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Our Pastor


Sparta United Methodist Church is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Steven G. Bechtold has been appointed to serve as Pastor of the Sparta United Methodist Church effective July 1, 2019. 

Steve is a graduate of Albright College (BA in religion), and holds the Masters of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the Theological School at Drew University.  He is a certified Minister of Christian Education, and holds a certificate in Spiritual Direction from the  Guild for Spiritual Guidance, Ossining, New York with a certificate in Spiritual Direction. He has served in a variety of volunteer capacities within the Greater New Jersey Conference, including the Board of Ordained Ministry, clergy mentoring and coaching, and as a workshop leader in a variety of settings.

Steve began his ministry in the United Methodist Star Parish, has served as Resident Director at Aldersgate Center, as well as pastor in the Branchville and Butler United Methodist Churches.  He comes to Sparta following an 8 year assignment as District Superintendent.  He is married to the Rev. Ellen Mearns Bechtold, pastor of the Milton United Methodist Church.  They have two grown children and four grandchildren.  He finds great joy in music, service in short term missions both here in the US and internationally, and spending time outdoors, particularly in the mountains.