2018 Appointments

Appointments effective July 1, except where noted.

Sorted by Announced Date

Kolacz to Serve Oil City: Trinity, Bethel

Announced: 11-19-2018

About Julie Kolacz
Julie S. Kolacz has been appointed to serve Oil City: Trinity and Bethel UMCs, effective November 19, 2018.  Pastor Julie 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. She is excited to return to the region and eagerly anticipates what God has in store for the people of faith and their local communities.

Pastor Julie graduated from Grove City College where she majored in psychology and religion. She holds a Master of Science in community counseling from Georgia State University and an M.Div. in pastoral counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary.

She comes to the Oil City churches from the UM Community Charge - six rural churches on the Washington District. She also has 10 years of experience serving as a part-time chaplain at Meadville Medical Center (extension ministry) and served as part-time pastor of two congregations on the Erie-Meadville District - New Ireland and Lake Pleasant UMC.

She also has served as a Student Local Pastor of Teepleville UMC, a youth pastor at Christ UMC in Franklin, and as Director of Christian Education at Stone UMC in Meadville.

She has worked as a mental health therapist with Christian Counseling Associates of WPA and two wrap-around agencies proving mobile therapy – Family Counseling and Children’s Services and Youth Advocates.

Julie has a son, John Stephen, a cadet in training at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia.
About Oil City: Trinity and Bethel UMC
Trinity UMC and Bethel UMC, both located in Oil City, have a rich history in the oil region of Pennsylvania. The churches have an active children’s ministry, with Trinity hosting a Friday night children’s program and both churches playing an active role in a cooperative VBS each summer. They are currently working on strengthening their youth ministry. For over 50 years Trinity UMC has hosted weekly lunches for the community each spring and fall. People can go to Trinity Hall for lunch and fellowship or lunches can be delivered to area workplaces. The churches also reach out to their community and lend a helping hand to those in need. 

Loughman To Serve at Butler First UMC

Announced: 06-03-2018

About Hannah Loughman
Hannah Loughman is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, where she received the Paul T. Gerrard award given to the graduating student who shows the most promise in pastoral care and homiletics.  She is certainly proving herself worthy of such an award. As a pastor Hannah seeks to help people see the love of God within themselves and others and the grace of Jesus offered to them on the cross.

Serving the Bridgeville and Houston UM churches the past few years, Hannah has led them in experiencing renewed vitality. “It is exciting to witness two communities from different walks of life come together letting the Holy Spirit bind them,” she says. In worship Hannah practices a heart-filled practical worship style that makes the scripture come alive for those present. Hannah looks forward to moving to Butler and will bring a mixture of energy, integrity, and intensity that inspires others to want to know God more.
Hannah hopes to be a bridge builder within the community and possesses a vision that the church will be a place that the entire community, not just individuals, turns to for their needs. As she puts it, “I wish for people to see that they have the love and grace of Christ within them and so does everyone else and that in the end, love really is all that matters!” 

Hannah believes that in faith it all boils down to a person’s relationship with Jesus Christ.  “A relationship with Jesus is what is necessary in this life and for the next,”
she says. 
Hannah and her husband Todd are the parents of son Owyn and daughter Jordyn. Hannah is the daughter of Rev. Bruce and Bonnie Judy and sister of Rev. Justin Judy and Pastor Jacob Judy.
About Butler First United Methodist Church
Butler First UMC is a growing community of believers where Jesus Christ changes lives. The church sees as its mission growing people to Christ-like maturity through on-going personal involvement in worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism. Butler First is one church with three campuses, each offering a different style of worship. The downtown campus offers three weekend blended traditional services – one on Saturday evening and two on Sunday morning. The Connection Center, also downtown, offers a country music-based worship called God’s Country, also on Saturday evening. Four miles north of downtown is the Crossfire campus, offering modern-style worship on Sunday morning. Although Butler has established a reputation based on different worship styles, their growth group ministries and community-based ministries are the real heartbeat of church life. Regardless of station in life, all are welcome and all can find a church home at Butler First.

