Pastor Jonathan Wesley Hall
I was born on June 5, 1981, into a young Christian home, a home in which my mother just a few years before had started attending church. Shortly after, my father had a conversion experience. My family growing up was large and diverse; I got to experience the cultural diversity of my younger sister and her Hispanic heritage, as well as a diversity of age ranges from infants to adults. I have an older brother, a younger brother, and a younger sister who is adopted. There were also many other kids whom we considered family members; they were always around, coming to dinner, and going to church with us.
While attending school at Oxford Area school district at the end of my sophomore year in high school that I met my future wife Katie. We began dating during our senior year, and have been in love ever since. It was during my junior year in High School that I first received a call into ministry. During this time I was the president of the Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM), as well as very active in a variety of activities in school and youth groups. The year before, my parents had been called into local pastoral ministry in the United Methodist Church (UMC), specifically called to serve and minister to Avondale UMC. Since then I have considered Avondale my spiritual home.
I went to Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC), and received a B.A. in pastoral ministry in 2002. While still attending VFCC, Katie and I were married. During my time at VFCC I took advantage of the multiple ministry opportunities in my mother’s church, New London UMC, and later at Faith Community UMC, as well as in my home congregation.
After graduating from VFCC, we moved to Lancaster so that I could attend Lancaster Theological Seminary (LTS). LTS was chosen for practical reasons of cost, and distance so that Katie could commute and finish her final year at VFCC. During this part of the journey, we got pregnant and had a beautiful baby girl, Olivia Jacqueline. Olivia is now almost 12 years old and will be going into seventh grade in the fall. She is passionate about reading, writing, music, art, and video games.
I completed seminary in May of 2007. A few short months later the District Superintendent and Bishop appointed me to serve as a part-time local pastor to Stehman Memorial UMC in southern Lancaster County. During this time I also began working for Pa Counseling Services, where I had hands-on experience working with kids who have a variety of issues from, Autism to sexual abuse. I had the opportunity to deal with some very serious issues that are facing many children today.
We moved to my first full-time appointment at Emmanuel UMC in Allentown in 2008. There were many ups and downs in my first three years of full time ministry. When we moved to Emmanuel, they were a hurting and dying congregation. During our time there we saw God bring life and hope to a place where people thought only death and sadness reigned. During this time Katie also ran the preschool in Emmanuel the preschool was able to reach out to families in the community. While at Emmanuel our family grew. We had our second child, Sophia Ann. Sophia will be going into second grade this year and enjoys dress up, watching movies, and art work.
In 2011 when I was ordained I was sent by the Bishop to Tobyhanna UMC where I served faithfully for four years. In my time of ministry at Tobyhanna I saw attendance move from the low forties into the mid-sixties. At the time of our arrival there wasn’t a youth ministry but as I transitioned from Tobyhanna we left a youth group of six teenagers behind.
In June of 2015 I was appointed to First United Methodist in Frackville Pa. During my time of ministry here I have been working at transitioning them to more of a congregational ministry focus. With ministries being dreamed up and implemented by the laity. I have also been moving them from a flexible traditional style of worship to an easier going form that is more in sync with the community they are a part of. Our family has been enjoying the Cottonwood area since my appointment began in July, 2017. Katie now works full time teaching 5th grade at Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School. Both of our girls are in the public school here in Cottonwood and love it.