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New Executive Director Appointed

Micah B. Brickner has been appointed executive director for the Brethren in Christ Historical Society. Board president Emerson Lesher announced the appointment at the Annual Heritage Service at the Ringgold Meetinghouse on Sunday, June 4, 2017. Micah replaces Glen Pierce, who will continue to serve as director of the Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives and will remain on the Society’s board.

Micah is a licensed minister in the Brethren in Christ U.S. and has served on the Historical Society board since March 2016. He writes on the subjects of church history, leadership, and missiology at Micah lives in Lancaster City, PA with his wife Heather, who is the pastor of Branch & Vine, a Brethren in Christ church plant.

Micah serves as the communications assistant for Eastern Mennonite Missions, Salunga, PA. Previously, he was the communications pastor for The Meeting House (Carlisle, PA) and the executive assistant to the general secretary for the Brethren in Christ Church of North America. He holds a Master of Arts in ministry with a specialization in leadership from Wesley Seminary and a Bachelor of Science in biblical studies from Indiana Wesleyan University. Beginning studies for a Ph.D. in organizational leadership at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2018, Micah’s research will focus on how the changing communication strategies of Anabaptist church-related organizations affect the culture of their constituents.

We welcome Micah to his new position!

In Micah’s own words:

I have had the pleasure of being connected with the Brethren in Christ in some capacity for the last seven years. Although I am newer to the denomination, I often share with people that this church is “home.” As someone who has come from outside this particular family of the global church, I put high value in preserving and celebrating our history.

Our denomination continues to experience an increase of new members, much like myself, who did not grow up in this family. This kind of growth often necessitates educating new members on our particular story. While I have much to learn about our shared history, I have been influenced by our history in ways that I know others will be too.

There are people who have grown up in our denomination that have a hard time finding value in our family’s story. There is also a committed group of individuals who have been avid supporters of the Society’s pursuits. I desire to help the Society engage with all, helping people find meaning in the stories from our past and present.

I am grateful for the leadership of E. Morris Sider and Glen Pierce. They have given incredible vision to the Society and I am humbled to follow them in this position. My desire is to build upon this strong legacy, working collaboratively with all of you to further our mission.

During a research project which I was working on recently, I came across a powerful statement from Rev. Elbert N. Smith from a 1951 issue of the Evangelical Visitor. He wrote: “With evangelism as our goal, we can make the lessons of the past serve the present day, and thereby build a better tomorrow.”[1] Smith’s words serve as a reminder of why our history matters.

The society is doing important work in helping to celebrate the history of the Brethren in Christ Church, the Old Order River Brethren, and the United Zion Church. I look forward to collaboratively working with the board and many of you to accomplish the Society’s mission of preserving our family’s stories.

[1] Elbert N. Smith, “Our Obligation To The Past,” Evangelical Visitor, October 15, 1951, 5.