May 2021  
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Wheeling, West Virginia


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Welcome! The Northern District is composed of Hancock, Brooke, Ohio. Marshall, Wetzel, and Tyler Counties in northern West Virginia. Our mission is to learn and live the story of our faith in Jesus Christ, and we rely on and seek to share God’s grace in our life together. If you have questions that you don’t find answered on our website, please contact our office at 304-232-5687 for additional information. May God bless you!

Hours:  Monday - Friday:  8:00AM - 4:00PM


A lot has changed for us recently: worship services and church meetings are cancelled or postponed, and our church buildings will remain closed for the foreseeable future. But so much more has not changed: we are still the church, reaching out, caring, and doing ministry in new ways throughout this crisis. Most importantly, God has not changed. God's love and call to us remain the same: to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. In these days, we fulfill that call by keeping safely in touch with all God's children; by being the body of Christ in the world, by demonstrating patience and modeling grace, by caring for others through simple acts such as thanking those who work to keep us safe and fed, sharing instead of hoarding, practicing safe hygiene methods, and keeping our distance. While this crisis will not last, how we respond will have lifelong impact for good or for ill on persons who come into contact with us. Let's be the loving body of Christ in these days. Let's pray and listen and give. Let's show compassion, patience, and grace. Let's demonstrate good sense and good will...and don't forget to wash your hands!!


Martha Ognibene






Contact Information  
Northern District Office of the UMC
1060 Chapline St. Room 111
Wheeling, West Virginia 26003
Phone (304)232-5687
Fax (304) 232-7504

New District Superintendent

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball is pleased to announce it is her intention to appoint Rev. Neil A. Leftwich as a Conference Superintendent assigned to the Northern District area effective July 1st.

Bishop Steiner Ball writes that “I find Rev. Leftwich to be first and foremost a Spiritual Leader who knows the importance of being connected to God and building relationships with all God’s people. Rev. Leftwich has exemplified the Great Commission and the Great Commandment in the mission and ministry of Christ. Moving out beyond the walls of the congregations, he has served to empower the Church as a whole to go make disciples of Jesus Christ.”

Rev. Leftwich is a graduate of Penn State and Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He brings a rich experien
ce of ministry and community engagement in divergent settings: western Pennsylvania, southwestern US, and the greater Morgantown area.

Rev. Dr. Joe Kenaston, Dean of the Cabinet, is excited to welcome Rev. Leftwich to the Cabinet. Rev. Kenaston said, “Neil is a thoughtful, compassionate, and dedicated person of faith and prayer. He will bring a passion to reach and make disciples and share the mercy of Christ in ways that uplift and transform people and communities. You can tell he gets along well with all people because he is a Penn State grad who has thrived in Morgantown. Neil has Cabinet experience and his immersion in the WV and Appalachian culture will make him an invaluable member of the Cabinet.”

By way of introduction, Rev. Leftwich shares the following message:


“I thank my God every time I remember you…”- Philippians 1:3

It is a blessing to be welcomed onto the Appointive and Extended Cabinets, into the Northern District area, and to be a member of the West Virginia Conference. I have been serving in ministry full time for 30 years. Thankfully, I’m married to Judy McFarland, a native of Wheeling, WV, and we are blessed with two sons and one grandson.

It was a privilege to serve three churches in the Western Pennsylvania Conference, followed by a call to the Desert Southwest Conference for 14 years, where I served three churches and as a District Superintendent. After experiencing several changes in our family, it became obvious that God was calling me to the Mountain State where I could not only serve God, the church, and community but help care for my family.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve Spruce Street United Methodist Church and now very humbling to be invited to serve on the cabinet by Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball.

How wonderful it is to experience the continued warmth, welcome, and generosity of my West Virginia sisters and brothers in Christ! Judy and I look forward to being on the journey of faith and ministry with all of you.

God’s grace and peace to you,

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