Our Leadership and Staff

At Asbury United Methodist Church, we are grateful to have an outstanding team of leaders who are dedicated to serving the Lord.  Our philosophy is that we are truly blessed to be a blessing.

 

Pastor Cheryl in the Holy Land

Pastor Cheryl Althoff Brown

Cheryl Althoff Brown joined Asbury United Methodist Church as pastor effective July 1, 2015, after having served the Hartland UMC in Gasport, NY and the Clinton Street UMC in Lockport, NY. Pastor Cheryl is gifted preacher and teacher, with a deep sense of compassion, strong commitment to the Christian faith and principles of social justice, and a terrific sense of of humor!  Her husband, Jim Brown, is a certified lay minister in the United Methodist Church, and is currently serving another local congregation whose minister is on extended medical leave. The Asbury congregation is blessed to have Pastor Cheryl as its leader.


Antonella Di Giulio – Music Director

Antonella Di Giulio is a pianist, a music theorist and a pedagogue. In addition to her doctoral studies in Music Theory and Musicology at the University at Buffalo, Antonella Di Giulio holds a Master Degree in piano performance from the same University, post -diploma certifications in piano performance, a diploma in piano from the Conservatory Santa Cecilia in Rome (Italy). As a researcher, her interests are in music cognition, theory of images in music, music as a language, harmonic language in contemporary music, Italian composers in the 20th century, set theory and Mathematics. She presented her research in several national and international Conferences.

She studied piano with Concita Capezza, Silvana Libardo, then thank to a European Union’s fellowship with Luigi Mostacci and Carla Giudici, in Germany with Sontraud Speidel and Michael Rische. While living in Europe, she had the possibility to take lessons from some of the best pianists and pedagogues and she was awarded in many national and international music competitions. The German Newspaper Rheinische Post describes her performances as enhanced by “…ihrer kompetente Virtuosität, ihrer breit gespannten Expressivität wie ihrer enormen Klangsensibilität…“ (her competent virtuosity, broad expressivity as well as her huge sound sensibility).

She regularly performs as a pianist for a number of associations and festivals , both as a soloist and in different chamber music ensemble. Antonella has been acclaimed for her exciting pianism and for her attention to the quality of sound, and has received particular praise for her outstanding pedagogical engagement. She holds the position of Artistic Director of numerous workshops and Festivals. She is often invited as a guest teacher and pianist for lectures, workshops, and seminars. She joined SUNY Buffalo State College in 2015.

 


chris-hagler-lay-leader

J. Christopher Hagler – Lay Leader

Chris Hagler is a hospital staff chaplain within the Catholic Health System and serves primarily at Sisters of Charity hospital.  He is currently in the process of working on his certification with the Association of Professional Chaplains and his local pastor’s license with the Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church.  Chris was first introduced to the Christian faith in the Roman Catholic tradition.  Upon his senior year in high school he experienced first-hand God’s gracious love for him through Jesus Christ.  Through many twists and turns along with a few ups and downs he has found his faith rejuvenated again in The United Methodist Church.  Chris has been married to his wife Tracy now almost nine years and together they have four children.  His son is 28 years old and their youngest daughter is 6 years old.  He has a stepson who is 24 years old and a stepdaughter who is 20 years old.

Chris earned a Master of Divinity degree in May 2000 and previously served as an assistant pastor and pastor within the former jurisdiction of the WNY annual conference of The United Methodist Church.  Currently he is serving as the adult Sunday school class leader and also a member of the SPPRC committee as well.  Lastly, he was recently nominated as the Lay Leader for our church and has humbly accepted this position.

 


havrilla-2016John Harvilla – Associate Lay Leader

John Havrilla is an energy executive with over 30 years of industry experience and a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New York. John began his faith journey as a child growing up in the Roman Catholic Church and attended catholic school through the third grade. John married his wife Rosemary in 1982 and has one step-son, Aaron who lives in Binghamton, New York. In 1996 John converted to United Methodist and has served in various capacities in the churches he has been a member of— including University City United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina; Grant Memorial United Methodist Church in Presque Isle, Maine; and currently Asbury United Methodist Church here in Getzville. John served as the Chairperson of the SPPRC and has recently been appointed as Associate Lay Leader for the Church.

 


20160925_115506Bill Schiferle – Associate Lay Leader

Bill Schiferle is a consultant and sales representative in the wholesale HVAC and plumbing industry. He was born and raised in the Roman Catholic faith, attending Catholic school through high school. His paternal grand parents had a profound influence on him and their strong faith left a lasting imprint on him.

Bill has maintained the faith and values instilled by his grandparents. However, by the time he graduated high school he had become disappointed by the institutional church, eventually giving up on church altogether. He spent many years away, trying different churches from time to time, always leaving feeling disappointed.  This all changed Christmas 2010. He decided to give the new church in the neighborhood a try. He went in with low expectations but walked out surprised. He returned that Sunday and has returned ever since.  Bill joined Asbury United Methodist in 2011 and has served as a church trustee including two years as chairman. He is involved with many of the church groups and takes a very active role in working with our children, encouraging their involvement  in our worship service and church activities.

As a lay leader, Bill hopes to influence people to open their hearts and minds to becoming part of a church community and help lead them to a fulfilling life through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

 


Linda Schriver – Children’s Education Director

I am Linda Schriver and I have been a member of Asbury for over five years. I had been at my previous church since birth, so it was difficult to find another Christian family. When I walked into Asbury I knew it was a special place. The church itself is so beautiful, newly built and simple in design.  It is a peaceful setting with large windows looking out to God’s beautiful natural gifts. I love watching the four seasons through the setting of my church home.

The first Sunday I visited Asbury I was greeted and felt welcomed by many people.  The service was uplifting and the sermon was something I thought about all week. I was thrilled to say Asbury was my new church home.

I am a retired elementary school teacher and had been the Youth and Education Coordinator at my previous church.  I am the Children’s Education Director here at Asbury and I  love the thought that through the talents God gave me, I can help introduce  the love of God to our youngest members. Every week we plan a fun filled, Bible-based lesson. We have a team of 15 teachers who love children and want to share God’s love with our Asbury Angels!