Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren

A Christ-centered, multicultural, inner city church.

Belita D. Mitchell, Lead Pastor.

Pastor Belita and her husband Don came to Central PA from Southern CA in 2003 to serve as lead pastor of Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren. She is a second career minister, having retired from a Fortune 100 company with 30 years experience. In 2007, she made history in the Church of the Brethren when she, as the first Black American female in the role, was called to serve as moderator for the denomination's Annual Conference.

Pastor Belita received the Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL. She fulfilled her ministry training requirements through the denomination's T.R.I.M. program (Training in Ministry) which included study at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.She is a certified trainer in the Prevention of Clergy Sexual Misconduct. passionate for the cause of Christ in an urban multi ethnic setting. She previously served in pastoral roles at the Imperial Heights congregation in Los Angeles, CA. She Her vision is for a church that is more spiritually alive, more ethnically diverse and fully devoted to sharing the good news.


Josiah Ludwick, Associate Pastor

He is a 2001 graduate of Messiah College where he studied Youth Ministry and has served as Coordinator of Youth Ministry at Harrisburg First since June, 2004. In addition to his work with the youth ministry, Josiah also served many years as Praise Team Director and is a dedicated vocalist, singing with the Choir and as a soloist when needed. He is also Program Coordinator for bcmPEACE.

His hope is that the young people in our midst will develop a personal relationship with the Lord and will in turn minister to others their age.

He and his wife, Christine, are parents to two children, Rachel and Asher. The family lives in the neighborhood, and the Ludwicks strive to be available for the youth they serve as often as possible. Josiah also enjoys playing volleyball, being a sports fan (Eagles, Phillies, Cubs and Red Sox), playing games, eating, playing with his dog, Honey, and watching movies.


Leah J. Hileman, Minister of Music

Leah joined the staff as Minister of Music in July 2015. Prior to this, she served as pastor to two congregations, Christian camp chaplain and program dean, on two church plant teams, and as minister of youth and music at two congregations. She has worked in the ELCA, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Four Square, Brethren Church (Ashland), and her home denomination, the Church of the Brethren.

Leah is ordained through the T.R.I.M. (Training In Ministry) program of the Church of the Brethren, and is an independent recording artist on the House Rat Records label. The latest album, "The Impossible," arrives Spring 2016. Her music website is LeahJMusic.com.

Ron Tilley, Executive Director of bcmPEACE

Rev. Ron Tilley leads bcmPEACE, formerly known as Brethren Community Ministries, the outreach ministry established by Harrisburg First Church of the Brethren. 

Ron has extensive experience in ministry, particularly in urban contexts and through non-profit organizations. He and his wife Julia have one son, Keegan.