In early 1998, after a lengthy search for our place in the body of Christ, we made contact with then District Superintendent, Rev. Thomas Irwin. Tom invited us to meet with the District Committee on Ministry of the Altoona District. In July, we began serving Royer UMC (near Williamsburg, PA) as part-time supply pastors; a year later, nearby Mines UMC was added to our charge.
In September 1998, we joined Twelfth Street UMC (Huntingdon, PA). We had to be members two years before we could be licensed as Local Pastors (the requirement was changed to one year in 2008). We were licensed in 2001, at which time Joleen was appointed to the Manor Hill Charge. I continued serving Mines and Royer for another year and then was appointed to the Petersburg Charge. When two of the three churches of the Petersburg Charge merged to form Hope UMC in 2006, my charge was realigned to include Twelfth Street UMC (Huntingdon) and Hope UMC (Alexandria). Two years later (last July), we moved to Clearfield where Joleen serves West Side UMC and I serve Centre Grove UMC.
In 2003, we were interviewed by the Board of Ordained Ministry. Even though our interviews went well, we hit a major snag. There, we discovered that the seminary we received our M.Divs. from was not on University Senate list of approved schools (even though it was accredited by the Association of Theological Schools).
At that point, continuing with the ordination process in the UMC meant either re-doing our M.Divs. at a school on the University Senate list or doing a D.Min. (also on the list). We chose to do a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Asbury Theological Seminary, which we completed in 2008. With that behind us, we were able to resume where we left off six years ago. In March, we returned to the BOOM where we were approved to be commissioned as Provisional Elders at the upcoming Annual Conference in June.
That’s the story in a nutshell. We are happy to be in the ministry of The United Methodist Church and we are committed to becoming Full Elders, now only two years away!