McDaid To Serve Scenery Hill UMC

Announced: 06-03-2018

About Patricha A. McDaid
Patty’s call to ministry began while working as the church secretary at Jefferson Avenue United
Methodist Church.  Talking with the church’s pastor, John Hoffman about what it meant to
make disciples, Patty began a journey that led to her enrolling in a class entitled “Accountable
Discipleship” as part of the District Lay Servants School. Seeking the Lord’s guidance and
direction for her life, Patty reached the place, as many do, where she felt God was calling her
to become a pastor in the local church.
As a lay person at the church, while still working as the church secretary, Patty’s ministries included: Chair of the Christian Education program, Vice President and Secretary of the United Methodist Women, Church Council Secretary, Adult Sunday School teacher, Leader of Disciple 1 – 3 Bible Studies, and Lay Speaker, among others.

Patty enrolled in and graduated from Local Pastor’s Licensing School in 2015.  It was also in
2015 Patty received her first appointment to Midway and Federal UMCs on the Washington
District.  Using her God-given gifts of administration, teaching, and leadership Patty’s desire is
to carry out God’s will and to serve the people of God in the community where she is appointed
by engaging them in ministry and mission in order to demonstrate to everyone that God loves them and is always there.

Patty’s appointment to Scenery Hill is as a part-time local pastor.  Patty is employed full-time at DDI, Inc., Bridgeville, Pa where she likens her work as a “minister and missionary” to her co-workers and those whom they serve. Patty is married to Barry. The McDaid’s make their home in Washington, PA.  When contacted about her upcoming appointment Patty’s first word was “Awesome!”  Patty is grateful to serve the Lord through The United Methodist Church!
Located on historic Route 40, surrounded by some of the most beautiful farmland you’ll see
anywhere in Western Pennsylvania, Scenery Hill United Methodist Church is a church with a
rich history and a heart to make Jesus known to others so they can experience the redeeming grace and love of God and the difference it makes in a person's life. Like many local churches in Western Pennsylvania, Scenery Hill may have fewer people in attendance than it once had, but those who attend faithfully do all they can to continue to be a presence for Jesus in the community, especially for those in need. 

The congregation is blessed with gifted lay speakers and there is a hunger to engage the community in missions.  The same hunger is expressed for Bible study and preaching that transforms lives.  To a person, those who make up the Scenery Hill church community know what it means to work hard and to give the Lord their best.

Walker to Serve Bridgeville, Houston UMCs

Announced: 06-03-2018

About Brenda Walker
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi will appoint Brenda K. Walker as Senior Pastor at Houston First UMC and Bridgeville First UMC effective July 1, 2018.   Pastor Brenda’s personal mission statement is “Inspired by the Spirit, I seek to create safe spaces for others to explore their faith through art, worship, study, and fellowship.” 
Brenda’s gifts include discipleship, preaching, worship design, administration, and mentoring.   She is comfortable leading traditional and contemporary worship experiences.  She considers it a privilege to have been able to guide people in their exploration of faith in single and multiple-point charges in suburban, urban, and large and small church ministry settings.
One of her strengths is the ability to engage with people of different ages, experiences, and cultures. Inspired by her belief that God is calling her to lead the church in making connections with a diversity of people and making new disciples, Brenda is intentional about developing personal relationships with laity leaders, creating age-diverse leadership teams, collaborating on new ideas, and providing opportunities for reflection.  She has served as an interim pastor in a cross-cultural setting at Chinese Community UMC in Oakland, CA.
Brenda is a life-long learner whose spiritual disciplines are prayer, meditation, study, and service.  She is passionate about meeting, connecting, and engaging new people, sharing God’s story of grace and unconditional love, and helping a diversity of people grow in their faith.
She effectively empowers and equips lay people in leadership and builds and is intentional about creating space for conversation.  Recently, she designed and facilitated an event named “Dinner and Conversations of Faith” to encourage discussion about difficult topics in a relaxed safe environment.
During her ministry as an ordained Elder, Brenda has designed successful stewardship campaigns for capital improvements and to meet operating expenses; facilitated training for volunteer teams; initiated and fostered community partnerships to provide weekly low-cost meals; and launched a weekly youth gathering in partnership with parents from the community.  In her current appointment, she organized an annual Christian education event with an average attendance of 80.  
Brenda is the mother of two adult sons who live in the Pittsburgh area.  She is an avid reader of all literary genres and also enjoys movies, cycling, and hosting gatherings at her house.
About Houston First /Bridgeville First UMCs
Houston First UMC, begun as a branch of the Canonsburg Methodist Church in 1894 in the Washington County  borough of Houston, is a welcoming, caring, and growing congregation “centered on faith in Jesus Christ.”  The congregation has a strong focus on children and youth and is blessed with strong, gifted, and generous lay leadership. 

