Ordained in 2007, Brian Snyder has been our pastor since 2010. Brian is a Western Pennsylvania native who has also lived in Ohio, Oklahoma, and New York. Growing up in an evangelical home, Brian felt discouraged by religion, but in college discovered “another way to be Christian” in mainline Christianity. He has worked in some field of professional ministry since 1995. After five years managing a Presbyterian high school in Cameroon, he returned to the US to enroll in Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and prepare for pastoral ministry. While there, he married fellow student, Michelle, who is a church consultant and mental health therapist. Brian earned his doctor of ministry degree in homiletics in 2013 from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He and Michelle live in South Fayette with their two daughters, Chloe and Greta.
Fred holds a BA in Psychology from West Virginia Wesleyan College, a Master of Divinity from the Theological School of Drew University and a Doctor of Divinity from West Virginia Wesleyan College.
He is a retired United Methodist Pastor who has served churches in the Erie area before coming to Pittsburgh to serve for 32 years as the Executive Director of the United Methodist Foundation. He has lectured nationally and authored numerous articles on The Biblical Basis of Christian Stewardship, Planned Giving and Church Administration.
His wife Amy is a life long Mt. Lebanon resident and has a deep passion for homebound ministry.
Our Music Director, Anne Carper Smith, began her tenure at Bower Hill Community Church on January 5, 2015. She was baptized at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair by Laird Stewart. Anne is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and studied piano and organ with William C. Evans. After college, Anne taught music in public schools in the Chicagoland area before moving back to Pittsburgh. She lives in Mt. Lebanon with her husband Andy, their daughters Leah and Caroline, and their dog Misty.
Karen began working as Secretary for BHCC in December 2014. She supports the head pastor and can be reached at the church during normal office hours. Karen has many years of experience in various administrative/secretarial jobs and enjoys the work. Prior to coming to Bower Hill, she was a secretary for a Catholic parish in McKeesport. She and her husband Tom live in Glassport and have raised and are very proud of their grown daughters, Tanya and Jacqui. Karen loves to exercise and work in her vegetable, herb and flower gardens. She also enjoys fishing, kayaking and running
Company of Pastors
If busy mechanics, or retired mechanics, are bringing their cars to your auto repair shop, then you can be pretty sure you’re doing something right. If busy or retired pastors are attending your church, then the same thing must be true. Here at Bower Hill Church, we’ve got a group of ordained clergy—either retired or otherwise employed—who attend our worship services regularly and who help out on a volunteer basis whenever needed. This is the “Bower Hill Company of Pastors.” Currently is consists of the Rev. Dr. Betty Sykes, Rev. John Yohe, Rev. Tami Hooker, Rev. Phil Jamison, and Rev. Fred Leasure, who also serves as our parish associate. This team of clergy fills in for Pastor Snyder whenever he is away. They also help to lead in worship, teach classes, serve on committees, make themselves available for counseling, occasionally help with pastoral care issues, and even sing in the choir. We encourage you to get to know these five volunteer pastors.
Rev. Tami Hooker
Tami Hooker graduated from Duquesne University with a BA in Classical Civilizations. After working in computer and network support for a number of years, she answered a call from God to pursue prison ministry. She enrolled in the dual degree program offered by Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 2002 with Masters degrees in Theology and Social Work.
Upon graduation, Tami was hired to serve as the Protestant Chaplain at the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh and was ordained by the Pittsburgh Presbytery. In 2004 she was promoted to Acting Facility Chaplaincy Program Director at the institution and remained in that position until 2005 when the institution closed. She was then transferred to the State Correctional Institution at Greene in Waynesburg, PA and promoted to Facility Chaplaincy Program Director. When SCI-Pittsburgh reopened in 2007, she was invited to return to that facility and currently serves as the Chaplaincy Program Director there.
Tami and her husband Michael, a former chef and instructor at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institution in Pittsburgh, who is currently working as a baker, live in the South Hills. She enjoys reading, tennis, eating her husband’s culinary creations and spoiling the 2 dogs they adopted from animal friends. She is also currently enrolled in the DMin program at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Rev. Phil Jamison, the coordinating chaplain with Three Rivers Hospice and a pastor at large of Pittsburgh Presbytery. A graduate of Davis and Elkins College, Elkins, WV and Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ. I have spent over 20 years leading Bereavement groups, teaching on many topics (Adult grief, working with Children who are Grieving, Crisis Ministry, and Bible Studies in many different settings.
Rev. Betty Sykes
The Rev. Dr. Betty Sykes is an honorably retired member of Muskingum Presbytery (Ohio). Betty’s doctorate is in Christian education. She moved to Mt. Lebanon in order to be close to her family, but she also spends much time in Colorado.