2019 New Appointments
Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton intends to make the following appointments at the 2019 session of the New York Annual Conference, to be effective July 1, 2019.
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.
Mike Antici to Pleasant Valley UMC, Connecticut
Kenneth Bohler to East Quogue UMC, Long Island East
Onick Bouquet to Lucien Memorial UMC, Kings Park, Long Island East
Egan Bovell to Bloomfield UMC, Connecticut
Nikki Edleman to Stevens Memorial UMC, South Salem, NY and Zion’s Hill UMC, Wilton, CT, New York-Connecticut
Stephen Ernst to Red Hook UMC, New York-Connecticut
John Esposito to Gaylordsville UMC, Connecticut
Saebuk Jin to Bethel UMC, Bronx, Metropolitan
Sun Joo Lee to Bakerville UMC, Connecticut
Sandra Moore to Aldersgate UMC, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley UMC, St. Paul’s UMC, Hartsdale and Tarrytown UMC, Metropolitan
Song Ha Park and Hwi Joon Park to St. Andrew's UMC, New Haven, Connecticut
Margaret Schramm Horn to Salem UMC, Associate, Metropolitan
Jerri Schwartz to Trinity UMC, Coram, NY, Long Island East
Michael Barry to Goshen and Sugar Loaf UMCs, New York-Connecticut
John Blossom to East Berlin UMC and Trinity UMC, South Meriden, Connecticut
Steve Chu to First UMC, Port Jefferson, Long Island East
Karen Cook to Community UMC, North Canton/Washington Hill UMC and West Granby UMC, Connecticut
Michael Dwayne Jenkins to Epworth UMC, Bronx, Metropolitan
Won Tack Lee to Woodbury UMC, Long Island East
Beverly Morris to Grace UMC, Brooklyn, Long Island West
Shari Ponder to New Church Start, Salem UMC, Associate, Metropolitan
Ximena Varas to First UMC, Torrington, Connecticut
Daniel Asibuoh-Sarpong to Derby UMC, Connecticut
Brian Bodt to Hamden Plains UMC, Connecticut
Jacqueline Carter to Union UMC, Brooklyn, Long Island West
Oon Don Choi to Hartford Korean UMC, Connecticut
Esau Greene to Fordham UMC, Bronx, Metropolitan
Edward Horne to Litchfield UMC, Connecticut
Miyoung Kang to Sea Cliff UMC, Long Island East
Kwang-il Kim to Delaware Headwaters Parish, Catskill Hudson
Samuel Jaesam Lee to Westhampton UMC, Long Island East
Morais Quissico to St. Mark's UMC, Brooklyn, Long Island West
Gunshik Shim to St. Mark's UMC, Rockville Center, Long Island West
Jennifer Stultz to Community UMC of Middle Village/Forest Hills, Long Island West
Susan Chupungco to Rivertowns Incubator, Metropolitan
Penny Gadzini to St James UMC, Lynbrook, Long Island West
Eumin Oh Kim to Jackson Heights Community UMC, Long Island West
Annette Rodriguez to Woodycrest UMC, Metropolitan
Marva Usher-Kerr to Freeport UMC, Long Island East
Elizabeth Abel to Cornerstone Community Church, New York-Connecticut
Lynda Bates-Stepe to Smithtown UMC, Long Island East
Douglas P. Cunningham to Asbury UMC, Croton-on-Hudson, Metropolitan
HyoungDock Yoo to Riverhead UMC, Long Island East
Timothy J. Riss to New York-Connecticut District Superintendent
Karen A. Monk to Catskill Hudson District Superintendent
Melissa Hinnen to Park Slope UMC, Brooklyn, Long Island West
Jody Spiak to Poughkeepsie, New York-Connecticut
About Rev. Monk
The Reverend Dr. Karen A. Monk will be appointed as the District Superintendent of the Catskill Hudson District on July 1, 2019, replacing The Reverend Timothy J. Riss. Rev. Monk has spent most of her pastoral career serving within the bounds of the Catskill Hudson District, most recently serving as the pastor of the Kaaterskill/East Jewitt Charge for the past sixteen (16) years. She has also served at Kingston: St. James, Olivebridge, and Samsonville. Karen understands the unique nature of life in rural Appalachia and brings expertise in representing mountain life and the people who make up the Catskill Hudson region. She has faithfully served the Annual Conference on the Commission on Native American Ministries and for the last several years as a member of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Karen graduated from Southwestern University and then earned her Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Theology, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
About Rev. Riss
The Rev. Timothy J. Riss will be appointed as the District Superintendent of the New York-Connecticut District on July 1, 2019, replacing The Rev. Elizabeth J. “Betsy” Ott who is retiring. Rev. Riss has been the District Superintendent of the Catskill-Hudson District for the last four years. Given the complexities and significant transitions that are occurring within the New York-Connecticut District, the appointment of a seasoned superintendent will enable this district to quickly continue its track of creative and strategic work. Tim has a long record of faithful service to the church through his previous assignments in Fleischmans, & Halcott Center, Franklin, Catskill, Smithtown, Hicksville, and Poughkeepsie. He has faithfully served various Boards and Commissions of the Annual Conference and the General Church for over thirty-nine years. Tim earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Rochester, NY and his Master of Divinity degree from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School/Bexley Hall/Crozer Theological Seminary.
