Calvary’s vestry, the governing body of the parish, shares the leadership of the parish with the rector and consists of 15 members, who are nominated and elected by the congregation for three-year terms. They meet to oversee the temporal affairs of the parish, as well as to support the rector and staff in promoting the spiritual welfare of the parish. In addition, the vestry, in conjunction with the finance committee, is accountable for the fiscal responsibility of Calvary Church. Vestry members also share leadership responsibility for the ministry groups of the church.
Five vestry members are elected annually, so there are five “new” members each year, five who have served one year already, and five who have served two years. The by-laws of Calvary provide that a retiring vestry member is ineligible for re-election to the vestry until three years have lapsed. Once in place, a senior warden and a junior warden are chosen to serve as vestry leaders. Also selected is a clerk that supports the vestry and the warden’s committee. The warden’s committee, which meets monthly with the rector, is comprised of the senior warden, junior warden, treasurer, clerk, and an at-large member.
Vestry meetings are open to all interested in attending. The meetings take place the third Tuesday of the month, at 6 p.m., in Crook Auditorium, unless listed otherwise on the calendar.
James Aldinger has been a member of the church for almost 20 years and previously served on the vestry from 2008-2010. Over the years he has served on a pastoral care team, as an annual giving caller, and as an adult formation group leader. Currently, he is a Eucharistic Minister, member of the Wedding Guild, and volunteers for Room in the Inn. James received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Memphis and has worked for the past five years as the director of human resources for Bartlett City Schools. Previously, he worked for 23 years for Shelby County Schools in federal programs and grants, special education coordination, and as a classroom teacher. James uses his expertise in HR, and his experience with budget oversight to benefit the church as a member of the vestry. James and his partner Joe Brandenburg live in East Memphis and enjoy the company of two Cairn Terriers.
Anna Kathryn Word graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Master of Public Administration with a focus in Nonprofit Administration. She has worked in fundraising and development since 2002 for regional, national, and international organizations, including ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, MIFA, and Facing History and Ourselves, where she currently is the director of development. She also serves as an adjunct instructor at the University of Memphis in the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy. Anna Kathryn is married to Hank and is the mother of Harry and Evangeline. They joined Calvary in 2013 “after searching for a place where we felt at home—and we found it at Calvary. We felt welcomed and loved from the moment we walked into the Discovery class.” Since then, she has taught the high school formation class with her husband Hank and served on the Development Committee. She now serves as the Calvary liaison for Moms Demand Action. As a vestry member, Anna Kathryn looks forward “to helping newcomers make those connections that we found so valuable when we first arrived at Calvary.” She also hopes to use her fundraising and nonprofit management skills to help move the parish forward. She plans to be an active and participatory member of the vestry, assisting in stewardship strategies, children’s activities, and building community among our parishioners.
Laura Trott began her career in non-profit communications right here at Calvary. After graduating from Rhodes and deciding to stay in Memphis, Laura began looking for two things: a job and a church. She found Calvary first, and “once I met Ebet Peeples and former associate rector Larue Downing, it wasn’t long before I landed that first job as Calvary’s communications coordinator. The beautiful worship services, meaningful messages, and warm welcome I received had me coming back every Sunday.” Laura went on to work for Chi Omega Fraternity’s Executive Headquarters and has spent the last decade at Lausanne Collegiate School, first as the school’s director of marketing and communications and now as the school’s director of admission. In her 15 years at Calvary, Laura has focused on welcoming others to the parish as a Greeter and Shepherd to many newcomers. Laura enjoys “wondering” with our 1st and 2nd graders on Sunday mornings in Godly Play. She also enjoyed wondering with our entire church community as a co-chair for the Strategic Planning Team in 2012. Laura is married to Andrew and is the mother of Abby and William. She is excited to serve on the vestry, because “I love Calvary. I love the people. I love our worship. I love the music. I love the lessons. I love the prayers. I love the ministries. I love our buildings. I love the energy! I look forward to supporting our shared community in making God’s love visible in downtown Memphis and wherever our paths take us.” She feels called to focus on Calvary’s welcoming efforts, as well as the support of our educational ministries for both children and adults.
