2017 New Appointments
Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton intends to make the following appointments at the 2017 session of the New York Annual Conference, to be effective July 1, 2017.
For more information about each pastor and their new appointment, please click the pastor’s name; those without a link will have more information posted shortly. Dates indicated are the date the appointment was announced.
David Collins to Port Washington, LIE District
Romana Abelova to Port Washington, LIE District
Stefanie Bennett to Manhattan: John Street, MET District
Hermon Darden to Bronx: St. Stephen's English, MET District
Thomas Gye Ho Kim to Darien, NYCT District
Roslyn Lee to Commack, LIE District
Won Tack Lee to Commack: Long Island Korean, LIE District
Robert Milsom to Kingston: St. James, CH District
Jung Ung Moon to Bayside, Senior Pastor and Bayside: The Shepherd, LIW District
William Wendler to Bayside, Associate Pastor, LIW District
Alpher K. Sylvester to Connecticut District Superintendent
About Stefanie Bennett
Stefanie is presently pastor of First UMC Amityville in Long Island. Stefanie was ordained an elder in the Texas Annual Conference in 1996. In Texas she served rural, suburban churches and an urban church in downtown Houston. In 2005, she came to NYAC on loan and served two churches in CT, New Milford UMC, and First UMC in Middletown. She has a passion for history, especially the nineteenth century with particular interests in anti-slavery, abolitionism and the Civil War. She has a passion for finding in our past lessons for the present and future.She believes there is much for modern Methodists to learn from the stories a place like John Street is positioned to tell. Stefanie’s strongest gifts are in leading traditional worship for contemporary people. She is greatly excited about serving in the financial district reaching out through the city. Stefanie has wonderful parents to whom she is very close who live in CO and two sibling families who live out West.
About John Street United Methodist Church
John Street is where Methodism in the United States had its beginning 250 years ago. Tucked in a corner of Wall Street this church is more than a museum; it is home to faithful followers of Jesus Christ. John Street is a common component of confirmation classes and visitors around the world. But on Sunday you can find a worship community that offers sound preaching and a melodious choir. The Monday night bible study is where you will find the core of the membership. Together they study and reflect on the word of God. It is here where lives are transformed and new ministries emerge. The congregation is involved in the Red Bird Mission, UMW, UMCORR, Children's Home, the Heifer Program and the Bowery Mission which provides over 1,000 hot meals daily for those in need.
About Hermon Darden
Since 2011 Hermon has been pastor of Vandeveer Park UMC in Brooklyn. He has been serving congregations in the New York Annual Conference since 1978. From 1989 to 1991 he served as Superintendent of the then Hudson West District. Following that, he served three congregations in Manhattan (Mt. Calvary, St. Mark’s, Metropolitan Community), Brooklyn (Kings Highway) and Mt. Vernon. In his appointments, he has consistently proclaimed that biblical values need to be applied to personal living and to social justice. His preaching and teaching have been affirmed by the congregations he has served. Also he is passionate about serving and caring for the people in need, such as the homeless, youth and children not able to read. As pastor he has faithfully equipped the people of God to build up the body of Christ for the transformation of the world.
About St. Stephen's English
St. Steven’s traces its roots back to Methodist circuit riders in the early 19th century. It became a chartered congregation in 1835. The church moved to its present location on 228th Street and Marble Hill Avenue in 1898. The Marble Hill section of the Bronx is experiencing a resurgence of businesses and shopping centers. The church has been able to connect with the neighboring community. They look forward to the opportunity to share Christ in new ways, they are eager to go beyond their walls and be the church. The members are open to young people; they are open-minded and enjoy blending more traditional hymns with contemporary Christian songs and integrating creative worship experiences. The congregation is blessed with a number of musicians. Even though they are small in number they continue to be people of great hope.
About Joseph Ewoodzie
Since 2003 he has served as the Director of Mission and Outreach Ministries. As the pioneer for this position, Joseph created and organized the new Conference Missions and Outreach Ministries office. He was born and nurtured in Ghana, West Africa. He migrated to the U.S. as a student to earn three master’s degrees in Divinity, Theology, and Philosophy at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Emory University, and Drew University respectively. He served eight years in the local church as a pastor before his current appointment. Joseph brings his experience and passion for intercultural competence to his new pastoral leadership role.
About Farmingdale United Methodist Church
The church began in 1842 as the Methodist Society of Farmingdale. The church offers two Sunday services: a traditional service with a variety of liturgical elements and music ministry of the multiple choirs with a children’s moment; and a second service offering an additional worship opportunity, a blending of praises and heart felt prayers. There is an active Sunday School program for Pre K to 12th grade, a youth group on the go for 6th grade to 12th grade, meeting weekly. Also, there are many spiritual growth and service opportunities for men and women through active UMM and UMW as well as other small group Bible studies. UMW has several women circles focusing on interests and service. A notable outreach ministry of the church is Soup Group, a weekly feeding ministry to the hungry engaging the entire community in service and outreach. Farmingdale UMC is an anchor in the community, actively serving and engaging with the community.