About Rev. Abel
Rev. Elizabeth Abel was nurtured in the New York Conference. She is passionate about her relationship with Christ and possesses strong leadership skills. Pastor Abel received her first appointment in 2016 as the Senior Pastor of the Woodycrest United Methodist Church in the Bronx. While at Woodycrest, Pastor Abel partnered with other pastors in a Cooperative Parish Team. Their focus was on building community relationships and forming connections between the congregations and those who live in the surrounding neighborhood. Her service in the United States Air Force and her time as a Social Worker with emphasis on work with families and youth has shaped her for the work of ministry. Pastor Abel served as the Children’s Minister at the Church of Village UMC, and has also worked as the Ministerial Assistant to Youth and Young Adults before being commissioned in 2017.
Rev. Abel holds both a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University and the Master of Divinity degree from Drew Theological School. Her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University is in Criminal Justice. She enjoys pouring her love into her two daughters.
About Cornerstone Community UMC
The Cornerstone Community UMC of Norwalk CT was formed in 2017 from the merger of the former East Avenue, El Camino and Norwalk congregations. Also part of the Cornerstone congregation are former members of First UMC which closed in 2008. Today the congregation is focused on engaging with the community of Norwalk through mission and ministry. There is a vision to renovate the original Norwalk UMC parsonage located next door to the church and use the space for outreach, especially to the Hispanic and Latino community of Norwalk. As the City of Norwalk undergoes massive redevelopment, the congregation is also rethinking and redefining what it means to be “church” with a focus on ministries that will engage newcomers, millennials, and others who are “uns” and “nons” in the community. A renovation of the church building to meet these ministry needs is in the early stages of discussion. Cornerstone Community is faithfully and seriously focusing on their role as the remaining Methodist presence in Norwalk with an eye to the future.
About Rev. Asibuoh-Sarpong
Daniel Asibuoh-Sarpong, a licensed local pastor, received a call to serve God at a youthful age. As a young man, he helped establish two churches with his Christian friends in a rural area in Ghana, West Africa. Pastor Daniel answered his call to full-time ministry in 2014. He served as a vice president of the Presbyterian/Methodist church students union in Ghana. He also served as an assistant steward (lay leader) at Bomaa Methodist church in Ghana, where he was born and raised. For more than two decades, God has used Pastor Daniel in multiple positions of transformational ministry in the life of the church and the society at large.
Pastor Daniel currently serves as ministerial assistant for youth and young adult ministries at First UMC of Mount Vernon, NY. Prior to his appointment as a youth minister, he held various positions and offices in the Ghana UMC, Bronx, NY. Active in the community, Pastor Daniel is a member of Federal Latin American Chaplains Association International of the State of New York, and of 49th Precinct Clergy/Chaplain Association, and he has volunteered as a chaplain at St. Barnabas Hospital Center for more than two years, all in the Bronx. Pastor Daniel is married to Mrs. Mercy Gyamfuah-Asibuoh and they are proud parents of four children: Michael, Tina, Edmund and Evangel. Pastor Daniel loves to work in the Lord’s vineyard and he is most thankful and grateful to God for his life, family and all the people God has placed in his life throughout his Christian journey.
About Derby UMC
The Derby UMC has a long and storied history of opulence, influence and devotion across several generations before the community experienced the ramification of changing times and community. Today, DUMC has a smaller but devoted membership that is positioning to do a great deal of community outreach, including a food pantry, a thrift shop and monthly community dinners. They plan to be active participants in the town’s revitalization initiative. Most of all, as purported by its leaders: “At Derby UMC everyone counts and everyone is counted. After God, we put people first. We are a growing congregation and we welcome you to experience the power of God in our worship. We have a leadership team that will help you experience a closer relationship with God and fellow believers. Welcome! Everyone is welcomed with warmth and in the spirit of Jesus Christ. Worship and preaching are biblical and faithful to the Gospel message of inclusive love and service.”
About Rev. Ball
Rev. David T. Ball has served Union in Brooklyn since 2011. His strong commitment and desire to study God’s Word and prayer are the bottomless fountain of his dynamic preaching and teaching and energetic ministry. He has a consuming passion to reach people who don’t know Christ, especially youth and young adults in various ways such as Marching Band and After School programs. Through his administrative abilities and skills to equip and enable people as servant leaders he is doing his best to build up the healthy body of Christ to serve the community and transform the world.
