Pastor Melissa was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY. She grew up being nurtured in the Christian faith at Christ United Methodist Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She was very active in her home church being involved in youth group, singing in the youth and adult choirs and playing handbells in the youth and adult handbell choirs.
Serving outside of her home church, she worked as a camp director for Camp Outreach which was a camp for youth who were underprivileged and at high risk for gang involvement. In addition, she also worked as a Camp Counselor for Life for Youth Ranch. As a young adult, she volunteered in many Christian Education ministries (VBS, youth, etc.) and attending several mission trips.
In 1992, she was commissioned as a Diaconal Minister of Christian Education in the Western PA Annual Conference. Having served as a Diaconal Minister for some time gave her the experience and the sense of call to enter the ordained ministry. In 2016, she was ordained as an Elder in the Western PA Annual Conference. She has served in churches in Washington County, PA, as well as in the Erie County, PA before coming to the Franklin First UMC.
Her spiritual gifts for ministry include teaching, helping, and administration. She has a passion to serve those who are underprivileged and those who are desiring to come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Some of her personal interests include spending as much time as she can with family going on day trips including hiking and fishing. She also enjoys going to the Erie beaches in search for sea glass. Reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, doing crafts, and walking are activities she does to relax. She is a mother of two young men (Andrew 18 and Caleb 21). She is also married to Ron who is also an Ordained Elder in the Western PA Annual Conference.