Sparta United Methodist Church announces that the Rev. Dr. Steven G. Bechtold has been appointed to serve as Pastor, effective July 2019. Steve is a graduate of Albright College (BA in religion), and holds the Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the Theological School at Drew University. He is a certified Minister of Christian Education, and holds a certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Guild for Spiritual Guidance, Ossining, NY. He has served in a variety of volunteer capacities within the Greater New Jersey Conference, including the Board of Ordained Ministry, clergy mentoring and coaching, and as a workshop leader in a variety of settings. Steve began his ministry in the United Methodist Star Parish, has served as Resident Director at Aldersgate Center, as well as pastor in the Branchville and Butler United Methodist Churches. He comes to Sparta following an 8-year assignment as District Superintendent. He is married to the Rev. Ellen Mearns Bechtold, pastor of the Milton United Methodist Church. They have two grown children and four grandchildren. He enjoys music, national and international short term missions, the outdoors, particularly the mountains. Services are Sunday mornings, at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. at Sparta United Methodist Church, 71 Sparta Ave. in Sparta. Coffee Hour in Demarest Hall follows the 10:30 a.m. worship service. The public is welcome.