As the board of directors, General Conference Board acts as the governance and decision-making entity for the BIC U.S.

General Conference Board (GCB) comprises members from each regional conference and various individuals appointed by General Assembly.

Wanda Heise

Wanda-Heise
Wanda Heise, board chair and member-at-large.

Wanda has served on General Conference Board as a member-at-large since July 2006 and currently chairs the board.

Prior to her appointment on GCB, Wanda served on the Atlantic Conference board of directors. She currently serves on both the Paxton Ministries board and the Mennonite Health Services board. Wanda leads life groups and teaches ESL at Harrisburg (Pa.) BIC.

Wanda has worked for many years as a registered nurse in a private counseling practice, as the church administrative pastor at Harrisburg BIC, and as the director of social services at Paxton Ministries, Harrisburg, Pa. She is passionate about ministering to marginalized people and brings a concern for maintaining clear, careful, and appropriate communication of BIC faith to her role on GCB.

Born into the Brethren in Christ as a pastor’s daughter, Wanda particularly appreciates the denomination’s peace position and its careful, consensus-building, grassroots approach to decision-making.

Wanda lives with her husband, Glen, in Harrisburg, Pa. They have two married adult daughters serving in global ministry, as well as four adorable grandchildren.

Carlos Alfaro

Carlos-Alfaro
Carlos Alfaro, member from the Southeast Conference.

Carlos joined General Conference Board in 2010 as a member of the Southeast Conference.

Carlos graduated from the Latin American Theological Seminary in 1992. An ordained minister with the Brethren in Christ U.S., Carlos and his wife, Ana, are the founding pastors of Ministerio Cristo Fiel y Verdadero in Miami, where they’ve served as senior pastors since 1994.

In 2007 and 2008, Carlos served as president of the Pastoral Association of Miami, with more than 300 churches from different denominations. Presently, he serves on the board of directors for the Pastoral Association of Miami, motivating pastors throughout the city to unite and pray.

Carlos emphasizes evangelism and discipleship in his ministry. He is motivated to develop leaders who will impact the lives of others and works together with community leaders to organize city outreach and community-service initiatives.

Together with his wife and two daughters, Gabriela and Elizabeth, Carlos enjoys many sports, primarily soccer and surfing.

Bob Beaty

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Bob Beaty, member from the Pacific Conference.

Bob Beaty, of the Pacific Conference, began his term on General Conference Board in 2014.

Bob grew up in Ohio, where he attended Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Ashland Theological Seminary. After serving in the Free Methodist Church for nine years, Bob moved into BIC ministry in 2008. He pastored the Zion BIC Church in Abilene, Kans., from 2008-2011 and currently serves the Solid Ground congregation in Alta Loma, Calif.

Bob serves on the Pacific Conference board of directors and the Navajo Mission board. He is passionate about understanding the culture and city in which he lives and ministering to those far from God. Bob desires to develop leaders and wants all people to understand the unique ways God has created them to serve those around them.

While affirming the BIC U.S.’ ten Core Values, Bob particularly resonates with the passion to study Scripture within community, the centrality of Jesus in all we do, and the focus of reaching the world for Christ through service, peace, and a countercultural life.

Bob’s interests and hobbies include reading, camping, golf, and traveling. He lives in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., with his wife, Heather; son, Tyler; and daughter, Alana.

Karl Brummer

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Karl Brummer, vice chair and member-at-large.

Karl Brummer, of the Susquehanna Conference, joined General Conference Board as a member-at-large in 2010.

Though he did not grow up Brethren in Christ, Karl was introduced to the denomination while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human resources at Messiah College. He went on to earn a master’s in human resources from Kutztown University and held a variety of HR-oriented roles at Iceland Seafood Corporation, Rite Aid, Advantica, Inc., and Cross Keys Village.

