The Rev. J. Scott Walters joined Calvary’s staff as Calvary's 22nd rector in July 2017. Walters was selected for his pastoral and personable leadership style as well as his passion for liturgy and urban ministry. Previously, Scott was the rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, a church he served since 2005. There, he oversaw innovative liturgy and projects, such as “Bus Stations of the Cross” and the Green Groceries Program, which kept Christ Church’s doors open all week long.
A native of Arkansas, Walters received his Bachelor of Arts in English from John Brown University and a Master of Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary. Scott is a guitarist (he calls himself “serviceable”), cyclist, master carpenter, and lover of the outdoors.
He is married to Ardelle, who is a counselor and works with CREDO, a program of the Church Pension Group. Their son, Alden, is a religious studies major at Yale, and their daughter, Kate, will attend Vassar beginning in the fall of 2017.
Since being ordained a deacon in 1994, Mimsy has served at Calvary Church, Church of the Holy Communion, St. Thomas, Somerville, and St. James, Bolivar. She enjoys a strong affiliation with the Diocese of West Tennessee, serving as Secretary of the Diocese at the annual convention and at Bishop and Council. In her ministry, she seeks above all a wise balance between activity and contemplation. Having been immersed in outreach ministry for years, both before and after ordination, she recently has concentrated on the interior life. She was deeply affected by the training she received with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, finding peace and joy in the presence of children experiencing Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd.
Mimsy believes in the value of silence and stillness and has had the delight of working with the Calvary ECW in planning weekend retreats, and with other Calvary women in forming St. Clare Retreats, monthly silent retreats for women. Mimsy says, "I also have become absorbed in studying and interpreting Holy Scripture, and continue to be inspired by the privilege of 'teaching' women in Bible study."
Paul joined the Calvary staff in September of 2015. Most recently, Paul served as sub-dean and canon of Trinity Cathedral in Little Rock. A native of Monticello, Mississippi, Paul received his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi before pursuing careers in construction and community development. Reared a Southern Baptist, Paul embraced the Episcopal Church in his forties and began a journey toward ordination as a priest. He received a Masters in Liberal Arts in the “Great Books” program of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM before pursuing a Master of Divinity at Yale University and a Diploma in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Paul was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Kansas.
Paul helps guide our formation program, including children, youth, and adult ministries. He also works on developing new formative experiences for our Calvary community, including retreats, pilgrimages, and other immersive spiritual experiences. Paul recently completed a two-year Certificate in Spiritual Direction program with Southern Methodist University-Perkins School of Theology and looks forward to being a spiritual companion to members and potential members of Calvary.
Ruthie, Paul’s wife, is an attorney specializing in American Indian Law and Environmental Law. Ruthie was previously director of volunteers at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis and served as program director for the West Memphis Chamber of Commerce. Paul and Ruthie enjoy reading, playing chess, sampling good food and wine, and being servants to their cat, Lady Guenevere.
The Rev. Neil K. Raman is a 2016 graduate of the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. During his time in seminary, he served as seminarian and deacon at St. James Episcopal Church in Midway, Tennessee. A native of East Islip, New York, Neil received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. After college, Neil worked as a private tutor in the Long Island area and planted a campus ministry. He was a member of St. Hilda’s House, an Episcopal Service Corps site in New Haven, Connecticut. While there he served as parish administrator at Christ Church in New Haven. Neil has a love for teaching, church history, and the liturgy. He is an avid reader, a double bassist, loves to cook, and is excited about getting to know and explore the city of Memphis.
Neil is married to Elizabeth Gassler, who serves on Bishop Johnson’s staff at the diocesan office. She is pursuing a graduate degree in musicology at the University of Memphis and maintains a private cello studio.
Robyn Banks joined the Calvary staff in 2005 and is currently the director of communications. In this role, she enjoys overseeing all of the internal and external communication efforts of Calvary, including the website, the Chronicle newsletter, worship bulletins, posters, press releases, social media, and more. She always tells people that she has “the best job ever” because she gets to “tell Calvary's story and share with the world how Calvary is ‘making God’s love visible in downtown Memphis.’”
Robyn earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in management information systems from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and worked as a web developer for ALLTEL and Fidelity Information Services in Little Rock, AR, before moving to Memphis to work at Calvary. In her free time, Robyn enjoys spoiling her niece and nephews, sampling new wines at her monthly wine club, and reading different genres for her book club. She also is an active member of the Episcopal Communicators group.
