A Friend Who Inspires Hope: Rev. H. William Dambach

DAMBACH_WILLIAMWhen asked what brings him hope, Rev. H. William Dambach (Bill) replies, “Jesus Christ first and foremost, then helping others have a better life and hearing the stories of those who attend places like Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry and are healed from painful situations, depression, addictions, and etc.” Bill says that his philosophy is to “love God and love one another. God first, others second, me last.”

Bill has been married to his wife, Cathy, who he met at church, for the past 35 years. He says that his favorite things are golfing, running, reading, preaching, Pitt Sports and his golden retriever, Emma. He refers to himself as “a local guy.” He attended Richland High School and the University of Pittsburgh before completing his studies at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He has been serving as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church for 33 years, pastoring North Hills Presbyterian Church in West View since 1996. Another 22 years has been spent ministering as a hospital and nursing home chaplain. He is currently employed as the UPMC Chaplain at the Seneca Place in Verona and Cranberry Place in Cranberry. It is a calling for him to bring “sunshine and smiles into the lives of nursing home residents.” Bill serves in many capacities and he views service as a core element of his life’s purpose. In addition to his work as a pastor and chaplain, Bill has served on several nonprofit boards and foundations. Bill is a board member at Anchorpoint Counseling Ministry (as well as a key member of Anchorpoint’s Golf committee), and at the Pine Richland Youth Foundation Board. He also serves with the Cranberry Rotary and is a member of the Pine -Richland Ministerium. Other important areas of involvement that Bill notes are his work with the Annual Passion Play and Grief Share Bereavement Support.

Denise Patsko, ACM Director of Development, and the rest of our staff cannot say enough good things about Dambach’s sense of humor and kindness towards all he meets. Denise relates a story about why Bill’s wardrobe is so outrageous. She says, “Once he realized that his clothing could bring a smile and a little humor to people, especially those in distressed situations, he never looked back.”

Bill says that people would be surprised to learn that he was raised on a chicken farm by his mother and grandparents. He shares that his grandfather nicknamed him “Worms” because Bill could never sit still. Bill’s father passed away early in his life. His grandfather stepped in teaching him a great deal about giving and helping others. He was a tremendous model and influence. Bill was brought up in the church but when he went away to college, he did not attend. During his senior year, he had a profound spiritual experience that resulted in his call to become a pastor. Bill experienced the hope that Christ offers us through this experience and has lived a life of hope and service ever since.

Good friend, Rev. Ron Barnes says, “He gives very generously of his time, talent and resources. He genuinely cares about people and is always figuring out ways to help many people, often behind the scenes.” Rev. Barnes continues, “When you spend time with Bill you realize his zest for life and his desire for you to enjoy the life God has given you.” For instance, Bill is a golf fanatic and prioritizes this activity as a way to connect with and enjoy many friends, colleagues and people he cares deeply about. “He makes sure you enjoy yourself on the golf course and after the round as well,” says Rev. Barnes. “The hope that Bill brings to the party is that there is a savior, Jesus Christ, who loves us, who died for us and who is present for us on a daily basis, who wants to spend eternity with us in Heaven.”

Bill says very humbly that if Jesus Christ could change his heart around, He can change anyone’s heart around.

Anchorpoint is fortunate to have Bill as a board member and we are so proud to honor him as a dear friend who brings hope to this needy world.

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