Over a hundred and fifty years ago, the Gospel captured the hearts of visionary men and women, inciting them to plant a church in the heart of downtown Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1849. Over the decades, this church has rallied against conflict, given sacrificially during the Great Depression, and reunited congregations for the kingdom of God.

As the body of believers, we live out of this legacy of transformation, cultivating what is good, true, and beautiful for such a time as this.

We are a church that exists to see the world be transformed in Jesus Christ.

As rugged disciples, we desire to foster transformation through the traditions of our past, while simultaneously exploring new expressions of ministry, outreach, creativity, and fellowship.

God created you to experience the abundant life we have in Jesus. Be transformed by God’s story here at First Church.


We seek transformation in Christ everywhere.

That word everywhere is significant. We are passionate about sharing the Gospel in churches, homes, workplaces, downtown, in nature, nursing homes, and even at your favorite coffee shop, because we believe in the transformative power of Jesus’ love, and we want everyone to know Him.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)


To create multiplying disciples of Jesus by living into a gathered and sent expression of church.

First Church is one church with dual expressions of community. That means every one of our endeavors seeks to have gathered and sent components. By gathered, we mean the more established or inherited form of church, like you would see Sunday morning in our Sanctuary. It mainly involves folks who already know Jesus. By sent, we mean new expressions of community that involve pioneering into new places, like having Bible studies in coffee shops. In this, we seek to form relationships with folks who don’t have a faith connection, so they may know Jesus. We believe that when we pursue both, we are the Church that God intended us to be.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)


Beautifully Diverse

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

Rugged Disciples

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:38)

Humbly Powerful

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being (Ephesians 3:16)


Pastor Matt Lake

Lead Pastor

Pastor Janet Durrwachter

Teaching Pastor

Pastor Rick Waters

Pastor of Care

Drew Boyles

Director of Operations

Mitch Marcello

Director of Innovation

Ben Conrad

Director of Connections

Katie Conrad

Content Designer

Alana Opdahl

Worship Minister

Courtney Wynn

Children’s Minister

Caroline Glazier

Youth Minister

Michael Glazier

College & Care Minister

Erin Mowrey

Office Manager

Mary Engle

Director of First Nursery School

Ted Scaife

Facilities Manager

Jordan Miller

Technical Assistant

Amy Collins

Children’s Ministry Assistant

Jen Rodgers

Children’s Choir Conductor

Sue Palazzo

Choir Director

Diane Havrilla


Addy Bower

Youth Coordinator

Brenda Zook

Hospitality Assistant

Jeff Bower


Debbie Bower


Darren Pysher



The Lead Council provides leadership, guidance, oversight, planning and implementation of the ministry and administration of the church.

Staff-Parish Relations supports our pastors and other staff so that there persons can work effectively in managing the ministry of our congregation for witness and service. Trustees supervise and maintain all property belonging to our congregation so that the ministries of the congregation can be effective.  Trustees also receive and manage bequests and gifts. Finance develops an annual budget and lead the congregation in funding so that the mission and ministry of the congregation are supported and strengthened.  Finance also seeks to develop an understanding and practice of biblical stewardship within the congregation.

Our Lead Council for 2024 consists of:


  • Dave Hertwig, Council Chair
  • Julie Chilson, Staff-Parish Relations Chair
  • Caleb Robbins, Finance Chair
  • Ray Anderson, Property & Assets Chair
  • Paul Anderson, Member
  • Michelle Dixon, Member
  • Sue Johnson, Member
  • Ashley Schwanbeck, Member
  • Adam Wright, Member
  • Rev. Dr. Matt Lake, Non-voting Member
  • Drew Boyles, Non-voting Member
  • Mitch Marcello, Non-voting Member
  • Dr. Ben Conrad, Non-voting Member