We are thrilled to announce Heather Beaty has been appointed to serve as bishop of the Susquehanna Conference of the Brethren in Christ U.S., her term starting May 1, 2022.
Following her nomination by the Susquehanna Conference Board of Directors, acting as the bishop search committee, her candidacy was approved by the General Conference Board. She was officially appointed by a majority vote at the Regional Conference annual meeting on April 9, 2022. Heather is the second woman to serve in the role of Bishop in the Brethren in Christ U.S. (following Pauline Piefer) and the first woman to be nominated and appointed through the bishop selection process and Regional Conference vote.
“I am extremely pleased to have Heather in this role,” said Alan Robinson, national director of BIC U.S. “She cares deeply about the BIC, and possesses a wonderful combination of a pastoral heart, strong leadership skills, and administrative abilities.”
Heather is passionate about the health and vitality of local congregations and works hard to support pastors in their unique contexts. She asks insightful questions and is a careful, attentive listener. Her fluency in both English and Spanish is a great asset to lead, guide, and support both English-speaking and a growing number of Spanish-speaking congregations in the Susquehanna region.
A lifelong member of the BIC, Heather grew up in the Ashland BIC congregation (Ashland, Ohio). Located near Ashland Theological Seminary – a popular seminary among BIC pastors – she was exposed early on to influential BIC thought leaders. She later attended Messiah College (now Messiah University) where she double majored in Elementary and Spanish Education. She is also a graduate of the BIC U.S. Directed Study Program.
Over the past twenty years of ministry, Heather has served in congregations across the U.S. She was the children’s director at Zion BIC Church in Abilene, Kans. and the pastor of family ministries at Solid Ground BIC Church in Alta Loma, Calif. She was first licensed as a BIC U.S. minister in 2017 and was ordained in May, 2021.
Within the denomination, Heather has held several leadership roles at the national level. She was on the BIC Commission for World Missions from 2014 to 2021 and served on the BIC U.S. Awaken Leadership Team, 2018-2021. Most recently, she was the regional administrator of the Susquehanna Conference, leading the Bishop Leadership Team.
Heather lives in Dillsburg, Pa. with her husband, Bob, and two children, Tyler and Alana. She spends her free time traveling with her family, being outdoors, reading with a good cup of coffee, and cheering on her children at their sporting events.
Heather’s husband, Bob Beaty, is the senior pastor of The Meeting House (Carlisle, Pa.), a congregation in the Susquehanna Conference. In keeping with the BIC U.S. policy that seeks to avoid the conflict of a bishop supervising her or his spouse, Bishop Bryan Hoke from the Atlantic Conference will provide bishop oversight to Pastor Bob and The Meeting House.