The West Virginia Conference is pleased to present those individuals being commissioned and ordained at the 2021 Annual Conference. Learn more about each person through the biographies they’ve shared below!
Sharmune Burgess – Ordained as an Elder
I am a native of the Caribbean Island of St. Christopher (St. Kitts/Nevis) and moved to the United Kingdom after High School. My Christian faith was nurtured at an early age by my family and many devoted Christian leaders and teachers. However, through the many twists and turns of my life journey, it was much later that the persistent drumbeat of God’s call began to get louder and could no longer be disregarded. My answer to God’s call started in early 2000, shortly after moving to the U.S. in my home church in the Poconos. I began working in the church as a part-time secretary, then later full-time as the church administrator. After joining the Stephen Ministry team, I could no longer defer the vow I made to God to devote my life to ministry. After much discernment and confirmations, I started the process of certified candidacy, attended the Local Pastors Licensing School, pastored a small church, enrolled in Moravian Seminary, all while working as the church administrator. I served in several churches in Pennsylvania (including my home church as the Associate Pastor) from 2010 until 2015.
I came to West Virginia on loan from the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference in 2015 to pastor two rural churches (the Ebenezer and Oak Grove churches) in Moundsville. In 2017, I graduated from Moravian Seminary in Bethlehem, PA, with my Master of Divinity. After much discernment and prayer, I decided to remain in West Virginia and began the Provisional Elder process. I am currently serving as the pastor of Trinity and Point Pleasant Churches in New Cumberland, WV. I am humbled to be called into pastoral leadership by God and equipped by the Holy Spirit to enter a covenanted relationship with other brothers and sisters in ministry to share God’s unfailing love and grace.
I am a mother of an adult daughter, Mikki-Lee, who has been my encourager and support system along with family and friends in my faith journey.
Todd Hurley – Commissioned (Elder Track)
Todd Hurley was born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. God called Todd to ministry in his late thirties to which his pastor and home church affirmed. He comes to the West Virginia conference via the Pen-Del conference and with a short stint in Florida sandwiched in the middle of the two.
Todd enjoys teaching, preaching, and leading the church in creative ways with the intent to glorify God and so that others might know about Jesus. With a lifetime of playing music, he contributes singing and playing bass guitar to church praise bands and as a soloist. Todd is also passionate about church revitalization. As such, he has achieved national certification and recognition as a Certified Church Consultant through Thom Rainer’s Church Consultation University. He received a BA in Communications from the University of Maryland and an MDiv from United Theological Seminary.
Todd is married to Deborah Hurley and they share a wonderful daughter together, Lindsey, who is attending West Virginia University. Todd enjoys listening to music of many genres, reading riveting books that engage the imagination, and taking time to walk alone with the Lord in nature. Todd and Debbie are particularly fond of watching West Virginia’s vast array of wild and wonderful winged and feathered birds.
Paula Napier – Ordained as an Elder
Pastor Paula Napier grew up in Fayette County, West Virginia. Her mother still lives in Ansted where Paula went to junior high and high school. Paula is the mother of two children, Jesse Nutter Boner, who is married to her husband Jason and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and Lincoln Nutter who passed away in June of 2018 of an accidental overdose of opioids while he lived at his father’s house in Louisa, Kentucky. She currently serves New Haven United Methodist Church and Graham United Methodist Church in Mason County where she lives with her husband, Greg, who works in Charleston for the West Virginia Department of Education.
Paula was raised in the Methodist Church and baptized as a baby at Mt. Olive Methodist Church in Lookout, WV, where her mom taught Sunday school. Then Paula was active in Sunday school and youth group at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church where her mom was youth leader and Sunday school teacher. As an adult, Paula sang in the choir and was active in the United Methodist Women in Huntington at Beverly Hills United Methodist Church. When she moved to Chapmanville, she attended Nighbert Memorial United Methodist Church where she sang in the choir, attended Bible study, taught children’s sermons, and became a lay speaker. While attending Nighbert, she went on an Emmaus Walk which changed her life. She has also served on two Emmaus teams. Subsequently, she served on eight Kairos teams at Lakin Correctional Facility for Women where she received her call into ministry.
Paula is a retired public school teacher who taught in several counties as she moved to be closer to her husbands’ jobs. She taught English and science to grades 7 through community college. She got her Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Tech in secondary education and a Master’s Degree from Marshall University in English. After retirement, she attended Methodist Theological School in Ohio, receiving her Master’s of Divinity in 2016. She served at Canaan United Methodist for her first three years.
She loves serving in a small community and is still getting to know people who share her love of Jesus Christ and reach out to people who don’t yet know him as their Savior. She is excited to see what God has in store for the Church in the future and blessed to be able to minister to the congregation and the children at the local elementary and high school in the Upper Bend Area.
Matthew Paugh – Ordained as an Elder
Matthew Paugh was born and raised in Kitzmiller, Maryland. Reared in an Assemblies of God church, he felt a call to ministry at an early age. He graduated from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, and then earned the Master of Divinity from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri. In Missouri, Matthew served as an associate pastor and an instructor in theology at Evangel University. He also began a career in banking at U.S. Bank. Upon returning to Western Maryland in 2007, he was named Assistant Vice President and Market Manager at Susquehanna Bank.
But he could not escape the call to ministry. He attended Mt. Bethel UMC in Kitzmiller and became involved as a worship leader. In 2011, he began serving bi-vocationally as pastor of the Elk Garden Charge. In 2014, Matthew resigned his banking position and was appointed to St. Paul’s UMC in Oakland, Maryland. While ministering at St. Paul’s, he attended Wesley Theological Seminary and graduated with the Doctor of Ministry in Church Leadership.
Matthew is active in the community and District and Conference ministries. He has served on numerous boards including Garrett County Board of Education, Garrett Community Action Committee, Garrett Regional Medical Center, Drug Free Communities Coalition, Mt. Top Ministerial Association, and United Way. He currently chairs the Potomac Highlands District Committee on Ministry, teaches in the West Virginia Extension Course of Study program, and serves on the Conference Finance and Administration Committee. He resides in Kitzmiller with his wife, Melissa.
Michael Rexroad – Commissioned (Elder Track)
I was born and raised in Parkersburg, a part of Christ UMC from birth. It was there at age 12 that I went through confirmation classes under Rev. Joe Casey and became a member of the church. After my first year of college at WVU-P and a come-to-Jesus moment, I became involved with a group of people from the Church of the Nazarene. In 1989 I transferred my membership to the Church of the Nazarene and shortly after began taking steps towards lifelong pastoral ministry.
After finishing my associates degree at WVU-P, I went to Trevecca Nazarene University where I earned a B. A. in Pastoral Ministry and an M. A. in Religion. I held a district license between 1996-2000 while serving as associate minister, youth minister, or music minister in various churches before being ordained an elder in 2000 while serving in Kansas under my mentor and friend, Rev. Robert P. Fulton. I took my first senior pastor assignment on 01/01/01 and have been serving in that capacity ever since.
My wife, Amy, and I were married just three months prior to my ordination in 2000. Our son, Christopher, was born to us in 2007; our daughter, Grace, was born to us in 2009. I have had the privilege of baptizing both of my children. I have also had the privilege of bringing my son into membership of the United Methodist Church through confirmation of faith.
In 2015 I started feeling led to return to the UMC. That came to fruition in 2016 when I was appointed to my present assignment of Central UMC in Huntington. I am finishing my M. Div. at Asbury Theological Seminary this year. I am grateful to be able to return home to the denomination of my youth and to serve Christ Jesus in this capacity.