Currently, Karl teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses as an adjunct faculty member at Elizabethtown College, Messiah College, and Eastern University. Karl also serves as vice president of human resources, community support, and enrichment at Messiah Lifeways in Mechanicsburg, Pa. He is an active member of The Meeting House — Carlisle Campus, Carlisle, Pa.

Drawing upon his years of experience in the business world, Karl brings a passion to reach people in his role on GCB — especially those who would not normally seek out the Church. He brings a keen enthusiasm for the community of faith, noting his appreciation for the BIC’s cultural and regional diversity and its willingness to try new things.

Karl and his wife, Trude, live in Carlisle with their two daughters. Despite never having lived in Seattle, the Brummers are avid Seahawks and Mariners fans, rooting them on every chance they get.

Rachel Diaz

Rachel-Diaz
Rachel Diaz, member-at-large.

Rachel began a new term of service on General Conference Board in 2014, after serving as a representative for the Southeast Conference from 2005-2010.

Since childhood, Rachel has actively participated in developing the South Florida cluster of BIC churches.

A member of La Roca Firme BIC in Hialeah, Fla., Rachel previously volunteered in a number of Brethren in Christ congregations with worship, youth work, small groups, translation, and legal assistance. She also served for four years on the BIC Board for World Missions.

Rachel’s unique perspective as a bilingual, urban attorney is an asset both to the churches in South Florida and to the larger denomination. It is her prayer that the BIC U.S. would become a prominent presence in its surrounding society — strengthened, united, and growing to better reach out into the world for the sake of God’s Kingdom.

Rachel and her husband, Hamlet, live in Miami with their two daughters.

David Espinosa

David-Espinosa
David Espinosa, member from the Great Lakes Conference.

David has been serving on General Conference Board as a member from the Great Lakes Conference since 2008.

Holding a master’s degree in practical theology from Ashland Theological Seminary, David helped plant Iglesia El Buen Pastor, Springfield, Ohio, in 2000 and served as its pastor from 2002-2010. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for the Great Lakes Regional Conference and facilitates the Teologia de la Salvacion Core Course. David served with the Equipping for Ministry team from 2007-2008.

Fluent in both Spanish and English, David says that he enjoys using his language skills to bring awareness and diversity to the BIC community, in which one in five churches worships in Spanish.

David and his wife, Natalia, live in Springfield, Ohio, with their two children, Natalie and Joseph.

Adam Forry

Adam Forry, member from the Atlantic Conference.

Adam Forry, of the Atlantic Regional Conference, began his term of service on GCB in 2014.

He grew up as part of the Mount Pleasant BIC congregation, Mount Joy, Pa., where generations of his father’s family attended. After graduating from Messiah College in 1999, Adam went on to serve as an associate pastor in two BIC congregations before becoming lead pastor at Speedwell Heights BIC, Lititz, Pa., in 2008. That same year, he completed his Master of Arts in Ministry at Lancaster Bible College.

As a “cradle BIC,” Adam is excited that the BIC faith family has expanded and crossed potential barriers of all kinds to become a diverse, international church with 80 percent of its people outside North America. He sees local churches as the center of God’s work in the world as they seek to reach people for Christ, disciple believers, and make an impact locally and globally. He is grateful to serve on both GCB and the Atlantic Conference board of directors as they support and strengthen the mission of local congregations.

Adam enjoys reading, running, and following major league baseball. He and his wife, Kimberly, live in Manheim, Pa., with their daughter, Cassie, and sons, Trace and Liam.

Gary Lebo

Gary Lebo, member from the Susquehanna Conference.

Gary Lebo, of the Susquehanna Conference, joined the General Conference Board 2016.

With a long history in the BIC, Gary fosters a deep love and appreciation for the Church. In 1975, he and his wife, Gloria, moved to Dillsburg, Pa., and have worshiped at Dillsburg BIC ever since. There, they have served in a variety of congregational roles and have been blessed by their close friendships with the pastoral staff throughout the years.