Madge Logan Deacon was baptized at Calvary at age six weeks. Although over the years she tried short stints at other Episcopal churches closer to home, she has “always come ‘home’ to Calvary.” She and her husband Whit have a blended family of four children and five grandchildren. Madge retired from FedEx in 2013 following a 36-year career which honed her project management, project development, and training and facilitation skills. At Calvary, Madge is a member of the Daughters of the King, Holy Spirit Guild, Wedding Guild, Ushers, Eucharistic Ministers, and Lectors. She volunteers with Waffle Shop, the Lenten Preaching Series, and the Salvation Army Bell Ringers. A majority of Madge’s volunteer time is spent supporting the work of Lives Worth Saving and Thistle & Bee.
Lisa Buckner has 20+ years of small business experience as the owner of Midtown’s popular InsideOut Lifegym. Lisa received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Western Kentucky University. Her partner Kiersten Schnacke is the principal at Shady Grove Elementary School, where Lisa serves as a volunteer and corporate sponsor for their yearly beautification projects. They have a daughter in second grade. The family began attending Calvary in 2015 and Lisa and Kiersten were confirmed the following year. Lisa says, “From the moment my family and I walked through Calvary’s doors, we felt connected to this church, which we believe serves people in the most crucial and humble of ways.” She believes that Calvary embodies “the all-inclusive, God is Love for everyone values that drew her family here.”
David J. Cocke was introduced to Calvary in the 1980s David is an attorney with Evans Petree and has practiced law for over 45 years. Over his decades at Calvary, David has served as an usher, greeter, Waffle Shop volunteer, and occasional lawyer on behalf of the parish. He has attended the annual Laymen’s Conference at DuBose and considers himself a dedicated member of the “Baguette Brothers,” Calvary’s Thursday morning men’s Bible Study group. In the community, David is involved in projects and foundations that support the Memphis City Schools where his wife Jerry taught for 32 years. He is active in Memphis Rotary and in local and state politics. David and Jerry have a son and two grandchildren in Dallas and a daughter and two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren in Atlanta. As a vestry member, David will focus on “promoting Calvary’s historic role in Downtown Memphis’ civic and religious life, and to share the wonderful spirit of the Baguette Brothers.”
Elizabeth Crosby says that the people are what drew her to Calvary, “From the day I first stepped into our beautiful space, Calvary people have offered warmth, acceptance, encouragement, humor, perspective, and adventure.” Recently Elizabeth has become very involved in “Basement Church,” the volunteers’ nickname for the spiritual essence of service in the Clothes Closet, alley, and parking lot that has developed during the pandemic. At Calvary, she has supported Room in the Inn, the Pride Parade, Community Breakfast, and Waffle Shop. She considers it a privilege to serve as a Eucharistic Minister and she “looks forward to the time when I can join that crew again at the altar rail.” Elizabeth has taught English for almost 30 years and is the Chair of the English Department at Memphis University School. She recently put those skills to good use as the leader of Calvary’s online discussion on The Road and the Apocalypse. After her experience with the Calvary pilgrims who walked the Camino de Santiago in 2019, Elizabeth founded the Memphis Chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino. She currently is active in the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis, and formerly supported the Literacy Council, Tennessee Shakespeare Company, and Teach for America. Elizabeth’s two adult children, Andrew and Lucy, were baptized as infants here at Calvary, leading her to years of involvement in Godly Play, the annual Christmas Pageant, and leadership in the Guild of the Christ Child. As a vestry member, Elizabeth will focus on community service, social justice, education, pastoral care, and clergy care.