Its blended worship service on Sunday at 11 a.m., enhanced by an awesome music minister, has a wonderful Spirit-filled rhythm. The congregation’s expanding children and youth ministry includes their worship on Sunday and VBS. 
Lay-lead and pastor-led Bible studies; a mentoring ministry; small group ministries; adult, family, women’s, men’s, and senior citizens programs and fellowships, and an active UMW round out opportunities for discipleship formation and growth. 

The congregation’s community involvement extends beyond its small geographic borders. 
It participates in Meals on Wheels, Poverty Circles and Interfaith Hospitality Network programs; builds handicap accessible ramps; and does small building and repair jobs as part of its “neighbor helping neighbor” ministry.  The congregation’s dedicated volunteers perform work for area organizations.
In addition, the congregation responds to needs of others through its clothing, feeding, Food Pantry, and health and support ministries.  It supports local, national, and global charitable organizations, and The UMC’s Advance Specials, as well as being engaged in other mission work.

Bridgeville First UMC is located in one of Bridgeville’s three principal residential areas, surrounded by a thriving business district.  Many of the community's 5,116 people are life-long residents and there is a growing number of young families. 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.
Bridgeville First'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.
Discipleship is nurtured during a Saturday 6 p.m. contemporary worship service, a 9:15 a.m. Sunday traditional worship service, Sunday school at 10:15 a.m., pastor-led Bible studies, prayer gatherings, and a shoe-box ministry for shut-ins.  They value working together in the Spirit of Christ to nurture everyone regardless of differences.
Bridgeville First engages the community through its clothing ministry, the community food pantry, Angel Tree, and water ministries, racers-for-tots and parent’s day out programs,  At Christmas, it adopts families. The congregation also collects flood buckets and assists flood victims.  
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. 

Jude Urso To Serve Monogahela First UMC

Announced: 05-13-2018

About Jude Urso
From as far back as he can remember, Jude Urso has been aware of “God’s call on his life.”  From childhood others in his life confirmed what Jude “knew in his own heart.”  At the same time, Jude also knew “he didn’t want to be a pastor”.  It turns out (as it often does), God had other plans!  As a student attending Mercyhurst University, God’s plans also became clear to him.  Jude describes his experience this way: “While I was working on my degree at Mercyhurst University the call became stronger and stronger. I went on a mission trip to Mexico City the summer before my final year of college.  When I got there the only room available was with the youth pastor of the group.  He was the one who helped me understand that God was calling me into ministry and that I had no other choice, but to answer that call.”  Soon afterward Jude was licensed as a student pastor in the Conference and enrolled in seminary. The rest is history.

