Affiliated Minister

Spirit Matters


Rev. Tessie is an ordained minister with the Unitarian Universalist Association (since 2015) and Metropolitan Community Churches (since 2002). MCC is a Christian denomination that ministers primarily in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities, and she has served churches in California, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Tennessee as their pastor. Rev. Tessie has served UU congregations in Atlanta and Bellingham.

Tessie is also a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains and she currently serves PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham as the palliative care chaplain — one who specializes in working with patients who are facing serious life-limiting illnesses, and their families.

Tessie is originally from Charleston, SC. She and her partner, Lisa Heezen, moved to Bellingham in the summer of 2014 to be closer to Lisa’s parents who retired here.

For extra fun Tessie enjoys walking, biking, yoga, singing, and being a foster mom.

Rev. Tessie is one of BUF’S Community Ministers…What Does That Mean? Community ministers are persons qualified to perform ministries of counseling, chaplaincy, social justice, education in religious studies, or other such ministries as the UUA’s Ministerial Fellowship Committee may recognize. Community ministers engage in prophetic ministerial service beyond the walls of the congregation. Tessie’s community ministry is at PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s Medical Center. She also has a Spirit Matters podcast at Bellingham’s local radio station, KRME 102.3 FM. Her ministry in BUF’s congregation is leading our monthly Taizé service , worship planning and preaching, and consulting with the Pastoral Care team.