Vocationally, Gary owns Quality Greenhouses and Perennial Farm, a wholesale annual and perennial plant business in the Dillsburg area that he co-founded in 1985. Serving independently owned garden centers, farm markets, and landscapers within a 200-mile radius of Dillsburg, his business has grown to employ 60 full-time workers and as many as 150 additional workers during the busy season.

Gary and Gloria have two adult children, Brett and Jessica. Brett lives with his wife, Sarah, in Portland, Oregon, and works for Nike. Jessica lives with her husband, Douglas, in the Dillsburg area and is a stay-at-home mom with their son, Oliver.

Cathy Musser

Cathy-Musser
Cathy Musser, secretary and member-at-large.

Cathy joined General Conference Board as a member-at-large in 2010.

Born into a BIC household, Cathy has been a part of the church family her whole life — as a student at Messiah College and as a member of Palmyra (Pa.) BIC; Fellowship Chapel, Bronx, N.Y.; Ashland (Ohio) BIC; New Community BIC, Pomona, Calif.; and her current church home, GracePoint BIC, Ontario, Calif.

Cathy has participated in a variety of ways at the local church level, leading worship, directing the Sunday morning welcome team, directing VBS and children’s ministries, and co-leading a home church. Cathy’s dedicated involvement at the local level led to her appointment on the Pacific Conference board of congregational life. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for the Pacific Conference, Pacific Christian Center, and the Southern California MCC Relief Sale.

Cathy has enjoyed being involved in several multicultural congregations. Of the BIC U.S.’ ten Core Values, she identifies “belonging to the community of faith” as a vital distinctive of the BIC Church. Cathy resonates with this core value as she’s learned the importance of building healthy, supportive relationships, and continually evaluating how we better witness to those still seeking a spiritual family.

Cathy and her husband, Rod, live in Pomona, Calif. They have two married children, Jeremy and Megan.

Jeff Piepho

Jef-Piepho
Jeff Piepho, member from the Midwest Conference.

Jeff Piepho, of the Midwest Conference, began his term on General Conference Board in 2014.

Jeff is the founding pastor of Revolution Church, Salina, Kans. Planted in 2006, Revolution ministers to a younger crowd of lower-income families and (formerly) unchurched people.

Jeff is passionate about reaching those who do not yet know the gospel or who have not surrendered their lives to Christ. Jeff is also passionate about adoption and foster care. He, and his wife, Meadow, have fostered over 50 children, have provided guardianship for three, and have adopted two. Jeff currently serves as president of the Kansas Foster and Adoptive Parent Association.

Using his master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University, Jeff co-hosts a popular weekly radio show, Truth Revolution. A show where “faith and reason meet,” each show tackles science, mathematics, archeology, and logic, demonstrating how each integrates with faith, biblical studies, and religion.

Jeff appreciates the authentic faith displayed in pastors, leaders, and members throughout the Brethren in Christ Church. He appreciates the integration of Anabaptism, Pietism, Wesleyanism, and Evangelicalism into a cohesive BIC mindset.

Alan Robinson

Alan-Robinson
Alan Robinson, BIC U.S. national director, ex officio member.

Alan has been serving as national director of Brethren in Christ U.S. since 2013.

Alan’s journey to the BIC family begins in his home country of Northern Ireland. Coming to personal faith at a young age through an Independent Methodist Church and discerning a call to pastoral ministry, Alan has served as a church planter and pastor across the United Kingdom. Along the way, he received a bachelor’s degree from Nazarene Theological College of Manchester University in 1993 and a master’s degree in applied theology from the University of Oxford in 1997.

Following his graduation from the University of Oxford, Alan and his family moved to the U.S. while he pursued a doctor of ministry at Asbury Theological Seminary. It was during this time that he first heard of the Brethren in Christ. In 1999, Alan became senior pastor of Carlisle (Pa.) BIC (now The Meeting House – Carlisle Campus).

