The Rev. Brad Lauster, senior pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Indiana, PA, has been appointed as superintendent of the Washington District. He’ll step into the post left vacant when current DS Eric S. Park moves to Butler to serve as senior pastor at First UMC on September 1. (See related story)
“Brad Lauster brings a holistic vision of God's world to our cabinet and to the people of the Washington District,” said Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, who announced the appointment. “Brad has a keen awareness and sensitivity for people and takes a genuine interest in the well-being of everyone. He brings a vast array of ministry experiences and deep insights to this new adventure in his ministry.”
Lauster has served as senior pastor of Indiana Grace since July 1, 2000. The church has nearly 1800 members and offers five worship services in three locations each Sunday. Besides contemporary services at the main church, there is a Sunday morning casual service at the YMCA and another on the campus of Indiana University of PA. In his ministry, Lauster has stressed the importance of community outreach and partnerships to reach new people. One such partnership resulted in the YChurch.
In 2007, he was selected as the clergy recipient of the Harry Denman Award for Evangelism in Western PA.
“Brad is deeply spiritual and will be able to be both supervisor and pastor to the clergy and congregations in the Washington District,” Bishop Bickerton said.
“One of the hallmarks of Brad's life is his trustworthiness and his integrity,” the Bishop added. “I know that both Brad and (his wife) Karen will be great additions to our cabinet family and wonderful witnesses of God's love to the people in the Washington District.”
Lauster is a graduate of Mercyhurst College, earned a Master of Arts degree from Edinboro University. He graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS) in 1989 and was ordained an elder in 1991. He later earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from PTS.
Before being appointed to Indiana Grace, Lauster served six years as an associate at Dutilh UMC, where he worked a few years with the Rev. Don Scandrol, now the Pittsburgh District Superintendent. He has also served in Warren, PA at Epworth and Stoneham UMCs, and at Geneva: Faith UMC.