After the prayerful discernment of the UNY cabinet, Bishop Burgos Núñez announces the following appointments. All appointments, otherwise noted, are effective July 1, 2023.
New appointments are to be announced on Wednesdays at 1 p.m.
Click here for the full list of 2023 clergy appointments as of July 1, 2023 (as of June 3, 2023).
June 7, 2023
Maryellen Moore is appointed to Gallupville UMC in addition to Warnerville & Middleburgh UMCs.
Rev. Wilson Jones is appointed to Cooperstown & Sherburne UMCs.
Rev. Wilson Jones has been serving churches for more than 25 years. Originally ordained in The Wesleyan Church, he became an elder in the UMC in 2000. He has a degree in Communication from Houghton College, a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry in Worship, Spirituality, and Preaching from Drew University. He is also trained in Conflict Transformation and Mediation. Before becoming a pastor he worked in the insurance industry.
Pastor Jones’ key scripture is Revelation 21:5, “And the one seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making all things new.” Wilson loves being a part of the transformation of lives and this world into all that God intends them to be.
He and his wife of 33 years, Alyson, have 3 adult children: Kelsea, Kendra and Jacob. He enjoys golf, bowling, and most outdoor activities. He and Alyson are avid hikers and baseball fans.
Eunice Kim is appointed to New York Annual Conference to Greenville: Asbury UMC in the Catskill Hudson District effective July 1, 2023.
Ejaz Abid is appointed to Esperance-Sloansville and Delanson effective July 1, 2023.
May 24, 2023
Pastor Betty Jiles is appointed to a new Faith Community: Hope Church.
Pastor Betty Jiles is a Licensed Local Pastor. She currently serves Churchille UMC. Pastor Betty is no stranger to ministry. Her previous ministry she served along with her husband and several leaders of different denominations in the City of Rochester for over 35 years. They also planted and pastored a church in the City of Rochester for over 12 years. Pastor Betty is presently a student at Northeastern Seminary earning her Masters of Divinity degree. She and her husband have started a New Faith minsitry in the City of Rochester.
Betty loves preaching and teaching and is very passionate about sharing Christ. She loves to sing, worship, and praise God. She also loves to travel, spend time with her husband, watch movies with her family, and be creative with planning one-on-one dates with her adult children.
Betty and her husband Robert love, enjoy and celebrate their two gifts, two adult childlren, son Lajuan and daughter Tamara and one amazing granddaughter Nadia LaNye.
Pastor Elizabeth Aristy is appointed to Rochester: Emmanuel UMC.
Elizabeth “Liz” Aristy is a baptized member of the United Methodist Church since 1990 and has served in various roles within the body of the UNYUMC including lay supply pastor at The Grove UMC in Medina, chair of S/PPRC at Emmanuel UMC in Rochester, and is a current member of the Conference Leadership Team. Liz received her masters’ degree in theology from Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, NY. In addition, she holds a baccalaureate degree in organizational management from Roberts Wesleyan University and nursing from the University of Rochester.
Liz is co-founder of Redemption Tree International, a 501(c)3 grassroots, evangelistic outreach ministry where she serves as a missionary and teacher of the gospel message in Spanish. She is a lay chaplain with the International Federation of Chaplains and Human Rights, serving needy individuals and families at the local and international level.
Liz is happily married to Sandy and currently lives in Rochester, NY with their two dogs. They have two adult children and eagerly await the birth of their first grandchild in September.
Pastor Judith Selover is appointed to Tyre UMC in addition to her current appointment at Port Byron UMC.
Pastor Judith Selover has been a Licensed Local Pastor since 2010. She completed Course of Study in 2018 and recently returned from a trip to the Holy Land. She currently also serves at Port Byron United Methodist Church. Judy also continues to audit many churches within the District and has a passion for finance. Judy retired recently from Children’s Health Specialists as an Office Manager for 38 years. Judy also continues to work part time for Auburn Community Hospital in the billing department.
Judy has been a widow for 19 years and currently enjoys her two adult children and five grandchildren. She currently lives in Auburn, NY.
May 17, 2023
Rev. Abigail Browka appointed as Director of New Faith Communities.
