Rev. Andrew W. Meckstroth
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Pastor Andy served as the Chaplain of the Northeast Ministry – an ecumenical mission within a housing project in Bethlehem – for eight years. At the “Ministry” he worked with youth and educational programming, as well as with those struggling with addictions, mental health issues and domestic violence situations. In 1992, he began service with the Tremont Terrace Moravian Church in the Bronx for 6 years and the Oakland First Baptist Church (in California) for 5 years. Most recently he served in a team ministry for the past 12 years with his wife, the Rev. Dr. Lynnette Delbridge, at Castleton Hill Moravian Church in Staten Island. He has done shorter stints of ministry at the St. Paul’s Moravian Church in Maryland and Grace United Church of Christ in Allentown (where he was baptized in 1959). Through the years, Pastor Andy has served on many denomination and ecumenical social service agencies and boards, in Allentown, Bethlehem and other places. Currently he sits on the Finance Committee for the Moravian Church Northern Province.
Coming to Ziegels is a kind of home-coming for Pastor Andy, as his great-grandfather, William Lewis Meckstroth (for whom he received his middle name) was the pastor of the congregations of Ziegels Reformed Church and Longswamp Reformed Church from July 7, 1907 until his death on October 3, 1933. Pastor Andy’s father, Edwin Meckstroth, used to ride in the horse buggy between the Churches on Sunday mornings, and reports walking up to sit by the pulpit when the sermon should be over, now.
Pastor Andy was married in 1995 to M. Lynnette Delbridge, also an ordained Moravian pastor, currently serving as Pastor at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Dr. Delbridge earned her Ph. D. in New Testament from Union Theological Seminary in New York and has worked at churches in North Carolina and New York, as well as teaching at the American Baptist Seminary of the West (full-time) and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (adjunct). They have two amazing daughters, Helen, 14, who attends Liberty High School, and Carol, 12, who attends Broughal Middle School. The family resides with their rabbit, Lucky (Of course, he’s lucky – he has four rabbit’s feet!) in Fountain Hill.
When he can, Pastor Andy spends time cooking or reading, and gardening with his family, and has been known to find solace in the stillness of a trout stream where he amuses the fish with his delusions that they will bite.
Rev. Dr. Larry Pickens
UCC Designated Pastor
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Larry also serves as the executive director of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. Larry is also an attorney, licensed in the state of Illinois; he seeks to merge justice and mercy as a framework for ministry and social engagement; this is the cornerstone of his ministry. He believes that all of God’s people have been “fearfully and wonderfully made” and therefore have a unique contribution to share with the world and the church. Larry believes that change is effectuated by addressing the systemic causes of injustice and the Holy Spirit’s ability to change the hearts and minds of God’s people.
Larry has represented the Church in many capacities. He has served as a pastor in urban and suburban settings, and as the ecumenical staff officer of The United Methodist Church. His ecumenical experience included representation of The United Methodist Church on the Executive and Central Committees of The World Council of Churches and leadership in the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA. He served as the general secretary of The United Methodist General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns. He also served as a member of the Judicial Council of The United Methodist Church.
Larry is a graduate of North Park University, where he majored in Political Science, completed theology work at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Chicago Theological Seminary and the Ecumenical Institute Graduate School at Bossey. He also has a law degree from DePaul University College of Law.
It is exciting to begin this ministry together and Rev. Larry looks forward to being your pastor.