I was born in 1977 in the South Hills area of Pittsburgh. From the age of two on, I grew up in rural Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County. I have been a lifelong United Methodist, having grown up in Fells UMC, Connellsville District. I came to a personal faith in Christ at the age of 15 through the ministry of our Camping Program and through the Connellsville District Youth. Soon after, I experienced a calling into pastoral ministry.
I attended Belle Vernon Area High School, then Grove City College, from which I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History in 2000. I went on to graduate from Evangelical Theological Seminary in Myerstown, PA in 2005. ETS is a small school, founded by the Evangelical Congregational Church, and devoted to a Wesleyan theology. Upon completion of seminary, I was commissioned as a Provisional Member and ordained as an Elder in 2008.
I have served three prior appointments in Western PA Conference. The first was Dunbar: Wesley, Connellsville District, in 2000-2001, and the second was the Templeton Charge, Indiana District, in 2004-2005. These were both student appointments. For the last six years I have served the Brush Valley Circuit, Indiana District. In addition, I have also worked as a youth pastor in several churches and spent two summers working at Jumonville.
In consultation with others, I consider my primary spiritual gifts to be Preaching, Teaching, Encouragement, Administration, and Giving. I also have experience in youth ministry, camping ministry, and a church building program. I am most comfortable in a blended worship setting, and my preaching style is informal. I generally do not preach from behind a pulpit, preferring to be among the people. I like to bring out the cultural context of the Bible in my preaching, and I try to be informative as I preach.
My wife, Sharon, and I met while we were still in high school and dated throughout college. We were married in 2001 and attended seminary together. Sharon is also an ordained Elder, currently serving the New Florence UMC. We have two children, Joshua, who will soon be four, and Araina, who will soon turn two. We also have two (too many) cats.
My personal interests are mostly oriented to the outdoors. I enjoy hiking and especially backpacking. I love paddling, especially whitewater and wilderness canoe camping. I also enjoy photography, fly fishing, and cross-country skiing.