About St. John’s UMC
St. John’s United Methodist Church is a diverse, healthy and vital congregation located in Valley Stream and Elmont in Nassau county. “Under the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit they are committed to ‘Spiritual Development,’ through Bible Study, Prayer, Worship and Service.” St. John’s continues to devote themselves to “serving their community, nation and the world in a manner exemplified by Jesus Christ.” The church is very active and fruitful invarious ministries such as Disciple Bible Study, Music Ministry & Academy, After School Program, Pastoral Care. However, St. John’s is eager to invest more strength and resources on developing Youth & Young Adults ministries for the bright future of the church.
About Rev. Barrett
Rev. Delores M. Barrett has served Middle Village Community since 2013 and was ordained an Elder in 2014. She is a graduate of New Brunswick Theological School and has a tireless passion for the spiritual well-being of others. To bring out her passion she is relentless in prayers, fasting and studying the Word of God. Pastor Barrett has been building fruitful ministry holistically that meets the needs of the addict, mentally disable, psychologically/physically challenged and incarcerated. She is a humble servant of God who stoops down and washes the feet of the homeless, attends to their wounds. Her vision is to take the church to another level in the 21st century through live stream so that the gospel reaches the four hemispheres especially the unchurched.
About Brooks Memorial UMC
Brooks Memorial United Methodist Church is a healthy and vital congregation whose vision is to make plain the gospel of Jesus Christ: so that it manifests itself in the lives of the members and the people in the community through spiritual, political and economic empowerment. The church is very dynamic and effective in many areas such as highly spirited blended worship services, Eucharistic ministry, Jazz Communion Vespers, Bible storytelling which has added new members, Drama ministry, Recovery ministry which includes Recovery on the South Side. To adapt to the demographic changes, the church has been supporting Indo-Pakistan language ministry in their building.
About Rev. Bates-Stepe
Rev. Lynda J. Bates-Stepe grew up in the United Methodist Church in Branford, Connecticut and has served churches in Connecticut and New York as a pastor since 1987. She has been on Long Island for over 20 years first at Setauket UMC, then Interim at East Meadow UMC and then at Commack UMC. Most recently she has served with the people of Smithtown UMC as Interim after the untimely death of their pastor. Pastor Lynda serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry, as the Dean of Compass, and enjoys working with colleagues and mentoring those who are just beginning their ministry. Along with her husband Atis Stepe and stepdaughter Deanna, Lynda has been a Puppy Walker for the Guide Dog Foundation and Vet Dogs of Smithtown, which trains service dogs for the blind and veterans. These days David and JP, both certified Therapy Dogs, take Lynda for long walks, visit with her at nursing homes and hospitals and even are present at difficult funerals to be comfort to those grieving. It is a wonderful aspect of ministry that congregations enjoy taking part in.
About Smithtown UMC
Smithtown United Methodist Church is celebrating 174 years of ministry to the people of Smithtown and surrounding towns. They are passionate about worship and offer Christian education through Bible Study, Confirmation classes and Sunday school. Community outreach is key to their spiritual growth and ministry. Smithtown Church sponsors a Girl Scout and Boy Scout troop, a Parkinson's Therapy Center and a Thrift Shop. They also serve as one of seven churches that participates in the Smithtown Pantry. One of their greatest gifts to the community is their Wesley Pre-School that offers educational opportunities for 3-5 year olds throughout the community. Smithtown UMC welcomes all to share their gifts and join them as they "Build Community on Faith In Christ".
About Rev. Bodt
The Rev. Dr. Brian R. Bodt has provided 40 years of pastoral ministry in the New York Annual Conference. A third-generation United Methodist pastor, “Pastor Brian,” as he desires to be called, remains active as vice-president of the Conference Board of Trustees; as a clergy mentor; and as a leader for pastoral transitions. He is also a trained consultant for the New Consecration Sunday stewardship program.
Pastor Brian received his Doctor of Ministry (with distinction) from Hartford Seminary in CT (1994). He received his Master of Divinity, magna cum laude, from Drew Theological Seminary in New Jersey (1979) and his Bachelor of Arts from Western Maryland College (1976).
Pastor Brian is married to Carol Galloway, M.S., P.T. Together they have four sons: Daniel Bodt (Melisa), Fairfield, CT; Adam Schofield-Bodt (Katie), Cambridge, MA; Aaron Rattley, a junior at Southern CT State University, New Haven; and Ryan Rattley, a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. For fun, Brian runs, bikes, hikes and plays with all kinds of trains.
