Welcome Pastor Karen Stoffers-Pugh
Wesley is excited to welcome Pastor Karen Stoffers-Pugh who will officially begin at Wesley on Friday, July 1st. On July 3rd, come out to welcome our new Pastor at the Sunday Service at 10:30 a.m.!
Karen was born in Los Banos and moved with her family to Santa Cruz in 1965. She grew up there and began college at Cabrillo College in Aptos before leaving to start a career in electronic distribution sales in Los Angeles in 1978. Karen returned to the Bay Area in 1985 and continued her career until she answered a call to ministry (out of Wesley United Methodist Church in San Jose) in 1998. At that time Karen completed her Bachelor’s Degree at CSU, Turlock and then went to Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado for seminary and a Masters of Divinity. Karen graduated from Illiff with a concentration in Justice and Peace Studies and was awarded an Urban Ministry Fellowship. Karen served as a student local pastor of a tiny urban church in Denver for two years while she was in seminary.
Karen came back to California and the California-Nevada Annual Conference in 2005 where the then Fresno DS, Vickie Healy, appointed her to Lindsay UMC. Karen was ordained in 2008 by Bishop Shamana. Karen served in Lindsay until being moved to Wesley UMC in Bakersfield in 2009. Karen brings experience in preaching, in youth and adult studies, pastoral care and staff supervision. She has been instrumental in developing a youth group at Wesley Bakersfield. She has been part of Wesley Bakersfield partnerships with the Boys and Girls Club, Rotary food drives, and the Bakersfield Burrito Project where volunteers make burritos to feed the homeless. She has helped to negotiate capital repairs at Wesley including raising the needed money.
Karen is currently the Circuit Leader in Kern County and the co-chair of the Central Valley District Committee on Ordained Ministry. She has served on the Conference Commission on Religion and Race and the Conference Commission on Annual Conference. She was also trained in and provided advocacy for a Racially Diverse and Inclusive Church in the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference. Before going to seminary, Karen was president of her local United Methodist Women unit and was a district UMW officer.