Meet Grove’s Staff


Rev. Gary Knerr : Lead Pastor

Rev. Gary Knerr

Lead Pastor

Grove welcomed Pastor Knerr in July 2016. He came to Grove from Christ Church in Lansdale where he was Pastor for 12 years.

Pastor Knerr holds a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary with a concentration in preaching. He enjoys parish ministry and loves teaching. Among his additional interests are mentoring young pastors, teaching sacramental theology and reading all things Wesleyan.

In addition, the pastor is a self-professed Anglophile and also enjoys a lot of varied interests including walking, driving, history, genealogy, removing snow, tending the lawn, washing cars, and being with family. He has been a volunteer firefighter and officer in the fire service for over three decades. Pastor Knerr lives in East Fallowfield with his wife of 29 years, Debra. They have two daughters, Kira and Krista.   Krista resides with them in East Fallowfield.

His favorite Bible verse is Philippians 2:12 “work out your own salvation.” He believes that Christ’s love changes each of us, profoundly. Helping persons know Christ individually and in the faith community, then making him known through words and actions, is his calling for “such a time as this.”

Email: PastorKnerr@GroveChurch.org    Phone: 610-696-2663.



Rev. Diana Esposito : Pastor of Youth & Young Adult Ministries

Rev. Diana Esposito

Pastor of Youth & Young Adult Ministries

Rev. Diana Esposito joined the Grove Church staff as Pastor of Youth and Young Adult Ministries in June of 2016. She oversees all of the Grove Youth Ministries activities including

  • Appalachian Service Project
  • Mission Blitz for Middle School students
  • weekly fellowship gatherings
  • the Confirmation Program
  • Sunday School Program for Middle School and
  • Sunday School Program for High School students.

She is also responsible for the Young Adult Ministry fellowship dinners and service projects.

Diana graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary with a Master of Arts in Religion and a specialization in Youth and Family Ministry. She is a Provisional Deacon on the path to be ordained as a Deacon in Full Connection in 2018. She is active in the Eastern PA Conference of the United Methodist Church serving as a counselor and program director at Camp Innabah and a Campus Minister at Open Door Christian Community which is a Wesley Campus ministry at Drexel University. Diana has worked in youth, young adult, and Christian Education ministries for more than half her life.

Diana is married to Andrew Esposito and they have a daughter, Amelia. She enjoys crafts, sewing, relaxing with friends and family, nature hikes, camping, and working with youth and families.

Email: Diana@GroveChurch.org   Phone: 610-696-2663



Rev. Linda (Lin) W. George : Associate Pastor

Rev. Linda (Lin) W. George

Associate Pastor

Pastor Lin was appointed to Grove Church in November 2013. Prior to joining the staff at Grove Pastor Lin served locally as pastor at Romansville United Methodist Church and Evansburg United Methodist Church. She also continues to serve the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church where she has fulfilled the role of Southeast District Resource Assistant since 1996.

She completed the Course of Study program at Wesley Theological Seminary as prescribed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry – Division of Ordained Ministry. In addition, she has studied Business Administration and Accounting at both Pennsylvania Institute of Technology and Immaculata University.

Pastor Lin’s three main spiritual gifts are pastor, encourager, and teacher. Her ministry passion is Christian spiritual formation and development for everyone. Pastor Lin believes belonging to a solid faith community nurtures people in their spiritual journey and in their day to day living. Pastor Lin lives in Downingtown. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking, gardening, interior decorating and reading in her spare time. She is the mother of two adult children, Allison and David.

Pastor Lin’s Life Verse: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” —Proverbs 3:5-6

Email: PastorLin@grovechurch.org   Phone: (610) 696-2663



Rev. Marilyn Schneider : Minister of Community Outreach

Rev. Marilyn Schneider

Minister of Community Outreach

Marilyn Schneider, a candidate for ordination as a deacon in the United Methodist Church, in serving in a year-long internship with Grove Church for the 2015 - 2016 school year. Marilyn is a student at Lutheran Theological Seminary here in Philadelphia, and is at Grove to gain experience in the local church.

Marilyn and her husband John are members of St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Wayne. She has served an internship there, but is at Grove to gain experience in a church other than her home church.

