Reverend Samantha Coggins

Associate Pastor

Samantha Coggins, née Lowery, graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (East Liberty/Highland Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh) in May 2020, with a Masters of Divinity degree. She was ordained in April 2021 as a campus minister in nearby Morgantown, WV, where she directed Presbyterian Student Fellowship for students in their late teens and early 20s attending West Virginia University. Samantha now lives in Mt. Lebanon with her husband, Joel, a book designer, and their 17-month-old daughter, Cosette (‘koh-sette’ – for the fans of Les Misérables out there), nicknamed Cozy.


Samantha is from Fredericksburg, VA. She grew up at Fredericksburg Presbyterian Church, where she was active in youth group, youth choir, and youth handbell choir. In high school, she was Moderator of her presbytery’s Youth Council. Samantha underwent major spinal surgery for scoliosis in 2002, as a freshman in high school. This experience, paired with her involvement in the church, moved her to deepen her relationship with God, and led her to ask questions about living a life of faith. In the summer of 2006, she represented Presbytery of the James (Richmond, VA area) as a youth delegate at the PCUSA General Assembly in Birmingham, AL.


Samantha attended college at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, where she studied English Language & Literature and sang in an all-female a cappella group. She then earned her Masters in Arts Journalism from Syracuse University, in 2011, and moved to New York City to pursue a career in TV criticism. There, she lived with her sister and best friend, Anna, in the borough of Queens (Astoria), for six years. In 2015, she met Joel at a mutual friend’s wedding in Pittsburgh, while discerning inklings of a call to seminary. Desiring to break out of her comfort zone, she sensed God pointing her west, to Pittsburgh. In 2017, she began seminary, and in 2019, she and Joel got married. Samantha began serving as Associate Pastor at JMPC in May 2022, and has found the congregation to be full of people who are extremely warm and genuine.


She is thrilled to be serving in a congregational setting, which fits her sense of call to the rhythms and routines of church life. Specifically, Samantha is called to preaching, pastoral care, and social justice in the church. When she is not at JMPC, Samantha can be found outside, walking to the playground or library with Cosette, or at home, watching Netflix and channeling (pun intended!) her inner television critic.