Rev. Abigail Browka is the half-time Pastor of Trinity UMC of the Mohawk Valley in Whitesboro, NY who in 2022 completed a ministry audit, purposeful pause, and pressed play on restarting refreshed ministry through Abigail's coaching. Abigail has been the creator and curator of the Everyday Sanctuary mobile app and Podcast, "a satisfying spiritual practice in 5 minutes or less, everywhere you are," an Upper New York New Faith Community since 2020.
Abigail is an Elder in The United Methodist Church and lives in Central New York with her amazingly aware train loving toddler. Click here to read more.
May 10, 2023
Pastor Leon Jicha, Jr. is appointed to Little Meadows UMC in addition to his current appointments at Apalachin UMC and Whittemore Hill UMCs.
Pastor Leon Jicha Jr. is a Local Licensed Pastor. He also currently serves Apalachin UMC and Whittemore Hill UMC churches. Leon was the Youth Pastor at Endwell UMC for two years and spent three years serving as a District Trainer for Safe Sanctuaries. He graduated from Davis College in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Pastoral Studies and plans on attending Seminary in the Fall.
Leon has four kids, a beautiful wife, two dogs, a cat, and his father who all live with him. In his spare time, he loves to bowl and collect Pokemon cards.
Rev. Timothy Middleton, Sr. is appointed to East Randolph UMC.
Rev. Timothy Middleton, Sr. is a native of Kannapolis, NC. Accepting the call to ministry in 1985, Rev. Middleton returned to school earning his B.A. in Religious Education with a minor in Music at Wingate University (NC) in 1990. Rev. Middleton graduated from Course Of Study at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. in 2005.
Rev. Middleton was received as an Associate Member of The United Methodist Church at the final Annual Conference of the Western New York Conference in 2009.
Prior to moving to New York, Rev. Middleton served as Youth Pastor at North Kannapolis Baptist Church, Youth Pastor and Music Director at Fairfield and Prospect Baptist Church, all in NC. He has served as Associate Pastor of Youth and Music at Panama UMC, Panama NY from 1996 – 2008, Pastor of the Alfred and Angelica UMC., 2008-2014, and Newark Valley UMC, 2014-2021.
Rev. Middleton retired from active Ministry in July 2021. Returning home to Panama UMC, he serves where needed as member of the Worship Team and Supply Preaching at several local churches.
May 3, 2023
Rev. Hoyt Brown is appointed to Bergen UMC.
Rev. Hoyt Brown has served in rural churches, a university church, three city churches, and two suburban churches. Prior to his professional ministry, he worked in higher education for 23 years. He's been married to Sandy for years and has two grown sons. In his free time, he enjoys camping, hiking, running, and reading.
Pastor Hoyt studied at Southern Methodist University, the University of Maryland at College Park and United Theological Seminary. He has degrees in psychology, counseling and divinity.
Pastor Hoyt serves on United Methodist district and Conference committees.
Rev. Kristi Van Patten is appointed as Associate Pastor of West Sand Lake: Salem UMC and of Averill Park: Church of the Covenant in addition to her current appointment at Alplaus UMC.
Rev. Kristi Van Patten was born and raised in the Capital District and her early faith formation started at Shenendehowa UMC and Skye Farm Camp. She first felt called to the ministry while in middle school. She studied History at Wells College and earned her M.Div. at Methodist Theological School in Ohio where she was awarded the Hoyt Hickman award for creative worship when she graduated.
Her favorite Hymns include: Amazing Grace, It is Well with My Soul, and Just As I Am. She enjoys the new supplements to the hymnal and considers one of her gifts to be finding "new” hymns in the Hymnal. Rev. Pastor Kristi also has three favorite scriptures: John 3:17, Micah 6:8, and 1 Peter 1:8. Pastor Kristi has been serving as a Licensed Local Pastor since 2001. She has served in the Adirondack and in the Albany Districts of the Upper New York Conference. Her daughter, Kylie, is a senior in high school and she just got married to Mike Iwanowicz on Nov. 27, 2022.
Lori Buno-Taylor is appointed to Salem UMC (West Sand Lake) in addition to her current appointment at Church of the Covenant UM in Averill Park.
Lori is relatively new to the West Sand Lake area, but serving the Church and working with others is not new. She served students and families in the Malone Area of Northern New York for three decades, as a special education teacher, and preschool coordinator. After serving many NNY churches in a variety of roles, she was grown into a pastor at Owls Head UMC where she was appointed in 2011.
