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The Rev. Kenneth H. Saunders III
The Reverend Kenneth H. Saunders III

Rector of Saint James Episcopal Church; Greeneville, Tennessee

The Rev. Kenneth H. Saunders III (“Fr. Ken” or “Ken”) Fr. Ken comes to St. James after serving Trinity Church in Towson, Maryland as Rector since 2011. Prior to Trinity, he was Rector of Christ Church in Cleveland, NC from 2007- 2011. 

Ken earned a Master of Divinity Degree from the University of the South; School of Theology in Sewanee, TN and a Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He has recently completed all the coursework for the Doctor of Ministry degree in Congregational Development at the Bexley – SeaburySeminary Federation and is currently working on his thesis. 

Ken is a “cradle” Episcopalian with a diverse background. He was born and raised in Tidewater Virginia, and is a graduate of Frederick Military Academy in Portsmouth, VA. He attended The Citadel in Charleston, SC for 3 years. After leaving the Citadel, entered a training program in Health Physics & Radiological Controls Technician with Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in Charleston, SC and worked there under a joint Department of Energy and Department of Defense contract. After leaving Westinghouse, he stayed the southeast and worked with various corporate and private owners, managing, restructuring and setting up construction businesses specializing in residential construction with modular boxes. 

During his adult life as a lay person, Ken exercised his baptismal ministry in service to the church. He has been a cantor, choir member, musician, lector, LEM, acolyte trainer, catechist, teacher, youth group leader, vestry and finance committee member, and sacristan. While in Western North Carolina, Ken finally answered the call from God to the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church that he had been wrestling with for many years. 

During his years in the priesthood, Fr. Ken has been part of committees and project groups at the local, diocesan, province, and national church level. In both churches, he has formed an ecumenical Bible lectionary study group of local pastors, served on and led several diocesan committees (programs, liturgy, property, etc.), was a small group leader at the National Preaching Conference, and was on a committee that led a six Diocese Small Church Leadership Conference (NC & VA). Most recently, he worked with the General Board of Examining Chaplains for the Episcopal Church on the question writing team for General Ordination Exam. 

Fr. Ken is married to Kelly Saunders and they have three children, Kent, Kyle, and Kaytlynn. Kelly is a degreed paralegal, and has a Bachelor’s in Human Resources Management from the University of Maryland University College. She works as the Gifts Processing and Data Quality Coordinator of CurePSP since 2011. She is looking for employment opportunities in Greeneville. Their oldest son, Kent, and his wife, Amy, live in DuPont, Ohio. Their son, Kyle, and his wife, Kara, live in Mt. Ulla, North Carolina. Their daughter, Kaytlynn, and her husband, Ben Howlett, live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

You are encouraged to follow Fr. Ken on Social Media. He can be found on Twitter @FatherKenS or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheRevKenSaunders

(423) 638-6583, office
(443) 895-9877, mobile

e-mail Fr. Ken 

The Rt. Rev. Brian Lee ColeThe Right Reverend Brian Lee Cole

V Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee

(Official Website)

The Rt. Rev. Brian Lee Cole was ordained and consecrated fifth bishop of the Diocese of East Tennessee on December 2, 2017. He was elected June 28, 2017, during the electing portion of the 33rd Annual Convention of the diocese, succeeding the Rt. Rev. George Dibrell Young, who retired December 2, 2017.

Bishop Cole has under his pastoral and administrative care 50 parishes and worshiping communities in East Tennessee and Northern Georgia. The bishop’s responsibilities are to visit each congregation, preaching, celebrating the Holy Eucharist and confirming individuals into The Episcopal Church in the apostolic tradition of the laying on of hands.

As bishop, he ordains priests and deacons and joins in the ordination of other bishops of the church. In these rites, through the laying on of hands, the continuity with the early church of the apostles is demonstrated.

Bishop Cole presides over the annual diocesan conventions and has administrative responsibility over diocesan activities.