Local Visionary – Rev. Joe DiPaolo

It is my honor to lead First Church.

Introducing you to the people and places that make Lancaster special is our mission. In the spring edition of Fig, you met some of our friends who are forging new paths and are selflessly committed to our community. Now, more than ever, we want to show our appreciation.⁠

Reverend Joe DiPaolo – First United Methodist Church


“After spending more than 25 years in the Philadelphia area, I was amazed upon my arrival here in 2015 to discover the rich history, cultural attractions, and vibrant community which is Lancaster City. A city kid at heart (I grew up in and near New York City), I naturally rent a place in town. I love the way Lancaster welcomes people from around the world. I especially appreciate how churches and people of faith are regarded as part of the very marrow of the town and respected for their contributions.”

"It is my honor to lead First Church, as it lives into its vision to become a vibrant hub of ministry and service to our community."

“While remaining faithful to our own spiritual heritage, we delight to partner with a wide variety of churches and community groups with our Anchorage Breakfast program which served over 40,000 free meals last year, our tax preparation ministry, our preschool, and more.”

“As a musician, I am grateful for opportunities to play with The Sound of Roses jazz ensemble, the F&M Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and to lead a church with many teachers and practitioners of music and artand hosts several community orchestras. The motto of First Church is “Loving Lancaster & Loving the World” – and it is my hope that we can be a catalyst for that spirit to infect an ever-widening circle of people in and around this marvelous city.”

Passion Project:

Researching the lives of Henry and Ella Appenzeller, First Church members and pioneer missionaries to Korea in the 1880s.

Reason for Gratitude:

My daughter, Dr. Laura DiPaolo, will be returning to Lancaster this summer to begin her medical practice.

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