It’s also a history in which Jude describes seeing “the Lord work in amazing ways” in his life, the life of the churches and communities he has been privileged to serve, and the people God entrusted to him as their pastor.  Reaching beyond the walls of the church as it’s often known, Jude has served as a firefighter, as an Eagle Scout providing adult leadership in the scouting program, served on community boards and agencies, and actively participated in local clergy ministeriums and ecumenical services and ministries.
One of Jude’s strengths is he loves people.  Preaching, teaching and administration are also strengths that Jude brings to the table.  While not as young as he once was, Jude also has made it known he still has what it takes to stay up all night at youth events. Jude’s pastoral ministry appointments include: Bethel and White Oak UMCs, Hickory Grove UMC, Creekside and Tanoma UMCs, Creekside and Trinity UMC, where he served as Trinity’s youth pastor, and Windover Hills UMC.  Jude presently serves in an Extension Ministry appointment at Jumonville as the Director of Business and Operations. In addition to his ministry in the local church and as part of the Conference’s Camping and Retreat Ministries, Jude has also served as a member of the Conference Sessions Team and on the Conference Council on Finance and Administration.
Jude is married to Emily. Together they have three beautiful daughters – Mary,13; Sarah,11, and Rachel, 5. Emily is employed at the Ringgold Middle School, is in her senior year at California University and is a gifted musician. Sarah and Rachel are aspiring dancers and Mary is active in Girl Scouts.
About Monongahela First UMC
Monongahela, Pennsylvania’s second smallest chartered city, has been described as a “rising star” in Washington County and the Mon Valley. More and more people are calling Monongahela home, especially young people. A city of an estimated 4,300 persons, Monongahela is an active community hosting between 60 and 110 community-centered activities each month. Located in the heart of the city, Monongahela First is the largest Protestant church in town. Known for its outreaching love and the high value church members place on relationships, Monongahela First looks ahead committed to find creative ways to meet people “where they are” while continuing to “change the world by making disciples of Jesus Christ who make more disciples”. The church has a growing discipleship program with a new adult Sunday school class and plans to launch a beginners Sunday school for grades K-2 this fall.

The church building serves as the site for both the church’s food pantry and the community food bank.  Mon First is also one of several churches in the community that works to dismantle racism and address injustice and oppression in the Mon Valley and beyond. When asked what kind of church they believe Jesus is calling them to be in the next five years, church leaders responded by saying, “More mission-centered and mission-based; relevant; more community active and engaging; being a part of the community at-large, including providing leadership in the community beyond the walls of the church; more open to who and what God sends us; having a deeper and better understanding of the gospel and a more Christ-like “outreaching” grace for all.”

Lawler Appointed Pastor at Fairview/Nebo Charge

Announced: 05-01-2018

About William (Bill) Lawler
Growing up in a home where attending church was an important part of family life, Bill Lawler found himself there on a regular basis. At 7 years old, Bill went with his mom and dad on a visit to the home of  a woman who was a part of their Claysville UMC church family. Throughout his childhood Bill visited with the woman often. Each time she told Bill he was destined to become a minister. 
At 14 years of age Bill responded to an altar call to give his life to Christ. At 15 he preached his first sermon on Youth Sunday.
As an adult Bill has worked and served as a firefighter/EMT, volunteered as a coach with Special Olympics, coached basketball and volleyball, and served as Competition Coordinator for the Washington County Special Olympics program. Bill has also worked as a job developer for mentally handicapped individuals, a physical therapy technician, and as an operations manager in the oil and gas industry.
In 2004 Bill enrolled in Lay Servant's School and later became a Certified Lay Speaker. God continued to call Bill by name, but Bill continued to ignore God’s call. He took more Lay Servant’s School classes and had the opportunity to preach and lead worship in several area churches. In 2007 during the singing of the hymn, “Here I Am Lord,” Bill said “yes” to God, but it wasn’t until several years later that Bill reached a point where he was able to “be all in”. Reminded of his response years earlier when singing “Here I Am Lord,” Bill met his wife Karan for lunch. She said to him, “You have received your call.  You’ve been boxing with God for a while and you will not win.”  Karan and Bill are the proud parents of Charley,10. and Lehman, 6.
Since 2017 Bill has served Fairview/Nebo UMCs as a Supply Pastor. Bill graduated from Local Pastor Licensing School April 28. and began an appointment as a part-time Local Pastor at the Fairview/Nebo Charge on May 1, 2018.  In addition to serving as pastor at Fairview/Nebo, he also leads devotions and worship at Senior Life in Washington.
About Fairview/Nebo UMCs
Fairview and Nebo United Methodist churches are “small but mighty” congregations nestled in the beautiful hills of Greene County.  Both congregations are warm and inviting and look for ways in which they can both welcome new people and introduce people to Jesus and the difference Jesus can and will make in their lives. The churches are mission-minded and mission-driven.  They possess a hunger for God’s Word and do all they can to share God’s good news in however they can.

