For over 20 years as a pastor in the Western PA Conference, Tracy’s ministry and leadership has lived into the divine truth that we are not alone. God is with us. In fact, God is with all people and all of creation at all times. She has encouraged not only a wide look at faith, but also a deep dive into the faith that shapes, sustains and moves us forward. A graduate of Duke Divinity School, Pastor Tracy is married to Rev. Greg Cox, and is mom to three daughters: Sarah, Rebekah, and Elisabeth. She joins First Church Pittsburgh after previous appointments in Blooming Valley, Ingomar, New Brighton, and Coraopolis United Methodist Churches.
Director of Music & Community
Tim Coles joined our church in the summer of 1998 and serves the church as the conductor of the Chancel Choir, the organist, and coordinator of special music events and offerings. Educated in the areas of performance and education at Ithaca College, Tim sought to make deep meaning of his music and finds the church’s spiritual congregation a wonderful place to honor great music and enrich his faith. Tim also believes that creativity, when allowed to blossom, can be one of the most powerful worship experiences of all.
Dr. Joe Smith
Director of Spiritual Formation
Joe is passionate about blending ancient Christian contemplative practice with interfaith spirituality and creative expression to co-create cross-generational, communal spiritual practices that energize and sustain the work of confronting injustice, practicing forgiveness, serving the vulnerable, and offering hospitality. As a certified spiritual director (The Haden Institute), Joe also works one-on-one with folks who are seeking guidance in making and discovering meaning in their lives, particularly those who are in the midst of spiritual transition or who have suffered religious trauma. In addition to his work at First Church and as a spiritual director, Joe is an academic theologian. He has a Ph.D. in theology and religious studies (Duquesne University), with a specialization in New Testament and early Christianity. He teaches theology and ethics at Duquesne University and in the Correctional Education Program of Ashland University, and he is a fellow of the Steel City Theology Collaborative. Before coming to First Church, Joe served a number of United Methodist and Lutheran (ELCA) congregations as a director of Christian education and youth ministry. Joe is incredibly lucky to be Gwendolen’s husband (yes, that Gwendolen) and dad to three really cool kids! He is a practitioner of aikijujitsu, an avid Texas hold ‘em player, and a bluegrass enthusiast.
Digital & Tech Engagement Specialist
Office Assistant/Offering Steward
In loving memory of Sherry Kaiser, faithful member of First United Methodist Church since 1987.