Heath’s work has been heavily featured in Christian Century, the Huffington Post’s religion section, the Still Speaking Writers’ Group’s Daily Devotions, and more.
Their first book, Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity, was published by Pilgrim Press in the spring of 2016. Their most recent book is Courageous Faith: How to Rise and Resist in a Time of Fear was published in 2018. They are currently completing their third book, a devotional for LGBTQ Christians and friends, which will be published by Westminster/John Knox Press.
Heath has spoken to numerous educational and religious groups on topics of faith, gender identity, LGBTQ+ rights, and public policy.
They are married to the Rev. Heidi Carrington Heath, and reside in Exeter.
The longer bio:
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath was born in Virginia, the youngest child of a career government intelligence officer. Heath grew up primarily in Virginia and Winter Park, Florida in a non-religious family. At the age of 17, they were baptized into the Christian faith, going from a religious “none” to a devoted believer in both Christ and Christ’s church.
Heath attended college at Emory University where they earned degrees in English and religion. Heath then attended seminary at Columbia Theological Seminary and earned both a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology with an emphasis on systematic theology. They also hold a Doctor of Ministry from Andover Newton Theological School with a concentration in congregational leadership.
Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Heath’s early ministry was focused on chaplaincy, including work in trauma units and emergency departments. In 2009, frustrated with the official exclusion of LGBTQ people from full ministry in the Presbyterian Church, they received privilege of call in the United Church of Christ and transferred their ordination.
Heath has served as a parish pastor since 2010, first at a church in the mountains of Vermont, and now as the senior pastor of The Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire. As a pastor, Heath tries to make Christian faith relevant to the lives of all who walk through the church’s doors. They believe that church growth and vitality come naturally when the congregation is growing spiritually and serving God outside of its doors.
In addition to serving in the parish, Heath has been writing publicly about faith, culture, public policy, and gender and sexuality since 2010. Outside of the parish they have also served on a number of boards, including the national Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ (2013-2017) and the Star Island United Church of Christ.
Heath’s favorite hobby is fly fishing, which they love pursuing across northern New England. They also have a soft spot for LEGOs, the Atlanta Braves, and their two furry orange and white cats named Atticus and Windsor. But, most of all, Heath loves spending time with their wife, the Rev. Heidi Carrington Heath, with whom they have shared a life and marriage since 2012.