Morrison to Serve Wattsburg, Phillipsville

Announced: 04-22-2018

About Alan J. Morrison
Rev. Alan J. Morrison was ordained a Deacon in 1988 and an Elder in Full Connection in 1992, his education includes an associates degree in digital electronics, bachelor’s degree in management, a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Arts in Liturgical Arts.

Rev. Morrison has served as the Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Monongahela since December 1, 2013.  Previously he served on the staff of The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of The United Methodist Church 2005-2013) and as a pastor of small membership congregations in Allegheny County (1990-2005).

In the Western Pennsylvania Conference, Alan served as the Supportive Ministries Team chair (now Conference Council on Finance and Administration) for 6-1/2 years. He was the the Host Operations Director for the 2004 General Conference of The United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh; and has served in a variety of volunteer leadership positions for the Conference Sessions Ministry Team for 26 years.  Currently he is the Vice Chair and Program/Agenda Coordinator for the Conference Sessions Team. A  member of the Board of Ministry, he chairs the Conference Relations Committee.  He also serves as a process mentor for those considering ordained ministry and is vice chair of the Washington District Committee on Ministry.

Rev. Morrison has been a part of the Scouting program for 50 years and is currently serving on the executive board of the Laurel Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts of America as the Youth Protection Champion.  He also is volunteering as the lead United Methodist Chaplain for the 2019 World Scout Jamboree and the 2021 National Scout Jamboree.

Alan is married to the former Lois Carl Granlund of Platteville and Stevens Point, Wisconsin.  They have one son, Ron.  Lois is an ordained United Church of Christ clergy and currently serves as Chaplain of Meadville Medical Center.  Ron lives in Pittsburgh and is the maintenance supervisor at the Pendleton in Cranberry Woods.  The family also includes Maxey, an 8-year-old Pointer mix.
About Wattsburg/ Phillipsville UMCs
Wattsburg Church traces its history through the Erie Conference of the ME Church. The congregation was organized in 1827 by “Elder Knapp” who came to the Wattsburg area as a missionary in 1820. The first church was erected in 1831 on land purchased for $30!  In 1969 the congregation purchased 11 acres of land for a new church for a growing community.
Phillipsville also traces its history through the Erie Conference. It began as a class that was organized in 1840 and later became a preaching appointment as part of the Wesleyville Circuit. The church property was purchased and the present church building built in 1862. It was renovated in 1944.  In 1952 social rooms were added to the rear of the church and further substantial improvements were carried out in 1960.
The two congregations have been in partnership since the early 1970s.  Today they are vibrant places of worship and service.  They work closely with “Chosen,” an international outreach ministry based in Erie.  They provide wells for the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.  In addition, they are active with “Ramps of Hope,” the Lowville Food Pantry, a Jamaican ministry called “One on One,” and other mission trips.  In the community, they host “Kids Alive,” a school release program that offers religious instruction in cooperation with the local school district.  They also participate in a community hot dog roast and an annual Easter egg hunt.

