Dirk and his wife, Van, have been married over 20 years and are busy parenting their four children. Outside of the Church he is involved with the scouts, schools and sports and is learning more about ballet because of his daughter. Dirk came to serve Elfinwild Church as pastor in 2004. He has a degree in Business Administration from Grove City College, a Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Seminary in Massachuetts, and his Doctorate of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary. He enjoys reading, anything that involves a ball, all styles of music and theater and loves to laugh. He has a passion for men to know God and can always be seen holding a baby if there is one around.
Jason and his wife Kara stay busy raising their three children. Originally from Ohio, Jason earned a B.A. in Student Ministries and a B.S. in Counseling from GenevaCollege in Beaver Falls, PA. He then spent over ten years in youth ministry serving two Presbyterian congregations in Ohio as well as serving alongside Kara as core teaching parents in a group home for girls. Prior to arriving at Elfinwild the Rea’s spent three years in Princeton, NJ where Jason received his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Jason enjoys listening to music and dancing with his children, playing sports of all types (including ones he has never played), and watching the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cincinnati Bengals when he can. He finds deep joy in spending time with middle and high school students and helping them grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.
A significant “Life Verse” for Jason is: 2 Corinthians 5:13-19 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.
Bethany Harbaugh was raised in Buffalo, NY, but considers herself to be a true “Pittsburgher”. After graduating from Grove City College, she went on to get her Master’s of Divinity at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and is now excited to be part of the ministry team at Elfinwild Church. Bethany has always been involved in children’s ministries. She met her husband, Matt, in college while volunteering at an after school children’s program at their church. Bethany’s husband is a Family Medicine Resident at St. Margaret’s hospital. With a background in music, Bethany can often be found playing her flute or singing. She also enjoys crafts of all kinds and spending time outdoors.
Jennifer and her husband Dan come to Elfinwild from southwest Florida, but are native Midwesterners. They are parents to 2 cats and 1 dog, with another soon to come, according to rumor! They also share Dan’s grown children, Elizabeth, Seth and Christine, and 2 grandchildren—Elizabeth’s children Auryanna and Ronin. Jennifer is often prone to bragging about her 3 nieces, who are the best and most wonderful girls ever! She has a Bachelor and Master degree in Music from the University of Michigan, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Worship Studies. While specialized in opera performance, Jennifer has been a pianist since the age of 8, and for her church since the age of 13. It is an honor to serve at Elfinwild Church, where faith and fellowship are vibrant and growing.
Ron and his wife Patti both grew up in Crafton, PA and are now raising their three children there as well. Ron began as the associate organist and choir accompanist at Crafton United Presbyterian Church in 1994 and then became organist and Director of Musical outreach at Emanuel United Methodist Church from 1998-2012. Ron also spends time helping out other area churches by providing music for their worship services whenever he has the chance to.
His musical training and passion for music came from his grandfather, August Frisch, who spent his career with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and KDKA radio as a bass player, associate pianist and librarian/arranger. Ron began taking piano lessons from him at the age of 7 and eventually began organ lessons as a teenager.
Ron is also the Executive Director of a non-profit organization called the Creative Arts Renewal Effort or C.A.R.E. Programs. C.A.R.E. offers classes in music, the arts and life skills to children who may not have those opportunities either from private or public institutions. He also teaches piano for the music division of the C.A.R.E. program in Crafton, Mr. Ron's Music School.
Ron is a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and is willing to play baseball anytime. He also has a large baseball card collection from his childhood that he hopes to pass onto his children someday. Ron and his family feel extremely greatful for the opportunity God has given them to be a part of the Elfinwild Church family.
Carolyn has been Director of the Elfinwild Preschool for over 23 years. She received her BS from Indiana University, Pa. and her Masters in Education from California State University, Long Beach. Carolyn and her husband, Doug, have two grown children and four grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with her family (especially her grandchildren) and reading biographies.
Debbie has taught at Elfinwild Preschool for 21 years. She received her B.A. in Education from Transylvania University and attended the Gesell Institute (Kindergarten Placement). Prior to Elfinwild, she was a substitute teacher in the Shaler District and taught second grade. Debbie has been married for 39 years to Bill Piel and they have 2 children, Tasha & Josh and one grandchild. Her hobbies include cooking, reading and gardening.
Kristin has taught at Elfinwild Preschool for 10 years. Before this, she was the Director of WOW Ministries and Director of Communication for Elfinwild Church, a professional floral designer, she wrote the curriculum and teachers' guides for the North Hills News Record's Newspapers in Education Program, and did substitute teaching in 6 different school districts in the North Hills area. She received a BS from Westminster College in Biology, a Secondary Teaching Certification, a Masters in Education from Indiana University of PA in Elementary Education and her Elementary Teaching Certification. Since then she has taken many courses in child development and professional development. She is married to her husband, Steve and they have 2 children, Allison & Andrew. Her hobbies include writing, reading & gardening.
Eileen has been on the Board of Directors for Elfinwild Preschool for 10 years and has taught at the preschool for 7 years. Before teaching at Elfinwild, she taught children with diverse challenges and transitioned older students from school to work. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Business from Penn State University and attended the Gesell Institute (Kindergarten Placement). Eileen and her husband, Robert, have three children, Emily, Scott and Zachary. She enjoys gardening, cooking, reading and playing softball.