After retiring from education, she was appointed as a full-time pastor for Church of the Covenant in Averill Park. Her passion to share Christ with the Church and Community continues in a wide variety of church and community initiatives.
April 26, 2023
Pastor Jeannine Biehls is appointed to Bluff Point UMC in addition to her current appointment at Dresden UMC.
Pastor Jeannine Biehls is a Licensed Local Pastor. She and her husband are originally from Pennsylvania, once they relocated to New York, they became members of the Geneva First United Methodist Church which they have members there for 24 years. Jeannine has served as youth leader, on church council, and as church treasurer at Geneva FUMC.
Jeannine has served as Local Pastor at Tyre UMC for the past two and a half years and most recently also at Dresden UMC since July 2022 as well as secretary at the Geneva First United Methodist Church.
Jeannine is blessed with two grown daughters and soon to be a grandmother. In her spare time, Jeannine enjoys spending time at home with her husband.
Rev. Sung Ho Lee is appointed to Livonia UMC.
Rev. Sung Ho Lee was born and grew up in Korea. He studied chemical engineering in Korea and then came to the United States for graduate studies. He received a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and worked in research centers both in the United States and Korea. At the age of 39, he went to seminary to follow God’s call to ministry. He has served Burdett, Ithaca Korean, Hamilton, Corning First, Grand Island Trinity UMCs. He also served as District Superintendent of Mohawk District. Currently he is serving Aldersgate UMC in Rochester (Greece).
Rev. Lee and his wife, Jung, and have two adult children, Sarah and Joey. Sarah and her husband, James, live in California with their two children, Harper and Autumn. Their soOur son, Joey, lives in Virginia.
He loves church, preaching, and enjoys music.
Click here to read more about the new appointment assignments for District Superintendents effective July 1, 2023.
April 19, 2023
Rev. Garry McCaffery is appointed to Newark: First UMC.
Rev. Garry McCaffery has served in a broad array of settings over the course of his career. He has served as a pastor in the former Western NY Annual Conference for 13 years, in the Eastern North Carolina Conference for three years, then took a break from ministry and worked in the Wholesale Parts Dept. of Hoselton Auto Mall for 8 years, and then returned to pastoral ministry at UMC Abundant Harvest in 2019.
He enjoys preaching and teaching the love of God and the transformation found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. His passion is to see lives changed as people encounter the risen Christ.
Rev. McCaffery and his wife, Rev. Karen, are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary on April 8. Together they enjoy spending time with their four grown children and spouses, and four grandchildren.
Rev. Jeff Aiosa is appointed to Spencerport UMC in addition to his current appointment at Elmgrove UMC in Rochester.
Rev. Jeff Aiosa was born in a small town near Ithaca, NY. He graduated high school in his hometown and then went on to college to pursue an Engineering Degree. He received his call to ministry early in life and worked in industry for a few years until it was time to focus completely on ministry. He’d always known of God’s love and knew that faith and ministry were to be a part of his life from the beginning.
Rev. Aiosa spent a year at United Theological Seminary, and then was offered his first two churches located near Port Byron in 1993. Pastor Jeff holds an MDiv degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, and has completed the Leadership and Pastoral Care program at Onondaga Pastoral Counseling Center, and was Ordained Deacon in the CNY Conference, Ordained Elder in the NCNY both of which are now the Upper NY Annual Conference. He and his wife, Nettie, have served several churches in Canastota, Oswego, Massena, Vestal, and now Rochester. They have three adult children and one who will be a senior at Gates Chili High School. Family has always been a very important part of his life, and Jeff has worked hard to keep a balance between the demands of family and church. His mother, Lyn Aiosa, now lives with them also.
Jeff enjoys music, especially singing and playing guitar, has a lot of experience with computers and technology, is well versed in social media, and continues to learn about many aspects of online ministry.
April 5, 2023
Rev. Jongdeok Park is appointed to First United Methodist Church in Oswego.
Born and raised in South Korea, Rev. Jongdeok Park graduated from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, IL, with a Master of Divinity Degree in 2017. He moved to Upper New York in 2017 and began serving at Esperance-Sloansville & Gallupville (2017-Present), Delanson (2021-Present), and Cobleskill (2017-2021) UMCs. He was ordained as an elder in 2021.
Pastor Park has a passion for preaching biblically and contextually, teaching the Bible, and discipleship-making to help his congregation discern God’s love and grace more for the transformation of the world.
