90 Faces of LBC | Megan Shertzer & Tim Rogers

by Tim Rogers (’98) and Megan (Rogers ’22 & ’23) Shertzer

May 20, 2024

Posted: May 20, 2024

90 Faces of LBC | Megan Shertzer & Tim Rogers

by Tim Rogers (’98) and Megan (Rogers ’22 & ’23) Shertzer

Throughout the 2023-24 academic year, Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School will celebrate our 90th anniversary! Here, we introduce our community to “90 Faces of LBC” each week. Keep up with all the news and events of our 90th year, read stories and more at lbc.edu/90

photo of authors megan and tim rogers

Megan (Rogers ’22 & ’23) Shertzer and Tim Rogers (’98) are the authors of “Beechdale Road: Where Mercy is More Powerful Than Murder.”

His Mercy Is More

Father-Daughter Alumni Write Story of Tragedy, Mercy and Forgiveness

Father-and-daughter Lancaster Bible College alumni Tim Rogers (’98) and Megan (Rogers ’22 & ’23) Shertzer wrote their book, “Beechdale Road: Where Mercy Is More Powerful Than Murder,” about an unthinkable tragedy that devastated multiple families and an entire community, as well as captured the attention of a county, state and nation.

On Sunday, June 21, 2020—Father’s Day—18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos of Bird-in-Hand, Pa., was kidnapped on Beechdale Road as she was walking home from church. She was later murdered by Justo Smoker, who is Tim’s brother-in-law and Megan’s uncle. “Beechdale Road” is Tim and Megan’s attempt to “share our story of grief, anger and pain but also unexplainable grace, kindness and mercy at the hands of the Amish community.”

LBC | Capital President Dr. Tommy Kiedis was one of many influential voices to lend an endorsement of the book, writing, “’Beechdale Road’ is the compelling story of being on the vulnerable and uncomfortable receiving end of grace, and how that journey transformed a family and a community. Tim and Megan write with raw transparency about experiencing mercy in place of wrath and repeated kindness in lieu of bitterness. Not an easy story to pen but an effortless read. Father and daughter share personal memories, anguish and guilt interspersed with life-altering revelations. They tell of human tragedy reshaped by costly forgiveness offered not once but again and again.”

Visit beechdaleroad.com for more information on the book that was released April 1, 2024. A portion of the book sale proceeds will go toward Amish special education programs, which were close to Linda’s heart as she served children with special needs in a traditional one-room schoolhouse.

book cover for beechdale roadThe knock came on the front door just a few hours after we saw the headlines that an arrest had been made in the disappearance of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos in June 2020. Linda had been missing for weeks, and with our county collectively holding its breath while simultaneously breathing out prayers for her return, we were struck with the devastating news that Justo Smoker, adopted into our family over 25 years prior, was the one who allegedly abducted her.

The last thing we wanted in that moment was to answer the door. Who would be visiting at a time like this? We saw through the windows a few young Amish children and someone who appeared to be their mom. With great shame and guilt, we reached for the door handle and opened it. There stood our neighbor, Mary*, with her four children nipping at her heels, flowers in one hand, a bag of cucumbers in the other and tears in her eyes.

“Hi, I’m your neighbor,” she said, “and you may not know this, but I was the teacher at Nickel Mines.” Nickel Mines was the schoolhouse that a man named Charles Roberts attacked in 2006. He forced the teacher and boys outside, then turned the gun on the remaining 10 girls, killing five and eventually himself. Mary was that teacher.

She stood there knowing, perhaps like no one else in the world, about the burden that we were just beginning to bear. She knew about the guilt, the anger, the rage, the shame, the desperation, the sense of despair that would kick in and, in the midst of that moment, she offered us—cucumbers.

We will never forget the gift of those cucumbers. They were a gift of love like no one else could give. They were just cucumbers, but they carried the message she left us with: “There is hope, God will take care of you.”

Indeed, He has. We have seen like never before what the gift of grace and mercy really means. We have been forgiven, we have been met in our grief and loved. We have cried with victims of a crime that we cannot undo, and we have been sung to by the very youth group Linda was a part of. We heard words from their lips like, “The love of God, how rich and pure, how measureless and strong.”

These were lyrics both of us sang in chapel during our years at Lancaster Bible College. And we’re so grateful for our training in the gospel of grace we received through LBC. It has helped firm up our foundation to face this world and offer something we have come to believe deeply: that redemption is always more powerful than tragedy.

*Tim and Megan changed names of the Amish community members they met in the process of writing “Beechdale Road.”

Megan Shertzer, MA, works as an Adult Advocate at The Factory Ministries in Paradise, Pa. She married her husband, Tanner (’23), in 2023 and enjoys running, traveling, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Tim Rogers, ThM, DMin, has served as Lead Pastor at Grace Point Church of Paradise for more than 20 years. He is active in various community roles. He has been married to Jen (Smoker ’98) for more than 25 years, and they have three children. He enjoys cycling, coaching basketball, reading and traveling with his family.

LBC at 90 | Rooted in history. Preparing in the present. Building for the future.


LBC at 90 | Rooted in history. Preparing in the present. Building for the future.