Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Beth Michaels, Columbia Union Visitor Editor, Passes Away

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Beth Michaels, editor of the Columbia Union Visitor. Michaels, who served her Lord and the Seventh-day Adventist Church with distinction and dedication, passed away June 9 after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 44.

Michaels, who served at the union for 10 years, was named editor and associate communication director in 2014.

“Beth was an incredibly gifted editor and had a burden to present relevant subjects in our union paper,” says Dave Weigley, Columbia Union Conference president. “She wanted to touch and help our members with what they were living with and dealing with, and give them hope.”

Beth Renee Schaefer graduated from Columbia Union College (Now Washington Adventist University) in Takoma Park, Md., and started her career at the Ellen G. White estate and later spent five years coordinating public and media relations campaigns for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International. During those years she met Bo Michaels on a blind date. They married in 1999 and later welcomed their sons, Kai and Jordan.

Barry Casey taught Michaels at Columbia Union College, and was a mentor and a friend. “It's been 20 years since I last had Beth in a class. My memories of her writing were of the crispness and efficiency of her sentences, and the coherence of her paragraphs. … We spoke on the phone about two months before she passed away. I was a little apprehensive beforehand about what I should ask about her condition. I needn't have worried: after quickly bringing me up to date on her treatment she asked how things were going for me. I'd been a bit discouraged at that time and she must have heard the hesitation in my voice because suddenly the conversation shifted to what the Lord had in store for me and the promises in the Bible that were written just for me and how much we have to be thankful for. ‘Beth’ I said, ‘I called to cheer you up and here you've been cheering me up all this time!’ That was Beth. She was generous, cheerful, exuberant, and smart. All of us who knew her are the richer for it.”


Condolences may be sent to the family in care of the Columbia Union Conference, emailed to or posted on her Facebook page.

Please continue to pray for her husband, John “Bo” Michaels, and young sons, Kai and Jordan.

Memorial Services

The Burnt Mills Seventh-day Adventist Church will host a memorial service for Beth Michaels on Sunday, June 19 at 11 a.m. The church is located at 10915 Lockwood Dr, Silver Spring, MD 20901. A light repast will follow.

Watch the Burnt Mills church service at

The Stillwater church will host a memorial service on Sabbath, June 25 at 5 p.m. The church is located at 9675 N Dixie Drive, Dayton, Ohio 45414.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to help Beth's husband and young sons financially through this very difficult time. Read more, see photos and donate:

Cards and letters may be sent to the Columbia Union Conference office and condolences and messages of comfort emailed to All will be compiled and given to her family.



Beth, from the moment we met and during the time we worked together, you impressed me as a strong lady. A true woman of faith. During your struggle with cancer, which you handled with dignity and graciousness, you've touched so many lives, mine included. One day you'll know how many people you touched with the light of your life. Sleep peacefully, dearest friend.

Every time I saw Beth, she had a smile. She had such a lovely singing voice. What a treasure heaven will have in her.

My prayers and sincere condolences to the Visitor Family.

Missing you already Beth!! You were a good person. I could text or call you anytime and you would respond. Today's a sad day but I know one day we'll see each other again. Sleep well my friend.

Jeff LaDonis
AYO, President

The SVA Family extends heartfelt condolences to Beth's family and everyone at the Columbia Union who is hurting because of the loss of this dear lady. Her ministry at the Visitor was much appreciated and blessed our school.

Janel Haas Ware
Director of Development & Alumni Relations
Shenandoah Valley Academy

Beth was a genuine person who cared about her friends, family, and co-workers. She was a beautiful person both inside and out. A true witness for God--a gem. I will miss you very dearly my friend.

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