Grace-St. Paul's UMC
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Our Pastor

      Pastor Brad Leight grew up in Shrewsbury, PA - a small town in southern York County.  He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul's Chapel United Methodist Church in the neighboring town of Red Lion, where his family were active members. As a youth, Brad first felt a calling from the Lord to pastoral leadership - and had this recognized by the youth leader at the church. Like many of us, though, Brad did not act on God's prompting...at least right away. 
 

     After graduating high school, Brad attended Moravian College graduating with a B.S. in biology in 1996. In addition to classes, Brad loved sports and was a 4-year member of the Moravian Greyhound football team. Like many young people, he found balancing academics, athletics, social activities and faith was a challenge; one that saw both successes and failures. Still, God was always faithful, providing guidance and assurance throughout the college years. During his senior year at Moravian, Brad met Jennifer, and they were married two years later. 

      Graduation from college brought the search for employment - along with the accompanying stress and uncertainty. While God's calling to pastoral ministry was real and present, Brad could not yet muster the courage to respond. In the meantime, God led Brad to a small chemical company in Bristol, PA (Philadelphia suburb), where he worked as an analytical chemist and then as the manager of the QC/Analytical Laboratory. In 1999 Brad accepted an offer to join Merck Research Laboratories, where he worked as a scientist and then a manager for the next 12 years. Hindsight has revealed that God was using those corporate experiences to prepare Brad for service in pastoral ministry.

     Serving Christ remained central in Brad's life throughout this time. Brad and Jennifer began attending Quakertown UMC in 1998, where he served in a variety of roles, including Sunday School Teacher, Youth Coordinator and Council on Ministries chairperson. The experiences, growth and loving support he received at QUMC enabled him to again recognize God's true calling on his life - that of pastoral ministry - and to begin the process of becoming a pastor. 

 

     Pastor Bradley Leight was appointed to serve Grace St-Paul’s during the summer of 2011.   Pastor Brad, along with his wife, Jennifer and their son and daughter, Gavin and Darcy were excited and honored to have the opportunity to live in Jim Thorpe and serve our Lord at GSP.  They quickly became an active part of the local community and are well loved by the congregation and others in the area who have come to know them.  

     At that time, Pastor Brad also began studying and attending seminary to fulfill his calling to become an Ordained Elder in the UMC.   Pastor Brad graduated from seminary in May, 2015 and in June, 2016 at the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference, he was commissioned by Bishop Peggy Johnson to serve as a full time Provisional Elder here at GSP beginning 7/1/16.    After 2 years as full time Provisional Elder, Pastor Brad will be eligible for full Ordination as an Elder in the UMC, a calling which he takes very seriously.

     The congregation of Grace St.-Paul’s has been and continues to be excited and honored to be chosen by God to work alongside and support Pastor Brad during this process toward fulfilling what God has called him to do and are blessed to have his humble, loving, and dedicated leadership as we continue to stretch and grow as a church family.