The following positions will be open for nominations beginning December 6, 2023. These positions will be elected at the business meeting of the 40th Diocesan Convention. Please read through the following positions and, should you feel led, submit your nominations using the button at the bottom of each section beginning December 6th.*

Nominations may be made only by the Bishop, Clerical and Lay Delegates, Vestries, and any other person authorized by Canon.  See Rule 8.01. Nominations are due by Saturday, January 6, 2024. All nominees are invited to submit photo, detailed biography, and reasons for seeking the position to the respective diocesan office (no word limit). This information will be posted on the website. Nominees are also invited to submit an abbreviated 100-word informational profile to be included in convention materials. Additionally, all nominees will be invited to participate in a breakout session during convention to meet and answer any questions from delegates and interested parties.  For further assistance with nominations after this date, please email the Secretary of Convention at

* We have delayed the opening for nominations from our original date of November 15th. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.


Bishop and Council

Positions Open:

1 Lay Middle East
1 Clergy Upper East
1 Clergy South East

Term: Three-year terms ending in 2027.

The Bishop and Council (B&C) comprises the Bishop, the Dean of the Cathedral (or their appointed representative clergyperson), 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.

B&C carries out the work of the Diocesan Convention between its annual meetings and oversees the program of the diocese.

In 2021, the Bishop and Council affirmed the following guiding principles. We ARE:

  •   attuned to a eucharistic moment when past, present, and future co-exist
  •   focused on God’s work in us and in you
  •   hopeful about the church
  •   collaborative
  •   three regions as a trinity
  •   ecumenical, participative, supportive
  •   all in this together
  •   prayerful
  •   speaking truth in love
  •   the convention between conventions

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, the Diocesan Council on Youth Ministry, or Diocesan Convention. 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 approximately four to six times a year for meetings at the Diocesan House in Knoxville. Recent meetings have included the option for remote attendance.

Please see Rule 8.03 of the Diocese of East Tennessee Annual Convention Rules of Order for specific provisions governing the election of members of Bishop and Council.

Bishop and Council Nominees

Upper East Clergy Nominee

The Rev. Jon Hermes

St. Michael’s, Kingsport

Jonathan Robert Hermes, AKA ‘Jon,’ is a graduate from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in finance. In 1999, Jon began his career as a junior officer with Tri-City Bank. Spending two decades in banking, Jon remained in the same branch system despite the name changing several times. Towards the end of his banking career, Jon was a Vice-President and managed two small branches located in Rogersville and Blountville, TN. In 2014, Jon’s formation as a priest included attending (the now called) Sewanee’s School of Theology ‘ACTS’ program. In 2017, Jon was ordained as a priest in the Diocese of East Tennessee and served Saint Timothy’s as a bi-vocational priest. In 2020, and at the beginning of the pandemic, Jon left banking to serve Saint Timothy’s in a more ‘full time’ capacity.

Jon’s spiritual journey began in the Lutheran church where he was baptized and confirmed. It was in the Lutheran church where Jon began to feel his calling to the sacraments. In 1994, after a series of family deaths, the Hermes family retreated to a small Methodist Church in Kingsport; worshipping with close family friends. This church celebrated communion only twice a year. On a particular ‘Communion Sunday,’ Jon eagerly came to church for communion. His heart sank hearing the pastor’s response, ‘We are not having communion today. It makes the service too long.’ Disheartened, the Hermes family sought out a new church and in 2005, visited an Episcopal Church on Palm Sunday. The people, the liturgy, an ordained woman proclaiming the gospel, and a welcoming community, we knew we found our church! Jon’s Episcopal experience has been immersed in the Diocese of East Tennessee. His ministries in the diocese range from lay leadership in worship, vestries, diocesan committees, to ordained ministry. Jon believes that the Church – big ‘C’ – is reforming and his unique perspectives from his secular experience, ministry in small parishes, and venturing through uncharted territories will be an asset to Bishop & Council in 2024.

South East Clergy Nominee

The Rev. Zac Settle, PhD

Grace, Chattanooga

Zac Settle is the curate at Grace Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, TN. He was ordained to the priesthood in December of 2023, after earning an Anglican Studies diploma at Sewanee’s School of Theology and completing a chaplaincy internship at Erlanger hospital. He completed a PhD in theology from Vanderbilt’s Graduate Department of Religion in 2020, and his first book, On the Nature, Limits, Meaning, and End of Work, was published in 2023. Zac is married to Meg, and they have two daughters: Margot and Birdie. He likes to spend his free time chasing those kids, reading, gardening, fishing, and cooking.

Middle East Lay Nominee

Ms. Courtney Anne Manrod

St. Stephen’s, Oak Ridge

Courtney has been a parishioner of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Oak Ridge TN since 1985.

