My Life

Before Ministry

I was born in Barberton, Ohio in 1956, the third child of Henry and Helen Liebmann.  My father worked for PPG Industries as a Design Engineer and my mother was a full-time homemaker.  We lived in the house that my father and mother built until I was 10 years old.  My father earned a promotion to a senior management position at the corporate headquarters, so we moved to Pittsburgh.  There, I attended Mount Lebanon public schools until I graduated in 1974.


Examining a patient as Dr. Armstrong

I entered the University of Pittsburgh that fall and graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a minor in History.  I enrolled in Pitt’s Graduate School of Business that fall earning a Master of Business Administration degree in 1979, majoring in Operations Research.  I also did some acting on the local scene during that period (this photo from Ten Little Indians, in which I played Dr. Armstrong).

I took a position as Planning and Policy Analyst in the central administration of the University in January 1980, where I flourished.  I conducted a wide range of qualitative and statistical analyses on every aspect of University management, and staffed a number of committees with representation from every constituency in the University community.

I married my first wife in 1982.  My daughter Ashley was born in 1983 and my son Tyler in 1986. In 1985, I began taking doctoral classes in Education and Business.  A fellow student introduced me to Unitarian Universalism and the rest, as they say, is history.  I joined the East Suburban Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and within two years was President.  I led programs, taught religious education classes, and helped the congregation craft a strategic plan that led to the calling of their first minister.

Seeking a larger religious education program for our children, we moved to the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh in 1989.  We lived in the Eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh, serving on various community and school boards and committees.  I was promoted to manage the strategic planning activities at the University and moved to the Provost’s Office in 1993.  I am proud to have authored the strategic planning document widely recognized as helping turn the University around in a difficult time.  I coordinated the writing of several accreditation reports and a variety of projects on budgets, staffing, enrollment, and benchmarking.

My daughter earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Teaching degree at Pitt. She lives with her husband Kevin and their two children.  My son is the General Manager of a Planet Fitness site near Pittsburgh, where he lives with his wife and their daughter.

Into Ministry


Family photo at our wedding ceremony

I entered seminary, but our lives moved in different directions.  We divorced in 2008.  I served my internship at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock (NY), and a contract ministry at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Smithton (PA).

After the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland called me to serve as their settled minister in 2011, I was blessed to meet the woman of my dreams, Jody.  We married in 2012 and are on our joint path to change the world.

Jody is an amazing wife, mother of Marcus and Emily, a partner, and fellow traveler. She worked as the Sexual Assault Advocate for the Underground Railroad, the women’s domestic violence shelter in Saginaw until recently, taking new positions with Midland County Senior Services to fulfill her Master of Social Work degree requirements for internships. We both answer a call to serve and to act as catalysts for social change.

Interests and Activities


Stained glass project

Jody and I share a love of art.  She paints with watercolor and acrylics.  I work with inks. Sometimes we work together on pictures.  We also have taken up stained glass.  We love going to garage and estate sales and we often find pieces to refinish and bring back to their formal glory.

I am a collector.  You name it, and I have collected it over the years – stamps, Matchbox cars (which I later sold as a down payment for a house), comic books, cigarette cards, and various genres of books.  Hobbies that remain current are World War I propaganda posters and Zuñi fetishes.  I love to sing and listen to almost any kind of music.  I try to golf and roll a decent bowling ball.


Zombie Walk at Monroeville Mall (I later officiated at their wedding!)

My biggest guilty pleasure is my circle of friends who are fans of George Romero’s Living Dead movies (he is a Pittsburgh native and filmed his first movies in the area).  I have participated in several zombie walks that made the Guinness Book of World Records.

Equipped with youthful energy, the most supportive partner I could hope for, and a passion for Unitarian Universalism, I am ready to continue my life’s work.