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Office of the Bishop Staff

The Rt. Rev. Brian L Cole 

Bishop of the Episcopal Church in East Tennessee
865-966-2110, ext. 13

Bishop Brian is our chief priest and pastor. His ministry serves, supports and expands the mission of the Episcopal Church in East Tennessee which is Reconciling All Things in Christ. Almost every Sunday, he visits a different congregation. Contact Bishop Brian for pastoral care of clergy and families; faith crises; consecrations; blessings; services of confirmation and reception; renewals of ministry.

Meet Bishop Brian Here


Laura Nichols

Bishop's Executive Assistant
865-966-2110, ext. 13

Contact Laura for appointments with the bishop; bishop’s visitation schedule and prayer calendar; confirmation questions; clergy days; background checks; our annual convention.

Laura has served on diocesan staff for 13 years as the Bishop’s Executive Assistant. She currently lives in Knoxville with her husband Randy. She and Randy have two children, three grandchildren and two lovable pups. Laura enjoys gardening, knitting, and fun office supplies.


The Rev. Canon Michelle Warriner Bolt

Canon to the Ordinary
865-966-2110, ext. 11

Michelle is our Canon to the Ordinary, Deployment Officer and Diocesan Liturgist. Contact her for our parish search process; updating clergy and lay professional resumes and OTM profiles; the “Emmaus Road” program for clergy in transition; annual convention planning.



Jody Davis

Youth Coordinator
865-966-2110, ext. 19

Jody nurtures and facilitates unity of all youth ministry in East Tennessee. Contact him for Diocesan Council for Youth Ministries (DCYM); Happening; New Beginnings; Safe Church.

A lifelong East Tennessee Episcopalian, Jody grew up heavily involved in ETNYouth. In his youth, he participated in DCYM, PYE, Grace Point and Happening, and even served as rector for Happening #62. During his time at UT Chattanooga, Jody worked as the youth leader at St. Peter’s in Chattanooga, while working on Grace Point Summer Staff in the summer months. Jody enjoys hiking, water sports, traveling, and spending time with good friends. He currently lives in Fountain City.

Mary Embler

Diocesan Administrator
865-966-2110, ext. 16

Contact Mary if you need a resource for your parish treasurer; about parish voluntary commitments; grants, and parochial reports.

Mary is a Knoxville native and has been a member of Good Samaritan in Knoxville for 36 years. Connection in the community is important to Mary and pretty much everywhere she goes, she knows someone.

She is a graduate of Tennessee Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Accounting and Management. She’s worked in the accounting field, with the last 26 years spent at Shoney’s of Knoxville, Inc. in various accounting/management roles, serving as Chief Financial Officer for the last 14 years.

Mary and her husband Doug have hearts for animals and rescued “Bug the Dog” 1 ½ years ago. Mary says that actually Bug rescued them and although she’s a mess, they love her. Mary also loves her “grandfurs” and “grandchickens.”

The Ven. Chris Harpster


Chris’ focus is on providing administrative oversight and support of deacons in the Diocese. He also serves as deacon at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Kingsport and as chaplain of Emmaus House Episcopal Campus Ministry at East Tennessee State University (ETSU).

Moving from Pennsylvania, Chris settled in Kingsport 21 years ago. He and his wife Deborah have three adult children, Adam, Julia and Timothy. In his off time, Chris loves to spend time with his family, and likes to swim, bake and read. If you’re counting calories, you might try to resist having more than one of his favorite things to bake: Pennsylvania Dutch Whoopie Pies.

Canon Beverly Hurley Hill

Canon for Mission and Lay Ministry

Contact Beverly for Licensed Lay Ministries, and Living Local: Joining God Initiative.

Beverly moved to Signal Mountain, TN in 2015 after more than 50 years of living in Birmingham, AL. Before her work with the diocese, she was a project manager for an insurance company, held several roles in software development, did technical recruiting, and spent most of her free time in lay leadership roles in episcopal churches in AL. She enjoys flat-water kayaking; walking the neighborhood; spirituality retreats; music festivals; time with her cat Meriwether, dog Roux, and husband Derrick; and visits with family.

The Rev. Brad Jones

Executive Director, Grace Point Camp and Retreat Center

Contact Brad for summer camp; camp registration; Grace Point facilities; donating funds or furnishings to Grace Point; directions to Grace Point.

Brad moved to East Tennessee after graduating from General Theological Seminary in July 2012. He has been the priest at St. Andrew’s, Harriman since 2016. He has been married to his wife Gale for over 20 years and they have two children, Addison and Parker. Brad and Gale have been involved in youth work and camp ministry since their college years. He enjoys hiking and fishing, spending time with family and friends, and his dogs Kate and Ella. He looks forward to another wonderful summer at Grace Point, and spending time with the youth of our diocese and the incredible summer staff.

Brother Andrew Aelred Morehead

Missioner for Communications and Evangelism
865-966-2110, ext.15

Andrew is a novice in The Ecumenical Order of Charity, a religious community whose members are called to be the living embodiment of three particular charisms: Charity, Availability, and Ecumenism.

In his off time, Andrew enjoys reading and studying in The Ecumenical Order of Charity. He enjoys working and gardening at his new home in Maryville. Andrew also volunteers at Tyson House Episcopal Lutheran Ministry on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and at the Delaney Project in Knoxville.

He brings great energy and a passion for The Episcopal Church and is gifted in helping us tell the story of following Jesus in an Episcopal context in the 21st century.

Andrew grew up in Lyman, South Carolina and moved to Knoxville in 2010. He was confirmed at Church of the Ascension in 2013. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, in sacred music. He holds a master’s degree in music and organ performance from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He is active in the American Guild of Organists (AGO), most recently serving as district convener of the State of Tennessee.

Kirby Purjet

Benefits Administrator
865-966-2110, ext. 16

Contact Kirby about setting clergy compensation; insurance for clergy and lay church workers; long-term disability and workers compensation for church workers.

Kirby moved to East Tennessee in February 2014 to become the Diocesan Administrator. Prior to coming to the diocese, Kirby spent 40 years in parish administration in Presbyterian churches in Nashville, Chicago and, most recently, at Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas. Originally from Texas, he met Gloria, from New York, on a cruise of the Greek Isles. They have been married for 35 years and enjoy playing golf and travel.

Kirby is semi-retired, serving as Benefits Administrator through the end of 2019.

Jerry Lee

Canine to the Ordinary

Contact Jerry Lee for good vibes.

Jerry Lee moved to East Tennessee after his dad got elected bishop in 2017. As “canine to the ordinary,” Jerry Lee is responsible for spreading his furry love throughout the diocese. You can find his two-dimensional form wandering from parish to parish, always ready for a photo. Jerry Lee enjoys visiting his godmother Mary Kay and girlfriend Doris, sitting on the front porch, a good nap, and tasty treats from Laura’s desk.