Through the years she has served St. Stephen’s in multiple capacities, multiple times including elementary Sunday School teacher, Stewardship Chair, Christian Formation Director, Calling Committee Chair as well as Junior and Senior Warden.   She is both delighted and grateful to be a member of the East Tennessee Episcopal Cursillo (ETEC) 4th Day community, having completed Cursillo #44 in October 2015.  She previously served the Diocese of East Tennessee (DIOET) in 2003 -2005 timeframe as a member of a diocesan task group coordinating conversations about human sexuality and the church. 

Courtney is widowed.  She has an adult daughter, two adult stepsons, and 7 grandchildren.   A few years ago, she retired from program and operations management at the Department of Energy Oak Ridge facilities to farm life in West Knoxville where she keeps busy raising dogs, chickens, goats and, occasionally, vegetables.   

She would be delighted to serve the DIOET on Bishop and Council.

Standing Committee

Positions Open:

1 Clergy
1 Lay 

Terms: Three-year terms ending in 2027. 

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 Nominees

Lay Nominees (Vote for One)

Ms. Melissa Everett

St. John’s Cathedral, Knoxville

As a member of St. John’s Cathedral for over 20 years, Melissa Everett has served on the church Chapter, taught Sunday School and VBS, and served on a Local Discernment Committee.  She is an active participant in the partnership between St. John’s Cathedral and Green Magnet Academy and serves as team leader of Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee’s “Food for Kids” Program at Green Magnet, serving some of the most vulnerable kids in our community. Melissa is grateful for the Episcopal Church community that can help ignite, support and enrich one’s spiritual growth and journey.

Ms. Abby Haase

St. Alban’s, Hixson

Abby is a dedicated member of St Albans, a small parish in Hixson. She has served the vestry faithfully for the past year, and is headed into a second year as Sr Warden. She has helped lead a visioning process to create long term sustainability for St Albans by creatively utilizing untapped resources and inspiring fellow church members. This process has gained her knowledge with some of the technical administrative challenges of leadership in the church as it is today. Abby lives with her husband Steve and is a proud mother of three children and a one grandchild.

Clergy Nominee

The Rev. Ken Saunders, DMin

St. James, Greeneville

The Rev. Dr. Kenneth H. Saunders III is an Episcopal Priest and serves St. James Episcopal Church as its 14th Rector (called in May of 2018). Father Saunders has previously served as Rector of Trinity Church in Towson, Maryland (2011-2018) and Rector of Christ Church in Cleveland, NC (2007-2011). Father Saunders is a member of the Society of Catholic Priests (North American Province).

Father Saunders has a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) in Congregational Development from the Bexley Hall – Seabury Western Theological Seminary Federation in Chicago, a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from the University of the South; School of Theology in Sewanee, TN, and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Management from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He specializes in organizational systems, pastoral and relational ministry, covenantal leadership, and behavior. His recent research developed best practices rooted in the baptismal covenant used in church human resources. Dr. Saunders serves as adjunct faculty at Bexley Seabury Seminary. He is a core group facilitator for the D.Min. program that shepherds others and helps them apply their experiences and research for the church’s benefit. He is creating and teaching courses with Bexley-Seabury Pathways for Baptismal Living in covenantal leadership and other aspects of church human resources.

Ken is a life-long Episcopalian with a diverse background. Born and raised in Tidewater, Virginia, he is a 1985 graduate of Frederick Military Academy in Portsmouth. He also attended The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, as a cadet until his junior year, where he studied biology and engineering (class of 1989).

Before ordination, Ken was a Health Physics & Radiological Controls Technician with Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory and helped establish the Moored Traning Ship (MTS) project (Nuclear Submarine Prototype) in Goose Creek, SC. After Bettis, Ken spent over ten years as a General Manager and consultant for residential construction companies, helping them organize and strengthen their teams to eliminate waste, streamline operations, and maximize profit.

Ken finally answered God’s call to the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church while living and working in Asheville, North Carolina. He had been wrestling with a call to ministry most of his adult life.

Over the years as a priest, Dr. Saunders has been part of committees and project groups at the local, diocesan, provincial, and national church levels. He has led ecumenical groups for local pastors to study the scripture and create ecumenical programs that benefit the community. He is involved in diocesan committees (programs of the church, liturgy, property, board for camp & conference center [Claggett & Grace Point], etc.), facilitated a small group at the National Preaching Conference, and served on a committee that held a six diocese Church Leadership Conference (in N.C. & V.A.). He currently serves on the Standing Committee for the Diocese of East Tennessee and the Liturgy and Music Commission for the Diocese of East Tennessee.

In addition to his responsibilities at St. James, Fr. Saunders started Breaking Bread (the Episcopal / Lutheran / Methodist / Presbyterian Campus Ministry at Tusculum University and works with the ministry team during the academic year to provide worship program and discussion opportunities for the college students and staff.