About Hamden Plains UMC
The Hamden Plains United Methodist Church is the church of ordinary people with extra extraordinary faith. Ever since its beginning, several generations of families have been baptized, married, and grown in faith of Christ here at HPUMC. The church endeavors to actively serve its neighbors in and beyond the local area with charities and events for children and adults. In the words of its leadership, “Hamden Plains UMC is a diverse community that is united in Christ, a friendly place to worship, serve, and grow in faith. We invite you to visit as we open our hearts, minds, and doors to you.” This church has recently completed a paragraph 212/213 study, according to our Book of Discipline, and has resolved to be intentional in revitalizing its ministry and service in response to the needs of the community. The church has decided to be a formidable Methodist presence to the city of Hamden. They invite all to join them on this journey or watch and see what the Lord Jesus Christ is about to do for their community through their service in mission and love.
About Rev. Brewington
The Rev. Adrienne L. Brewington is an Ordained Elder in full connection with the United Methodist Church since June 2003, and is presently the senior pastor of Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church. Prior to this appointment, Rev. Brewington served two congregations, First Church, Hollis and Westbury United Methodist Church. She led them to greater spiritual health, strength and growth before being appointed to be District Superintendent of the Long Island East District. Koinonia and commitment to the cause of Christ were the hallmarks of her superintendency. Rev. Brewington served as the Dean of the Cabinet four years.
Rev. Brewington held several positions in the public sector, as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, and Suffolk County, and as an Assistant New York State Attorney.
One of her many gifts is her music ministry with the Shepherd Singers. Rev. Brewington shares her life and ministry with her husband, Frederick Brewington, a renowned civil rights attorney and a prominent lay leader in the New York Annual Conference and the General Church.
About Babylon UMC
The United Methodist Church of Babylon began in the home of a devoted Methodist family in 1831. Over the years it has grown into a home for many – the place where the joys of baptism and marriage are celebrated, the place where the sorrows of illness, death and loss are embraced.
Worship services are inspirational and transformational, outstanding music, dynamic sermons, and an atmosphere that is open. They express their spiritual longings with song and prayer.
The UMC of Babylon has a well-equipped nursery; the church reaches out to the community and around the world. As United Methodists, the UMC of Babylon is a connectional church that contributes to mission programs and relief efforts both locally and globally.
"We are dedicated women, men and children all here to seek God, follow Jesus Christ, celebrate the gifts of the Holy Spirit and serve our neighbor.”
About Rev. Choi
Rev. Oon Don Choi is an elder in the New York Annual Conference who was ordained in 2002. Prior to his ordination, Rev. Choi served at Stamford Korean UMC and as associate pastor at First UMC in Flushing. Rev. Choi started his ministry with the Oklahoma Annual Conference, where he served several congregations and worked as a hospital chaplain. Born in Seoul, Korea, Rev. Choi attended the Gangnam Church and entered Presbyterian Theological Seminary while still in Seoul. He continued his education at Oral Roberts University (M.Div), Southern Methodist University (M.Div), Drew University (D.Min) and New York Theological Seminary (D.Min). He also completed the full-time Chaplain Training Course (Clinical Pastoral Education) while in Tulsa. Having served at Bethel UMC in the Bronx, Ossining UMC, Summerfield and Woodrow UMCs on Staten Island, most recently Rev. Choi pastored The Parish of the Five Churches and Pleasant Valley UMC, in a cooperative setting.
About Hartford Korean UMC
The Hartford Korean UMC is a welcoming family of caring Christians dedicated to joyful service to all God’s people. They welcome family and friends in Christ Jesus. It is the oldest Korean-American UMC in Connecticut. They are proud of their legacy of being a place where others meet friends, providing spiritual service, evangelical and biblical sermon. They are committed to Praising God and facilitating life training for dedicated Christian living and world mission participation.
They profess that they are “a congregation of Christian believers who take seriously the balance of witness outreach and care of the saints that has been the cornerstone of Christian faith and vitality throughout the history of the church. The Holy Spirit is alive and well in the variety of gifts employed by our fellowship as they seek to worship God and reach out to our world with healing in Jesus’ name.”
About Rev. Chupungco
The Rev. Susan Chupungco is a California native and a life-long United Methodist. She attended college in Northern California, earning her bachelor’s degree in political science in 2001. She worked for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, UT before continuing her journey east to Washington, DC, where she worked in non-profit event planning and fund raising. In 2008 she followed God’s nudging to return to California, where she began exploring her call to ministry working with youth in Sacramento, with an emphasis on ministry with the poor and engaging in social justice issues.
Continuing to follow her call to ministry, Susan pursued her master of divinity degree at Drew Theological School in Madison, NJ, which she earned in May 2014. She lives with her husband, Angelo, and son, Grayson. They enjoy traveling; much of their time outside of New York is spent with family in California or the Philippines.
