Clergy & Staff
The Rev. Dr. Kristine Blaess grew up in Bozeman, Montana where she enjoyed hiking and skiing. She received a BA in Music (Organ) from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. After seminary, Kristine and her husband Michael spent a year in Australia studying, visiting Aboriginal communities, and working on a sheep station.
Kristine received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2012. Her project emerged from her passion for helping congregations flourish as they seek God’s kingdom and learn to make disciples.
Kristine has served congregations in Idaho and Tennessee.
Kristine and Michael are proud parents of Jack and Natalie.
The Reverend Michael Whitnah grew up in Virginia and Connecticut, before attending Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts where he studied History. While at Gordon, Michael worked for the La Vida Center for Outdoor Education leading backcountry immersion experiences. Michael and his wife, Joanna, met while both working for La Vida.
Michael served as the Director of College Ministries for four years at the Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, Pennsylvania, before discerning a call to the priesthood. Prior to attending seminary, he and Joanna spent a year working and living in New Zealand. Michael graduated with a Master in Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary and served his first ordained call as the Assistant to the Rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Concord, North Carolina. He has a deep love of preaching, study, experiential and transformative opportunities, music, intentional community, and hospitality.
Michael and Joanna have two children, Charles and Annalie.
Kelly grew up in Nashville and is a postulant for holy orders in the Diocese of Olympia. She studied Spanish and Psychology at Furman University and completed a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Puget Sound. In addition to her work as an OT, she served on the staff of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, Washington, supporting spiritual formation for people of all ages. She also served at St. Michael and All Angels in Issaquah during her discernment of a call to the priesthood.
Kelly delights in witnessing the transformative power of Christ’s love grow in communities. She enjoys exploring outside, swinging kettlebells, listening to progressive bluegrass/folk music, and making strong, black coffee. She and her husband, Jacob (also from Nashville), have three children: Micah, Leah, and Will.
Meet the Staff
Heather first joined the staff at St. Paul's as the Communications Director in May 2019. Later that year she transitioned into the role of Parish Administrator. In this role she oversees parish finances and daily operations working directly with office staff, the communications team, nursery staff, the sexton team, ministry leaders, and vestry.
A native of middle Tennessee and a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She also holds a Master of Education from the University of Florida in Higher Education Administration and a Doctorate of Philosophy from Nova Southeastern University in Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Fort Lauderdale, FL. For over fifteen years Heather worked as a student affairs professional in higher education focused on student leadership, orientation, transition, and retention. Her experience as Director of Orientation & Family Programs at two majority, minority institutions, University of Miami and Nova Southeastern University, instilled invaluable cross-cultural understandings in both her personal and professional life.
In 2015, Heather and her husband, Daus, moved to Tennessee as she began a new role as the Director of Orientation and Transition at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Shortly after returning to Tennessee, Heather and Daus started their family which ultimately led them back to middle Tennessee to be closer to family. Upon moving to downtown Murfreesboro, Heather and her family began attending St. Paul’s in the fall of 2018 and knew pretty quickly that they had found their church home. As a parishioner Heather participates in the parents' group and flower guild. Daus serves on the livestream tech team and has attended Men's Retreat and Cursillo. Together they have participated in Pilgrimage and became members of St. Paul’s in the summer of 2019. They are proud parents of two young daughters, Audrey and Cameron, who love attending nursery, Catechesis, and Parent’s Night Out programs.
A native of Rutherford County, where she attended school and has worked most of her life, Kathy has worked in several clerical and administrative settings. She has been with St. Paul’s for 14 years and she and Jennifer Handy co-share this administrative assistant position. Previously she worked with Samsonite Furniture in Murfreesboro in data processing, accounts payable, and customer service for many years. Before coming to St. Paul’s, she worked for the Rutherford County School System at Buchanan Elementary School as an educational assistant and attendance secretary. Kathy is active and faithful in her own church and feels blessed to be a part of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Her husband is William and they have one son John, his wife Katie and a grandson, Peyton. You may contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Handy has been a parishioner at St. Paul's since 2011, attending with her husband, Scott, and son Henry. She has a background in administrative work and customer service. Fun fact about Jennifer is that she has a Black Belt in karate and teaches a Kinder Karate class for kids three years of age to typically beginning Kindergarten.
A native of Murfreesboro, Angela graduated from MTSU with a Bachelor of Music in organ performance, and she received a Master of Church Music from Scarritt Graduate School in Nashville.
In addition to conducting the adult choir and senior choristers at St. Paul’s, Angela conducts the MTSU Women's and Men's Chorales Chorale, teaches conducting and organ, and coordinates the music appreciation courses at MTSU School of Music.
She is also the founding director of the Nashville Chamber Singers, an auditioned ensemble specializing in unaccompanied choral music. The Chamber Singers have performed with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra at the Ryman Auditorium, which was recorded for National Public Radio’s Performance Today. The group premiered a work by Dr. Rosephanye Powell, The Cry of Jeremiah, which the American Guild of Organists commissioned for their 2012 national convention in Nashville.
Angela has served as state president of the Tennessee chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and has served as past dean of both the Nashville and Savannah, Georgia, chapters of the American Guild of Organists. She has conducted Virginia All-State Choir, Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, and served as conductor/clinician for national church music organizations such as Fellowship of United Methodists and Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.