Gross to serve Speers/Dunlevy/Charleroi First Charge

Announced: 04-08-2018

About Beverly Ann Gross
Born in McKeesport the youngest of four girls, as a child Beverly attended and was confirmed at First United Methodist Church, McKeesport. Upon graduating high school Beverly earned an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from the Community College of Allegheny County.  For the next several years, she was an active member of a Lay Witness Team in WPA and traveled throughout the Eastern United States sharing her faith, bearing witness to what God had done and was doing in and through her life.

Beverly returned to school and received a degree in Library Science and a teaching degree from Clarion State University.  She also married her husband Jim.  Together they served the Lord teaching Sunday school, VBS, helping with youth and family life groups and leading Bible studies. Relocating to the Munhall area, Beverly and Jim became active members of Homestead Park UMC where she worked as the church’s parish visitor and a teacher in the church’s preschool.  Beverly would later become the assistant director of Walnut Grove Christian School and Daycare. As part of Beverly’s continuing response to God’s call, she later worked as a teacher of children with autism at PLEA and Pressley Ridge School and as the youth director of Baldwin Community UMC. 
When God called Beverly to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church, she enrolled in Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and graduated in May 2002 with a Master of Divinity degree.  While in seminary, Beverly served at Walton and Stanton Heights UM churches and as chaplain of Goodwill Industries.  After ordination as an Elder in 2005, she served as pastor at Rosedale, Valencia, Claysville, Albright, St. Paul and Pleasant Unity UM churches, until retiring from active ministry in June 2017. In retirement, Bev has served as the interim pastor at Fells UMC in Belle Vernon.
Beverly serves on the Conference Board of Discipleship and has served for the past 15 years as dean of Discovery Camp for mentally challenged adults at Jumonville.  Beverly also teaches at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She is the recipient of the 2002 John W. Meister Award for achieved excellence of leadership in pastoral ministry and has been certified as a religious medal instructor for Boy Scouts of America.
Beverly and Jim, a retired CPA, have three children: Daughter Kathy and her husband John have two children  and live in Elizabeth; daughter Wendy and husband Matt have two girls and a boy and live in Ohio; son Gavin and his wife Heather have two children and live in Monessen.
Beverly finds joy in every aspect of ministry, both in the local church and in the community. She serves God with a willing, committed and loving spirit and is excited about the opportunity to continue to serve the local church.
About Speers, Dunleavy/Charleroi:First Charge
Speers, Dunlevy and Charleroi First UM churches, while in Monongahela River communities that differ in size and description, hold in common their desire to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, shining the light of Jesus, and sharing Jesus’ love with everyone they meet wherever they meet them and bringing others to know Jesus as their Savior.” The churches are actively engaged in community-based ministries to persons from Nigeria, unchurched children and youth, persons struggling with addiction and providing food to those in need.  All three churches seek to open their doors and their heart in mission and ministry, making the love of Jesus known to all.  Committed to Christian discipleship and spiritual formation, the Charge seeks to disciple people of all ages, modeling what it means to be a disciple of Jesus by living lives marked with compassion, warmth, hospitality, prayer and imagination!  The laity understand the need to do their part in ministry, rather than relying on the pastor to do it all!

Although the congregations are made up mostly of older people, no one has given up, nor do they expect too!  To a person the members of all three churches look forward with hope, anticipation and expectation to what God is going to do and the difference each of the churches will make in the neighborhoods where they are planted and beyond!

