Rev. Dr. Wendy Neff

General Presbyter

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Wendy received her MDiv and DMin from Columbia Theological Seminary. She served for a year in Belfast, Northern Ireland as a Young Adult Volunteer in Mission through the PCUSA. Prior to being called to serve as General Presbyter for the Presbytery of East Tennessee, she gratefully served three different congregations in this presbytery. Wendy is passionate about equipping and encouraging congregations to be “communities of faith, hope, love, and witness.” (BOO G3.0301). She seeks to do this through nurturing relationships with pastors, congregations, and communities. She is excited to be in ministry with Presbyterians and our partners in East Tennessee. Wendy lives in Knoxville with her husband, two teenage children, and two dogs. She enjoys baking, gardening, reading, walking with her dogs, and streaming British television.

Rev. Dr. James McTyre

Stated Clerk

James is currently serving as Stated Clerk of the presbytery. Before this, he served as a pastor, an associate pastor, and a computer software engineer. He and his wife, Kristen, have two daughters, one in college and the other in graduate school. They are also the proud parents of a spoiled rotten Biewer Terrier, Bandit, who keeps them laughing and dispensing treats. James has a longstanding interest in developing ways technology can be leveraged to help spread the Gospel in innovative and accessible forms.

Jaclyn Beeler

Presbytery Administrator

Jaclyn is a native of Smyrna, Tennessee. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Bachelor of Science in Christian Leadership and Ministry from Williamson College. Jaclyn is a lifelong Presbyterian who grew up attending First Presbyterian Church of Smyrna in Middle Tennessee. She was the Director of Youth Ministries there for three years after graduating from WC.

Upon Jaclyn’s arrival to Knoxville, she began working at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville, TN, where she was the Children’s Ministries Coordinator for three years. Jaclyn has served on the staff at UKirk, the Presbyterian Campus Ministry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville since 2016. She is excited to serve the Presbytery in this new capacity, looking forward to deepen the relationships she has formed during her time at UKirk and helping to tell the story of the wonderful ministry we do here in East Tennessee. She and her wife, Katherine, are guardians to 3 amazing kids and they attend Westminster Presbyterian Church where Jaclyn also serves as a ruling elder.

Josh McGill


Josh serves as the Treasurer of the Presbytery of East Tennessee and has served the presbytery in this role since 2016. He is from Sevierville, Tennessee and now resides in beautiful South Knoxville with his wife Molly and two children, Jackson and Abby. He has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from King University. Josh and his family attend Lake Forest Presbyterian Church in South Knoxville where Josh serves as a Ruling Elder. He enjoys camping, boating, UT sports and anything his kids want to do.

Bri Payne

Executive Director, John Knox Center

Bri is an outdoor enthusiast who has been blessed to professionally work and serve over 20 years in camp & retreat ministry. As Executive Director of the John Knox Center in east Tennessee, Bri gets to combine her “challenge accepted” attitude with her call to empower children and share her love of God’s creation with them.

Bri has a degree in Media Studies in Electronic Newsgathering & Documentary with a concentration in Communication and Public Speaking from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a certificate in Non-Profit Business Management from the University of Tennessee and is a graduate of the Compass Points Outdoor Ministry Program at Columbia Seminary. She serves on the Local Council of Leaders of the American Camp Association, is a member and officer in the Roane County Rescue Squad and has served on the Board of the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association (PCCCA) and the Maryville College Board of Church Visitors.

Bri has completed over 40 obstacle course races, including 29 Spartan Races. Bri’s sidekicks are Zip, Snap & Indi her 2 dogs and cat and sometimes a foster dog, as she is a foster home for the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association (ACDRA) and a wildlife educator who currently cares for “Perry” the Animal Ambassador opossum.