Dr. Susan Kelly joined St. Paul’s in January of 2023 as the Adult Choir Director. She also is Co-Director of Choirs at Stewarts Creek High School and the associate conductor for Vox Grata Women’s Choir. Previously, she was an Assistant Professor of Music at Tennessee State University and taught high school in Pennsylvania. Susan is in demand as a guest conductor, having recently conducted the KY-ACDA All-State Middle-School Choir, as well as choirs throughout the south and northeast. She is a past president of TN-ACDA and is active in both TMEA and MTVA. Susan holds undergraduate degrees in Music Education and English Education from Wilkes University, a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting from Temple University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of South Carolina.
Originally from Ripley, Tennessee and a member of Immanuel Episcopal Church, Morris began attending St. Paul’s in 1990 when he started attending Middle Tennessee State University on a full scholarship. In 1995, Morris earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Industry from MTSU and went on to receive his Master of Music degree in 1998 with a specialization in Piano Performance as well as his K-12 certification in Vocal/General Music.
Since then Morris has taught at Rock Springs Elementary for Rutherford County Schools, which honored him with the Teacher of the Year award in 2006. On weekdays after school Morris also gives private piano instruction.
At St. Paul’s on June 9, 2001, The Reverends Gene Wise and Donald Brooks co-officiated the marriage ceremony between Morris and his bride Melissa Marshall. In December 2006, Morris and Melissa became parents of their miraculous son, James Marshall Hamby.
Morris serves as the pianist on Sundays at our 7:30 a.m. worship service. He is also the Music Director for the Episcopal Churchmen Conference held each summer at the DuBose Conference Center in Monteagle, Tennessee.
Undergraduate degree in music education
Graduate degrees in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy
Over 25 years teaching classes and lessons from pre-k through university levels
Majority of performance experience in choral, musical theater, and classical genres (opera)
My philosophy of teaching voice always begins with a heathy technique.
Nancy Bieschke teaches music at Castle Heights Elementary School in Lebanon. She has worked with the Royal School of Church Music curriculum in Episcopal churches in Chicago and Nashville. She and her husband and two sons began worshipping at St. Paul’s in 2021.
Dierdri lives in Murfreesboro with her husband, Todd, and two children, Nicholas and Taylor. She graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Psychology, where she also worked with children in the Headstart program. She has lived in Murfreesboro since 1997 and has stayed active volunteering in different activities with her children, including the Scout Program and Book Fair Coordinator at her children’s school. She has served as a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) Children’s Leader for four years. Also, Dierdri is a substitute teacher for Murfreesboro City Schools.
Cindy oversees St. Paul’s programs for children 5th grade and younger. With an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and a master's degree focused on Curriculum and Instruction, she has taught abroad in New Zealand and China and also for several years here in Tennessee. She states, “I feel blessed to mix my love of teaching and children with my commitment to the Church.” Cindy has completed all three levels of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training and counts that experience as one of her most enriching.
David came to St. Paul’s when he moved to Murfreesboro in 1981 to teach in the History Department at Middle Tennessee State University. In 1987, following his Cursillo weekend, he began a long ministry at St. Paul’s that has taken many forms but that focuses in three areas: spiritual formation for adults, developing and administering liturgies, and administration in the parish and the diocese. His principal effort is directed to teaching in the Pilgrimage, St. Paul’s program for Christian initiation that takes place each year. One will see him any Sunday singing in the choir, assisting at the altar, preaching, or sharing a cup of coffee with any of his many friends here.
Sharon is a native of Cookeville, Tennessee, and grew up in St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. She is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University and the University of Tennessee College of Law. My husband Nick and I have 2 daughters, Celeste and Daphne. Sharon has enjoyed being a stay-at-home-mom with her girls for several years. Her family joined St. Paul's after they moved to Murfreesboro in 2004.
She states, "The Episcopal Church has been a constant blessing in my life, and it is a joy to raise my family in the church and to see my children experience its traditions. Over the years, we have participated in many activities such as Catechesis, VBS, Junior Flower Guild, Christmas pageant, Advent wreath, Mardi Gras, Parents’ Group, Pilgrimage, and one of my personal favorites, the Blessing of the Animals. It is an honor to serve the church that has supported me and my family."
I am a certified public accountant, retired in 2018 after almost forty years in public accounting and
private industry. The majority of my career was spent in finance and accounting positions in the
education industry where I last served as Chief Financial Officer of a Nashville based education services
At St. Paul’s I am currently a member of the technology team, assisting in the streaming of our worship
services, and have previously served two terms on the vestry and as treasurer. I have also previously
served as treasurer and registrar of Tennessee Episcopal Cursillo, and as a vestry member and treasurer
at Christ Church Nashville.
My wife Tina and I have two grown children, John and Katherine, and one grandson, Archer. We also
have a French bulldog, Oscar, a canine comedian who keeps us entertained daily!
I am honored to be appointed as St. Paul’s treasurer, and grateful for the opportunity to utilize my skills
in serving my church community.
(Non-Member Vestry Officer)
Elected in 2021
- Sharon Dieringer, Senior Warden
- David Owen, Junior Warden
- Don Clayton, Stewardship
- Martha Tolbert, Finance & Administration Liaison
Elected in 2022
- Bradford Miller, Jr Warden & Security Committee Liaison
- Nick Burgess, Outreach Liaison
- Allison Kellermann, Parish Life
- Louis Kyriakoudes, Arts Design & Gifts Committee Liaison
Elected in 2023
- Ione Smith, Worship Liaison
- Kyle Nix, Children & Youth Discipleship
- Scott Peek, Communications Liaison
- Matt Casteel, Adult Discipleship
- David Green, Member Engagement