Zachary Ferguson heard about Calvary through the Waffle Shop and the Lenten Preaching Series, but became “hooked” by the “sense of genuine welcome and hospitality, the diversity in thought found amongst members, the beautiful music and worship, and the fact that Calvary was living into what it means to be a downtown church” that he found here. Zach received his undergraduate degree in political science and American History from the University of Richmond, and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Duke University. He currently leads Innovation and Performance in the office of Shelby Country Mayor Lee Harris. Since being confirmed in 2019, Zach has become a Eucharistic Minister and an active volunteer with our youth ministry program. He is working with a group of Calvary members to relaunch GLEE (Gay and Lesbian Everyday Episcopalians). In the Memphis community, Zach serves on the board of directors for Playhouse on the Square, and the Prevention Alliance of Tennessee, as well as numerous other nonprofits across the city. Zach says, “My experience in innovation and performance analysis brings a skill set that I think will benefit Calvary, and I am eager to share those with the vestry. I want to be able to give back to this incredible community and use my gifts and talents to help build upon the amazing work already being done here.”
Bailey Bethell Fountain is a true child of the parish, having been baptized here as an infant, confirmed here as a teenager, and married here to her husband Collin. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s Episcopal School and The University of the South (Sewanee), where she earned a degree in English and a minor in Religion. She attended graduate school at UT and is a Physician Assistant in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Le Bonheur. In high school, Bailey was very involved at Calvary and in diocesan youth group activities. She returned to Calvary after college to teach high school formation and serve on the children and youth committee. In 2017, Bailey served on the search committee that brought Rector Scott Walters to Calvary. As a vestry member, she focuses on welcoming and integrating other young adults into the Calvary community “where they can feed their souls and make a difference.”
Will Hayley and his wife Trish originally joined Calvary a decade ago because of our downtown location; however, he is quick to add that they “stayed because of the congregation and our church’s mission of ‘making God’s love visible in downtown Memphis.’” Will received his BA from Rhodes and his Master of Education from the University of Memphis. After a 30+ year career in Enterprise Software (sales & management), he retired from IBM in 2011. For many years, Will has served the Hospitality HUB as an intake counselor, fundraiser, board member, and board chair. He also volunteers annually at Waffle Shop and the Emmanuel Meal. He is an active participant in the “Baguette Brothers,” the Thursday morning men’s Bible Study group that meets at La Baguette. As a vestry member, Will will focus on “attracting more members from downtown neighborhoods; helping on a future capital campaign; and supporting Calvary opportunities for individual faith development, such as the ministry and fellowship of the Baguette Brothers.
Kathryn Jasper grew up at Calvary, married her husband Jake here and they baptized their two daughters, Ruthie and Kate, in the parish. She has the pleasure of worshipping on Sundays with both her parents, Jan & Barney Elam, and her in-laws, Kim & John Jasper. Aside from family, what keeps Kathryn at Calvary is “the community that supports each other, the diversity of membership, living the belief that God truly loves everyone, the gospel of grace that Calvary displays in ministry, and the engagement in the Memphis community.” In the Episcopal Church, Kathryn has served as the director of Camp Gailor-Maxon, the Episcopal summer camp for the state of Tennessee, and on Bishop Phoebe Roaf’s search committee. At Calvary, she is a former Eucharistic Minister and Children & Youth Council chair and served on Scott Walters’ search committee. To the vestry, Kathryn brings her unique perspective as someone who has been “a child, youth, young-adult, and now parent in the parish.” She says, “As someone who grew up in the choir and now plays in the bell choir, music in ministry is an area I want to represent.” Kathryn has a Bachelor of Arts in History/Political Science and a Master of Education, both from the University of Tennessee. She taught for five years in urban public schools, then seven years at Hutchison School as the Hutchison Leads Director, a leadership development program that includes internships, field trips, a speaker series, and mentoring with alumnae. She is currently taking time to focus on her daughters and allow herself to do volunteer work that fulfills and enriches.
Nancy Manire has one daughter and two teenaged grandchildren. She is a life-long Episcopalian, having grown up at Holy Communion, graduated from St. Mary’s Episcopal School, and attended services at the University of Memphis’ Barth House and St. Mary’s Cathedral. She “finally followed some old friends to Calvary in the late 1980s,” where she met and married her late husband Jim Manire. In her many years here, she has cashiered and baked the lemon chess pies for Waffle Shop, served as a Stephen minister, volunteered with Lives Worth Saving and Thistle & Bee, and supported Calvary Friends of Music and the choir as a self-proclaimed “choir groupie.” Her undergraduate degree is in History, and at age 40, Nancy went back to school for a Master’s degree in Social Work. She has been a licensed clinical social worker since 1993 and teaches horseback riding and piano lessons.
