The Reverend Dr. John Gray Hamilton has been at Bethany since July 1, 2010…and he loves it! Not only is he getting hooked on the Pirates. Penguins, and Steelers, but John also loves the people, vision and spirit of Bethany Presbyterian Church. “ The warmth and joy of worship, the passion and practice of mission, and simply the people themselves help make my ministry a joy and confirm God’s call for me to be at Bethany,” is the way John puts it.
He was born and raised in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Westminster College, Pa. John has studied at Edinburgh, Scotland, worked in Norway and Canada, travelled extensively in Europe, and participated in several mission trips in Kenya, Africa. He received his Doctor of Ministry from Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia.
He has served churches in Polk, Pennsylvania, Baltimore Maryland, and for 17 years in Rochelle, Illinois. John’s wife, Melany, is also a Presbyterian Minister, and they are proud parents of three children: Stephen, who teaches at Erlangen University in Germany; Bethany, who is a jazz and classical singer in Chicago, Illinois; and Elissa, who is the mother to Jamie, John and Melany’s grandson, and who lives in the Pittsburgh area.
John cheers for Penn State football, loves to explore the hills and neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, enjoys all kinds of music, enjoys playing the guitar and singing, jogging and swimming, his family and especially his wife…and his church. John loves to share his puppets with the children on Sunday, puppets with names like, Angus McHaggis, Woody the Woodchuck, and St. Barnyard. He loves to preach and sometimes becomes the character in the passage.
Most of all, John loves his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Rev. Jae Cho moved to the United States from Seoul, Korea, when he was 3 years old. He grew up in a Christian family and felt called to ministry in his college years. He spent his early years living in Los Angeles and his teen and college years in Seattle. Jae holds a B.A. from University of Washington and a Masters of Divinity from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Jae loves to talk to people about his faith journey and has an eye for beauty in all of God’s creation including art, design, and culture. When he has free time, Jae loves watching and playing all kinds of sports from basketball, ping pong, tennis and golf. He also loves watching Netflix shows and connecting with people on Facebook. Jae enjoys a variety of food especially at buffets and hole-in-the-wall restaurants.
He has served youth, college, young adults, and adult ministry for over 10 years.
And also went to many short-term mission trips to Tijuana, Ensenada, Mexico, Hong Kong, Beijing, China, Tibet, South Korea, and Steubenville, Ohio.
He is happily married to his wife, Esther, who also enjoys working with youth and college students.
John became our Director of Music & Worship in September of 2001. Prior to this John served as Director of Music at Sharon Community Presbyterian Church in Moon Township, PA and as Director of Music for Bethel Presbyterian Church in Bethel Park, PA John earned a B.M. degree in Sacred Music from Duquesne University and a M.M. in Organ from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. His organ teachers have included Ann Labounsky and William Hays.
Theology: We are called to lift a song to the Lord and to sing God’s praises. Music in the church is intended to support the Word as it is preached each Sunday. Music is not randomly selected, but matched by text and style and integrated into the fabric of our weekly worship. Music of all historic periods and styles has a place in the worship of God. Sharing of our musical gifts and talents is one way we can serve the Lord at Bethany Church!