Meet our Priest
After finishing some very serious and focused theological study at Duke Divinity School, I moved to Knoxville. Caroline and I were married that summer. After working for a general contractor for seven months, I received my first job in full-time ministry. I worked as an Associate Pastor in downtown Knoxville. Caroline and I fell in love with Knoxville and city life in particular.
During that time I also started learning about the monastic tradition. A friend showed me the ground plan of St. Gall, a Benedictine Abbey. St. Gall inspired a vision for two things. First, it inspired a vision of Christian community that was different than what I was familiar with. Growing up my notion of Christian community revolved around one building in which I gathered two to three times a week.
St. Gall cast a vision of Christian community that included a building similar to the one I grew up going to, but it also included buildings used for baking bread, teaching children, caring for the sick, hosting strangers, growing fruits and vegetables, raising livestock, brewing beer and eating together. Christianity encompassed every facet of life. I wanted that to be true of my life.
Secondly, St. Gall inspired a vision for good neighborhoods. It’s true St. Gall was home to a Christian community, but as I looked at that ground plan I didn’t just see a plan for an ideal Christian community. I saw a plan for an ideal neighborhood and city. It is a vision for a walkable, mixed-use neighborhood.
What if St. Gall became the vision for what Knoxville’s urban neighborhoods might become? That question inspired Caroline and me to move into Downtown North Knoxville in 2008 and start a Christian community intent upon answering the same question.
In addition to serving as the priest of Old North Abbey, I work part-time with a carpenter. (Insert joke here about my boss being a carpenter!) We do small additions on homes, and our specialty is restoring historic homes.
My wife, Caroline, is an actress in Knoxville. She is also the Artistic Director of Children’s Theatre of Knoxville. Since 2008, Caroline and I have become the proud parents of two children, Auguste and Iris. We’re thrilled to live in Downtown Knoxville and be part of such a vibrant and close-knit community.