LAKELAND – New Wesley Foundation leaders have been named to lead two of Florida’s universities: Gator Wesley Foundation at the University of Florida in Gainesville and United Wesley of Miami, according to Rev. David Fuquay, the director for the Board of Higher Education Campus Ministry. The positions officially begin July 1.
University of Miami Wesley and Florida International University-Miami Dade College Wesley merged this past year to become United Wesley of Miami, Fuquay said. Rev. Katie Lineberger, lead pastor of Clarksbury UMC in Harmony, NC, will take the helm in Miami as executive director and pastor. Gary Marcelin will continue as associate director and campus pastor.
Joel and Heather Pancoast, who have served at the Warren Willis United Methodist Camp for the past decade, will serve as co-directors at Gator Wesley.
Katie Lineberger and Joel and Heather Pancoast were identified through the collaborative discernment of the Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the respective district superintendents and the appointive cabinet.
Heather and Joel Pancoast
"Heather and Joel Pancoast are two of the most experienced and effective leaders in youth and young adult ministry in the Florida Conference. They have equipped and trained over a decade of college-aged young adults for camp and retreat ministries,” Rev. Fuquay said.
|Heather and Joel Pancoast with daughters Elliot and Norah|
“Those young adults have moved on to make a tremendous impact on our campus ministries and churches as mission leaders, youth ministers, worship leaders and pastors.
“Joel and Heather bring to Gator Wesley vital connections with our United Methodist camps and youth ministries across the conference and strengthen further those ministries we do better together in reaching the next generation,” he said. “I couldn't be more excited for this next chapter for Heather, Joel and their family and for Gator Wesley."
“We are so excited about becoming a part of the Gator Wesley Family,” Heather said. “Both of us have grown up United Methodist in Florida and attended the University of Florida. We are passionate about working with college students and are excited about this new opportunity for ministry and growth.”
“We are looking forward to this next step in our lives and sharing it with the amazing students in Gainesville,” Joel said.
Heather is a 1997 graduate of the University of Florida, with additional degrees in social work from USF and a master’s degree from UCF. She received certification in United Methodist Camping Ministry through Drew University. Since 2003 she has served as the assistant director at the Warren Willis Camp, running a 600 bed camp and retreat center. She is responsible for planning and implementing the Conference’s summer camp for around 3,500 campers each summer.
Joel is a 1999 graduate of the University of Florida. He served as youth minister at First United Methodist Church of Deland and First United Methodist Church of Lakeland before joining the staff of the Warren Willis Camp as program manager in 2006. In that role he designs, develops, and implements year-round programming and retreats.
For the past three years, Joel also has served as the Conference youth ministry coordinator. He will continue in this role when he comes to Gator Wesley, providing links between campus ministry and youth ministries.
"All campus ministers have to think outside the box to do effective ministry on a university campus, but never more so than on campuses across Miami-Dade County,” Fuquay said. “Katie brings with her a passion and missional creativity that will guide our vision for growing ministries at University of Miami, Florida International University and Miami-Dade College. As executive director, she will team with the associate director, Gary Marcelin, to guide United Wesley of Miami into a new era of effective and fruitful ministry."
|Rev. Katie Lineberger|
“This appointment to United Wesley brings together my desire to work with college students and my gifts for leadership and visioning,” Katie said. “The possibilities for United Wesley are huge. The unique setting will cater itself to a lot of creativity and innovation in a missional context, which I look forward to the most.”
Rev. Lineberger has a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education from Pfeiffer University and received her Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School. She was ordained as an Elder in the Western North Carolina Conference in 2012. Her interest in working with college students began during her first appointment to Aldersgate UMC in Shelby, NC, where she led a college cultural immersion mission trip to the Baltic States and Scandinavia. After four years at Aldersgate, she was appointed as the associate pastor of campus ministry and young adults at Davidson UMC, NC. She is currently pastor-in-charge at Clarksbury UMC in Harmony, North Carolina. Katie and her husband Andy married in 2012.
"I am grateful for the commitment and servant leadership of Gary Marcelin, associate director of United Wesley, who has been serving as interim director this spring,” Fuquay said. “I am so pleased that Gary will continue in his appointment in the new conference year and (know he) will form a dynamic pastoral team with Katie Lineberger."