Marilyn retired from a career in chemistry, including research at the USDA and college teaching. She felt God’s call to ministries of social justice. She currently serves as chair of the Eastern Pa. Conference’s Prison Ministry team. Here at Grove, she serves in worship, helping us understand the role of the deacon in the worship service, and in outreach ministries, especially creating opportunities for us to be involved in prison ministry. She will preach several times over the year.

Email: DeaconMarilyn@GroveChurch.org   Phone: 610-696-2663



Carol Sitler : Office Manager

Carol Sitler

Office Manager

Carol Sitler serves on Grove’s Staff as Office Manager. Carol joined the staff in 2017 and oversees the Weekly Sunday bulletins and notices, mass mailings, updating church records, keeping statistics, updating the church calendar regularly, keeping all equipment in the office working and much more.

The Grove congregation welcomed Carol and her family over twenty years ago and she has always been an active volunteer ever since. As a Grove volunteer Carol has lent her energies to VBS, the New Members Team, the Finance Committee, the Grove Library and the Good Works Team. Carol also serves as a Communion Steward. Her long history with Grove Church is considered a valuable asset as she helps keep everything in the office running smoothly.

With a background in IT and customer services that stretches from software to training and systems engineer to tech support, Carol brings useful computer savvy to the staff. She holds a BS in Computer Science with a Minor in Business from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Carol's hobbies and interests include hiking, crossword puzzles, yoga, and yard work.

Email: Office@grovechurch.org    Phone: (610) 696-2663



Patti Klotz : Director of Christian Education and Adult & Family Ministries

Patti Klotz

Director of Christian Education and Adult & Family Ministries

Patti & her family joined Grove Church in 1992. In 1998 she became Christian Education Director. She oversees all of the educational programs at Grove for children & adults. Among these programs are Sunday School classes, Vacation Bible School, Advent Workshops, Christmas Programs, Academy of Learning, Disciple Bible Studies and both Adult & Family Ministries. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from West Chester University in addition to an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education.

In her spare time, Patti enjoys spending time with her daughters, throwing pottery, and taking her pup, Kirby, on long walks.

Email: Patti@grovechurch.org   Phone: (610) 696-2663



Mike Shoremount : Director of Traditional Music

Mike Shoremount

Director of Traditional Music

Mike joined Grove’s Music Ministry team as Director of Traditional Music in August 2014. Mike directs the Grove Tabernacle Choir (adult choir), Cherub Choir (ages 4 – 1st Grade), Handbell Ensemble, and is also the coordinator for the Arts at the Grove Concert Series.

Prior to Grove, Mike served as a paid soloist and tenor section leader with the Grace Church Chancel Choir at Grace Church United Methodist in Wilmington, DE. He can be heard on the Chancel Choir’s CD, “The Wondrous Gift is Given.”

Mike is also the Director of Bands at Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester. His broad experience at Rustin includes leading the Wind Ensemble, concert band, jazz bands, pit orchestra, and marching band, as well as several small ensembles. He is also the co-director of the WCASD 5th Grade Honors Band.

Mike is a graduate of West Chester University with a major in vocal performance and advanced vocal studies at the Manhattan School of Music. He received his teaching certification with an instrumental music concentration from Immaculata University. He also completed a Master of Music in Conducting from Messiah College. In addition, Mike is an accomplished percussionist, and has additional studies in music technology.

Email: TabernacleChoir@grovechurch.org     Phone: (610) 696-2663



Robert W. Johns : Principal Organist

Robert W. Johns

Principal Organist

Robert Johns has been serving Grove Church since 1966. “Bob” joined the ranks of Grove as assistant staff organist in 1966. After eight years of service, in 1974 he assumed the position of Principal Organist and is an essential member of the music ministry team. As both an accomplished organist and pianist, Bob accompanies worship services and the Tabernacle Choir as well as soloists and a broad range of major musical presentations.

Bob will reach 50 years of service to Grove in June 2016. Bob is a graduate of Cheyney University and holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Social Studies. In addition he studied piano with Dr. Charles Sprenkle (West Chester University) and organ with Marion Davis (First Presbyterian Church, West Chester.) Bob spent his career employed by J W Pepper Music Company with over 40 years with the company. He held several positions over the years including manager of the European American Music and later the Carl Fisher Music Division . Bob retired from J.W. Pepper and now enjoys spending time with, gardening, photography, & woodworking as well as spending time with his family.

