Meet our Staff
Beth Utley grew up in central Arkansas, raised in faith by parents and grandparents. Her father was a chemistry professor at Hendrix College, and her mother, a registered nurse. Her grandparents lived on a lakefront, and she spent weekends fishing, gardening and lobbing apples or persimmons at her sisters. She graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science in Education, concentrations in Speech, Drama, and English. She received a Masters of Oral Communication from Baylor University and is a Certified Educator in the PC(USA).
Beth knew she wanted to be a teacher almost from birth. Outside of brief temptations from Nancy Drew and midwifery, Beth worked as an educator, first in classrooms (middle school to college), then in Christ's church. Working in North Carolina as a Director of Christian Formation, she felt called to explore seminary and graduated with her Master of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte. She was awarded the Helen Deans Preaching Award which honors a student who exhibits promise for effective preaching in the church. (Her children and husband would tell you she's been preaching at them for a long time.)
She has served her current congregation for 14 years, working in partnership with the pastor and congregational leadership to equip disciples for today's church. She has served Salem Presbytery extensively, moderating the personnel committee, doing stewardship workshops and resourcing with congregations, and serving on the council. Beth is also part of a group of folks trying to imagine supporting healthy practices in congregations and encourage them to support each other. Her passion is the challenge of "doing church" in ways that make sense and are meaningful for those who have always participated in faith practice, and for those being drawn in for the first time (or for the first time in a while).
She is married to Carl, an intentional interim pastor. They have four adult children. Adam is completing work in a PhD in immunology in Buffalo, NY; Allie is working on a PhD in Worship and Liturgy at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN; Hannah is a neonatal ICU nurse in Richmond (where her husband is in seminary); and Claire is in Greensboro where she is working toward a writing career. Beth's best evangelism tool is Murphy Brown, a two-year-old labradoodle. People always want to talk to Murphy.
Monday - Friday, 9am - 4:30pm