About Rivertowns Incubator
This initiative will present new opportunities for community engagement; allow seminarians to practice the craft of pastoral ministry; and, most importantly, provide greater opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to a group of people as yet untouched by the local churches. The lead pastor will create/nurture Fresh Expressions of ministry beyond the local church, throughout the towns of Pleasantville, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Hartsdale and Tarrytown. Additionally, this initiative will nurture a culture of excellence in the assigned seminarians, providing a feeder system to local church appointments in the NYAC after their graduation and/or creating Incubators in other parts of the conference.
About Rev. Cunningham
Pastor Cunningham received his Master of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion in California. It was there where he met his wife, Ms. Rebecca Asedillo. Their ministry has grown over the years. It was a conversation with his then teenage daughters that led him to go deep and develop a model for a new church start. For the past eleven years Rev. Cunningham served New Day Church. Pastor Cunningham grew up in the United Methodist Church; he is committed to crossing boundaries of race, class, sexual orientation, gender and age. He will seek to build relationships with new families while reaching the greater community.
Pastor Cunningham is an elder and has pastored in in the Ohio West, Baltimore-Washington and the New York Conference for thirty-seven years.
About Asbury UMC
Asbury United Methodist Church has a Methodist history that dates back to over 200 years of ministry. During the summer months Asbury members and friends still worship in Bethel Chapel where Francis Asbury and George Whitfield often preached. Many circuit riders came through Croton and it became known as the “Prophets Corner”. Croton residents of all denominations have been buried in the church’s cemetery. It is stated that many prominent men like Van Cortlandt, the first Lieutenant Governor of New York attended worship there.
Today the people of Asbury are well connected to the community. They work with the Sanctuary Coalition, they joined a faith based regional coalition to host guests experiencing hopelessness for two weeks each winter. Asbury was the catalyst for the Run Against Hunger Race which is in its 37th year of meeting the needs Cortlandt Emergency Food Bank. Asbury is becoming a place where all are welcome.
About Rev. Gadzini
Rev. Dr. Penny Gadzini began serving UM Churches is 1986 after a brief career as a pilot. She is a passionate preacher and is dedicated to healing and care ministries. She seeks to build prayerful diverse communities of faith committed to faithfully serving the needs of the community, the nation and the world. She earned her M.Div. at Union Theological Seminary and her D. Min. at Andover Newton Theological School. She holds certificates in pastoral psychotherapy and marriage and family therapy from Blant-Peale Graduate Institute. Pastor Penny has worked as a pastoral counselor and professor of pastoral care. She is a sailor, crews historic vessels and is skipper of Sea Scout Ship 270 in Northport, NY.
About Rev. Hinnen
Rev. Melissa Hinnen is a life long United Methodist, prior to her ordination in 2017, she was the Director of Communications for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Public Information officer and Director of Content for the General Board of Global Ministries. Pastor Melissa has faithfully served Asbury UMC, Croton-on-Hudson for the past four years. While there she re-launched the youth ministry. Not only has she increased worship attendance; she has incorporated the young people into the life of the church. New families have come, and the congregation has grown in “body and spirit”. Pastor Melissa is an effective communicator, preacher and pastor, who develops creative, intergenerational, intercultural liturgy and worship experiences that share the Good News in accessible, meaningful, and often provocative ways. She is a graduate of New York Theological School.
About Park Slope UMC
Park Slope United Methodist Church is a diverse, vibrant and growing congregation in Brooklyn, New York. As a reconciling church Park Slope has a clear vision of mission and ministry, well stated in their own creed: “Hand in Hand, we the people of Park Slope United Methodist Church - black and white, straight and gay, old and young, rich and poor - unite as a loving community in covenant with God and the Creation. Summoned by our faith in Jesus Christ, we commit ourselves to the humanization of urban life and to physical and spiritual growth.”
The church has a lively, well-attended worship service, with congregation members sharing leadership of the liturgy, an active social justice ministry, a well-established Stephen ministry, a Sunday dinner each week for anyone hungry or lonely, Sunday School, an arts group, a support group for caregivers of aging. Through diverse ministries Park Slope wants to serve the Lord and all kinds of people with the love of God through Jesus Christ.
About Rev. Horne
Rev. Ed Horne is a lifelong member of The United Methodist Church. As a Methodist minister for 40 years, Rev. Horne has never wavered from his belief in the importance of ministry — and in interfaith collaboration. In the early stages of ministry, Rev. Horne interned at a Congregational church in Branford, did campus ministry work with the legendary Rev. William Sloane Coffin, spent three years as an assistant pastor in Stratford, and then was called to the East Avenue UMC in Norwalk. After five years he moved on to St. Paul and St. Andrew UMC in Manhattan. Sixteen years and one Long Island church later, he was appointed to Westport’s Methodists in CT, from which he retired.