Robyn is married to Bill and they have one beautiful daughter, Emma, who was born in 2016. They also adore their three crazy dogs and one sophisticated cat.
Kayla is a graduate of King University in Bristol, TN. With a B.A. in psychology and youth ministry, she has experience in creating and coordinating curriculums, programs, field trips, small group discussions, and having fun. Before coming to Calvary, Kayla worked for two summer programs, Life Teen and Upward Bound. She is currently working to get her M. A. in Youth Ministry through the Center of Youth Ministry Training. This program works with the Memphis Theological Seminary to provide a flexible schedule for Kayla to do both her ministry here at Calvary and her classes at the seminary. Having lived in Triangle, VA (a suburb of Washington, D.C) all of her life, Kayla is no stranger to the city. She is the oldest of seven children and just “retired” from her wrestling career of 11 years. Kayla enjoys exploring new places to eat, exercising, and knitting/crocheting.
Hilary was a paralegal and served as the leader of the Children’s Ministry Council and a Waffle Shop coordinator for several years before joining the Calvary staff in 2011. As director of children and youth ministries, she coordinates formation and programs for Calvary children and youth from birth to age 18.
A Midwest native, Hilary has now lived in Memphis long enough to call it home. She has a Bachelor of Science in paralegal studies and earned a paralegal certification from the University of Memphis. She is married to her her elementary school friend/high school sweetheart and has two children. In her spare time, Hilary loves to make beaded jewelry and enjoys crafts with her kids and walking her dogs.
Melissa Elsholz has been a music educator for the past 15 years. She served her first eight years as a band director in Michigan and Indiana, and she presently serves as an Orff Music Specialist at Grahamwood Elementary School. Melissa holds a degree in music education from Western Michigan University and a degree in Educational Leadership from Union University. Melissa’s hobbies include running, lifting weights (also known as a 5-year old named Clarabella), and healthy cooking. Melissa looks forward to being a positive spiritual and musical influence on our young musicians.
Lynda Gayle Deacon, a Calvary parishioner since the late ‘70’s, is the event coordinator for outside groups and assistant in the music office where she oversees the library, works with choirs and visiting musicians and occasionally tunes a pipe. She has sung in Calvary’s choirs for over 25 years. Lynda Gayle facilitates Calvary’s Labyrinth Ministry, having received her Certification through Veriditas in 2003.
With a Bacheolor of Arts, in English from Rhodes College and a Master’s in writing from the University of Memphis, she has taught at the university, at The Episcopal Bookshop and in her own workshops. She currently maintains an active therapeutic massage practice for people and animals, holding a Tennessee Massage License and national certification in equine and canine massage. She has been a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner for over a decade. At present, she lives in a 100-year-old cottage with rescue basset, Attie and tiger cat, Teddy. She has three grown children, Sandy, Clay, and Hunter and three grandchildren.
Email Lynda Gayle.
Kristin Lensch is a national prize-winning organist who has worked as a church musician for the past 19 years. She has conducted and accompanied choirs of all ages, toured with choirs to England and Italy, served as adjunct faculty at Rhodes College and The University of Memphis, and has been active in leadership roles in the American Guild of Organists and the Royal School of Church Music. She has studied with Delbert Disselhorst, Larry Smith, Marilyn Keiser, and Wilma Jensen, and holds degrees from Indiana University and The University of Iowa. She is working on her Doctorate of Musical Arts in organ with John Peterson at The University of Memphis where she was recently awarded the Performer’s Certificate and the Graduate Performance Award.
Kristin joined the staff of Calvary as organist-choirmaster in August, 2013. She oversees the vibrant music program consisting of four choirs: the semi-professional Calvary Choir for adults, two RSCM-based choirs for children, and a handbell choir. One of her greatest joys is bringing people together to collectively create something beautiful for the glory of God, and to inspire others in worship. She also enjoys teaching and is currently the organ instructor for the Community Music School at The University of Memphis. When she’s not thinking about all things musical, Kristin likes to run, eat (which causes her to run more), read interesting books with her book group, and hang out with her husband Tim Huebner, daughter Sloan, son Charlie, and Willie the cat.
Mary O'Brien began working at Calvary in July 2012. In her role as parish chef, Mary creates menus and prepares food for Koinonia and all of Calvary's various receptions and meals throughout the year. She also coordinates food for Calvary's Waffle Shop and Emmanuel Meal.
