Pastor Fitzgerald to preach final sermon at Wesley United Methodist tomorrow

Pastor Charles A. Fitzgerald will preach his final sermon at Wesley United Methodist Church in Tyrone tomorrow at the 10:30 a.m. service of worship. This will end a ministry of 12 years in the community.
Pastor Fitzgerald was born in Franklin, PA and spent his early life in State College. He was approved for ministry by his home church, St. Paul’s UMC, in 1972. He was a 1972 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with degrees in Religious Studies and Philosophy. He received his Master’s degree from the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC in 1975.
Pastor and Jill Fitzgerald were married in Baltimore, MD in 1972 and they have two daughters, Emily and Kristen, both graduates of Tyrone Area High School, Emily with honors. Emily is a freshman at Juniata College and Kristen lives in Pittsburgh where she is employed by a legal firm.
Pastor Fitzgerald has served many churches in 34 years of service to the United Methodist Church. Those churches include: Fairbrook-Spruce Creek (1971-72), Dudley-Hopewell (1974-77), Williamsburg-Cove Forge (1977-1983), The United Methodist Church of St. Thomas (1983-1992), Zion UMC, York (1992-93) and Wesley from 1993 to the present.
During his years of service to the United Methodist Church he served on District Boards of Ordained Ministry, the Committee on History and Archives, United Methodist Communications and District Youth Advisor for the Altoona District.
In Tyrone, he was briefly a member of the Chamber and then a tennis coach for 10 seasons at TAHS. He is the longest serving pastor in the 150-year history of Wesley UMC.
Pastor Fitzgerald was elected the new pastor of St. Peter’s UCC in February of 2005 and will begin serving that church on May 15. St. Peter’s is one of State College’s historic congregations dating back to 1850. He and his wife, Jill, will be living in Bald Eagle and Jill will continue her work at Peterman’s Florist in Juniata, Altoona.
During his 12 years at Wesley, the pastor welcomed many new members to Wesley and helped Wesley with a 1.8 million dollar renovation of the church which included the building of two new parking lots. He will be most remembered for his passion for the work, his love of the people of his church and his respect for the community of Tyrone. Pastor Fitzgerald was respected for the peace and dignity with which he ministered to his congregation.
Wesley remains most open to visitors as the Rev. Dr. Dennis Gable begins his ministry here in Tyrone. Rev. Gable is coming to Wesley from Philipsburg. Wesley is a “safe sanctuary church” and provides excellent care for people of all ages. Wesley has an excellent choir and music program and is known for its mission work in Tyrone and around the world. Worship is at 10:30 a.m. weekly with Sunday school at 9 a.m. Summer worship (June-August) begins at 9:30 a.m.
Pastor Fitzgerald said, “It has been more than an honor to serve this church and to live in this town. I cannot imagine that any 12 years of my life could have been happier. I truly wish that this day did not have to come but I leave Tyrone feeling that I did the best I could as a pastor here. I wish Wesley and its new pastor my very best.”