NC Literary Hall of Fame



You Cant' Be THAT





You Can't Be THAT by Susan Wright Beard

Patten-Miller House
$11.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9911079-0-2
March, 2014
Progressive Christian fiction, Southern literature, Women's Literature
Available from

"You Can’t Be THAT gives us a glimpse of an under-appreciated phenomenon in American Christianity, those of progressive congregations who are just, thoughtful and inclusive and who are undergoing spiritual renewal as they seek to be faithful to the way of Jesus....I recommend Beard’s book highly for ministers, church leaders, church study groups, and other Christians seeking to be faithful to their church tradition AND to Jesus."
—H. Stephen Shoemaker, Former Senior Minister, Myers Park Baptist Church, and Theologian in Residence at Queens University and Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte

"As more and more Christians recognize the many conflicts that exist in outdated and ill-informed teachings, books like You Can’t Be THAT help people better understand themselves. More and more congregants disagree with their church’s teachings on a variety of important issues, from women’s roles in church leadership to marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Susan Wright Beard's book gives a helpful lens into advancing society toward more inclusion, equality and ultimately, happiness."
—Mitchell Gold, Founder, Faith in America and Co-Founder, CEO, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Home Furnishings

What happens when a small-town Southern church calls a young woman to minister to its dwindling congregation? Everything changes.

For as long as she can remember, Annie Adams has had one deep desire—to be the pastor of a church. And for as long as she can remember, people have told her, “You can’t be that.” But at Covenant Baptist Church, Annie finds a group of bold, forward thinking men and women who share her vision of inclusiveness and who are willing to work along with her for a new way of being the hands and feet of Christ.

As a pastor, Annie is fully committed to ministering to her congregation and develops delightful relationships with them. Her struggle comes as she tries to balance her role as pastor with her life as a single woman.

The first in the Covenant Congregation Series, this novel introduces characters who strive, both individually and as a group, to resolve real-life issues in their faith.

Susan Wright Beard considers herself to be a recipient of God’s grace. A born-and-bred Southern Baptist, Susan graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master’s degree in religious education. She also has a Master’s degree in social work from LSU. She has worked primarily with adolescents dealing with issues such as suicide and personal and academic issues. Now a Presbyterian, Susan is married and has two children and four step-children.


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