Email: office@grovechurch.org   Phone: (610) 696-2663



Mike Hardie : Youth Choir Director

Mike Hardie

Youth Choir Director

The Music Ministry Team welcomed Mike permanently in 2014 as Youth Choir Director after serving the youth choir in the latter part of the 2013-2014 season and leading Grove’s Youth Choir on tour in June 2014. He has also been a member of Grove’s Adult Tabernacle Choir since 2012 and Grove’s Praise Band, Pieces of One, since 2013. In Grove’s 2013 production of Godspell, Mike joined a cast of twenty and portrayed the lead role of Jesus to enthusiastic praise. In the past Mike has also shared his singing talents with the congregation on occasions such as the Mother’s Day Anthem when men from the Tabernacle Choir do a special musical presentation to honor the Mothers in the congregation.

Mike has been a member of Grove since 1999. He has a BS in Music Education from West Chester University. He is employed at PJM which is a company that monitors the power grid.

In his spare time Mike enjoys spending quality time with his two children, Mikala and Tyler, and his wife Jen. As a family they enjoy traveling to Walt Disney World and the beach. He is also a group leader for Grove’s youth group (GYM). Mike is a huge fan of all Philadelphia sports teams as well as the Miami Dolphins. He enjoys singing solos and duets with his daughter Mikala and looks forward to singing duets with his son Tyler in the near future.

Email: YouthChoir@grovechurch.org    Phone: (610) 696-2663



Kenny Johnson : Director of Contemporary Worship

Kenny Johnson

Director of Contemporary Worship

The Grove Music Ministry Team welcomed Ken permanently in December of 2014 as Director of Contemporary Worship after serving as the interim Co-Director through the 2014 year. He has been a member of the Pieces of One Praise Band from its inception. Along with Pieces of One, he has provided percussion in numerous Grove drama musicals, adult choir presentations, Easter Vigils (with the Dixieland Band), and has directed special music with the “With a Little Help From My Friends” band using special instrumentalists and arrangements to instill the passion of the Lord without words.

Ken started his Methodist relationship with God both living and growing up in West Chester at the West Chester United Methodist Church. In the mid 80’s he started attending Grove and has since become deeply involved in numerous avenues of Grove ministry (i.e. mentoring, staff parish relations, sports coordinator, music ministry). He is employed at Automotive Training Center, a post secondary technical school in Lionville.

In his spare time Ken enjoys spending time with his wife Jacki and their four children, Justin, Chris, Olivia and Tyler. Music is a big part of his life whether it is playing at church, playing at local theatre, listening to Liv and Ty sing, or critiquing Justin’s new record release. Sports also have a spot in his life. He has been the sports coordinator of the Grove Sports teams for many years as well as manager and player for the Grove softball team.

Email: ContemporaryWorship@grovechurch.org    Phone: (610) 696-2663



Brenda Lewis : Church Secretary for Communications

Brenda Lewis

Church Secretary for Communications

Brenda has frequently volunteered in the office at Grove, so she was a familiar face as she became a member of the staff in 2017 as part time Office Manager.

Born and raised in Chester County, Brenda is deeply rooted locally. She worked in her dad's auto repair shop for many years. Grove has been her church since she was a child. More recently, she has enjoyed being involved in Grove’s Grow Team, UMW, Nurture Team, The Community Dinner Team, New Member Mentorship and Griefshare.

When Brenda isn’t at church she enjoy spending time on the Chesapeake Bay and near the Atlantic Ocean. She loves the shore! Another interest near and dear to her heart are car shows and classic cars. She loves riding around in her Mom's '57 Chevy or '67 Corvair. Her and her husband Jerry also enjoy cruising around in their Ford F1 and Chevy C10.

When her and Jerry aren't relaxing at the shore or cruising in a classic roadster, Brenda also treasures free time with her daughter Jennifer.

Email: Office@grovechurch.org    Phone: (610) 696-2663

 



Frank Shaneman : Housekeeping Supervisor

Frank Shaneman

Housekeeping Supervisor

Frank Shaneman became a part of the staff at Grove UMC in 2016. As housekeeping supervisor, Frank brings with him 15 years of commercial cleaning experience.

Married to his wife Jill for17 years, life wouldn’t be complete without their two boys. 16 year old son, Hunter, and 15 year old son, Chase, both attend Twin Valley High School  in Elverson, PA.

Frank enjoys goat herding and outdoor activities. He also loves to coach basketball and baseball. In addition to helping out at Grove, Frank works a full-time job in his spare time.


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