About Juhye Hahn
Presently, Juhye serves as the pastor at Kensington (CT) UMC. Previous pastoral appointments include East Berlin, Lucien Memorial and East Hampton. Juhye is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, with a Master of Arts degree and a Master of Divinity degree. Additionally, Juhye has a Master of Social Work degree from Adelphi University, Garden City, NY. She has been married to the Reverend Zintack Albert Hahn since 1996, and is the mother of Peter and Harim. Two of Juhye’s passions are spiritual development and social justice.
About First & Summerfield United Methodist Church
This congregation is the result of a 1981 merger between the former First United Methodist, (founded 1789), and Summerfield United Methodist (founded 1871).Through prayer, Bible study, open dialogue, and fellowship opportunities, working together as a community of faith, this congregation seeks to encourage and challenge one another to deeper spiritual growth and stronger faith in the power of Jesus Christ to transform the world. One expression of this is their weekly Peace Vigil, during which they gather on the front steps to pray for peace for a half hour every Monday. Newcomers are welcome.
About David Jolly
David came to serve the St. James Church in Kingston in 2007. His predecessor, Rev. Jeff Glassey, was terminally ill and died shortly after the transition. David’s gifts of listening and caring were truly needed. David worked for twenty-two years in furniture stores in Ohio before entering Drew Seminary in 1996. As a student local pastor he served Malden, Palenville, and Quarryville. He also served Rock Hill, Red Hook and Milan. David believes in equipping “the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12 NRSV), and this has always been reflected in his work. At the Annual Conference, he has been especially appreciated for his leadership on the Camps Governing Board, the Bishop’s Convocation Committee, and Parish Development. He has been married to Donna Jolly for thirty-three years. They have two grown children, Matthew and Sarah.
About Trinity City Island United Methodist Church
Trinity has been a beacon of hope on City Island for 170 years. This congregation shares a strong ecumenical relationship to the local churches on the Island. This small membership church is able to provide a wonderful Thanksgiving feast for the neighborhood. They open their church doors to other community groups; they participated in the Imagine No Malaria and Supper Bowl campaigns. The people of Trinity City Island have heart. They enjoy being part of the Bronx cluster and look forward to renewing their fellowship suppers.
About Ken Kieffer
Since 2009, Ken has served as Superintendent of the Connecticut District. For the past year, he has served as Dean of the Cabinet. Prior to that, he served congregations in Stratford, Glendale, Norwalk and Greenwich. He is received his Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology in 1986 and ordained Elder in 1988. Ken is known for his creative preaching and writing and has a blog titled, “Keeping the Rumor of God Alive.” He is married to Karen, his junior high school sweetheart, and is father to Olivea, a student at Bucknell University. Ken has grown congregations wherever he has served and is looking forward to doing the same in Cheshire.
About Cheshire United Methodist Church
This congregation began in 1800, when a parcel of land was bought by Eli Persons and others "to erect and build a place of worship for the use of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church." The Methodists in Cheshire eventually outgrew that building and sold it to their Jewish friends and neighbors in 1968 At present-day Cheshire UMC, you can expect to find a warm, loving atmosphere where all are welcomed to share and participate in the life and joy of the church family. They have a strong music program with a number of different choirs, and are quite active in UMARMY. Each Advent season, the town of Cheshire is treated to a drive-thru nativity scene in the church property called “Road to Bethlehem,” with proceeds being given to the Cheshire Food Pantry.
About Thomas Gye Ho Kim
Tom has served First and Summerfield in New Haven, CT since 2012. Previously he served Vail’s Gate, Rye, and Overlook UMC in Woodstock, NY. He graduated from Drew University with a Master of Philosophy and a PhD. Prior to this, he earned a Master of Theology from the United Methodist Theological University in Seoul, Korea. He is an author of The Korean Immigrant Church: A Case of Religion and Ethnicity, and several articles on religion and social change. He was a member of a Bible Translation Team in Abingdon Press and his team translated the Study Bible into Korean. Tom has children: Jonathan and Elizabeth. A music lover, Tom plays the guitar, bass and cello.
About Darien UMC
This congregation, located in Darien CT, grew out of Methodist Class Meetings in the 1860's. It strives to express faith through worship and action, with a strong emphasis on Christian mission. Darien UMC gathers for worship and Sunday school at 10 am with additional studies, confirmation classes, and programs offered at scheduled times throughout the week. Recently studies have focused on mixed generational challenges, such as the increasing likelihood of having twenty-something children who are "back home" and supporting elderly parents in your own middle age. Darien UMC seeks opportunities for church revitalization, renewal and growth in the 21st century by building stronger connections with its community.
