Magnolia Welcomes Rev. Heather Bethley Sullivan as New Minister
(April 10, 2017) Rev. Heather Sullivan is the newly-appointed pastor at Magnolia United Methodist Church who will start on July 2, 2017. Here is her message to you.
I am a lifelong Methodist and preacher's kid who spent my most formative years at Munholland UMC in Metairie. As a child I remember sitting in the front pew of the sanctuary, tending to my acolyte duties, when I felt called into ministry. At the time I didn't know exactly how that call would come to fruition, but over the years I have been fortunate enough to explore God's call for my life and ministry within the context of the United Methodist Church.
After years of involvement with the Louisiana Conference through CCYM, Happening, and the youth delegation to Annual Conference, I spent my undergraduate time in the Sunshine State, graduating from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Religious Studies, and then serving as youth director at First UMC in Apopka, Florida. In 2010 I returned to Louisiana to serve on staff at The Well UMC under Dr. Jack O'Dell. While serving at The Well in program ministry and spiritual formation, I completed my Master's Degree in Religious Education at Loyola University New Orleans.
At The Well I also had the opportunity to begin preaching and taking on other pastoral duties as I continued to discern my own call to ministry. In 2016 I entered the candidacy program to become a licensed local pastor. In November I was offered an early appointment as supply pastor of Lee's Landing UMC, a small church on the outskirts of Ponchatoula. In February I was officially licensed after completing a rigorous and fruitful License to Preach school.
I married my husband Jeff in 2011 and we have lived in Ponchatoula since then. Jeff is a native of Mississippi, by way of Alaska, and works for FedEx Freight. We have two little boys who bring an incredible amount of joy to our lives. Liam will be four in May. He likes dinosaurs, sea animals, and YouTube videos about dinosaurs and sea animals. Declan turned one in January. He likes to eat, and harass his brother.
We all enjoy watching football together (we're a house full of Who Dats!) and going on family outings to the park, the zoo, or one of our favorite restaurants.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, traveling the lower part of the state to visit my family, and dominating fantasy football (or at least trying to). I am also a musician, and I love to sing and play my instruments when my house is quiet enough to do so, or when my boys feel like listening to a "Mommy concert." I enjoy weaving my musical talents into my ministry when possible.
One of my biggest passions in ministry is helping others discover and use their spiritual gifts to build the Kingdom. As a new clergy person I am learning more every day about what it means to pastor a congregation. I welcome the opportunity to continue to learn and grow as I join with the people of Magnolia United Methodist Church in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Rev. Sullivan can be reached by phone at the church office, 261-2789, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. She looks forward to meeting you!