Pastor Ron Hughes

Pastor Ron Hughes has joined us as our new pastor.  Pastor Ron Hughes studied and graduated from the Lancaster Seminary.

About the Pastor

I was born into a family of Christian faith and Baptized into the United Church of Christ as an infant in 1957, coincidentally the year of the merger that created the UCC. My home church, St. Peter UCC, Knauertown, Pa., is of the German Reformed tradition that makes up the UCC and is located near my home in Warwick Township in northern Chester County.

I moved to Arizona, just after marriage, needed to find a new church to attend and settled into a local Lutheran congregation where I remained active until my return to Pennsylvania, 6 years later at which time I returned to St. Peter. Since that time I have served St. Peter as a property committee chair and on the Consistory as a Deacon and as an Elder and also filled one term as Vice President and one term as President.

The most influential event in my life, in terms of both personal experience and my spiritual growth, was the Near-Death experience I had when I was electrocuted in an industrial accident in 1988. My heart stopped beating and I had an out-of-body experience that included a sense of the presence of God; experiencing God’s love and God’s peace at an indescribably intense, personal level; traveling to see my children at home; and the meeting of and conversing with another spirit.

This was such a powerful experience that my own view of reality and spirituality was torn apart. My best analogy to describe this is to liken it to a jig-saw puzzle, the picture of my life, that was totally disassembled and scrambled requiring me to completely reassemble and reform my picture of life and my spiritual beliefs. As I reconstructed this picture, some of the pieces fit back in easily, yet some never did fit at all and needed to be replaced with new shapes and colors. I now realize that this is an ongoing process, a life-long project, and that ceasing to work at it would be the equivalent of spiritual death.

My sense of a call to ministry developed slowly so I cannot say for certain when it began, it may have been as early as the first year following my Near-Death experience or it may have been as late as the earlier part of the year 2008 when the calling became impossible to ignore. In any case, I approached my Pastor about it in the Fall of 2008 and, with his encouragement, I immediately started the process of pursuing approval from my denomination and school application. I was granted “In Care” status by the Ursinus Association of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the UCC in January 2009 and started as a full time student of Lancaster Theological Seminary in the Fall of 2009.

My three years at LTS were most rewarding and have brought much growth, both in academic terms and in spiritual matters. Having overcome the challenge of returning to school after so many years has been proof, to me, that God is with me on this journey. At times, the sense of God’s presence was all that kept me going through the hard work, sleepless nights, and spiritual confusion that comes with a theological education in a Masters program.

Since completing my theological education at LTS I fulfilled the denominational requirement of Clinical Pastoral Education at Phoebe Homes with classes at the Allentown Campus and practical at the Berks Campus in Wernersville.  Since that time I have provided pulpit supply for St. Peter UCC, Knauertown and Licensed Minister at North Heidelberg UCC, Robesonia.  Most recently I served as pulpit supply at St. Matthew UCC where I was recently called to serve as pastor.