Exciting Staffing Announcement


Published: April 18, 2024

To the Asbury First Family,

We are delighted to share exciting news — Bishop Héctor Burgos-Núñez has appointed Rev. Dr. Michelle Bogue-Trost as our congregation’s new senior minister. Rev. Dr. Bogue-Trost will begin her new responsibilities on July 1st of this year. You can read the Bishop’s announcement of her appointment by clicking here

Rev. Dr. Bogue-Trost, or Michelle, currently serves as Lead Pastor of Central UMC in Endicott, New York. She has more than 27 years of experience developed through appointments to congregations ranging in size from 11 to 1000. She is a gifted preacher, a strong administrator, passionate about connecting congregations with their community, and a collaborative leader committed to the full inclusion of God’s children. She has served as a pastor, leader, preaching coach, spiritual director, consultant, teacher, mentor, and gardener.  

Michelle brings a wealth of secular and ministry experience in inspired preaching, administration, change and conflict management, outreach, team building and leadership. The spiritual health of each person and congregation is paramount to her, and she is deeply committed to inclusivity of all as well as to outreach ministries. She works with clergy and congregations in the UMC and beyond, as they craft new visions to reach their highest possible potential given their current circumstances. She also has extensive service in District, Conference, Jurisdictional and General Conference roles within the denomination. 

Her authenticity, honesty, energy, and demonstrated skill in helping congregations craft and implement their dreams will continue to propel us forward. She also appreciates how communal fun can bring joy to a congregation.

As a United Methodist congregation, we are part of an itinerant appointment system, under which the Bishop makes pastoral appointments. We are grateful that the Bishop and District Superintendent worked together with us in this appointment process. At the Bishop’s invitation and in collaboration with him, our Pastor Parish Relations Committee (PPRC) and Governing Board developed our Church profile and description, identified our congregation’s needs, and described the skills needed in our senior pastor. The Bishop and appointive cabinet conducted a wide-ranging national search, identifying and carefully considering many possible candidates. One candidate emerged at the top of the list. The Bishop discussed Michelle’s possible appointment with the PPRC, which includes the members of our former transition team. The PPRC had the opportunity to review her credentials, to listen to her sermons and interviews, and to conduct in-depth discussion with her. The PPRC is uniformly enthusiastic about her appointment, and we are very excited to welcome her to Asbury First.

Michelle’s congregation is learning of her departure at the same time as this announcement. As we can appreciate, they will be experiencing a period of shock and grief. Between now and July Michelle needs to be with her Central congregation to help them deal with this transition, so she will not preach her first sermon at Asbury First before her arrival.

Michelle joins us together with her husband, Nate Trost. His career permits him to work from anywhere, and he has been an active participant in churches to which she has been appointed. He is particularly looking forward to involvement in the outreach ministries at Asbury First.

We are very grateful to Rev. Ted Anderson for his continued interim leadership through July 1. His willingness to disrupt his retirement for dedicated service to us has been a blessing indeed.

We are including a greeting from Michelle below, and her profile can be read by clicking here. Additionally, we will provide a link to her full resumé on our website in the near future. 

Bishop Burgos said about the new appointment, “I thank God for Asbury First’s PPRC Team and their faithful engagement in the appointment process. I am excited about the future of Asbury First UMC. Pastor Michelle is an effective apostolic leader with a hopeful vision for the Church and God’s world. I look forward to witnessing how God works in the Rochester community and beyond in this new season.”

Our new pastor, Bishop Burgos, and the leaders of the Upper New York Conference are committed to working closely with us, the congregation, to foster our continued growth as a missional community. Together, we will join our new pastor, Bishop Burgos, and all United Methodist of Upper New York in our mission to make new disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world – living the gospel and embodying God’s love with all our neighbors, or as we say at Asbury First:

Love God and Neighbor, Live Fully, Serve All, and Repeat.

Moving forward with God’s guidance,

Beth Wilkens, PPRC Chair and James Quinn, Governing Board Chair


Greetings from the Southern Tier!

I am delighted that in two (short!) months, we will begin our ministry together at Asbury First. I am eagerly looking forward to getting to know you, sharing in our life's journeys, and growing together in faith and vision. My commitment to you is to serve with dedication, love, and a sincere desire to walk with you in the ways God is calling us to be the church together.

As I prepare for this move, you are all in my prayers, and I ask for your prayers as well. Let us pray for a smooth transition at Asbury First and at Central, for God to weave us into a strong and loving community, and for our hearts to be opened to the possibilities such a transition brings. I am truly excited about meeting you in person and embarking on this new chapter of our journey with Christ.

In One Peace, Michelle