About Chermain Lashley
Chermain is presently serving King’s Highway UMC, one the youngest congregations in the Long Island West District. Prior to her full-time ministry she was a school teacher and senior sales director for a major Fortune 500 company. She received a M.Div. from Drew in 2004. Currently she is on the Doctor of Ministry course at New York Theological Seminary. She is mother to: Yshanda, Kirton, Cherkira, Kahlil, OhOk Kara. According to her District Superintendent, Julia Yim, “Chermain is a dynamic preacher and teacher, and a woman of faith who fears the Lord and walks with Holy Spirit. She has the special heart and concern for women, youth and children.”
About Grace United Methodist Church of St. Albans
Grace United Methodist Church of St. Albans is celebrating its 86th anniversary this year. Grace is one of the vital congregations in Long Island West District. Its mission is to be a faithful body of Christ, committed to building relationships in Christ for the transformation of their community and beyond. For this purpose they are practicing intentionally and eagerly the following key principles: 1) Radical Hospitality, 2) Passionate Worship, 3) Intentional Faith Development, 4) Risk-Taking Mission and Services, 5) Extravagant Generosity, 6) Pray for Each Other. Grace is celebrating a renewal, revitalization and growth in most areas of mission and ministries. Recently the congregation created a multi-generational service on Sunday, focusing on the active participation of millennials.
About Roslyn Lee
Roslyn has been pastor of the Cheshire (CT) UMC since 2015. She is a graduate of Drew Theological Seminary. Previously, she served congregations in Dix Hills and Lindenhurst. She and her spouse, Rev. Won Tack Lee, were married in 2006 and have 2 children: Joel and Sophiel. As a Board Member of the NEJ Multi Ethnic Center, she hopes to bring light to the injustices that still lurk in our church. In the NYAC, Roslyn is the Conference Relations Leave Coordinator. She is also a member of the Conference Committee on Religion and Race as well as the Bishop’s Convocation Planning Team. Roslyn brings passion and energy to her pastoral work.
About Commack United Methodist Church
Methodism began in Winne-Comac in 1783. The “new” sanctuary was dedicated in 1968, and the older building became known as the "1789 Chapel" (the oldest Methodist Church in continuous use in NY). It is still used for worship on special Sundays and by the Long Island Korean UMC which has been sharing facilities since 1979. This congregation’s vision is to share God’s love as disciples of Jesus Christ, encouraging all persons to come to a full life of Christian joy by constantly reaching out to others, strengthening each other’s faith and learning God’s ways. An active Church School program and youth group meets on Sundays and seeks to nurture children and youth in the faith journey. There are also active groups for men and women through UMW and Men’s Tuesday Discussion Group. A thrift shop provides an additional service to the community.
About Won Tack Lee
Presently, he is the pastor at Trinity UMC, South Meriden, CT. His previous appointment was to Dix Hills UMC in 2013. Won Tack graduated from the Drew Theological Seminary in 2009, with a Master of Divinity degree. In 2016, he was ordained as an elder, alongside his spouse, Roslyn. They have two children, Joel (Joy of El) and Sophiel (Wisdom of El). Won Tack serves on the Korean Church Council of the Northeastern Jurisdiction as Executive Director representing clergy in Cross-Cultural Ministries. He is also on the NYAC nomination committee and the Bishop’s convocation planning team. Won Tack has technology skills and has been the audiovisual person behind the many of the recent retirees’ video presentations presented at Annual Conference.
About Long Island Korean United Methodist Church(Commack)
This is the oldest Korean UMC congregation on Long Island, established in 1978. The Korean congregation began sharing the facilities of Commack UMC in 1979 and has been cultivating a faith community and proclaiming the good news of Christ to the Korean immigrant community. It seeks to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Its motto is to be “a church that dreams, realizes and shares God’s dream,” and its purpose is “to uplift hearts to God, transform lives and share God’s love with others.” There are active Christian education programs for children and youth led by dedicated ministry leaders, who engage in leadership & gifts development, especially through music, Sunday school, revivals, and retreats. Each member of the church participates in the Wesley Class meetings (five groups in all) which meet monthly for spiritual nurture and fellowship. The church’s Korean Culture School provides opportunity for the 2nd generation youth to learn the language and culture of Korea, helping bridge the gap between the generations.
