St. Andrew's
United Church of Christ

1320 Spruce Street, Reading, PA  19602-2161
"More than a Century of Service to the City"

Pastor's Page

Rev. Baal was ordained to the Christian ministry in his home church, St. John’s United Church of Christ, Jonestown, Pennsylvania, on January 29, 1984. He served as pastor of the former St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, R.D. 1, Hamburg, through 1990. Elected as the seventh pastor of St. Andrew’s United Church of Christ in October, 1990, he began his service here on January 1, 1991. In June, 1997, Rev. Baal was elected to a two-year term as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ. Effective January 1, 2020, Rev. Baal also became the pastor of Olivet Reformed United Church of Christ, 1648 Centre Ave., Reading.

A native of Jonestown, Pennsylvania, Michael A. Baal was graduated from Northern Lebanon High School in 1974. He majored in Economics at Lebanon Valley College, receiving the Bachelor of Science degree in 1979. Mr. Baal went on to Yale University Divinity School, which granted him the degree of Master of Divinity in 1982. He returned to Lebanon Valley College in 1999-2000 for additional study and was granted the degree of Bachelor of Arts (Music—Sacred Music). Mr. Baal continued his graduate studies at Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia. In 2002 he was awarded the degree of Master of Music in Church Music, and in 2006 he completed his graduate work, receiving the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in Organ Performance.

A former organist and choir director, Rev. Baal has served as an adjunct member of the music faculties at Albright College, Alvernia University, and Penn State - Berks. Mr. Baal became an Associate of the American Guild of Organists in 2006, and served as Dean of the Reading Chapter, AGO, from July, 2006, through June, 2010. From July, 2013, through June, 2019, he was the Coordinator for Professional Development of the American Guild of Organists' Mid-Atlantic Region.

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