Jongdeok is married to Sunyoung, and together they celebrate the gift of two amazing children, Luha (daughter, 8) & Doha (son, 2).
He enjoys weightlifting, CrossFit, Tae Kwon Do, and running.
Rev. Bryant Clark is appointed to Marcellus United Methodist Church.
Rev. Bryant Clark was Ordained an elder in 2022 and has served six years as pastor at Waterville and Park UMCs in Hamilton. For the past two years, he has also served Oneida First UMC. Pastor Bryant is passionate about church renewal, lay leadership development, youth ministry, and ministries of mercy and justice. His wife, Kristina, serves as Director of Missional Engagement for the Upper New York Conference. Kristina and Bryant were married in 2020 and they have a one-year old daughter, Camila.
Pastor Bryant is a graduate of Boston University School of Theology. His loves include his family, cooking, podcasts, reading, training jiu jitsu, and cuddling his pitbull, Lulu.
Rev. Casey Bradley is appointed to Oneonta: First United Methodist Church.
Rev. Casey Bradley has been involved in ministry through the United Methodist Church his whole life. For the last ten years, he has served as a pastor in the Upper New York Conference, serving at First UMC of Lake Luzerne and South Corinth UMC for six years, and Church of Christ Uniting in Richfield Springs for four years.
Pastor Casey brings to ministry a passion for creative and engaging worship, spiritual development, and creating a space where all people can explore, grow, and share their faith. He seeks to guide and prepare the congregations that he serves so that they can enter the world in mission and ministry.
Pastor Casey spends much of his free time hiking, biking, and kayaking. He and his spouse, Heather, have been married for 11 years.
March 29, 2023
Pastor Suzanne Finch is appointed to Mannsville and Lorraine United Methodist Churches.
Suzanne Finch is a Licensed Local Pastor. She was baptized in the Clyde United Methodist Church and years later, she began attending the Tyre UMC. Quickly becoming a part of the church family, she was asked to serve on the Board of Trustees and the Administrative Board as recording secretary. Suzanne continues to serve the church in that capacity. It was in this church that she heard God call her to ministry.
Six months into the formal discernment process, the Finger Lakes District Superintendent asked if she would be interested in becoming a Lay Supply Pastor to Ledyard UMC. She accepted and has been serving Ledyard UMC for almost four years. She received her Local Pastor’s license in October 2022.
Suzanne is passionate about connecting communities with their local church. She thinks it is vitally important that the church demonstrate discipleship through hospitality and fellowship. She believes all people belong to the family of God and need to feel they belong.
Suzanne is blessed with four adult children and seven grandchildren. They are her joy. In her spare time, she likes to create art in various forms of media. She also enjoys reading, hiking, and kayaking.
Rev. Charlie Yang is appointed to Binghamton: Boulevard United Methodist Church.
Rev. Charlie Yang has been in the cross-cultural ministry for more than 20 years. He has plenty of experience in small group ministry such as home groups.He has served on the Board of Ordained Ministry as vice-chair for five years and led a preaching seminar at the Pastor’s Licensing School for multiple years.
He lives with a wife, who is a very positively oriented woman. He also has a grown-up son and daughter.
He published the book, Walking with God: The Journey for Experiencing and Understanding God, last December and it is available on Amazon and others retailers.
March 15, 2023
Rev. Abel Roy is appointed to Clinton United Methodist Church.
Rev. Abel Roy is currently serving his eighth year as the Mohawk District Superintendent. He has served at the Springville United Methodist Church (4 yrs.) and the East Randolph United Methodist Church (15 yrs.) in the Upper New York Conference, and the Huxley and Cambridge United Methodist Churches (9 yrs.) in the Iowa Conference.
His call as a pastor is to equip laity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to serve their neighbors. He embraces personal holiness and social holiness as the foundation of his ministry to live the great commandment, as well as the great commission.
Rev. Roy and his wife, Rebecca are blessed with two daughters, Abigail (25) and Priscilla (19).
March 8, 2023
Rev. Yohang Chun is appointed to Rochester: Aldergate United Methodist Church.
Pastor Yohang Chun has experienced two different church cultures—the American United Methodist Church and the Korean Methodist Church. Born and raised as a “PK” (pastor’s kid) in the latter, he was raised within the Korean tradition of deep spirituality, discipline, and intense passion for the body of Christ.
