Rev. Rachel Johns submitted her resignation via mail on April 14, 2023, effective April 18, 2023. The congregation was notified via mail as follows:
April 18, 2023
TO: Members and Friends of Rocky Grove Avenue Presbyterian Church
FROM: Rev. Rachel J. Johns
It is with great sadness that I am retiring from leading worship for you faithful servants of the Lord. I can’t begin to tell you what a joy it has been to be your Pastor and spiritual leader. Please keep me in your prayers as I explore where God will send me next. I am unable to drive a car or preach in the pulpit, but I will continue to pray for you and serve you in any way possible. I have been blessed by your presence in my life.
P.S. The Session will be meeting on April 25, 2023, to discuss with our assigned Moderator of Session, Rev. Barry Jenkins, plans moving forward. We will be having an informal meeting after church services on Sunday, April 30th. Please plan to attend and give your thoughts for the future of RGAPC pastoral leadership.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ At its meeting on October 17, 2016, the Session hired a part-time pastor for our congregation. It was announced at the Town Hall meeting on October 23, 2016, after worship that the Reverend Mrs. Rachel Johns would be starting employment with RGAPC on November 1, 2016. Thus, her first Sunday to preach was November 6th. Our worship time now begins at 9:00 a.m. The following is information that the pastor submitted to help us get to know about her as she looks forward to getting to know all of us:
“God called me to the Seminary in 1991. I retired from my position as a Social Studies teacher at Meadville Sr. High and began classes in the fall of 1991. At that time, I was an elder, Sunday School teacher and Youth Group leader at Watson Run Presbyterian Church. My husband, Dick Norr, and I had five children still attending public school. So, I traveled back and forth to Pittsburgh Seminary three or four days per week. It was 101 miles one way from my driveway to the seminary parking lot. I finished in three years and passed all of my ords (PCUSA ordination examinations) on the first try. The Presbytery sent me to Cooperstown in 1993 to act as their student pastor and to lead their children’s after-school program. I fell in love with them. I was ordained there and served them until 2005, when I went to Hartstown. While at Cooperstown I served as the C.E. director at First Pres(byterian) Franklin. Then I served the Utica church from 1995 until going to Hartstown. Shortly after taking on Hartstown, I accepted a part-time position with the Redeemer Church (in Meadville). Now I’m in my third year at Linesville.
During our 41 years of marriage, Dick and I have opened our hearts and home to 28 foster children. A dozen years ago, we gave up fostering to care for special needs adults. We now have only one adult sharing our home.
In addition to Rocky Grove and Linesville, I also have two special needs congregations. We have worship in Meadville on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. We are in our fifth year and average 85-95 people each Wednesday. We also have a Friday morning worship at the Linesville church. That service started in October 2016, and it’s also a blessing.
I love the Lord and I love serving the church. I look forward to serving the Rocky Grove congregation.