After his last sermon on June 17, 2018, Rev. Horne joined that list of beloved retirees. He and his wife Sara, a pastoral psychotherapist, moved to Goshen, NY, where they purchased a home 12 years ago. Ed has graciously consented to extend his wealth of experience and his gifts and graces to the furtherance of the body of Christ. He continues to provide leadership in church revitalization initiatives and will temporarily pastor this congregation toward vitality.
About UMC of Litchfield
The UMC of Litchfield is a warm community of believers bringing God's love to all through worship, outreach and service. In their words: “Our goal is to focus first on our future, the children and the faith development opportunities available. Second is to provide effective and inspiring worship, small groups, bible studies and prayer.” This community is willing to support those willing to step outside the box and encourage perseverance when needed in efforts to succeed or accept defeat as a lesson. Their prayer is that the Holy Spirit fills and equips each individual with the courage to maintain authenticity, as well as the stamina and grace to make disciples to transform the world.
Additionally, in their words: “It is true that we have a beautiful place to worship, celebrate and even mourn and all are welcome to join us. The greater truth is we nurture each other in this space but our mission field has no walls, fences or obstacles that are impenetrable. Our mission field is wherever we are led to serve and fulfill needs of those in our community and reaching out globally. Our prayer is to continue to provide the leadership essential to accomplish whatever is placed in the path of Litchfield United Methodist Church.”
About Rev. Jenkins
Pastor Michael Dwayne Jenkins has served as the senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Torrington, Connecticut for the past seven years. He is an on-fire charismatic servant of God who loves the Lord, loves people and especially youth. Pastor Jenkins began his ministry as a youth minister/deacon at Jesus Saves' Ministries urban ministry in Bridgeport, Connecticut for eleven years. He was also the coordinator of Lower Fairfield County and the Greater Bridgeport area for Youth Network Ministries. Pastor Jenkins has completed several course of study classes, which prepared him for the work of ministry.
Pastor Jenkins’ educational background includes studies at North Carolina Agricultural Technical School in business administration. He holds a certificate in religious studies from Tabernacle Bible Institute in White Plains, NY. Currently Pastor Jenkins is seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Grand Canyon University. He is a certified pastoral counselor through Saint Francis Academy, Hartford, CT; a certified chaplain in the state of Connecticut through the Danbury Chaplaincy Program; and a certified chaplain at Danbury Hospital.
His favorite scripture is found in Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” A loving father and son, he is a sports enthusiast. Pastor Jenkins is pursing full elder’s orders in The United Methodist Church.
About Epworth UMC
In 1902 a group of Christians organized by Reverends F.A. Cullen, William Brooks and Frank Mason North gathered at the home of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Peaco to establish a Methodist church in the Bronx. The birth of St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church was the result of that meeting. The services were held in the home of the Peaco family under the leadership of Rev. Albert Amos. While he was pastor, the group moved from the Peaco home to another home at 148th Street and Morris Avenue. In 1904, Rev. Julius Carroll became pastor, and the name of the church was changed to Epworth Methodist Episcopal Church. As the church grew, there was a need for a larger building. Our present home at 834 Morris Avenue, a.k.a. 834 Concourse Village, was completed on November 22, 1925.
Today Epworth has a vital, multigenerational congregation that loves to worship and lift up the name of Jesus. They engage in various ministries that meet the needs of their neighbors and draw others to Christ for the transformation of the world. Historically, Epworth United Methodist Church thrives to become the “Glorious Church” growing in the power, authority and character of Christ. “Be imitators of God,… And live a life of love…” (Ephesians 5:1-2)
About Rev. Kim
Rev. Eumin Kim has served various congregations in McLean, VA; New Haven, CT; Poughkeepsie, NY; Lagrangeville, NY; Maspeth, NY and Flushing, Queens. In 2010, Eumin was invited to Central Asia on a short-term mission trip to be the keynote speaker for a Methodist pastors conference. Seeing the devotion of Christian leaders serving in an environment of persecution with limited resources, Eumin’s heart was “strangely warmed” as he heard God’s voice telling him that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few in Central Asia. Since 2011, Eumin has been serving along with his wife Prumeh, as co-directors of the United Methodist Mission Center of Central Asia, partnering with local leaders in planting and developing Methodist congregations in this region of the world. As of June of 2019, Eumin will finish his missionary contract with the General Board of Global Ministries and return to serve as pastor in his home conference. Eumin is happily married to Prumeh Lee and has two children, Yeari and Eli. In his free time, Eumin loves playing sports and lives vicariously through rooting for his favorite sports teams.
