Joseph R. Penick

My faith experience has been a process of growing and learning about God and His Kingdom.  I have been privileged to serve the Lord for some 40 years as the Lord began speaking to me about giving my life to Him.  I am so thankful to have said yes to our Savior and followed His calling.  The following highlights are some of the events and experiences that have occurred since I began my faith journey.

After graduating from University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor’s Degree and living in the Washington D.C. suburbs, I began being actively involved at Colesville United Presbyterian Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, by leading a young adult fellowship group there.  Also, I gave my first sermon at this church.  After being in the Silver Spring area for several years, God called me to move to Frostburg, Maryland, which I did at the age of 25.  I got involved in area churches, attended several Christian college fellowship groups at Frostburg State University, and for several years lead services and gave sermons at many different churches in western Maryland and southern Pennsylvania.  I was also involved in youth ministry including sharing the Gospel with youth in detention centers, schools, and those on the streets of Frostburg.  

During these years, I attended Frostburg State University to continue my education and earn a teaching certificate while taking many counseling courses in a masters program in psychology.  For the next 25 plus years I taught troubled teens all subjects at a residential school, New Dominion.  During my teaching years, I took and completed many Bible courses that were offered through videos, lectures, and examinations.  In the early 90’s, I answered a call for pastoral ministry by applying and being accepted at the First Congregational Church of Frostburg.  After being there for a couple of years, I was installed and ordained through the Congregational Association.  I pastored there for 20 years and was blessed to be a part of the Regional and National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC).  I attended many regional and national conferences during my time as pastor at the Frostburg church and was on the National Missionary Society that met in many different places nationally and internationally.  During this time, I was blessed to have gone on mission trips to China, the Philippines, West Africa, and Mexico.

After pastoring at the Congregational Church in Frostburg, I then answered a call to be full-time pastor at Trinity Reformed Church of Rockwood and have been there now for eight years.  Along with being pastor there, I’m the current president of the Ministerial Association for that area.  During that time, I have been actively involved in many faith community events, nursing home ministries, and have been the director of New Directions, a youth outreach for youth and adults located on Main Street in Frostburg.  Also, I have been blessed in the last several years to be co-pastoring with my wife Caroline at the Winchester Congregational Christian Fellowship Church.  This has been a spiritually enriching experience, being a part of a devoted and faithful congregation that loves God and each other.  My current status is pastoring at Trinity Reformed Church, assisting at Congregational Christian Fellowship, and teaching and tutoring students in a variety of locations in nearby West Virginia.  

During my spiritual journey and walk with the Lord, I have met many people, been a part of their faith experience, and seen them dedicate themselves and grow in the Lord.  God has indeed been faithful as I continue to answer His call by sharing the Good News of the Gospel.  My wife, Caroline, my two children, Gabriel and Stephanie, and my three grandsons, Cobe, Carter, and Taylor have been a real joy seeing them grow spiritually in their walks with the Lord and being supportive of the ministry.  I thank the Lord for His calling me and allowing me to be His servant and His hand extended to our world today.       

It is my greatest honor in this life to be a servant of God and spread the Good News to everyone I meet.  As long as there is life, there is hope, and as long as I have breathe, I will serve the Lord.

My Christian Walk of Faith
Caroline S. Penick

My spiritual journey began on Tuesday, October 10, 1961 at 12:37 a.m.  My arrival was not the usual happy and grand occasion that most babies bring, as I was born with lung problems to which the doctor informed my parents to brace themselves and expect the worse that I was not going to live through the night.  The earthly doctors gave me a 1 in a million chance of surviving.  This was the first of many instances throughout my life that I knew and realized that there was a higher power in control of my life.

I praise God for my mother, as she was the one that took on the spiritual upbringing of my youth.  She was the one that made sure we were in church every Sunday.  This was quite the task for her as my mother did not and to this day does not drive.  But every Sunday we had a ride to and from church.

If people want to know why I am somewhat on the crazy side, it is from hanging upside down on the money bars on the swing set as a child.  But it was one day hanging upside down that I had a very real encounter with God.  I just said a simple prayer, “God, if you are here with me and you love me, hug me.”  As I hung there upside down and my eyes closed, all of a sudden I could feel two strong arms embracing me.  I can still recall the surge of love that I felt surge through my body.  When I opened my eyes there was nobody around me, but I can still smell the sweet fragrance of the person hugging me.  It was there that I told God that if He can use this little country girl that I was His and would go and do as He would lead me.

As a teenager, attended the Meyersdale (Glade City) Church of God.  
    Attended Sunday School & worship
    Sang in the choir
    Sang solos
    Sang in a trio with my sisters
    Taught Sunday School
    Lead worship
    Served on the pastor’s leadership board
    Church custodian
    Mission Committee
Baptized by submersion in the river in Glade City, Pennsylvania by Rev. Milton Morris  – August 15, 1976

Attended and graduated from Meyersdale Area High School in the class of 1979

Summer of 1979 worked at Maple Valley Park in the concession stand.

Fall of 1979 – October of 1981 - Worked for Bedford- Somerset Mental Health – Mental Retardation as a Family Aide.  Went into the homes and provided respite services to provide families a break from the daily stress and strain of having a handicapped child.  I was the most requested aide by the families, as they knew their child was not just being babysat, but being worked with and taught simple basic tools of life.

October 31, 1981 – Married Richard L. Konichek

October 31, 1981 – October 23, 1984 – Pastor’s Wife serving Frostburg Church of God Church in Frostburg, Maryland, and Karnak Church of God in Karnak, Illinois.

