The Rev. Drew Himes, aka Pastor Drew
Greetings and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
I am originally from a one-stop light town in the Rust Belt of Northeast Ohio and, over my life, have lived in Vermont, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh. Prior to being called to Church of the Cross, I pastored a yoked parish in Indiana and Armstrong Counties.
I consider myself an avid nerd. I’m always questing to understand and to ask and seek and to (hopefully) find the answer to about a million questions swirling through my head at any given moment. I was able to harness my love of knowledge and take the Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion from Westminster College (New Wilmington, PA); the Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the Master of Social Work (with Graduate Certificate in Mental Health) from the University of Pittsburgh. I continued my education beyond the classroom in many arenas, but especially from the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programming and the Critical Incident Stress Foundation.Prior to being ordained a Minister of the Word and Sacrament, I served as an adult outpatient therapist, working in a large combined mental health/addictions practice in Pittsburgh. I am also currently licensed to practice social work here in Pennsylvania.
Besides being a Pastor and therapist, I am also a firefighter and emergency medical technician. I have taught classes on addiction and mental illness to groups of police, fire, and EMS personnel, as well as clergy and church leaders.
Besides all that boring stuff, I am a lover of all things nerdy. I love reading, listening to jazz, going to plays, visiting museums, and learning about everything (except math…blech!) I enjoy a good movie, a great conversation, and time spent with family and friends. Laughter, good barbeque, and great ice cream hold a special place in my heart.
My beautiful wife, Brady, and I live here in the Erie area and we can be found bickering at each other like an old married couple or yelling at the TV while watching a competitive cooking show on the Food Network.
Sally Kruse, Worship and Music
Hello friends! I am Sally Kruse. I have been with Church of the Cross for 13 years as the church pianist. I love the people here! I am now the music coordinator, facilitating the music for Sunday mornings, as well as the church pianist and choir director. I love music. I believe God has given me these skills for such a time as this. We live in a time when there is so much invasion of our spiritual time with God. Worship Music can help to transform our minds and hearts to bring focus to God and His good work in our lives.
I have a B.S. degree in Music Education at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. My concentration was in classical piano and choral music where I accompanied various choirs and ensembles utilizing many different styles of music.
After receiving my degree, I wanted more than anything to be a private piano teacher and to be a mom. Pursuing this work allowed me to stay home with my growing family. My husband, Ed, a Dairy Farmer and I decided to homeschool our children. We chose to do this not because we felt it would be easy, but because we wanted to obey a calling from God. God has always provided for us in ways that I never would have expected. Having faith and trust in Him made our decisions good for the sake of our children and for their lives as they forged ahead.
I then, returned to Edinboro to pursue my Master’s degree in Education having certifications in Character Education, Reading Specialist and Elementary Education. These degrees have been found fruitful in my work as a piano instructor as it helped me to understand how dissecting sections of music brings more understanding to the full nature of the song. I also believe this will be helpful in my work as a worship leader as we dive into God’s word and use music to help us understand it more clearly, to be able to take the words and the music with us as we go into our week.
Taylor Powell, Office Administrator
Hello everyone! I joined Church of the Cross in November 2019 and have been humbled by the wonderful members and staff. I am the office administrator and my tasks include handling all of the finances as well as using my creative skills to create the monthly newsletters, weekly videos, flyers, bulletin inserts and more.
I graduated in 2018 from Penn State Erie, The Behrend College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in creative writing and a minor in English. In my senior year, I received the Outstanding Creative Writing Major award and successfully defended my senior thesis, a book-length collection of fiction titled In Mind, Out of Sight.
As part of my course work at Behrend, I served on the editorial staff of the international literary journal Lake Effect. In the summer prior to my senior year, I volunteered at Pennsylvania Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home, where I conducted interviews with veterans and wrote profiles and feature articles for the home’s newsletter. I was also the administrator of the Penn State Behrend Concert Choir’s social media pages for three years. Before joining Church of the Cross, I was an administrative assistant at Schaffner, Knight, Minnaugh & Company, P.C., where I edited letters and financial statements and marketed the company through the use of newsletters and flyers.
In my personal time, I am very artsy and my hobby is cosplay. I create costumes with my parents that resemble video game or tv show characters. I am best known for my cosplay’s as Popstar Ahri from League of Legends and Hawks from the hit anime show My Hero Academia. I enjoy attending photoshoots and conventions and have won third place at Erie Comicon in 2018. I also enjoy video games, comic series, and working on my writings that I hope to publish in the future.
Please feel free to join me in the office sometime! Blessings to all of you.