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Troy Howell


Office: 717-533-9668 ext.105

Rev. Troy T. Howell began his appointment as pastor for First United Methodist Church of Hershey on July 1, 2020. Previously, Troy was the Williamsport District Superintendent for two years, pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Mechanicsburg for ten years, Chestnut Grove United Methodist Church for seven years, and six years at Messiah Church, Shippensburg. Prior to entering pastoral ministry, he was a public information writer with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and a reporter with The-News-Sun. He also once served on the staff of the Pennsylvania House Speaker. His variety of life experiences, along with his superb pastoral gifts and graces, will serve him well in his new responsibility. 

Troy is the father of three children, Samantha, Justin, and Richelle, and he has eight grandchildren. His home church is Trinity Church, New Cumberland. 

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Shawn Gingrich

Director of Music Ministries

Office: 717-533-9668 ext.108

Shawn is Director of Music Ministry leading the choirs and praise teams and serving as organist. He holds undergraduate degrees from Lebanon Valley College, a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College, and the Doctor of Worship Studies at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. In addition to his church work Shawn is an adjunct music instructor at Messiah University in Grantham, is Artistic Director of Hershey Handbell Ensemble, is the Dean of the Harrisburg Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and is the immediate past president of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. Shawn and his wife Laura have four children: Peter, Sarah, Christian and Aaron and they reside in Elizabethtown.

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Cassandra McCachren

Director of Children's Ministries

Office: 717-533-9668 ext.116

Cassie graduated from Millersville University with a BS in Elementary Education in 2010.  She spent two years teaching in the School District of Lancaster before joining the staff at First Church in August of 2012.  She resides in Elizabethtown with her husband, Peter; son, Crosby; and daughter, Grace.  Cassie is passionate about serving and missions.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking, and spending time with family and friends. 

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Stephen Haverstick

Youth and Young Adult Ministries


Stephen graduated from Messiah College in 2016 with a B.S. in Business Administration, concentration in Leadership, and a Minor in Youth Ministries. He began serving at First UMC Hershey in January of 2016 returning to his hometown of Hershey where he graduated from high school in 2012. Stephen has been working on a M.A. in Theology and Ministry from Fuller Seminary since Fall 2017. Stephen enjoys a good Bible study, deep conversations about faith, playing pretty much every sport there is to play, talking about the Enneagram, hanging out with friends, and seeing people fall in love with Jesus.

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Elizabeth Valentine

Associate in Ministry for Congregational Care

Office: 717-533-9668 ext.118

Beth received her B.S. in Biology from Penn State in 1983, then graduated with an M.D.  from Penn State’s College of Medicine in Hershey in 1987. After completing a residency in Emergency Medicine at East Carolina University’s Pitt Memorial Hospital, Beth returned to the Hershey area.  She worked in several local Emergency Departments until 2003 when she left her medical career to homeschool her two children until their high school graduation in 2016. In July of 2019, she joined the staff to serve as the Associate in Ministry for Congregational Care.  Beth is married to Ron Louder. They have two children: Robert and Lidiya. Beth has been an active member of First UMC since 1992, serving in the Sanctuary choir and other ministries.  She is passionate about missions and has led numerous mission teams to Ukraine.

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Jeanne Cannon

Administrative Secretary

Office: 717-533-9668 ext.101

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Mark Crowther

Facilities Manager

Office: 717-533-9668 ext.115