Lead worship    
    Church Clerk
    Taught Sunday School
    Sunday School Superintendent
    Provided Transportation for members
    Pulpit Supply as needed
    Lead Ladies Ministry
    Church Custodian
    Church Board Member
    Children’s Church
    Church Secretary
    Lead Vacation Bible School
December 16, 1982 – Welcomed my son, Gabriel Michael Konichek, into the world.

Due to growing irreconcilable differences and growing health issues, October 23, 1984, divorce was granted from Richard L. Konichek.

Returned to my home church, Meyersdale Church of God.
    Lead worship
    Taught Sunday School
    Sang in choir
    Sunday School Superintendent
    Served on Pastor’s Leadership Board
    Church secretary
    Sang solo’s
    Worked with youth group
    Provided children’s ministry (junior church & vacation bible school)
    Pulpit supply

Returned to Bedford –Somerset Mental Health & Mental Retardation as a family aide.

January 1986 – October 1981 -Worked for Kelly Services, a temporary secretarial agency.

Volunteer at Frostburg Village Nursing Home (visited patients, provided musical programs)

April 30, 1988 – Married Joesph R. Penick

Attended Frostburg Presbyterian Church
    Taught Sunday School
    Attended Sunday School & Worship
    Sang in Choir
    Served as a Deacon
    Assisted with Vacation Bible School

September 1987 – January 1990 – Worked at Frostburg Village Nursing Home as an activity aide.  Responsible for getting patients to and from activities.  Worked one-on-with with bed fast patients.  Assisted residents with arts and crafts, backing and other activities.  Motivated residents to get involved in activities.  Typed reports, kept track of resident attendance at activities and paper work required by the state. Provided music programs.  Lead bible study group.   Employee of the month November 1989, for keeping the activity department running when the other staff members were off with illnesses.

February  19, 1990 – Welcomed my daughter, Stephanie Dawn Penick, into the world.

November 1990 – November 1991 – Worked at State Farm Insurance.  General office work.  Answered telephone, filled out applications for customers, greeting and dealing with customers, taking payments and writing out claims.

During this time my husband, Joseph, was doing pulpit supply for various churches and I would assist him and provide special music.

September 2, 1992 – February 2011 –Joseph was install as pastor at the First Congregation Church of Frostburg, Maryland.  While there I assisted by:
    Sang in the choir
    Sang in a quartet
    Provided special music
    Taught Sunday School
    Sunday School Superintendent
    Junior Church
    Vacation Bible School
    Ladies Ministry
    Pulpit Supply as needed
    Served as a Deacon
    Church custodian

    Secretarial work for pastor
    Provided transportation
    Children’s sermons
    Mission Committee
    Secretary for the Frostburg Ministerium
    Participated in community worship services

August 10, 1994 – Welcomed my daughter Jennifer Lynn Penick into the world.

August 17, 1994 – Said good-bye for now as my sweet little angel, Jennifer Lynn Penick, winged her way back to heaven to be with Jesus.

August 20, 1994 – Held a beautiful memorial service for my little angel, Jennifer Lynn Penick, and laid her to rest.

As I was sitting one day and praying, I told God that I had too much time on my hands and needed something to fill my days.  God saw the desire of my heart and one afternoon received a call from a dear friend that works at a local children’s ministry.  He said they had an opening for a part-time secretary at their school and asked if I was interested.  Went for the interview and was hired on the spot.  I thank God for this open door!  I later asked Jim why he picked me for the position.  He proceeded to open a drawer filled with applications.  He said he prayed and asked God which one he was to call and his hand immediately fell on my file.  (I had applied there before and was not selected).  Truly God had answered the earnest prayer of my heart.

November 15, 1994 – Current – Secretary/Receptionist for Salem School
Perform duties from A-Z.  Greet visitors, track attendance, prepare daily lunch count and monitor lunch, type notes & memos, filing, prepare files for new students, request student 
records, update files, update policies book, prepare & distribute report cards and IEP report cards, make copies for teachers, med tech certified, distribute daily medications, type and distribute student schedules, type and distribute horse schedule, custodian, any other duties as assigned or requested by the education director.  Skills / Trainings & Certifications:        Boystown / TCI Certification    
            Tact II / Trained & Certified
            Medication Technician Certified
            First Aide / CPR Certified
            Completed Excel Workshop    
            Completed the Indispensable Assistant Workshop
            Letter of Commendation – June 2001
            Letter of Commendation – October 2006
            UnSung Hero Award – November 2009
            Employee of the Year – June 2011

            Participate in community worship services

October 2011 – May 2015 – Pastor of Zion United Church of Christ, Frostburg, MD

Their pastor resigned and they contacted me to do pulpit supply.  After a few weeks their consistory met and they offered me the position as pastor.  After much prayer, I accepted the position.

June 2012 – Ordained / License Minister

Mid 2013 – Started to do fill-in at Winchester Congregational Christian

June 7, 2015 – Pastor at Winchester Congregational Christian Fellowship Church

    Frostburg Village Nursing Home – Frostburg, MD
    Meadow View Nursing Home – Berlin, PA
    Goodwill Nursing Home – Grantsville, MD
    Patriot Manor Nursing Home – Somerset, PA
    New Directions Unlimited Youth Center – Frostburg, MD
    Lions Manor Nursing Center – Cumberland, MD

God has graciously granted me 55 years of a full and blessed life.  I believe every day is a new opportunity to give back to God honor, glory and praise.  To God be all the glory, great thing He has done!