St. Thomas Lutheran Church is a member of the North American Lutheran Church.
The NALC is a fast-growing, Christian church in the Lutheran tradition, uniting Lutherans in congregations across North America. The NALC embodies the theological center of Lutheranism in North America and stands firmly within the global Lutheran mainstream. We are a church family committed to the authority of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. In keeping with the Lutheran Confessions, we believe all doctrines should and must be judged by the teaching of Scripture. The NALC has embraced four core values which shape our common life: Christ Centered, Mission Driven, Traditionally Grounded, and Congregationally Focused. We are a church centered on the unique Gospel of Jesus Christ, animated by missions and evangelism, grounded in the 2,000-year tradition of Christian faith, and organized chiefly to serve our congregations.
Our Pastor is the Rev. Nila Cogan. Rev. Cogan has been pastor of St. Thomas since 2011. She is married to Larry Cogan and has four children (plus their spouses) and nine grandchildren. Pastor and Larry enjoy tending to their farm in Friedens where they raise sheep and hogs. Before becoming a minister, Pastor Nila operated a floral and greenhouse business. Pastor Nila is joined by Pastor Emeritus, the Rev. Gerald Myers. Rev. Myers was raised in Eastern Pennsylvania but has made the rolling hills of Somerset County his home since 1974. He served the longest pastorate in the church’s history – a total of 32 years. Upon his retirement, he has remained faithfully serving wherever needed as supply pastor, doing hospital visits, teaching Sunday school, and over the past years as the substitute organist.
Our staff includes Kathy Shaulis (secretary), Deb Ott (church custodian), Kathy Shaffer (organist) , Patty Ott (treasurer), and Mike Vatavuk (tech advisor).
OUR 2023 CHURCH COUNCIL
St. Thomas sits on the ridge above Hooversville in northeastern Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Our area is a small rural/farming community. The people in this area have gathered for worship since 1874 in four different houses of worship and with different hymnals over the years, but they have always stayed faithful to the Triune God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and to His written Word found in the Bible.
Barb Ott (substitute secretary)
Ed Ott (council vice-president)
Mike Vatavuk (council president)