The Rev. Bruce Heyvaert
Father Bruce held his first service at St. Thomas’ on October 2, 2016. He was ordained in 1984, and most recently, served as the Vicar of St. James Episcopal Church in Magnolia, Arkansas. He has also served parishes in Casper and Sheridan, Wyoming and Scottsdale, Arizona. Fr. Bruce has gained much breadth of experience serving in many diverse congregations. His mission is to help people fall in love with God and neighbor. Fr. Bruce was born in Connecticut and grew up in Bettendorf and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In April of 2016, Fr. Bruce married Deborah (Deb) Baker. Together, they have 2 grown sons, one grandson, and a granddaughter. He has restored old homes, earned his instrument-rated private pilot’s license, and served on the National Ski Patrol. Fr. Bruce plays a mellow alto sax, loves all things aviation-related, and enjoys skiing, kayaking, walking and gardening.
Beth is our amazing Parish Administrator! She pretty much takes care of all the details of making St.Thomas’ run effectively. She came to work for us in August, 2015. Beth, a Moore County native, is a graduate of Wake Forest University. Beth previously worked as Administrative Assistant at Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary, NC. She has lived in Sanford for 11 years. Beth and her husband, Richard, have been married for 15 years and have one daughter, Megan. Church work is a “family affair” as Richard is an ordained Baptist minister. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, reading, and going to sporting events.
Dr. Jo Ann Bowman
Director of Music
Jo Ann’s music training began at the age of six in a private choir under the direction of a graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. After private vocal study during high school, she graduated from the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, majoring in voice. She earned a Master of Music (Voice and Music Literature) from the University of Michigan, and a Doctorate in Music from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. She served as Co-ordinator of Fine Arts in the local school system. After earning a doctorate in the field of Educational Administration from UNC-G she served in the principalship of Lee County Schools. She was recognized as the NC Principal of the Year in 1995 and as a National Distinguished Principal in 1996. Jo Ann has been active in many areas at St. Thomas’ since arriving in Sanford as a new bride in 1962.
June began her musical ministry with us on September 25, 2016. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Music in Perfomance from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She has also done postgraduate study in performance at Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. June lives in Raleigh, and while her musical focus has been accompanying, she is also active in chamber music activities. June has played in the pit orchestra for both the North Carolina Opera and the North Carolina Theater. She is an Episcopalian, but has played for many different churches. June says, ” My three daughters, their wonderful husbands and my grandchildren are the loves of my life! I will try not to overwhelm you with pictures of my grands!”
Katie, a member of St. Thomas’, has been our nursery caretaker since 2009. Katie graduated with an Associate’s degree in General Education from Sandhills Community College. She has also obtained three certifications in Early Childhood Education and currently works at a childcare center in Southern Pines. Katie is the 3rd generation in her family to work in the education field. She loves working with children especially when she is able to witness that “lightbulb” moment when children grasp what is being taught to them.