About Us

Fairbrook United Methodist Church is one of many United Methodist Churches in the State College District of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church. For more information about the conference, please visit their website at www.SUSUMC.org.

Our Mission


We recognize our need to be connected to God and we seek to know Him and to discover all that He has for us individually and as a church family.


We believe that we are not meant to walk alone. We desire to build authentic relationships which are rooted in the love of God and that reflect the grace that we have been freely given through Jesus Christ.


We believe that God calls us to draw near to Him through worship, prayer, Bible study, and by acts of mercy and kindness. We are on a life-long journey to exemplify the virtues modeled by Jesus. We rely on the grace, peace and strength supplied by His Spirit to help us follow His example and to grow in wisdom and love.


We believe that we are called to share the good news of God’s love and forgiveness. We desire to enrich the lives of others in our community and the world by serving them and encouraging them in their walk with God.

Pastor Lori Steffensen

Lori Steffensen has been a pastor for over 20 years, starting at Fairbrook United Methodist Church on July 1, 2019. Lori believes we are to love God with our heart, mind, soul and strength. Loving God with our heart is expressed through worship and prayers. Loving God with our mind is shown through study and thought. Loving God with our soul is expressed through reflection, meditation and time apart. Loving God with our strength is demonstrated through action and service. This loving of God happens both in and out of church. Lori has also served as District Superintendent and as pastor at Trucksville, Clarks Green, Gouldsboro and Thornhurst United Methodist Churches.

Before becoming a pastor, Lori was a Sr. Programmer/Analyst at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton NY. She supported the clinical systems there for over a decade. (She is that dinosaur called an RPG programmer!) She left that career to go to seminary. Lori has a diverse educational history: BA in Elementary Education, concentration in English, minor in psychology from Eastern University; MS in Advanced Technology: Computer Science from the Watson School at Binghamton University, and an MDiv from Drew Theological School.

Through her life and family, Lori has experienced worship in a variety of ways, settings and denominations, and respects the value, wisdom and quirks that are found as humans try to understand, encounter and express their relationship with God Most High. That list includes (in alphabetical order) American Baptist, Assembly of God, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Episcopal, United Church of Christ, and independent.

Lori and her husband, Ted Gabriel, are pleased to call Pennsylvania Furnace home as they have purchased their retirement home here. They met while Ted was pastor at the Courtdale and Larksville UMCs where Ted was in retirement after over 30 years in Federal Service. (His service included the US Air Force, law enforcement (he is a retired FLEO) and Human Resources Director of the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center.) Ted serves as a Fire Police Lieutenant with the volunteer Alpha Fire Company, and Lori is the company's chaplain.