Alan has been involved in BIC Church life in many ways — as chair of the Commission on Ministry and Doctrine, chair and faculty member of Equipping for Ministry, assistant moderator for the Susquehanna Conference, and representative to the National Association of Evangelicals. In addition to his doctorate from Asbury Seminary, he also earned his Ph.D. in administration and leadership from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2012.

Alan lives in Dillsburg, Pa., with his wife, Sharon. They have two adult daughters and two grandchildren. Other than ministry, Alan’s main passion is soccer, having refereed and officiated at the college level for more than 20 years. To stay in shape for his referee work, Alan enjoys running and has participated in many marathons, including a 50-mile ultramarathon.

Don Shenk

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Don Shenk, member from the Allegheny Conference.

Don Shenk, of the Allegheny Conference, has been serving on General Conference Board since 2006.

A graduate of Messiah College, Don served with BIC U.S. World Missions in Zimbabwe for 12 years. Now the director of Gospel Tide Broadcasting Association, Don serves his local congregation, Chambersburg (Pa.) BIC, as an adult Sunday school teacher and deacon.

Don brings a great deal of experience in cross-cultural ministry to his role on GCB. As the world becomes more and more of a global village, Don’s greatest passion is to reach people for Jesus Christ and bring them into the Church. As such, Don particularly appreciates the Brethren in Christ’s commitment to the Great Commission.

Don and his wife, Becky, live in Shippensburg, Pa. They have three children.

Julie Stout

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Julie Stout, member-at-large.

Julie Stout, of the Susquehanna Conference, joined General Conference Board in 2015.

Growing up in central Pennsylvania, Julie attended Elizabethtown (Pa.) College and graduated with an accounting degree in 1975. After earning her CPA at Ernst and Young, she worked in corporate finance and governance for a large Carlisle, Pa., manufacturer until 1997. Her time in banking provided useful experience to take on the role of CEO of the Brethren in Christ Foundation in 1999. In 2003, Julie accepted the position of chief financial officer at Messiah Village, now Messiah Lifeways, where she worked until retiring June 2014.

Julie became a member of Carlisle (Pa.) BIC in the early 1980s (now The Meeting House – Carlisle Campus). She is actively involved in the children’s ministry, having taught Pioneer Girls and Sunday school classes for over 30 years. She has served on the congregation’s church board and various other committees.

While Julie was not raised Brethren in Christ, her church and denomination have become home. Serving on GCB allows her to express her thanks for the many mentors, co-workers, teachers, and preachers who have poured into her throughout her time with the church, the BICF, and Messiah Lifeways.

Since retiring, Julie enjoys volunteer work, traveling, spending time with extended family, reading, and working on many projects around her home and garden in Boiling Springs, Pa.

Bill Strausbaugh

Bill-Strausbaugh
Bill Strausbaugh, treasurer and member-at-large.

Bill joined the General Conference Board as a member-at-large in 2006 and served as chair from 2007-2014.

A member of Mechanicsburg (Pa.) BIC, Bill served on his congregation’s church board for over 20 years and on the Susquehanna Conference board. Currently, Bill serves on the board for The Tide and the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities’ (CCCU) Commission on Technology.

A graduate of Messiah College, Bill holds graduate degrees in computer science and a doctorate in higher education, which he has used as a professor and later as an administrator. Bill currently serves Messiah College as vice president for information technology and associate provost.

Bill prays that in the coming years, our vision and Core Values as demonstrated in each local church will continue to be a welcoming asset to new people who might consider joining our BIC family. As he reflects on the Brethren in Christ, Bill particularly resonates with the fine balance between right belief and right living that characterizes the life and thought of the denomination.

Bill and his wife, Sandra, live in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and have four children — two daughters (Megan and Lisa) and two sons (Thomas and David), who are all graduates of Messiah. Bill and Sandra also have two grandsons, Caden and Colton, the sons of Lisa and their son-in-law Chris Heisey, who plays baseball for the Washington Nationals.