The Susquehanna Regional Conference of Brethren in Christ U.S. is pleased to welcome new leaders Bryan Hoke and Heather Beaty.
In accordance with the Manual of Doctrine and Government (MDG) which states that each region must be assigned a bishop, Bryan Hoke, Bishop of the Atlantic Regional Conference, has been named the interim bishop for the Susquehanna Conference.
In a new move for BIC U.S., Heather Beaty has been named as Regional Administrator for the Susquehanna Conference.
A lifelong member of the BIC, Heather grew up in the Ashland BIC congregation (Ashland, Ohio) and later attended Messiah College (now Messiah University) to study education. Over their years in pastoral ministry, Heather and her husband, Bob, have served in various roles. Most recently, they moved to the Susquehanna Conference in 2018 where Bob served as bishop for two years before returning to pastoral ministry at The Meeting House (Carlisle, Pa.). Heather and Bob have two children, Tyler and Alana.
“I have come to love being part of the Susquehanna Conference over the past two years,” says Heather, “and I am honored and excited for this opportunity to lead it.”
As regional administrator, she will support pastors and churches, develop region-specific ministry initiatives, and facilitate church planting among other duties. Additionally, she will spearhead the creation of a bishop leadership team.
“The bishop leadership team is an experimental structure of leadership,” says Alan Robinson, national director of BIC U.S. “The idea is to create a team of people whose unique skills can work together as a unit to perform the functions of a bishop.”
So far, Layne Lebo, senior pastor of Mechanicsburg BIC Church, and J. Robert “Rob” Douglass, senior pastor of Dillsburg BIC Church, have accepted positions on the team. They will continue in their respective roles at their churches, giving a few hours of their time each week to conference leadership. Their appointments have been made with the full blessing of their respective church boards.
Heather and the bishop leadership team will oversee all day-to-day functions of the conference. This will enable the conference to fully assess if the team model is effective and will also ensure that Bryan can focus on the Atlantic Conference.
The Susquehanna Conference will launch a full bishop search in the summer of 2021 with the hope of having the new bishop installed at General Assembly 2022 and starting in the role August 1, 2022. At that time, they will also assess the success of the bishop leadership team and determine if they will continue to use its structure.
We are excited to have the expertise of these individuals leading the work of the Susquehanna Conference and look forward to what God will do through them.