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Visit the church office at
 707 Sassafras St, Erie, PA 16501
South side of the building

Call the church office at:

Pastor Bob & Karen
Rev. Bob Trask
Senior Pastor

Pastor Bob joined First United Methodist Church in Erie in July, 2021.  He was born in Jamestown, NY, raised in Youngsville, PA, served in the US Navy aboard USS Joseph Strauss, and has since had a variety of vocations ranging from welder and riveter to social worker and pastor.  Bob and Karen celebrated their 23rd anniversary this past January 1st, 2021.  They each have two children from prior marriages and three beautiful grandchildren.  They share many things in common: faith; care and concern for others, both in and out of the Church; a variety of outdoor interests that would include canoeing, deer hunting and fishing. They both enjoy the theatre and have both performed on stage with the Bethany Players of Bethany UMC in Latrobe, PA.  They both worked for many years with the seriously mentally ill at Torrance State Hospital.  Karen has a special place in her heart for women that have been the victims of domestic abuse and has had a small ministry making baby quilts for newborns.  Bob enjoys cooking a variety of cuisines but especially loves making sausages and smoked meats.  Karen was appointed as the Senior Pastor for Lawrence Park UM Church in July 2021.

More than anything else they would like anyone visiting the website to know they love our Lord, they love each other and they love Christ’s Church.  They believe deeply that the best way to love God is by loving others and when we do that we make life better together.

 To contact Pastor Bob, see below:

Cell Phone:         814-807-2072
Church Phone:    814-452-3300

BruceBruce R. Gingrich
Director of Music & Organist

Bruce R. Gingrich directs all vocal, handbell and choirchime choirs, brass and instrumental ensembles at First UMC Erie and works with numerous soloists both from the church and from the Erie community. He also serves as organist/choir director for the High Holy Days at Temple Anshe Hesed in Erie each year.  Bruce served as the Conference Choir Director and Organist for the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church from 1995-2008.

Bruce holds degrees in Music Performance/Church Music and Business. He is a well-known organ recitalist in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio, having dedicated numerous new organs since 1990. He produced a monthly organ concert entitled  TNT” Thursday Noon Together at First UMC Erie on the first Thursday of every month from September to May on the church’s 59 rank Phelps Mechanical Action Pipe Organ.  Bruce is also a private instructor of voice and organ.

Bruce has served as the president of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts.  In 2006 and 2009, he was the guest soloist with the Gannon University Chamber Orchestra.  Bruce was received as a member of the downtown Erie Rotary Club in August, 2006, and is the Official Club Music Director. Mr. Gingrich is a member and past dean of the Erie Chapter American Guild of Organists. He is married to Cecily Gingrich, a professional pianist and vocalist.
brandonBrandon Gibbs
Worship Leader for Light for the City

Brandon has joined us to lead the Light of the City worship service at 9AM on Sundays.  

Pastor Susan Bartlett
Director of Emerging Generations Ministries

Susan joined our staff in January 2016 to help us bring the love and word of Christ to Erie's downtown youth and emerging generations!  It is hard to catch Susan in a picture, because she is camera shy but more because she is always in action.  Susan brings a tremendous passion for ministering to the city surrounding our church.  
NatalieNatalie Luksan
Office Manager

Office: 814-452-330

Natalie joined us in January 2022.  We are grateful for her help coordinating the office schedule, helping all of the staff and church ministries.  Natalie has become a critical part of helping our church serve Erie!  Our church office hours are Monday - Thursday, 9AM to 2PM.
Melodye McFadden
Financial Administrator

Melodye has served our church diligently and is a valued leader of our finances to enable our many ministries.
tomTom Balos
Media Services Director

Tom joined our staff in summer 2021, after years of helping establish and maintain our ability to stream online worship.  

mikeMike McCreary

Mike joined us in summer 2021, helping us to care for our building and sharing contageous enthusiasm.
gwenGwen Pierce
Nursery Care Giver

Gwen helps our children each week by teaching Sunday School, providing care in the nursery and children's rooms during worship, and helping with special events, such as Children's Choir.