John Owen was introduced to Calvary by Gary Wilson, with whom he works at Southeastern Asset Management, Inc., a Memphis, TN based global investment manager. He joined Southeastern from institutional consultant DeMarche Associates, Inc. in Kansas City, MO. Prior to that, he served as an executive with Georgia-Carolina Manufacturing Co. in Augusta, GA. He began his career as a valuation analyst at Willamette Management Associates in Atlanta, GA., and received his Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. John introduced Calvary to his wife Katie, who then served for many years as Calvary’s parish administrator. She recently retired to spend more time with their children, Phoebe and John Wilson. The family enjoys volunteering together at various church activities including Room in the Inn. John serves on the West Tennessee Endowment Corporation (WTEC) committee, helping to oversee the diocesan endowment. John states that “Involvement is important to me. Calvary has been and will continue to be a key part of our family experience from the place we gather to worship, to the wonderful fellowship we enjoy, to the opportunities it provides our family to serve others.” As a vestry member, John will focus on helping the parish’s ideas become reality.
Dr. Jerry L. Scruggs retired from operating room anesthesia in 2001 due to disability. Since retiring, he has worked part-time as a practitioner and CMO for the Army and has volunteered as a specialty physician at Church Health in Memphis. Jerry has been married to wife Patty, an RN/ BSN who works as a nurse at Church Health, for almost 40 years. The couple transferred their membership to Calvary in 2018 from the Church of the Holy Communion when they moved downtown to live on Riverside Drive, overlooking the Mississippi River. Since joining Calvary, Jerry has worked with the Master Plan committee on addressing our building’s handicap access issues and has been a frequent attendee of the Lenten Preaching Series. While a member of Holy Communion, Jerry completed the 4-year Education for Ministry program and served on their vestry. To Calvary’s vestry, Jerry brings his knowledge as a physician and hopes to help us navigate issues related to Covid and our safe return to full in-person worship in the future.
Ginny Strubing is a life-long Memphian, Episcopalian, and Calvary member. She is often seen in the company of her younger sister Cristina, since the two of them serve on the same altar guild team and have co-taught in the youngest Godly Play atria for the past 15 years. She is the past president of the Women of the Church, served on the vestry from 2000-2002, volunteered for Waffle Shop and Room in the Inn, and has coordinated numerous parish life events like picnics and retreats. An active community volunteer for many years, Ginny has served Les Passes, MIFA, the Emmanuel Center, the Memphis Public Library, the Junior League, On Location Memphis, and BRIDGES. Ginny brings valuable experience as an active member “during many of our diverse stages and transitions.” She describes herself as “an active listener who values inclusion and transparency in church decisions, common ground where possible and appropriate, and work towards consensus on decisions that benefit the church and all who depend on it.”
Greta Cooper Young worked for 25 years as a financial controller, specializing in cost accounting and system controls. Before her retirement in December 2019, Greta worked for Southern Towing Boat and Barge, where she was responsible for project reconciliations of capital expenditures. Greta was introduced to Calvary by then-girlfriend Nina Sublette and was confirmed in 2018. Greta and Nina were married at Calvary in May 2019. They share a blended family of 9-year old Katie Rogers and Greta’s grown daughter Candice Maxwell. Greta’s granddaughter Molly is often seen worshipping with them. Since joining the church, Greta has begun teaching 7-10-year-old Sunday school, and volunteering at Room in the Inn, “Basement Church,” and the Lenten Preaching Series. In the community, she is active with Friends for Life weekly dinners for those affected by HIV, teaches meditation through Galloway United Methodist Church, and Sisters of Charity annual Christmas parties for community kids. Greta views serving the vestry as a means to “honor the gifts that I have received in my life” and says, “I want to be a part of such an eclectic group of people that follow the teachings of Jesus and the grace of God.”