Leaders Elected at the Convention
Below is description of positions and the leaders elected to fill them.
Bishop and Council (B&C)
The Bishop and Council comprises the bishop, the dean of St. John’s Cathedral plus ten lay and clerical members who represent each of the three geographical areas of the diocese – two of each from the populous South East and Middle East areas and one of each from the Upper East Area.
Each term is three years. Clergy and lay members may not be from the same parish, and members must be 18 years old or more. Bishop and Council members may not serve simultaneously on the Standing Committee. Members gather four to six times a year for meetings at the Diocesan House in Knoxville, although annual meetings may include an overnight retreat.
“B&C” carries out the work of the Diocesan Convention between its annual meetings and oversees the program of the diocese.
Among its responsibilities, B&C prepares the diocesan budget to be approved by Diocesan Convention and approves grants and loans recommended by the Opportunity Fund Committee. Members may serve on the Opportunity Fund and other council committees: Budget and Finance, Health Insurance, Stewardship and the Diocesan Council on Youth Ministry, or Diocesan Convention.
A complete description of the functions of Bishop and Council and the Standing Committee are listed in the Diocesan Constitution and Canons.
BISHOP & COUNCIL, Leaders Elected
Terms expire 2022
B&C MIDDLE EAST AREA Clergy:
The Rev. Mandy Lippe – Rector, St. Francis Norris;
Mandy Lippe and her husband Jason moved to Norris in 2017 and she began serving St. Francis, Norris, as priest-in-charge in February of 2017. Mandy was installed as rector in April of 2018. Previously, she served as assistant rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Parish Church and School in Coral Gables, Florida, for 3.5 years and as Curate at St. Margaret’s in Miami Lakes, Florida, for a year. Mandy is on the Continuing Education Committee and helped with the redesign of the diocesan website and newsletter this past summer. She was appointed to fill a vacancy on Bishop and Council in 2018.
B&C SOUTH EAST AREA Clergy:
The Rev. Jason Emerson – Rector, Church of the Nativity, Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga.
Rev. Jason Emerson is the rector of the Church of the Nativity in Fort Oglethorpe, GA. He firmly believes we are fed at God’s altar so that we can go out into the world and feed others. Before answering the call to Nativity in 2017, he served for 12 years in the Diocese of Nebraska, including a stint as president of the Standing Committee and six years on their version of Bishop and Council. He is passionate about preaching, Christian formation for all ages, and equipping the saints for ministry in the world.
B&C SOUTH EAST AREA lay
Mr. Joseph Brown – St. Luke, Cleveland
Joseph Brown is a graduating high school senior from St. Luke, Cleveland, and youth lay rector of the upcoming Happening #77 weekend, He is active in the life o his parish and the diocese, having served in several leadership positions, including: youth representative to the vestry, observing rector of Happening #76, and attending the Province IV Youth Leadership Retreat last November. As a young person in the church, Joseph has experienced first hand how the church can transform lives of youth and young adults. He hopes to be an advocate for sharing God’s love and equipping God’s people to do that work in the 21st Century. Joseph plans to attend the University of the South, Sewanee, in the fall
B&C MIDDLE EAST AREA lay
Ms. Melissa Kirk – St. Elizabeth, Knoxville
Melissa Kirk was confirmed as a member of St. Elizabeth’s Knoxville over 30 years ago. She married her husband Doug and raised her three children—Laura, Charlie, and Emily Kirk, in this church. Their church service is extensive: She has served on both Children and Youth Councils; chaired the Special Needs Camp; planned youth pilgrimages; and she has served on the Vestry. Since 2006, she has worked in various capacities at The Episcopal School of Knoxville. Melissa is interested in supporting the greater diocesan work, the cause of international reconciliation, and she passionately works to support the spiritual development of high school aged youth.
The Disciplinary Board is comprised of seven persons, four members of the clergy and three lay. Clergy members must be canonically and geographically resident within the diocese, and lay members must be adult communicants in good standing who are geographically resident in the diocese. Members of the Standing Committee may not also be members of the Disciplinary Board. Functions of the Disciplinary Board are listed in the Canons of The Episcopal Church, Title IV.
Disciplinary Board Leaders Elected:
Terms expire 2022
The Rev. Ann Weeks – Retired; Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain;
The Rev. Ann Weeks grew up in Chattanooga, graduated from UT Knoxville and owned her own interior design firm in Chattanooga until her retirement. Ann was ordained a vocational deacon in December 2007 and served at St. Paul’s Chattanooga for 10 years, at which time she retired from parish ministry. Ann remains active in community social justice in Chattanooga. Ann and her husband Brad reside on Lookout Mountain and have two grown daughters Brooke and Sarah and three grandchildren. Ann is a Rotarian and serves on the Caldsted Foundation, Outreach Haiti & South Broad
The Rev. Drew Bunting – Interim Rector, St. Paul, Athens
The Rev. Drew Bunting is Interim Rector of St. Paul’s, Athens. He previously served as Chaplain of St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School, his alma mater, as well as in parishes in Wisconsin, Miami, and Washington, D.C. His previous diocesan leadership positions include serving as diocesan liturgical officer and sitting on the Executive Council in the Diocese of Milwaukee. He is married to the Rev. April Berends, rector of Grace Church, Chattanooga.
