Susan Heath

Susan Blackburn Heath

Ordained Deacon and Priest at Trinity Cathedral

Location:
2230 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio, United States
HQ Phone:
(216) 771-3630

General Information

Education

Master of Divinity degreeVirginia Theological School

bachelor's degree - history and English , Randolph Macon Woman's College

Affiliations

Board of Trustees Member - Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina

Board Member - Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

Recent News  

Sisters of Charity SC // Susan Heath

Susan Heath
Susan Heath Susan Heath joined the Foundation Board in 2006. Ms. Heath received a bachelor's degree from Randolph Macon Woman's College with majors in history and English. She also earned a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological School. She is an ordained Deacon and priest at Trinity Cathedral in Columbia, SC. Ms. Heath has served at St. Mark's Episcopal Church and Cannon at Trinity Cathedral with duties ranging from Canon Theologian to Canon Missioner. She also serves on the Board of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School and has served on several Diocesan committees. She and her husband Benjamin Rush Smith III have one daughter, Sarah Jackson Blackburn Smith. In her free time she enjoys playing the piano, gardening and cooking. Susan Heath

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Trinity Episcopal Cathedral: Adult Seminars

- Susan Heath, Betty Humphreys, Erin Johnson, Grace Parsons, James Smith; Keenan Chapel
- Susan Heath, Betty Hudgens, Tim Jones; 771-7300; heath@trinitysc.org - Susan Heath

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The State | 06/10/2004 | Pioneering leader at Trinity resigns

Susan Heath will pursue ‘God's call' beyond the parishHeath will remain an ordained Episcopal priest, but will serve outside a parish.Her departure, however, whittles away at the presence of popular, outspoken female religious leaders at major mainline churches in the Columbia area.Heath said she recognizes the role she has played at Trinity for 20 years, and the significance of having the longest tenure of any female clergy person at the prominent church, which has more than 4,000 members."It's been a joy and a privilege to be an ordained woman serving in this city," Heath said."One of the gifts this congregation has given me was a willingness to embrace me from the beginning, and I realize that there is now a generation at Trinity that has never worshipped here without an ordained woman being on staff."She stresses the fact that she is not leaving the priesthood, but is hoping to take her Christian witness into new venues.Heath has long been involved in issues of social justice in the community."I've lived and worked in this community for 20 years, and I want to take that experience beyond my parish.I'm always asking God what's next and I'm open to God's call."Those who know Heath praise her commitment to education, communication and social advocacy."Susan came to Trinity at a time when women in the clergy were brand new, and she was a good choice as a trailblazer," said Mary Taylor, who has been a member at Trinity all her life.Recently Heath has been leading discussions on issues of race relations at Trinity, and in May, organized a special walk through downtown Columbia to commemorate Briggs v. Elliott, the Summerton-based desegregation lawsuit that was folded into the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case."Susan is known for her deep concern for others and her gift for acting on that concern," said Julia Sibley-Jones, associate director of the South Carolina Christian Action Council.In the past, Heath also has been active in advocacy for the homeless and the needy."Susan struck me as someone who could not ignore the lack of justice in the world," said Columbia attorney Cravens Ravenel, a member of Trinity who worked with Heath on efforts to help the homeless in downtown Columbia."She couldn't just comment on it ... she had to become involved when she saw injustice in the racial or economic area.She was a tremendous resource to make Trinity a stronger place."During her 20 years at Trinity, Heath has taught classes in aspects of Christian life and thought."One of her gifts is drawing people out - she sees people who are hungry to grow spiritually and she's not afraid to call them," said the Rev. Patsy Moore, an ordained Episcopal priest who served with Heath on the Trinity staff for several years.Moore said it was her interaction with Heath that led her to deepen her spiritual beliefs and eventually train for the priesthood.Heath first came to Trinity in 1984 after serving at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.She is married to Columbia attorney Rush Smith, and the couple has a 10-year-old daughter, Sarah Jackson.Heath will preach her last sermon at Trinity on June 20.

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