Church Staff & Board Members

Get to know HOPE's Staff and Board Members

Church Staff

Reverend Ronald A. Brown

Reverend Ronald A. Brown

Senior Pastor

Pastor Ron Brown has been serving Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church since March 2003. He has been a rostered pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in the Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA) Synod since being ordained in June 1999. Pastor Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from the California University of Pennsylvania in 1995 and a master’s degree in divinity in 1999 from the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Gettysburg. He and his wife, Brenda, an elementary school teacher in the Seneca Valley School District, have two daughters – Nicole Grace and Molly Ann. They reside in Cranberry Township, PA. In his spare time, Pastor Brown loves to spend time with his family, read books, and enjoy all that the Pittsburgh Area has to offer especially the Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers.

“My practice of ministry is simply to lead by example striving to be a faithful disciple of Jesus living out His teachings in my life.” 

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Brittany Kellar

Brittany Kellar

Office & Finance Manager

Brittany Kellar started at Hope Lutheran Church in February 2021. She makes sure the day to day financial operations of the church move along efficiently; making sure your contributions are going to the causes you care about. When Brittany isn’t working on excel spreadsheets and accounts payable, she is known to fill in with special music at various churches in the area; perhaps you’ll see her at a Sunday service here soon!

Brittany lives in Harmony (literally and figuratively) with her husband Bob and her two precious rescue puppies, Fischer and Fonzi.

Lamentations 3:22-23: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.

Jill Sherwood

Jill Sherwood

Director of Youth and Family Ministry

Jill has been involved in ministry with children, youth, and families since she was in high school.  She attended Waynesburg University and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Service Administration. She lives in Cranberry Township and has two dogs, a six pound peke-a-poo named Moxie, and a 115 pound Doberman named Neptune. Jill loves to read, shop, and attend craft shows with her Mom and sister, Lori.  She is very excited to be at Hope!  It is always an adventure to meet new kids and their families! 

Chase Upchurch

Chase Upchurch

Director of Music

Through the divine hand of God, Chase joined Hope’s team as the Music Director in March 2020. Chase comes to Hope with 4 years of prior music ministry experience and a bachelor’s degree in music education from Slippery Rock University. Chase is a trained vocalist and educator who enjoys using his gifts to help others connect to God through music. In his spare time, Chase love to compose music, run, and bowl. It is Chase’s true desire that the music that he   performs and brings to Hope will comfort the lonely, strengthen the broken, and bring God’s light to the lost through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Life verses: Matthew 11: 28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Pastor Amy Michelson

Pastor Amy Michelson

Associate Pastor

By God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s call, Pastor Amy Michelson has been serving Hope since September 2017. Originally from Wisconsin, she completed her undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders at UW Madison and received her Masters of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She is passionate about living out God’s call in day-to-day life. She and her husband Jay love spending time with friends and family, are passionate about the arts and enjoy reading, exploring new places, and cooking together.

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

Emily Bertoti

Emily Bertoti

Office & Communications Administrator

“Emily Bertoti started at Hope Lutheran Church, April 2018. She is the church’s office and communications administrator. Her duties include answering the phones/door, putting together bulletins, weekly spirits, monthly spirits,  power points, etc. She is also is in charge of the church website, calendar, communication pieces, and facility requests.

Emily has grown up in the church as her father is currently a pastor in Zelienople. She has a 7-year-old son, Lucas, who is her world and a fiance, Shawn, who is her prince!

Emily’s life verse:
Matthew 21:22 “If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”!”

Beth Wehr

Beth Wehr

Organist

Beth has always loved music and has served as a church organist since she was 16 years old.   She enjoys learning the stories behind the hymns of our Christian faith and the people who wrote them.   She is very thankful, and gives God all the glory that she can still play after having brain   tumor surgery in 2008.  One of her favorite quotes is from J.S. Bach –  “I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.”  Beth lives in Evans City with her husband, Rob and their dog, Cassie.

David Best

David Best

Wedding Coordinator

David, with his wife Mary, joined Hope Church in 2000. His love for the traditional Lutheran liturgy has motivated him to actively participate in the worship life at Hope. He is a member of the Liturgical Choir, the altar guild and the Worship Committee and has been the Worship chairperson since 2002. David studied with several pastors from 2006-2008 while participating in the synod sponsored Aaron’s Ministers program and was commissioned by the synod as an Aaron’s Minister at the 2008 Synod Assembly at Thiel College. He also enjoys working with the acolytes.

“Helping people with what may be their first experience, their beginning of a lifetime serving the Lord, is very rewarding.”

David’s love and knowledge of the liturgy, his penchant for detail and his desire to serve will give the bridal couple confidence in their decision to choose Hope.

Operations/Mission Board

Les Aloi

Les Aloi

President - Mission Board

Tim Sechler

Tim Sechler

Vice President – Operation Board

Julie Luszik

Julie Luszik

Secretary – Operation Board

Jamie Fleming

Jamie Fleming

Mission Board

Roy LeCates

Roy LeCates

Operation Board

Angie Wentz

Angie Wentz

Mission Board

Bri Buccini

Bri Buccini

Youth Representative

Shawn Widenhofer

Shawn Widenhofer

Operation Board

Diane Herzog

Diane Herzog

Mission Board

Darrell Miller

Darrell Miller

Operation Board

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