ABOUT ST. JAMES UNITED CHURCH
St. James United Church of Christ is a vibrant community of faith located in Bendertown. We welcome all who seek a spiritual home, regardless of your background, beliefs, or circumstances. Our church is rooted in the Christian tradition and is guided by the teachings of Jesus Christ. We believe that God's love and grace are available to all people, and we strive to embody this message in our worship, our community, and our service. We are committed to creating a safe and welcoming space where everyone can come together to worship, learn, and grow in faith.
One of our most beloved traditions are our annual ice cream festivals. These events bring together members of our church and community for an afternoon of fun, fellowship, and delicious ice cream. We believe that sharing food and fellowship is an important way to build community and create connections with one another. We welcome everyone to join us for this special event and experience the warmth and hospitality of our church community.
We invite you to join us for worship, fellowship, and service at St. James United Church of Christ. No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, we welcome you with open arms and an open heart.
President Kathie Stewart (elder)
Bob Margerum (elder)
Ellen Strausser (elder)
Peggy Sterner (trustee)
Elvin Young (trustee)
Mike Panella (trustee)
Dorothy Long (deacon)
Susan Mitchem-Conner (deacon)
Jane Young (deacon)
Jean Margerum, treasurer
Susan Mitchem-Conner, secretary
Rev. Mark Rowell, minister
Mark became the church’s pastor in July 2017. He was ordained at St. James in August 2021. Earlier, he served as interim pastor at Post Mills (New Hampshire) Congregational Church. He is a graduate of Dubuque Theological Seminary. His wife, Marty, along with her other talents, often enriches St. James’s services by playing her recorder.
Carol Bath, organist and choir director
Carol is the church’s music director, aided by pianist Jane Young. She studied vocal music at Mansfield University and piano at Susquehanna. She is an area native and has been a member of St. James since her youth. She and her husband, Mike, live outside Bendertown, and have a son and daughter and two grandsons.
Cheryl Pasukinis, Sunday School leader
Cheryl has been teaching children of all ages since 1983. She holds master’s degrees in education and educational leadership, and is a certified reading specialist and instructor. She lives in the Benton area with her husband, Bill, a former teacher, school principal and athletic director. They have four sons and three grandchildren. She especially enjoys instructing younger kids. Of Sunday School, she says: “Teaching children about the Gospel is such a rewarding experience. It helps them learn to talk to God personally through prayer, to contemplate life and ask intriguing questions, and to learn how to be good friends and citizens.”