First United Methodist Church, 237 W. Silver St., will welcome their new pastor, the Rev. Terry Shaffer, next month.
Rev. Shaffer grew up in Linesville, still owns a campsite on Pymatuning Lake and has served as a pastor since he was 19 and studying sociology at Edinboro University. His earliest service included at Sharpsville United Methodist Church.
He succeeds Rev. Richard Roberts, who was reassigned to two churches on the border of Allegheny and Washington counties in a growing community. The church held a farewell reception for he and his family in April. The Rev. Merritt H. Edner has served as interim pastor, with his last Sunday being June 30. A farewell reception will be held that day.
Rev. Shaffer, who is coming to Sharon from First United Methodist Church in Blairsville, Pa., will begin his pastorate July 1, with his first Sunday being July 7.
The incoming pastor earned his masters of divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He has served many regional locations including rural, suburban, urban and small-town churches in both the previous Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist Episcopal traditions.
His longest pastorate was in Pittsburgh at Albright Community Church, a multi-cultural church that had a very active campus ministry as well as a community Bible school and a computer lab for local students.
Rev. Shaffer also served as United Methodist Conference mission ambassador to Africa in 1993. He has traveled to five continents, with his primary focus being justice issues. He serves on the district and conference boards of the ordained ministry and is responsible for preparing persons for the ministry.
His wife Beverly passed away in early 2012. He has two stepchildren and two stepgrandchildren.