About Rev. Kim
Rev. Kwang-il Kim has served the Rock Hill and Woodridge communities since 2017 and has been serving mostly English-speaking churches since becoming a licensed local pastor in 1994. He has served in many contexts in the New York Conference —urban, suburban, and rural. He has served in district and conference leadership around issues of ordination, stewardship, and cross-cultural ministries. He loves people and encourages them to find their callings and follow Christ. He is deeply committed to preaching the Word of God in a faithful, accessible, and relevant way. He is also a man of prayer, rising early in the morning to intercede for the congregations and communities he serves. Rev. Kim is married to Young Jwa Cho and has a son and daughter.
About The Delaware Headwaters Parish
The Delaware Headwaters Parish links four churches to serve with two pastors, one full-time and one part-time. The churches are in ministry to four communities, and each is different (as each church is different). However, these mission fields have in common a depressed rural economy (with dairy farms closing and regulations discouraging development and industry to protect New York City drinking water), a loss of population (as youth graduate and find jobs elsewhere), a sense of pride in heritage and faith, an instinct for mutual support and community cohesion, an independent spirit, a welcoming heart with a cautious mind, and a future that depends on migrants from cities and foreign countries. Two churches are in villages, one is in a hamlet, and one is in open fields. Members come from families engaged in farming, mechanical repair, teaching, health care, retail, and trucking. They all have a desire to share the love of Christ in the most effective way they can. Bloomville and Stamford usually find the part-time pastor in their pulpit, and Paul Moller will continue in that role. Hobart and Township usually find the full-time pastor in their pulpit, but the part-time and full-time pastors lead worship in each sanctuary and visit parishioners from each church.
About Rev. Lee
Rev. Samuel J. Lee has served Hartford Korean UMC since 2011. He graduated from New York Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity in 2003, from Blanton-Peale Graduate Counseling Institute in 2005, and from Union Theological Seminary with a Master of Sacred Theology with a concentration in psychiatry and religion in 2009.
Samuel received God’s call when he was in high school. God called and touched his heart through a Bible verse in Isaiah 41:10, "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." He has a great passion for serving God and God’s people, making disciples and training leaders for God’s Kingdom. He loves to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. He is happily married to his wife, Iris, and is blessed with his son, James.
About Rev. Morris
Rev. Dr. Beverly M. A. Morris grew up in the Methodist Church in Tobago in the Caribbean and has continued her relationship in The United Methodist Church here in the New York Annual Conference. She worked with the Queens District Attorney’s office for over thirty years, while in ministry as a diaconal minister, permanent deacon and now as an elder. She has a passion for working with domestic violence victims and is also passionate about helping others through their grief/bereavement periods. Rev. Morris is endorsed by the UM Endorsing Agency in pastoral care and counseling. Rev. Morris recently returned (April 2019) from another mission, where she spent two academic school years (2017-2019) in the Philippines, where she taught pastoral care and counseling at Union Theological Seminary, Cavite, Philippines. As a visiting professor there, she was instrumental in helping to strengthen and foster relations within the connectional system of the UMC in the Philippines. Rev. Morris is an ordained elder who has served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Conference Relations committee, and has continued her relationship as a board of directors member of the Far Rockaway Mission even while away on mission.
About Pastor Ponder
Shari Fleming Ponder has been nationally recognized as a hardworking educator and non-profit professional with over fifteen years of experience in school counseling, school administration, non-profit development, community partnership establishment, event planning, program planning, workshop facilitation and administrative services with school, corporate, governmental and non-profit agencies. Ms. Ponder earned a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in english arts from Hampton University (1995); a Master of Arts in education, with a concentration in counseling and psychological services and an emphasis in school counseling, from Clark Atlanta University (1999); and a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology (2019). While at Candler, some of Ms. Ponder’s highlights were: President, Candler Women; Consultation Program Assistant, World Methodist Evangelism Institute; and Communications Director, Candler Black Student Caucus. Ms. Ponder has an intelligent and beautiful daughter named Bethany, who will be a senior in high school in the upcoming academic year. An enthusiastic team player with excellent communication and collaboration skills, Ms. Ponder has been appointed to plant a new church, in accordance with the Northeastern Jurisdiction Call to Action, and will serve as an Associate Pastor at Salem UMC.
About Rev. Quissico
Rev. Quissico has been the pastor of Epworth UMC in the Bronx since February 2013. Currently he is the chair of the New York Conference Connectional Ministries Vision Table (CMVT), president of the Clergy Coalition for the New York Police Department’s 44th Precinct and vice-president of the Bronx Cluster of the UMCs. Quissico also chaired the Metropolitan District Council on Ministries and served as a member of the Northeastern Jurisdiction’s Global Structuring Task Force. Rev. Quissico started his pastoral ministry in January of 1993 in Mozambique, where he served three local UMCs. He was ordained an elder in December of 1994 by the Mozambique South Annual Conference. For 26 years God has used Quissico in life-transforming ministries for the church and society at large, worldwide. His ministry record includes five years as disaster relief coordinator for UMCOR in Mozambique and seven years as Global Ministries (GBGM) Executive Secretary for Africa, in New York. Quissico is fluent in nine languages. He serves as language interpreter/translator for the UMC General Conferences, Central Conferences and other denominational events worldwide. The most precious gift in Quissico’s life is his wife Fatima, son Helton and daughter Vania. One of his favorite Scripture verses is Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through [Christ] who strengthens me."
