Yeshuwa, Taylor, Pastor Drew, Sarah, Amy
Yeshuwa Myers, Taylor Powell, Rev. Drew Himes, Dr. Sarah Kahl, Amy Fugate
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.
Taylor Powell, Office Administrator
Hello everyone! I am the Office Administrator here at Church of the Cross. I was welcomed in 2019 and have been humbled by the wonderful members and staff. My tasks include handling all of the finances as well as using my creative skills to design the monthly newsletters, weekly videos, flyers, bulletin inserts, and much 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 also enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing video games, reading 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.
Dr. Sarah Kahl, Music Coordinator
Dr. Sarah Kahl is a member of the music faculty at Mercyhurst University, and is the accompanist for the Erie Philharmonic Chorus, the Erie Philharmonic Youth Chorale, and the Erie Philharmonic Junior Chorus. She also teaches musicianship classes for the choral ensembles of the Erie Philharmonic. She was previously on the piano faculties at Concordia College in Minnesota and Valley City State University in North Dakota. Kahl received her DMA in Piano Performance from the University of Kansas where she studied with Jack Winerock. She received her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Nebraska where she studied with Paul Barnes and pedagogy with Brenda Wristen. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and studied under David Worth.
Kahl is an active performer, both as a solo artist and a collaborative pianist. She has performed in venues throughout the United States, and internationally in Vienna, Austria, at the Bösendorfer Piano Academy where she studied with Wolfgang Watzinger and Krassimira Jordan. Dr. Kahl currently collaborates with numerous music faculty members and students in and around the Erie area. She also operates a private piano studio in Fairview, PA, where she lives with her husband and two children.
Amy Fugate, Handbell Director
I grew up in Saegertown, PA and have always been very active in church. I started taking piano lessons from my church music director and eventually majored in music in college. I am married and have two amazing kids, whom I was able to stay at home and raise.
After going to many handbell rehearsals with my mother when I was young, I finally got a chance to be a substitute in my church handbell choir and was hooked. That passion only grew after attending several festival handbell workshops. I have rung handbells in several churches including Church of the Cross. As my children reached the same age I was when I started ringing, I created a youth handbell choir here at COTC. The youth choir enjoyed ringing bells not only in church but in the community as well. In 2019 I joined the church staff as the Handbell Director.
While not ringing bells, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, handcycling and sewing. I am also active in several community organizations, including Girl Scouts.
I am passionate about helping others step “out of the boat” and realize that they can make beautiful music that glorifies God, while being an active and important part of our music ministry. It has been a blessing to join the Church of the Cross staff as the Handbell Director.
Yeshuwa Myers, Sound Technician
The guy behind our soundboard at Church of the Cross is Yeshuwa Myers. Born and raised in Millcreek, after finishing high school at McDowell in 2012 he decided to pursue a career in audio engineering. He became a graduate of The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences in 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona, where he gained his certificate in professional audio engineering; there he was able to learn audio recording in a studio setting, post production, live sound, broadcast, and video game audio. Yesh also has made a few music videos for us at Church of the Cross that have been shown during services. You’ll also see Yesh’s work in the monthly newsletter under the “Yeshuwa Reviews” section, where he takes a contemporary song and dives into the spiritual references, meanings, and themes that the song has. Lately, he has been researching classic church hymns and explains the history behind them.
Yeshuwa believes heavily in spreading positive energy and always giving his best. He loves laughing, helping people, and providing an ear to his peers. He enjoys the company of his artistic and business minded friends, inspiring them, and also being inspired by them. Yesh is a fan of adventure and “always finds himself in places.” He loves going to music festivals in the summer and going to concerts of his favorite musicians year round! Yesh’s favorite type of music is hip-hop and a type of electronic music called ‘house music’. He also spends a good amount of time being creative in his home studio.
Yeshuwa is also a local musician with over 20 albums that you can catch performing at various events! You can find Yeshuwa Myers music and music videos available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and more. You can also check out his website at www.YeshuwaMadeIt.com!
+ God Bless +