Terry Allison, Pastor of Children’s Ministries
“I hated going to church when I was a boy,” recalls Pastor Terry. Although he’d wake up early on Sunday mornings, he would watch television with the volume off so his parents would hopefully oversleep and miss church. If anyone had told Terry that he was going to grow up to be a pastor, he would have thought they were crazy.
That all changed when Terry entered into a personal relationship with Jesus at the age of 15 and discovered just how awesome Jesus is. Soon afterwards, he committed his life to teaching others about Jesus. When Terry became a pastor, he dedicated himself to making church an exciting and interesting place for kids so they’d never feel about church the same way he did at their age.
Awesome Adventure reflects Pastor Terry’s deep love for Jesus and children, his passionate vision for building a children’s ministry that makes a significant spiritual impact, and his intense dedication to seeing children become all they can be in Jesus Christ.
Karen Ackley, Volunteer Coordinator
Karen graduated from Messiah College with a degree in Health & Physical Education. Upon completion of her studies, she had the opportunity to teach Middle School and Coach High School Volleyball. Karen has always had a passion for teaching, coaching and impacting lives, especially children. While she held the role as a teacher and a coach, Karen and her husband partnered with a Leadership Development team. This program provided Karen the opportunity (and blessing) to be a stay-at-home mom from the time their oldest was born in 2008. She has coordinated multiple service projects with this team since 2007, both big and small. The church was Karen’s home church as a child, and she returned in 2016 with her best friend and husband, Mark, and their four boys (Hayden, Cooper, Benjamin and Malachi). Nearly one year later, the volunteer coordinator position became available; she felt God calling her to apply and serve in this area, as this lined up perfectly with her experiences and her passion (to serve and impact children). 3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” Karen’s prayer is that she is able to connect with those willing to join her as we work together and develop strong disciples (Warriors for Christ) in this next generation.
Heidi Mitchell, Nursery Coordinator
Heidi attended Messiah College feeling called to become an elementary teacher. After graduation, she began a teaching career in a public school in Hawaii, where she spent three wonderful years teaching, surfing, and eventually meeting her now husband, Scott. The couple relocated to Philadelphia for a short time. Heidi taught while Scott attended graduate school. Scott graduated, found a teaching job outside of Harrisburg, and the family (with newly born son Logan) moved once again. Scott and Heidi soon welcomed their second son, Chase into the family. Heidi was blessed to be home to raise their boys. In 2012 their family welcomed daughter, Kelty. In the summer of 2011, Heidi and family began attending the church. Heidi felt God prompting her to get involved, and look for ministry opportunities … preferably with children. The Nursery Coordinator position opened and Heidi knew it was God’s calling. Heidi enjoys working with parents, volunteers, and most of all children in the Nursery. She is thrilled to be involved in ministry, and use her gifts concerning children, learning, and spiritual development.
Kristin Pepper, Preschool Coordinator
Since high school, Kristin has known that God has been calling her to work with young children. “I decided to get my degree in early childhood education because of my love for children, but I never anticipated the exciting opportunities that God would put in my path when I got involved in Awesome Adventure at West Shore,” says Kristin. Her extensive background as an educator has prepared her in countless ways to serve young children, their parents, and Awesome Adventure preschool teachers. Kristin has been attending the church since her Messiah College days with her husband Rob. She has three children, Colby, Micah and Aubrey.
Anna Roberts, Elementary Coordinator
Anna always knew that she wanted to work with children from a young age. Growing up in a Christian home in central Pennsylvania with her dad as a pastor she was always around ministry. As Anna served as a camp counselor and Sunday mornings at church, her passion continued to grow for ministry and children. As she attended Lancaster Bible College and discovered what God was calling her to do, Anna decided to major in Children and Family ministries with a music minor. Anna graduated from LBC in 2016 and God clearly directed her path to the church to serve in Awesome Adventure as the Elementary Coordinator role. Anna’s hope for Awesome Adventure is to see kids of all ages grow to love Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength! In her spare time, Anna enjoys listening to music, teaching dance, exploring coffee shops, spending time with her husband Kyle, and enjoying time with friends and family.
Emily Tuschak, Special Needs Coordinator
Emily has attended this church for the majority of her life. She grew up in Dillsburg and spent a lot of time in the youth ministries. Since a young age, Emily has had a desire to work with children, especially those with special needs. She has always felt that seeing children’s understanding of the love of Jesus is one of the most beautiful things.
Emily is a graduate of Shippensburg University with two degrees in Early Childhood Education PreK-4 and Special Education PreK-8. After graduating she began her career at a nearby public school and here at West Shore Free Church as the Special Needs Coordinator. She enjoys working with children with special needs and their families.
Outside of work, you will find Emily painting, going to baseball games, running or spending time hiking with her husband, Joe, and 2 dogs.
Educational Ministries Associate
Amy grew up in New Jersey and majored in Family Studies at Messiah College. Upon graduating, she stayed in the area and worked in the human services field for ten years. In 2013, God put a fire in her heart to lead children’s ministry at a local church, and she served in that capacity for five years until God brought her family to West Shore. She is thrilled for the opportunity to invest further in the lives of children,parents, and leaders here! Amy is married to Joe and has two boys in the Mechanicsburg School District.
Lisa Dunlap, Ministry Support
Lisa graduated from the University of Missouri–Columbia with a dual emphasis BSEd in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. She worked with Campus Crusade for Christ for eight years leading both the women’s ministry at Missouri State University as well as short term mission teams to Budapest, Hungary and Mongolia. Lisa’s passion is seeing people take the next step in their relationship with Jesus and launching them out to be actively involved in making disciples. You can find her serving in several ministries around the church. She and her husband have four children, Hannah, Zach, Libby & Noah.