Saffell to Serve Liberty/Amity UMCs

Announced: 04-01-2018

About Laura Saffell
Called by God to love others, especially those who often went unseen and excluded, Laura said “yes” to God at the age of 12.  At the age of 18, Laura’s call to ministry took her to college and, upon graduation, into service as a Christian Education Director at a United Methodist Church. As a young adult, she heard the voice of God through others affirming her gifts for pastoral ministry, so she enrolled in Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, where she earned a Master of Divinity degree. She was ordained an elder in 2001.
Laura is passionate about teaching and preaching God’s word.  Her personal experience as a disciple of Jesus and pastor in the local church in Alaska, where she presently resides with her husband Jarrett, and in Western Pennsylvania, where she grew up and served churches on the Franklin and Butler districts, is “when believers are filled with the Holy Spirit … the Word of God becomes living and active in their lives.”  For Laura, it’s also then that, as biblically-nourished disciples of Jesus, they can worship in Spirit and in truth because they know who they worship and why.” 
In addition to preaching and proclaiming God’s word, Laura is passionate about sharing the love of Jesus, especially with those in need.  For Laura, worship is more than an event that takes place on Sunday mornings.  It is “thanking Jesus for all He has done in giving us abundant and everlasting life, all the while inviting Jesus to use us in reaching those who the Bible describes as the ‘least, the last and the lost’ in our communities, our nation, and in our world.”
Laura loves music and loves to sing.  A musician since childhood, Laura’s experiences in the local church include starting praise and worship teams. 

Laura looks forward to returning to serve again in Western Pennsylvania and being able to enjoy her WPA family and friends. Her son Nick,18, will enroll in college later this fall. Daughter Kathryn, 22, makes her home in Western Pennsylvania.
About Liberty/Amity Charge
Liberty and Amity United Methodist churches form a two-point charge close to Washington, PA. Self-described as “rural churches,” their shared vision and mission is to “learn of God, live for God, be like God in everyday living, and lead others to God”.
Known in their communities as churches that welcome children and youth, practice hospitality, engage the neighborhoods of which they are a part, both churches envision a church through which disciples are made, ministry to an older adult population takes place, drug and alcohol ministries set people free while providing much-needed help and support to families affected by both. They strive to be churches that reach increasingly beyond their walls, and envision a growing dependence on and trust in the leading of God’s Holy Spirit.

Lori Walters Appointed to Greenock

Announced: 02-25-2018

About Lori Walters
The youngest of six children, Lori Walters grew up in Wellsburg, WV. She responded to God’s call on her life to enter into ordained ministry in 2011, attended Local Pastor’s Licensing School and is now completing her last year as a student in the Master of Divinity program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  Like others who have said “yes” to God’s call mid-life, Lori heard God calling her when she was young.  After years of discernment and an encounter with God, Lori surrendered her life to Jesus as her Lord and Savior and describes her journey as a “testimony to God’s grace”. 

Prior to her appointment at Midway/Federal UMCs in 2012 and her current appointment at Dunlevy/Speers and First Charleroi UMCs on the Washington District, Lori was a teacher in the South Hills and worked for 27 years with the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh where she developed a passion for children with autism.  As a pastor in the local church, Lori has a passion for discipleship and for helping others develop deeper, more intimate relationships with God.  Lori also has a heart for ministry with the elderly, especially those who were once active in the local church, but who are no longer able to be.  Lori’s understanding of ministry includes more than just preaching. For Lori, ministry includes loving and caring for others “doing all the good she can, wherever she can, and for whomever she can.”  Wanting to reach the community where she serves for Christ, especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, children who are at risk, ministry for Lori extends beyond the local church.

Lori is married to Whitney (a.k.a. “Whit”) whom she says is the “best gift God ever gave her.”  Lori and Whit are the parents of three sons and two grandchildren, Kailee and Beau, whom they dearly love.  
About Greenock UMC
Greenock UMC is one of 13 churches in Elizabeth Township and one of two in the community of Greenock, “a trail town located on the great Allegheny County passage”.  Throughout its history the church has had a strong tradition of bringing people to know Christ and serving the community.  Committed to mission and service in the community and the world at large, including in Zimbabwe, the church is known for the warmth of its people, a willingness to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of others, a music program that helps usher people into the presence of God, prayer ministries, year-round preschool, vacation Bible school, a commitment to reaching youth and, it’s annual “apple festival”.  Church leaders say they believe Jesus is calling the church in the next five year to become “one that focuses on the needs of the community and that continues to be a beacon of light that welcomes all, while expanding the church’s mission and ministry beyond its doorsteps”.