As part of his community service, Dr. Saunders volunteers as a Chaplain in the Tennessee State Guard, currently holding the rank of Major, and serves as the 3rd Battalion Chaplain of the 3rd Regiment based out of Kingsport in upper-east Tennessee. The Tennessee State Guard is a voluntary (non-stipendary) military force multiplier (state defense force) that operates within Tennessee and focuses on providing disaster relief and humanitarian aid.

Ken and his wife, Kelly, have three grown and married children: Kent (and Amy), Kyle (and Kara), and Kaytlynn (and Ben).

Disciplinary Board

Positions Open:

1 Clergy, term ending 2025
1 Clergy, term ending 2027
1 Lay, term ending 2027

The Disciplinary Board is unique among our elected leadership bodies in that it does not convene for meetings on a regular schedule. The disciplinary board meets once  annually for an orientation and then serves through the remainder of the year as a pool of members from which panels may be drafted as needed.  The ideal qualities of a good disciplinary board member include sound judgment and the ability to listen carefully.  This board is composed 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 Nominees

Lay Nominee


An Episcopal Parish Near You

One vacancy and no nominations were received by the publication deadline. Per Convention Rule 8.01, “Nominations from the floor” are accepted until noon Friday, Februrary 9.  After that, vacancies are filled in accords with procedures outlined by the Canons. The nominee receiving fewer votes will fill the unexpired, shorter term.

Clergy Nominee, Term Ending 2025

The Rev. Johnny Tuttle

St. Paul’s, Kingsport

The Rev. Jonathan “Johnny” Tuttle is the rector of St. Pauls in Kingsport, TN. Having attended Milligan college, he fell in love with Upper East Tennessee. Johnny attended seminary at Duke Divinity School and graduated with a certificate in Anglican Studies.He previously served in the Diocese of Georgia at St. John and St. Mark Episcopal Church before coming to East Tennessee. He has served on the Disciplinary Committee, Becoming the Beloved Community, and the Evangelism Committee.

After joining the Episcopal Church, he discerned a call to the priesthood, which led to a unique process for ordination in 2016, having already completed seminary in 2015.

The structure and liturgy of the Episcopal Church, as well as our ability to receive and blend gifts “both old and new,” drew Johnny to this particular tradition. The hope for ecumenical bonds of affection and shared ministry is a driving force behind his desire to be involved in diocesan ministry, recognizing that the structure and canons of the church are instruments of our potential and formal communion with our siblings in Christ in other expressions of our faith.

Johnny loves living in Kingsport and the greater Tri-Cities with his wife, Nicki, two children, Eli and Isla, and his dog, Dansby. He enjoys playing Pickleball and Disc Golf in his free time.

Clergy Nominee, Term Ending 2027

The Rev. C. Murdock Jones

St. Paul’s, Chattanooga

The Rev. C. Murdock Jones was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated from The University of Arkansas at Little Rock, majoring in English, and he attended seminary at The School of Theology at the University of the South. Before seminary, Murdock served as youth minister at Christ Episcopal Church, Little Rock. Murdock was ordained a priest in December 2020 while serving as Curate at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Cashiers, NC. He currently serves as the Associate Rector of St. Paul’s, Chattanooga. Fr. Murdock lives in Chattanooga with his wife, Mary Catherine Alexander.

University of the South

Positions Open:

1 Lay

Terms: Three-year term ending in 2027. 

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.

Trustee Nominee

Lay Nominee

Mr. Troy Eichenberger

Christ Church, Chattanooga

Troy graduated from the University of the South in 2002 with B. S. in mathematics with a chemistry minor. Troy is a member of Christ Church Chattanooga where he recently completed a term on the vestry serving as senior warden. He has worked at TVA more than 20 years, most recently overseeing research and development for consumer technologies. He previously represented the Diocese of East Tennessee as Sewanee Trustee from 2016-2022 and recalls it to be one of the best experiences of his life. Living within an hour of Sewanee allowed him to remain highly engaged and assume leadership roles within the Board of Trustees. This is an exciting time for Sewanee under the new leadership of a beloved vice chancellor, and Troy hopes for the opportunity to once again work with the Board to help advance the mission of the University and the Episcopal Church.

Ms. Sarah Johnson

St. Paul’s, Chattanooga

Sarah Johnson graduated from the University of the South in 2006 with a B.A. in history and a minor in classics. As a student, she was active in many on-campus organizations and sang in the University choir. After graduating, she moved back to Sewanee and spent four years working for the University in the student life department. She is an active member of St. Paul’s, Chattanooga, and has sung in the St. Paul’s choir for over a decade. She currently works as a CPA in the tax department of a regional public accounting firm. Sarah has worked with and served on the boards of a number of charitable organizations in the Chattanooga area, including the Boys and Girls Club, the Jr. League, the Choral Arts Society, and Northside Learning Center. She’s married to Joshua Johnson (Sewanee C’05) and has a 9 year old daughter. She is a first-time nominee and is excited about the opportunity to give back to the university that has played such an important role in her life. 

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