However, through his decades of ministry in the United Methodist Church, Pastor Chun has also had the opportunity to learn of the beautiful heritage and tradition of the United Methodist Church firsthand. Building upon his unique experiences, he has sought to fuse his ministry with the strengths, heritages, and well-developed traditions of both churches—pursuing the Third Way of ministry.
Joyce, Pastor Yohang’s wife, also has a strong passion for ministry. Together, they have been married for 22 years and celebrate their special gifts from God—Melissa and Joshua, who are both students at Princeton. In his freetime, Pastor Yohang enjoys reading, watching movies with his family, walking, and playing tennis.
February 22, 2023
Rev. Michael Terrell is appointed to Watertown: Asbury United Methodist Church.
Rev. Michael Terrell recently celebrated twenty years in full time ministry. Michael was blessed to have served in ministry at Barnerville UMC; Northville: First UMC & Wells UMC; Canton UMC and Clinton UMC.
Attributes that best describe Michael from colleagues is that “he relates to people of every age group, leads prayer and worship that is real and not sentimental but challenging. Importantly, I believe that people experience the joy of the Spirit at worship with him." Pastor Michael also shows, "creativity, courage, confidence and energy. How good!"
Comments from parishioners that “more kids attend - his spirit is unique and uplifting - a pastor that gives a excellent service every week - he is real” and “He brought me to this church and my life has changed for the better because of it.”
Michael is very active in the UM connection having served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and currently as Mohawk DCOM chairperson. Michael has mentored many pastors and will soon have a children’s book published!
Michael and his two children have a dog, a cat and an African Tortoise.
Rev. Aaron Bouwens is appointed as Director of Missional Excellence effective March 1, 2023.
Rev. Aaron Bouwens has journeyed with the United Methodist Church from an early age. That journey has taken him from youth events, to Camp and Retreat Ministries, to pastorates in the local church, and most recently to Conference staff as the Director of Vital Congregations. His passion is to invest in leaders who resource and equip other leaders for the work of disciple making in the local congregation.
Pastoral ministry has seen Rev. Bouwens serve Wolcott: Faith, Cortland First, and Liverpool First. Since 2012 he has served in his Conference staff role.
Aaron’s interests include camping, golf and time with his family. He is married to Sarah, and they have three daughters, Rachel, Leah and Hannah.
Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding is appointed as Assistant to the Bishop effective March 1, 2023.
Bill is an ordained United Methodist elder serving in upstate New York since 1990, including twenty years as a parish pastor to three incredible congregations. Beginning in 2010, he began serving as Upper New York’s first Director of Connectional Ministries and added responsibilities as Assistant to the Bishop in 2015. He is excited to now have the opportunity to deepen and broaden his work as Assistant to the Bishop.
As a parish pastor and as a conference executive, Bill’s calling is to help individuals, teams, and churches become more like Jesus and share Jesus’ love with their families, friends, co-workers, schoolmates, and communities. Bill loves the local church and is convinced it is one of God’s best ideas.
Bill and his wife, Dori, have been married for thirty-three years and have been blessed with two daughters.
February 15, 2023
Nola Anderson has been appointed to Erwin First United Methodist Church and Brown Memorial United Methodist Church in Syracuse.
Rev. Nola Anderson is a lifelong Methodist, born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She is passionate about mission and outreach and believes in a holistic ministry that helps families and individuals grow in their relationship with God.
Rev. Anderson enjoys creative, dynamic worship that helps deepen our sense of God’s presence in our midst.
Answering the call to ministry has led her to serve in Jamaica; Turks and Caicos; Barbados; Trinidad; the Oneonta, Binghamton, and Genesee Valley districts; and as District Superintendent of Crossroads and Finger Lakes Districts.
Rev. Anderson is married to Andy and together they celebrate the gift of their son, Asriel. Nola enjoys cooking, gardening, reading, and travelling.
Rev. Jee Hae Song has been appointed to Warners UMC in addition to her current appointment at Syracuse United Methodist Ministries at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) This passage well defines Rev. Song's calling in ministry. God is a loving, caring, relationship-making God, and Rev. Song believes she is called to do the same. God is good to her, so she wants to share her stories with others through preaching and relationship-buildings. Rev. Song wants others to see God through her words and actions, and wants to do everything for God’s glory. That has been the core of her ministry for the past seven years.