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 serves St. James Episcopal Church as the 17th Rector in 176 years. Ordained to the priesthood in 2007, Fr. Saunders has previously served as Rector of Trinity Church in Towson, Maryland and Christ Church in Cleveland, NC. He is a talented and experienced pastor, teacher, and preacher. 

The Rev. Saunders holds a Master of Divinity 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 completed the coursework for a Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development at the Bexley – Seabury Seminary Federation and is currently working on a thesis.

Fr. Ken Saunders is a life-long 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 and worked in Health Physics & Radiological Controls at Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. After Bettis, he stayed in the southeast and worked with various corporate and private construction companies, managing, restructuring and developing businesses. Ken finally answered the call from God to the ordained ministry while in Western North Carolina. A call to ministry in the Episcopal Church is something 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, provincial, and national church level. In churches he has formed ecumenical Bible lectionary study groups, participated on and led several diocesan committees (programs, liturgy, property, etc.), led a small group at the National Preaching Conference, and served on a committee that held a six Diocese Small Church Leadership Conference (in NC & VA). Most recently, he has worked with the General Board of Examining Chaplains for the Episcopal Church.

Fr. Saunders has a deep and profound faith in Jesus Christ. He personally enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends. You will find him to be very approachable and easy to talk with. His passions in the church include teaching, and Christian formation, and he looks forward to sharing his love of Jesus and the Episcopal Church with St. James and the greater Greeneville, TN community.

Ken, and his wife of 28 years, Kelly, have three grown and married children, Kent, Kyle, and Kaytlynn. Ken and Kelly moved to Greeneville in May of 2018, and Fr. Ken’s first Sunday at St. James was on the Feast of Pentecost; May 20, 2018. 

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

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

e-mail Fr. Ken

The Right Reverend Brian Lee Cole

Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee

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.(Official Website)

Bishop Cole has 50 parishes and worshiping communities in East Tennessee and Northern Georgia under his pastoral and administrative care. 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 convention and has administrative responsibility and ecclesiastical authority over diocesan activities.