The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee joyfully introduces Rebecca Heilman as our Associate Pastor for Engagement and Mission. We are excited to share the news about her with you! Rebecca will begin her time with us on August 24, and her first Sunday worshipping with us will be August 30.
Warren Henry, Matt Smith, Kato Nims,
Steve Johnson, Louise Sanford, Janet Sarjeant
Rebecca Heilman grew up in Valdese. Her church, Waldensian Presbyterian Church, was her community. The home environment and her community placed a great deal of emphasis on the church and “doing” in the community and the world. It is her mission trips that led to her interest in Ministry and to being a world-citizen, according to an elder and childhood family neighbor at Waldensian Presbyterian Church.
Rebecca attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where she majored in Christian Education and International Studies. From there, she received her Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. While at seminary, she was noted to be a biblical scholar, to have strong administrative and organizational gifts, and to have unique interpersonal skills that worked well with students and staff, according to a seminary professor.
She made her way to New York to become a Pastoral Resident at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church (MAPC). Here she participated in an intensive multi-year program where she led worship service, preached, administered the sacraments, officiated in weddings and funerals, and taught adult education. She is credited with reshaping a young adult ministry to be more rooted in relationship building. She also provided leadership into several committees including MAPC’s Zimbabwe Partnership Committee. She has been working for the last two years with MAPC’s men’s shelter and the Open Table ministry, part of an effort to feed some of New York’s hungry population.
Rebecca has a life partner, Douglas Campbell, who is a high school teacher in Gloucester, VA, and who will be joining her in Charlotte soon. She has a dog named Sadie, a black lab mix who we will also get to know!
REBECCA’S LETTER TO TRINITY
Grace and peace to you, the members of Trinity Presbyterian Church,
As I discerned a call to a new church, I was immediately drawn to Trinity’s faithful congregation and loving spirit. Your congregation and your staff are well known and highly respected throughout the denomination.
I believe this is in no small part because of your gracious welcome statement: “We hope to emulate Christ by celebrating you just as God created you, so that we might be made richer through the gifts only you have to offer.” In an increasingly divisive and fear-filled nation, these words are more important than ever. They fill me with hope for the church and for the world.
Your Mission Statement communicates that you are people who embody a bold faith with intentional community, wise insight, deep compassion, and loving transformation. That you work actively toward an inclusive and diverse community, as well as with a force of good, not only in metro Charlotte, but well beyond the city limits.
I will never claim to know everything about what the Spirit is doing or where the Spirit is leading us…but I have learned enough to pay attention, even when the Spirit whispers. I was gently nudged towards your congregation and I look forward to where the Spirit will lead Trinity Presbyterian Church while I’m with you.
Thank you for all you are doing – for Trinity Presbyterian Church and for the larger Church of Jesus Christ.
(To read Rebecca’s full letter to the congregation, click HERE.)
FIVE FUN FACTS ABOUT REBECCA
- I love to attempt to bake bread and then share it with others.
- The story of Hagar and Ishmael is my favorite Bible story, as well as a story where I almost always discover a new humbling interpretation.
- Ever since I got my dog, Sadie, I’ve become even more of a dog lover.
- Once I was rescued from the UNESCO site of Petra because of flash flooding (no doubt, you will hear this story once or twice as a sermon example).
- My family and friends mean the world to me. Along with the Church, they have loved me into being.
BONUS: I’m most excited to get to know each of you and grow in faith together!
Well done, Trinity Presbyterian Church! Rev. Rebecca Heilman is one of the PCUSA’s most exciting young pastors. She is incredibly bright, endlessly compassionate, wonderfully creative, deeply relational, and passionate about justice and mission. She loves the church as it is, while also having vision to see what the church can still become. Trinity, you have a great team that now grows stronger.
Rev. Jenny McDevitt
Head of Staff, Shandon Presbyterian Church
Rebecca truly believes God working through us can make this world a better place. She is gentle and genuine, passionate and compassionate. Rebecca knows well how to preach the Word of God faithfully and participate in prophetic witness when and where it is needed. You all have made an excellent and wise choice.
Dr. Rebecca Davis
Associate Professor of Christian Education
Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte
She is always a hopeful, passionate and optimistic person. She has a solid presbyterian foundation that has taught her the meaning of being a world citizen. While she may have only a few years of direct pastoral experience, she has several years of relevant experience at churches our size and larger.
Dr. John Lafferty
Elder, Waldensian Presbyterian Church
Rebecca is one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and dedicated people I know. Her gifts for ministry are numerous, but most importantly, Rebecca is full of love for God and God’s people. When she visits, it will be in love. When she preaches, it will be in love, and when she challenges you, it will be in that same love.
Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church
To view the digital brochure used by the APNC, click HERE.