Sarah Hogue Comes Full Circle
Sarah Hogue first found a home at Dutilh Church at the ripe old age of two. Born in Pittsburgh and raised in Cranberry Township, Sarah has been part of the Dutilh family for most of her life.
After graduating from Seneca Valley High School, Sarah attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a degree in elementary education. She worked as an elementary school librarian in Charleston, West Virginia, before moving to the Philadelphia area to run a Sylvan Learning Center campus. In 2000, Sarah moved back to her hometown and worked at a local Sylvan. Little did she know that transfer would have such an impact on the rest of her life.
Sarah met Ron Hogue while working at Sylvan—she hired him to teach math and ended up finding her future husband. Sarah continued to run Sylvan until her first son was born. The couple has two children: Sam, 16, and Timothy, 12.
While her children were young, Sarah worked part-time as a preschool director for five years. At the same time, she served as a part-time assistant director of children’s ministry at Dutilh Church.
Five years ago, with her children in school, Sarah accepted a full-time position as director of children’s ministry and membership secretary at Dutilh. While this biographical background provides the highlights, it does not begin to cover the significance of Sarah’s presence at Dutilh Church.
As a creative, passionate, and tireless minister for children, Sarah’s efforts help to form and shape the faith of the youngest members of Dutilh’s family. She recognized that God was calling her to children’s ministry over time.
“When I worked at Sylvan, I realized I was gifted administratively,” Sarah explained. “That, combined with a love for Jesus and a passion for children, gelled into this being the perfect opportunity.”
One of Sarah’s favorite aspects of the director of children’s ministry position is working directly with young people. “Helping kids develop their relationships with Jesus through small group discussions and Bible studies” are among her favorite experiences, Hogue said.
Hogue said she also finds the annual Children’s Sabbath services especially moving. “Helping them prepare and then seeing the older ones preaching, the little ones who are still learning to read up there doing a reading, and the children’s choir leading the music” make this worship experience special for Sarah.
Vacation Bible School (VBS) is another highlight. “I love the energy when you have more than 300 kids and 100 crew leaders singing together in the sanctuary,” Sarah said. “That’s pretty awesome—in the ‘full of awe’ sense of the word.”
Moving forward, Sarah is excited about the prospect of new opportunities presented by Dutilh’s master plan for children’s ministry. “The new building space will be such a gift,” Sarah said. “VBS will not have to limit our numbers and we’ll be able to reach more people. For our ongoing programming, we will have adequate space to meet the kids’ needs and to grow our children’s programs. It will be so nice for the children to have dedicated space that is theirs, instead of borrowing other people’s spaces.”
People who know Sarah understand that she prefers to serve in the background and avoids the spotlight. Some fun facts most people may not know about Sarah are that she enjoys digital scrapbooking and watching The Office with her boys. Titanic and Grease are among the movies she would watch repeatedly, and she loves musicals like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson.
Whether planning with her VBS team or leading a confirmation class, Sarah’s wisdom and her love for children are consistently evident. In a sense, she has come full circle at Dutilh.
“This is the church I grew up in,” Sarah said. “It’s amazing that the church that invested in me, I can now invest in.”