Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi today named a new member of her Cabinet to lead the Pittsburgh District, where the Rev. Dawn Hand currently serves as Superintendent. Rev. Hand has accepted an appointment in the Baltimore-Washington Conference, effective July 1. The Bishop's announcement follows:
It is my great privilege and honor to announce that Rev. Deborah Ackley-Killian will serve as the next Superintendent of the Pittsburgh District.
Rev. Ackley-Killian will bring to the Pittsburgh District a plethora of experience with Biblical Justice ministries, including service on Cross Racial/Cross Cultural Appointment Learning from Strangers Team, the Franklin District Anti-Racism Team, and the Venango County Jail Ministerium. In addition, before being ordained, she was a community organizer for VISTA, Pittsburgh Neighborhood Alliance.
Rev. Ackley-Killian will also bring her administrative gifts, demonstrated through service on the Conference Committee on Finance and Administration, Wesbury Board of Directors, Camp Allegheny Board of Directors, and Board of Ordained Ministry and many other groups. In a previous career, she served as an administrative assistant for Goodwill Industries.
Ministry in the Pittsburgh District, like many urban centers, is constantly evolving. Rev. Ackley-Killian has demonstrated her desire to continually grow in order to meet new challenges as they emerge. She embodies what it is to be a life-long learner: She is currently participating in the UM Foundation’s Pastor’s Academy and is an Agricultural Cohort Member of Grove City College’s Rural Ministries Project.
Rev. Ackley-Killian also has demonstrated her ability to build relationships with diverse persons as she served all over Western Pennsylvania: Epworth UMC in New Castle; Christ UMC in Johnstown; GraceUMC in Warren; the South Hills Partnership, Mount Lebanon UMC, and Walton in Pittsburgh; and most recently Heckathorn UMC in Franklin.
I am excited about the many gifts Rev. Ackley-Killian will bring to the district, including the ability to speak Spanish," Bishop Moore-Koikoi said. "Please lift her and the clergy and laity of the Pittsburgh District in prayer. Pray for those in the district who have a relationship with the church and those who don’t. Pray that all will experience glimpses of the kingdom of God - a sense of social holiness - through the ministry of Deborah Ackley-Killian as she works with the members of the district and all cooperative with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Rev. Ackley-Killian and her late husband, the Rev. Earl Killian, are the parents of a daughter, Grace Killian, a provisional elder, who completed her Master of Divinity degree at Harvard Divinity School in 2020 and will complete a Master's degree in international studies at Tufts in 2021. She currently serves as an intern with the denomination's Connectional Table.