behind the Jefferson County Courthouse. The church is active in community ministries, supporting the Food Pantry, I-80 Trucker Ministry, the Salvation Army and offering Vacation Bible School. They have partnered with other church on mission trips. There is a focus on discipleship with pastor and lay-lead Bible studies, small groups, youth programming and a mentoring program. 

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.

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.

Bell Appointed Full-Time PA Air National Guard Chaplain

Announced: 02-14-2021
About Jonathan R. Bell
The Rev. Dr. Jonathan R. Bell has been serving in a dual capacity as an appointed pastor in local church settings and with the military as an Endorsed United Methodist Chaplain since 2000.  This has been a tremendous blessing and afforded many unique partnership opportunities.  Most recently he has been the pastor of Good Shepherd (North Clarion) UMC in the Leeper/Tionesta area of the Kane District. 

Jonathan earned a BA degree from Allegheny College, a Master of Divinity degree from The Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Military Chaplaincy and Foreign/National Policy from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC.  He is married to Anne and they have four sons:  Reed, Jackson, Asher, and Tobin.
About Pennsylvania Air National Guard Chaplain
Jonathan move into Full-time Extension Ministry as Chaplain to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.  Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan R. Bell will serve as the full-time Wing Chaplain of the 171st Air Refueling Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, Coraopolis, PA.  In addition, he is the senior ranking National Guard Chaplain in the Commonwealth and serves as the Air National Guard Liaison Chaplain to the Pennsylvania Joint Force Headquarters at Fort Indiantown Gap.  In this capacity he will help to oversee the spiritual care and resilience of one of the largest, most deployed and domestically active National Guards in the nation. 

He has experience with multiple deployments in support of Operation Deep Freeze—Antarctica, Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. 

Heidi Helsel to Serve Marienville Charge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rick Helsel to Serve Good Shepherd UMC

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

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

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

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