About Rev. Rodriguez
Pastor Annette Rodriguez is a Bronx native. She is has served as the associate pastor of Epworth United Methodist Church, charged to build community relationships within the South Bronx. As the lead pastor of Woodycrest United Methodist Church she will continue to strengthen those initiatives and develop small group ministries that meet the needs of the greater Highbridge community.
Pastor Rodriguez is bilingual, and well equipped to provide spiritual leadership and develop strategic guidance for the members. She is passionate about sharing the prophetic word of God’s love with all people. Pastor Rodriguez received her master of divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC; her MBA in health care administration from Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY; and a BA in anthropology and classical civilizations from New York University, New York, NY.
About Woodycrest UMC
Woodycrest United Methodist Church was formed as a last request of Mrs. Elizabeth Worrell Jones to form a Methodist church and a church school in the Highbridge section of the Bronx. Her husband and a good friend, Rev. David Couch and Rev. Jacob Price, the pastor of Washington Heights United Methodist Church, came together to make her request a reality.
The congregation moved to its present location in 1912. As the community changed in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the membership of Woodycrest reflected the community. Today they remain faithfully committed to God and community. In 2005, Woodycrest began a soup kitchen, “ The Bread Basket.” This weekly ministry continues to nourish 160 members of the community both physically and spiritually.
Woodycrest’s motto is “a little church with a BIG Heart” and everything we do reflects the heart of our membership to serve the people of the community and beyond.
About Rev. Spiak
Rev. Spiak has served as pastor to the Milton-Marlboro congregation for nine years and recently has also pastored the Modena UMC. In addition, Jody served at the assistant pastor for Greenville-Norton Hill and as a student pastor for the Angelica, Short Tract and Oramel UMC’s in western NY. Jody has a strong interest in chaplaincy and serves regularly in this capacity at the Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie. Rev. Spiak holds a B.A. in Ministerial Religion from Houghton College and the M.Div. for Luther Seminary. Jody is anticipating Full Elders ordination in the New York Conference, June 2019. He and his wife, Crystal, have four children and the family enjoys hiking, camping and outdoor activities.
About Poughkeepsie UMC
Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church, located on New Hackensack Road in Poughkeepsie, NY is a diverse congregation with a passion for ministry in the community and the world. PUMC maintains a commitment forged years ago with the Poughkeepsie AME Zion church to support a low-income housing project and Harriet Tubman after-school program for children in downtown Poughkeepsie. The church offers many ministries and programs for families and single individuals including: small group Bible studies, Soaking Prayer with the prayer team members, youth group activities and events, Sunday School for all ages, and both a contemporary and traditional worship service weekly on Sunday mornings. In addition, the church hosts special events during the year for members and the community such as a Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance and a Black History Month, African American History Read-In for all ages.
About Rev. Dr. Usher-Kerr
The Rev. Dr. Marva Usher-Kerr has been a faithful member of The United Methodist Church for many years. During that time she has been active on every level of the church, including serving as a General Conference and Jurisdictional delegate (2004, 2008 and 2012).
Three of her greatest passions are evangelism, teaching and missions. She has led numerous lay training events, Mission U and youth ministries. One of Rev. Usher-Kerr’s passions is volunteer missions. She has worked in Haiti and several parts of both Africa and South America. As a certified evangelist of The United Methodist Church, she comes with a wealth of experience.
Prior to ordination, Rev. Usher-Kerr worked several years with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church and with United Methodist Women at the national office of The United Methodist Church.
She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and has attended Auburn and Union Seminaries. Dr. Usher-Kerr received her master of divinity degree and doctor of ministry degree from New York Theological Seminary in New York City. Rev. Dr. Usher-Kerr served as pastor at Willis Avenue United Methodist Church in the Bronx from 2012-2016 and was appointed in June 2016 to Tremont United Methodist Church, also in the Bronx.
About Freeport UMC
Freeport United Methodist Church was birthed from a 1785 Methodist class in the home of Benjamin Raynor of Raynortown (now called Freeport). This a ‘Christ-Centered church that is dedicated to loving God with all their heart, mind and soul and to loving their neighbor as themselves.‘ It is a community filled with faith, hope and love seeking to reach all ages of women, men and children, offering opportunities for spiritual formation (through worship, and Bible study), fellowship, service and witness to the world. Sunday morning worship is a time of inspiration and fellowship that draws in all people.