Betsy was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Sidney Moore Smith and Elizabeth (Betty) Baker Smith. She has a brother, Bruce Moore Smith. Her parents held jobs with the Federal government at the local military installations in Middletown and Mechanicsburg, PA. Betsy was, also, raised by a maternal uncle and aunt, Eugene and Arnita Baker, who had two children, Shelley and Bernard. Betsy, Bruce, Shelley and Bernard consider each other sisters and brothers.
She was educated in public schools in Bressler and Harrisburg. Betsy left John Harris High School after Junior year to attend Emma Willard School, a private girls’ preparatory school, in Troy, New York. From Emma Willard, Betsy attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, graduating with a BA in History. She would eventually complete early post-graduate training in real estate at Temple University Real Estate Institute in Philadelphia; and, later, in law in the Pre-Admission Program at Widener Law School, Wilmington Delaware.
Betsy has two daughters from her former marriage, Melissa B. Ivey Lawton and Azizi S. Ivey, and four grandchildren: Aren, Caleb, Aolani and Abigail.
She enjoyed a successful secular career with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, initially, as a caseworker for the Department of Public Welfare. Besty would eventually retire as the Assistant Bureau Director for the Office of Inspector General in 2010.
Betsy was born into Capital United Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg through her father who served there as an Elder. Her paternal grandfather was an ordained minister in the AME Zion Church. She was baptized and confirmed at 12 years old. She left the Church while attending college, and remained ‘unchurched’ for almost 20 years, rejoining as an Episcopalian in 1992. She was confirmed into the Episcopal Church in 1994 by the Rt. Rev. Franklin D. Turner at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia where she was a member.
She began responding to 'the call' to the priesthood at St. Thomas*. After moving back to Harrisburg in 2008, she attended St. Paul's, Harrisburg, where she entered the process for ordination in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania under the Rt. Rev. Dr. Nathan D. Baxter. As part of the requirement for ordination, Betsy attended Lancaster Theological Seminary, graduating in 2012 with a Master of Divinity with honor. She, then, attended General Theological Seminary to complete 'Anglican studies’, graduating cum laude in 2013 with a Master of Sacred Theology. Betsy was ordained to the Deaconate in March 2013. In June 2014 she was the first African-American woman ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Central PA . She began ministry, full-time, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Shippensburg, PA, June 2013 where she served as Curate until June 2015.
Reverend Ivey began serving as the Fifth Rector of St. Simon the Cyrenian Episcopal Church, July 1, 2015.