About Bob Milson
Bob presently serves Greenville and Norton Hill. Bob graduated Drew in 1999 (he also has a DMin from Gordon-Conwell). He first worked at Grace UMC in Wyckoff, NJ, and was later appointed to First UMC in Arlington, Grace UMC in Kearny, and Alpine Community UMC, all in New Jersey. He was ordained elder in the new Greater New Jersey Annual Conference in 2001. Two years later he came to New York as pastor of Cornwall UMC, and his membership was transferred in 2004. He married Lesa in 1995, and together they have three children: Erin and Matthew who are in college, and Rebecca who is in high school. Bob’s positive energy, sense of humor, confidence, and humility has enabled him to meet every challenge of pastoral ministry.
About Saint James United Methodist Church, Kingston, NY
The Saint James United Methodist Church was originally First Methodist Episcopal Church in Kingston. The earliest preaching there was in 1791, but the first building was raised about 45 years later. One of the most active churches in the Hudson River Valley, St. James is engaged in local and world-wide missions, with a food pantry that occupies most of the basement, a Shalom Zone housing program called “Midtown Rising,” a strong voluntary tutoring program at a local elementary school, a partnership with a medical clinic in Zimbabwe, and a history of VIM projects. Many community groups meet in the church, especially twelve-step recovery groups. The church worships at least twice a week, with an informal contemporary service early Sunday morning and a formal traditional service late Sunday morning. When IBM closed its Kingston offices, thousands of jobs were lost, and dozens of strong United Methodist leaders moved away from Kingston. As the economy rebounds, with so many opportunities for service and spiritual growth, Saint James looks forward to another period of growth and community leadership.
About Jung Ung Moon
He was raised in a Methodist family in Korea. After studying music, he served as choir director and musician at UMC churches in Korea. In 2010 he was invited from Korea as pastor of Junamok (“The Lord Is My Shepherd”) Church of New York, a Presbyterian Church in America. In 2015, with his congregation he joined Broken Builders UMC and transferred into New York Annual Conference as a Provisional Elder. In 2016 he was appointed to The Shepherd United Methodist Church for planting a new church in Bayside. Jung Ung and William Wendler, pastor of Bayside, planned, designed and developed the joint ministries in Sunday school, Youth ministry, special joint. Through these collaborative and multi-cultural partnership ministries both churches grow closer together. While Jung Ung continues to serve The Shepherd congregation half-time, he will serve as senior pastor of Bayside with William Wendler after his retirement this July. Jung Ung is married to Soo Hyun and they are the parents of two daughters.
About Bayside United Methodist Church
The congregation of Bayside UMC is celebrating its 126th. Bayside is a growing, multi-ethnic church united in faith and love of Christ. In 2016, Bayside began to share the building with The Shepherd United Methodist Church, a Korean mission congregation supported by the Conference. With collaborative leadership from Rev. William Wendler and Rev. Jung Ung Moon and the spirit of “Open Hearts, Open minds, Open Doors” from church members, Bayside and The Shepherd are growing together and celebrating their fruitful mission and ministries. But this is not the end but just a beginning. Their stories will continue to be shared with everybody.
About Jason Radmacher
Jason is presently pastor of John Street United Methodist Church. Jason comes from a long line of Methodists. He is a graduate of Duke Divinity, North Carolina. He has twenty-years of experience in local church. In 2000 he became pastor at Putnam Valley (NY) UMC. He was ordained Elder in the New York Annual Conference in 2004. Before Jason's fourteen year tenure at John Street they had few people worshiping on Sunday and they had not had a confirmation class in years. The congregation has grown under his strong leadership. He is married to Laura and they have a five year old son, Oliver. He and Laura lent their voices to create an inspiring choir. He assisted with the Wednesday mid-day Wall Street services and has led lay servant school on the district. Jason is looking forward to bring his many gifts to Asbury-Crestwood.
About Asbury-Crestwood United Methodist Church
Asbury Crestwood is one of the first reconciling congregations in the New York Annual Conference. They are experiencing an influx of new young families with children. This multi-ethnic congregation is ready to move outside of their doors to engage the community in new innovative ways. Asbury recently began offering an enrichment program to extend their nursery school, which has been in existence since 1970. Music has been an important element of this worshiping community. They have three different choirs and many guest musicians that add to their worship experience. They are also known throughout the community for their concerts at Asbury. This creates a free entry into the life of the congregation. The congregation is eager to welcome a socially-minded preacher who is connected to God and community.
About Alpher Sylvester
Alpher is currently the pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in St. Albans, New York, where he has served since 2014. He was ordained Elder in the New York Annual Conference in 2010. Previously Alpher served congregations in Brooklyn (Bethel and Bethany), and Ridgewood (St. John’s). He holds a Masters of Public Administration (Magna Cum Laude) from CUNY and a Masters of Divinity (Cum Laude) from Drew University. Currently, he is in the writing phase of his doctoral degree at Drew University. He and his spouse, Carlene, have two sons, Nicholas and Simon, and a daughter Vanessa. Two areas of strengths he brings to ministry are administrative skills and a disciplined effort to fervent spirituality.