Mr. John Bellamy – St. Paul, Kingsport
John Bellamy has been a member of St. Paul’s in Kingsport for more than 30 years. In the past three he has served on the vestry, chaired the Finance Committee, co-chaired the Annual Christmas Dinner, and served on other committees. He is currently a Licensed Lay Worship Leader, Eucharistic Minister, Lector and member of the Discernment Committee. He is preparing to be a Licensed Lay Pastoral Care leader. John served on the Bishop Search Committee for the diocese and chaired an annual convention. He is married to Tim Bradshaw and has two sons, Rhys and Rowan.
The Standing Committee serves as a council of advice to the bishop. Among its responsibilities, it gives consent for all bishops elected in The Episcopal Church, recommends individuals for ordination, and advises on the purchase, sale or encumbrance of any diocesan property or property held by a congregation or ministry of the diocese. In the event the diocese is without a bishop, the Standing Committee serves as the ecclesiastical authority until the diocese elects a new bishop.
The Standing Committee schedules monthly meetings, but sometimes it conducts business via e-mail or conference call.
The Standing Committee has six members, three clergy and three lay. One clergy and one lay member rotate off each year. Each member’s term is three years, and they may be re-elected for one successive term. Members of the Standing Committee may not serve simultaneously on the Bishop and Council, Commission on Ministry or Disciplinary Board.
Standing Committee Leaders Elected:
Terms expiring 2022:
Ms. Elizabeth Jones – Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain
As a member of Good Shepherd in Chattanooga [Lookout Mountain], I have been involved in many ways. I have also had the wonderful privilege of serving on the Standing Committee for the past three years. My first meeting was an announcement of Bishop George’s retirement. I asked myself what I had signed up for?! I signed up for many blessings and meeting so many wonderful people. I think continuity is very important in such a position and I would like to follow through with what we have started. I hope to continue to serve you all for the next three years.
The Rev. RJ Powell – Curate, St. James, Knoxville
The Rev. RJ Powell has served as the associate at St. James, Knoxville since May 2015, and co-chaplain at Tyson House Episcopal-Lutheran Student Fellowship at UTK since January 2016. He has served the diocese in a number of capacities including as a member of the Disciplinary Board, as a member of the Search Committee for our Fifth Bishop, and as a Deputy to the General Convention in Austin.
“The Diocese of East Tennessee has been my spiritual home for over 15 years now. I’ve been nurtured, formed, and shaped in so many ways by so many people here, it would be my honor to give back and serve my sister and brother East Tennessee Episcopalians in this capacity.” – Fr. RJ
Trustee, University of the South
Two lay people and one member of the clergy serve on the Board of Trustees of the University of the South. The term of office is three years, and trustees can be re-elected for one successive term. One trustee rotates off each year.
Trustees are expected to attend the annual board meeting each May and any special meetings that may occur throughout the year. Trustees should be personally committed to the basic aims of the university. They are responsible for informing their dioceses about the university and should be willing to contribute to its financial well being.
Term expires 2022
Mr. Troy Eichenberger – Christ Church, Chattanooga
Troy has a B. S. in mathematics from University of the South, and currently serves as an active Lay Diocesan Trustee working on the New Trustee Orientation and University Relations Committees ensuring trustees and alumni are aware of the University mission as well as ways to contribute to its success. During this term, the University has made great strides in its capital campaign and vision toward student and seminary growth. He is a senior program manager at the Tennessee Valley Authority. A member of Christ Church Chattanooga, he has served on the vestry, the finance committee, treasurer, and as Eucharistic Minister. He is a board member of Project Canterbury
Troy has a B. S. in mathematics from University of the South, and currently serves as an active Lay Diocesan Trustee working on the New Trustee Orientation and University Relations Committees ensuring trustees and alumni are aware of the University mission as well as ways to contribute to its success. During this term, the University has made great strides in its capital campaign and vision toward student and seminary growth. He is a senior program manager at the Tennessee Valley Authority. A member of Christ Church Chattanooga, he has served on the vestry, the finance committee, treasurer, and as Eucharistic Minister. He is a board member of Project Canterbury as well as an alternate lay deputy to the 2018 General Convention.