Mary was baptized as a baby here at Calvary, where her mother worked in the Waffle Shop. Mary began her career in business then decided to turn to her creative side and attended culinary school here in Memphis, eventually opening a restaurant herself. She is married with two sons, a granddaughter, six rescued dogs and six rescued cats. When she finds time, she enjoys beading, painting, and hiking.
Katie Owen is Calvary’s parish administrator, overseeing the finance office, building and grounds and human resource functions. Katie joined Calvary in 2013 after relocating to Memphis from Atlanta.
A native South Carolinian, she graduated from Furman University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in both business administration and Spanish. Her studies included a semester in Madrid as well as an internship in San Jose, Costa Rica. She spent the first 14 years of her career in Investment Banking/Research and Institutional Investment Management with Atlanta firms Robinson Humphrey and EARNEST Partners. She lives in midtown with husband John, daughter Phoebe, and beloved dog Baker.
John Palmer is with us again in the same position he held from 1989-1994 as associate organist-choirmaster. During his time away, he held several church music positions in the Memphis area, two of which he maintains: wedding organist at both Christ United Methodist and St. Mary's Catholic churches.
John plays the organ for some of our 8 a.m. worship services and accompanies our choirs. He has received certification at all five levels of achievement in The American Guild of Organists. John is also retired from a twenty-year career in the legal department at FedEx.
Ebet Peeples joined the Calvary staff in 1999 and currently serves as the coordinator for Welcome and Community. Her greatest joy is greeting visitors and welcoming newcomers into the life of the parish through oversight of the Greeter Ministry and the Calvary Shepherd Society. Ebet also coordinates parish sacraments and services including Baptisms, weddings, and funerals. In her over 17 years of parish ministry, she has coordinated lay ministry, parish communications, parish life events and programs, and adult confirmation.
Ebet currently serves on the Diocesan Commission of Ministry and has presented on the topic of evangelism and new member incorporation at conferences for the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) and at the Invite-Welcome-Connect Summit at Camp Allen in the Diocese of Texas. Ebet has a Bacheolor of Arts in justice from The American University in Washington, DC. She and her husband Clayton met and married at Calvary, and are the parents of Ella and Jack.
Helario “Harry” Reyna joined the Calvary staff in October 2014. Building operations, scheduled and general maintenance, and set up for formal functions and events are part of his tasks, but his creativity shines in the many special projects he is responsible for throughout the year.
Helario has lived in Memphis since 1976 and considers it to be home although his Taos Pueblo, NM heritage is still very much a part of who he is. Both of his ancient heritages, the other Greek, make him appreciate the fact he works at a very historic church that has so much outreach. He lived in South Korea for 4.5 years and loved it. He owned three restaurants from 1990 to 2013, the first one when he was only 20 years of age. He lives with his better half, Renee Lartigue, with her three dogs and his two fish. They love living life together. He has one very bright and beautiful daughter, Alex, who was recently married.
Christine Todd, a parishioner at Calvary for over 20 years, joined the Calvary staff part-time in 2015 serving as community ministries coordinator. She has previously served as outreach committee chair for three years, served on the vestry, revived Children’s Chapel after a ten-year hiatus, participated in Community Breakfast almost every Sunday morning for 15 years, and started the Clothes Closet. As community ministries coordinator, Christine works with parishioners to identify service opportunities and works with service agencies to assure their needs are communicated with the parish. Her contention is, “Doing shapes believing.”
Christine earned her Master’s in education from U. of Memphis and her Bachelor of Arts from Stephens, a women’s college in Columbia, Missouri. She also studied art at Memphis College of Art while serving as their director of admissions. For fun, she and her sculptor husband, Carroll, spend time in their cabin at Snow Lake, Mississippi with their dog, Ruby, and cat, Toast. Their children, twins, May and Caroline, grew up at Calvary. Christine loves the “action” part of Calvary's mission statement, ‘making God’s love visible in downtown Memphis.’ She looks forward to your call to discuss opportunities with you.
Cindy Yeager has served on the staff of Calvary Episcopal Church since 2006, and her main responsibilities include the day to day finances of the church. She came to Calvary from a long career in banking.
A Memphis native currently living in Shelby County, she is married to Phillip and has two married sons, two stunningly beautiful daughters-in-law, and two beautiful grandchildren. Cindy is currently working on her Bachelor of Arts in accounting.