Setting Sail Is a one day conference for leaders, educators, and church members of any generation. brought to you by the MAST program at Maryville College. We have Gathered speakers from within our presbytery and beyond to bring the information that your church needs to face our current world. We hope that you will join us as we learn new ways to grow in our faith.

November 9th, 2019

First Presbyterian Church

620 State Street, Knoxville, TN

10:00 am-5:00 PM

Cost: $12 (Includes Lunch)

Meet our Speakers!

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Rev. Jason Brian Santos, PhD, is the Mission Coordinator for Christian Formation and Small Church Support at the Presbyterian Mission Agency. He is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and holds a Ph.D. in practical theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of A Community Called Taizé (IVP, 2008) and After Paradise (IVP Academic, forthcoming). He currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Shannon and his two sons, Judah and Silas (aka Tutu). In his spare time, he plays and designs board games. 


REV. Gradye Parsons served as the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) from 2008 to 2016. A Tennessee native, he pastored two congregations for over fifteen years in Newport and Bristol, Tennessee. Parsons served as the presbytery executive and stated clerk of Holston Presbytery before coming to the Office of the General Assembly. He has tried to retire many times, most recently from the position of Interim Minister at Fountain City Presbyterian Church in Knoxville. Gradye is an asset to our Presbytery and we are grateful retirement has left him available to serve on committees and speak at events such as this.


Frank Pittenger is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bearden, where he provides psychotherapy and psychological testing to adults of all ages. He received a PhD in clinical psychology from Duquesne University, and holds degrees in religious studies from Haverford College and Florida State University. He has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including university counselling centers, skilled nursing facilities, and forensic psychiatric hospitals. Born and raised in East Tennessee, he is a member of New Providence Presbyterian Church. In addition to psychotherapy and psychological testing, his interests include intellectual history, philosophical theology, road trips, and foreign languages.


Jaclyn Beeler resides in Knoxville, Tennessee with her wife and their adorable dog, Chip. 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, she 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 her 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. She and her wife are members of Westminster Presbyterian Church here in Knoxville. Jaclyn works full time as the Communications Coordinator at UKirk UTK, currently also serving as the Interim Executive Director. Jaclyn has a passion for telling an organization’s story via social media and helping churches and other organizations be successful at using social media to tell their own stories. Besides managing social media accounts for UKirk, Jaclyn also manages accounts for Lake Hills Presbyterian Church and the School of Communication Studies at UTK. 


Sue Byrne has been a member of First Presbyterian Church, Oak Ridge for twenty years. Sue spent her career leading transformational change efforts in some of the world's largest corporations including the Boeing Company, Royal Dutch Shell, the Home Depot, and Novartis Pharmaceutical. Retired, Sue currently is working to establish a viable food pantry at Roane State Community College Oak Ridge campus in partnership with the church and Second Harvest to address food insecurity among it's 2500 students. She is also leading the church's volunteer tutoring program in partnership with Willowbrook Elementary School as part of the Presbyterian USA Educate a Child Initiative. Sue has recently rotated back into leadership of the church's Welcome Team to facilitate a guest's attachment process so that they are more likely to transition from visitor status to experiencing FPC as church home. And finally, her favorite thing, Sue has taught adult Bible study for 10 consecutive years in a class that meets year-round. Currently studying the book of Romans, she found chapter 7 very, very, tricky.


Brought to you by the MAST program at Maryville College.

To learn more about the MAST program, visit our website!