Rev. Dr. William J. Younger, Lead Pastor
I have been a pastor for over twenty years, serving congregations in Pennsylvania and Illinois. My educational training began at Trinity College (BA Bible and Philosophy) in Deerfield, IL. From there I attended Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity) in Hamilton, MA, and then completed my Doctor in Ministry degree in Congregational Revitalization from Fuller Theological Seminary, in Pasadena, CA . My dissertation was entitled “God Breaking Through: A Theological and Practical Study of Congregational Renewal” (2007). I’ve been the Lead Pastor/Head of Staff at Union since 2010 and absolutely love what I do! I have a passion for congregational renewal and revitalization and I truly believe that the gospel has the power to make all things new— even a church over two hundred years young! I enjoy using my gifts of preaching, teaching, leadership, discernment and vision-casting as I share this exciting missional/gospel journey with the bride of Christ that sits high on the hill in Robinson Township (The cross of Union Church steeple actually is the highest point in Allegheny County!)
My wonderful wife Karen is an associate professor of U.S. History at Waynesburg University and an ordained PCUSA minister herself. We have two beautiful and talented daughters—Livy and Lily–and three neurotic, yet lovable, dogs named Buddy, Rocket, and Luna Baby. When I’m away from my work, I enjoy hanging out with my family, hunting, running and working out at LA Fitness. I am an avid sports fan with a passion for college and professional football, and I also occasionally find time for reading a good book (accompanied with a fine, strong cup of coffee, of course!). While I love the life of pastoral ministry, I believe my true “calling” was to be a forest ranger in the great Pacific Northwest woods.
Tom Ribar, Associate Pastor of Youth and Families
My most cherished gift is my wife, Tami, who I wed in December of 1985! We have three grown children, Jessa (Ian and Avery) Darwin, Lexi Ribar, and Nathan (Lydia) Ribar. Tami and I live in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where we enjoy being close to our children, and particularly being grandparents! In addition to enjoying the labor of creating a hospitable home (a seemingly never-ending rehab, 4 years in the making!) that represents Jesus’ kingdom of shalom, we are blessed by good friends, city life, the beach (when occasion allows!), biking, and gardening. Having grown up in Cleveland, OH, I have maintained my loyalties to Cleveland professional sports, despite living and working in the heart of Steeler nation (longsuffering produces in me a capacity to endure all things)!
My journey as a teacher and preacher of the Gospel began in earnest at Muskingum College (1984). After several years working in campus ministry with the CCO in western PA, I completed my Master of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1992). I am currently finishing my Doctor of Ministry at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA.
I have worked in gospel ministry for over 33 years. I have 20 years of campus ministry experience in student life, mission leadership, and teaching both in and out of the classroom. I have served for over 13 years in a variety of pastoral roles with three different congregations. This includes my current service as part-time pastor to the congregation of Mt. Pisgah Presbyterian Church in Greentree. Nothing excites me more than helping disciples of Jesus grow in faithfulness by deepening their understanding of the Biblical story and our place in it.
Monica Laughery, Office Manager
Monica has been at Union Church since December of 2011. She loves this church family and all that it offers as a Gospel-centered ministry.
She and her husband Patrick are blessed with two lovely daughters – Brenna and Kylie, plus a couple furry friends – a dog named Teddy Bear, and a bunny named Luna. Brenna attends the University of Pittsburgh while Kylie is enjoying her senior year of high school.
Monica feels blessed by God’s gracious love that He provided this opportunity to serve the congregation at Union Church. She has a servant heart and enjoys working in service of God’s people; all for His glory!
God is good, all the time….all the time, God is good!
Kellyn von Arx, Assistant Director of Youth and Families
Kellyn joined the Union Church Staff in October, 2015.
Since graduating from Geneva College, Kellyn has used her talents to serve the Lord in many communities, including Downtown Pittsburgh and the North Side. She is excited to bring those talents and experiences to Union, and in building new relationships here.
Kellyn enjoys spending free time with her husband, Drew, daughter, Lorelei, and dog, Perla.
John M. Seybert, Ph.D., Director of Music Ministries
I have over fifteen years’ experience as a music director and educator. I served congregations in Indiana, Florida, and Pennsylvania. I received a Bachelor of Music degree from Grove City College, a Master of Music degree from Butler University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in music education from the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. I am blessed to serve the congregation at Union Church. I have a passion for music ministry and outreach in our community. I enjoy working with people of all ages, abilities, and walks of life as we give our gifts and talents to pursue excellence for God’s glory!
I am Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Music Education Program at Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA. I have published research in various international and national peer-reviewed journals. I am also an active performer, clinician, and soloist. Previous to my graduate studies, I taught music in nationally recognized elementary, middle, and high school music programs in Indianapolis, IN.
My wonderful wife, Misty, is a counselor and instructor for various undergraduate and graduate psychology programs. We have two children, Amelia and Claire, who are great blessings in our lives. We also have a golden retriever named Lucy. If I am not working, I enjoy writing, reading, running, and biking. I also enjoy professional baseball, football, ice hockey, and college basketball. If I had a choice of another career, I would be a writer or author. I also enjoy traveling throughout the country and in Europe.
Winona Johnston, Children's Ministries Coordinator
Rebecca Safko, Treasurer
George Shumek, Financial Secretary
George is Union Church’s Financial Secretary. George handles the accounting for the weekly offering and prepares the tithe and offering tax statements.
George has been a member of Union Church for over 35 years and enjoys extending this service to the church.
George and wife Suzanne are residents of Robinson Township. They are retired and enjoy traveling and visiting their grandson in Florida.
Katie Parr, Childcare Center Director
Katie joined the Union Church staff in September of 2015. She comes to us with a background in both Middle Childhood and Early Childhood Education. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Mount Union with concentrations in Language Arts, Social Studies & Citizenship, and American Studies. She then pursued her Master’s degree in Early Education at Slippery Rock University, graduating with dual certification as a Reading Specialist and Literacy Coach.
She now spends her days managing the childcare program in our Christian Education Building. Teaching is her passion, and she is excited to bring her talents to Union Church Child Care Center.
Katie enjoys spending time outdoors in her free time with her husband, Rich, and their dog, Dollar.
Carl Reed, Sexton
Carl is serving in the Sexton capacity. The Sexton at Union Church is responsible for opening, preparing and closing the church for Worship Services.
Carl enjoys this service to the Union Church family as it provides much opportunity for fellowship with members of Christ’s family.
Sally Andrews, Pastoral Care Coordinator
Mimi Massucci, Wedding Coordinator
Sue Shumek, New Member Coordinator
Sue (Suzanne) is Union Church’s New Member Coordinator as well as serving as a Deacon.
Sue has been a member of Union Church for over 35 years and enjoys graciously receiving visitors and guests to worship at Union Church.
Sue and husband George are residents of Robinson Township. They are retired and enjoy traveling and visiting their grandson in Florida.