Who We Are
Greetings! My name is Josh Bower and I have served as the Pastor of Arcade United Church of Christ since 2020. In that short period of time – much of which was impacted by a global pandemic – it has been incredible to see the amazing work that God has been doing in our midst and within our greater Pioneer community. It is a joy to be able to grow and serve with the great people of Arcade UCC. My wife Nicole and I live in a home we built from the ground up in my hometown of Ellicottville, which is a good middle ground between Arcade and Little Valley, where Nicole works as a Registered Nurse for Hospice. We have two dogs named George and Ginny.
I am currently completing my Master of Divinity degree through Chicago Theological Seminary and completed my undergraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh – Bradford. In my free time I enjoy cooking, barbequing meat, hiking, skiing, and gardening. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about our faith community!
Hi! My name is Shannon King - I began this position in February of 2018. I am available two days in the office where you can find me finalizing the weekly bulletins to email and print, creating the monthly newsletter, advertising upcoming events, updating the church’s social media and webpage and more. I enjoy assisting the congregation of Arcade UCC with anything they might need, as they help our community and spread God’s love! The congregation here is a close-knit family, who open their hearts and give of their time and talents to make this community a better place. I am proud and honored to be a part of that and I truly love the people of this church with all my heart.
I live just outside of Arcade in Freedom, NY with my husband and two boys, (ages 14 and 11 as of 2023). My husband works as an electrical lineman, but we are also starting a small local family business called Freedom Valley Farms where we sell our hydroponic vegetables, King Maple Farm syrup, homegrown pumpkins, firewood and much more. I also work for the Arcade Free Library teaching their Preschool Story hour program, I am a personal trainer for several clients and a group fitness instructor teaching classes 2-3 days a week. I am also the editor of the In the Vineyard Western Area newsletter and a Norwex consultant. I enjoy volunteering in the community with various programs and events, and in my spare time, I love to run, spend time with family and work outside!
Hello. My name is Laurie Sledge. I live in Olean, NY. I am a widower and have 3 beautiful adult children, Nathan, 38 years old, Kristin, 37 years old and Jaleesa, 32 years old. My children grew up involved with Arcade UCC. I work full-time as a Data Integration Technician at CA BOCES in Olean. I will have completed 25 years of employment June 30, 2023. I am also an accompanist for a community choir in the Olean area called Keynote Chorus. I have accompanied this choir for 20 years in 2023. I have had opportunities to play a keyboard in a few area high school musicals.
This church has supported me and my family for many years. I have been the organist/pianist at Arcade UCC since March 31, 1991. My first time playing at Arcade UCC, I filled in as a substitute organist. The original plan was I would sub for 3 consecutive Sundays. After the first Sunday, Easter Sunday, I was asked to stay after for a brief meeting. It was at this point I was offered and accepted the position of organist. I select the hymns for the services and lead the congregation in singing the hymns.
Arcade UCC is a beautiful family of people whom I love. They are always there for me when I need some extra loving and support. This church is a very musical church. There was a time I did not believe in the gift I have been given by God. The support I have received over the years has changed my thoughts.