Do you have the tee-shirt, “The journey is the destination?” I am discovering that my journey becomes the destination whenever I flee from the slavery of the past to experience the presence of God in the present moment. Bible stories like: God asking Abram to leave Ur and journey with Him to The Promised Land; The Exodus from slavery in Egypt to journeying with God to the destined Promised Land; the Pharisee named Saul whom God transformed into the Apostle Paul, are all story-maps that show the Way where “the journey is the destination”. The goal of my ministry is to point and witness to The Way. I met Andrea, my wife, during a time of great transition. We were both leaving our past in hope of finding that the journey is the destination. That year we both went back to school. Andrea now teaches at Kennedy Elementary. I am blessed to follow God as I wander about the Promised Land. We have two Boykin Spaniels that journey with us. We enjoy hiking together. I love cooking, cycling, gardening, writing, and the wonder and awe of conversation.
Director of Music
Jim holds a BS in Music Education & ME in Reading from ETSU. He also pursued an MM from the University of North Texas and has taken theology classes from Emmanuel School of Religion. Jim and his wife, Janet, met on stage as the leads in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro”. She also holds a degree in music and is Director of Music at Mafair UMC. Their son, Devin, is an attorney for the City of Knoxville and Director of Music at Colonial Heights UMC in Knoxville. Perhaps Jim relates best to Jubal, the first musician mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and/or Thomas in the Christian Bible.
Dana Fleming completed a degree in organ performance from Virginia Intermont College. He has served as organist at Mafair UMC, Church Street UMC Knoxville, staff accompanist at Carson Newman College and UT Knoxville, and organist/music assistant at First UMC Oak Ridge. The Bible character I most relate to is the angel Gabriel because an internet quiz told me so.
Family Life Director
I could not be any more excited about the opportunity you have given me to serve as Family Life Director. I know that titles can be confusing, but my work will have two functions: Half of my time will be spent on outreach ministries and the other half will be spent on our youth program. It is my great hope that our church will become more comfortable with being uncomfortable as we do ministry together. We already have the generous spirit and the courage to step out, but we need the opportunities to practice it together. With yours and God’s help. I will identify and create these opportunities as I walk beside you. Together we are the body of Christ, and we need to move this from concept to application. In all that I do here, I need and want your help. I cannot be the body of Christ by myself. I promise to walk with you, and I hope you walk with me.
You’ll hear plenty more about my job and how it affects you in conversations with me over the next several months. Therefore, I would like to tell you a bit about my family and myself. Amelia and I met playing volleyball at a mutual friend’s house in 2013. She remembers me wearing blue shorts and I remember my team beating hers. Our friendship eventually led to us getting married last year on “Black Friday”- a wedding day that thankfully ended up being not nearly as ominous as “Black Friday” sounds. Amelia’s two children, James and Hollis, have become a huge part of my life, and I am so thankful for each of them. James, 8, is a Minecraft guru, but when he’s not playing inside he loves to play with our pets outside. Hollis, 3 , loves baby dolls, monkeys, singing, and anything made with sugar. She will regularly share her beloved sweets with others, even if it is the very last cookie. Amelia, (I won’t list her very young age), loves hiking, gardening, camping, Law and Order: SVU, snuggling on the couch with her family, and sweets., Unlike Hollis, she never shares the very last cookie unless the very last cookie is mine and sharing it means it becomes hers. I should also add that one of Amelia’s favorite things is our frequent banter. As for me, 26, I love asking for forgiveness from my wife, spending time with my family and friends, playing Frisbee golf, watching thought-provoking movies, having deep and meaningful conversations with others, and playing extra-nerdy board games (my #1 hobby).
Since graduating in 2011, I have held a degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College in Pre-Seminary Studies. My experiences include three years of leadership in a campus ministry, three years of managing a homeless shelter, two years of youth and children’s ministry in a church setting, one and half years of workplace chaplaincy, and twenty plus years of walking and crawling in my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.