Testimony by Phil Lawson.
Phil was the founder and senior partner of the Tennessee offices
of WIMBERLY & LAWSON, a labor and employment law firm
representing management. He discontinued the active practice of
law on December 31, 2004. His labor and employment law practice
included an emphasis in collective bargaining, contract
administration, arbitration law, federal wage and hour
compliance, human resource management, dispute resolution, and
strategic approaches to employee relations. He helped his
clients implement innovative approaches to employee relations
management. Phil served many years as a hearing committee
officer of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the
Supreme Court of Tennessee and served as an arbitrator/mediator
with the American Arbitration Association. Phil has lectured and taught widely on a variety of aspects of
labor, employment law and leadership and writes a column, The
Eagle’s Nest, in The Liaison, a publication of The Smoky
Mountain Paralegal Association.
December 23, 2008
Caleb was born and raised in
Knoxville, TN, the middle sibling of five. He became a Christian
when he was six years old and grew up in a Baptist church.
Later, he converted to the reformed theology and now is attending a
Presbyterian church, Redeemer Church of Knoxville on
Highland/17th street. At the age of 8, he began to play baseball and continued up
to the professional level. He was home schooled through high
school, and then attended East
Tennessee State University. He majored in Business Finance and
also played four years of collegiate baseball. After graduation, he continued to pursue a career in baseball,
playing in the Arizona
winter league and signed a contract with an independent
professional team in the Frontier League, the Evansville Otters
He was released from the team in May 2008. Since then, he has been blessed to have the opportunity to
work with his grandparents, Zach and Norma Henry. It has given
the chance to work while looking for a career in the finance
world. He is truly thankful and blessed with a loving and caring family and
grandparents who have been very encouraging and supportive
during a transitional stage of his life. To God be all the glory
December 16, 2008
Testimony by Richie Beeler. A member of
since 1986, Richie serves there as Director of College
Ministries. He is the lead communicator for “Vision,” a
gathering of college students and young adults which meets every
Monday night on the campus of Corryton Church.
Richie has been a member of the Youth Ministry team at Corryton
for 22 years. As a lifelong
resident of the Gibbs-Corryton community, Richie has served as a
volunteer in several different capacities for the Gibbs High
School athletic department since 1981, including a statistician
and public address announcer for the football, basketball and
baseball teams. Richie is
currently the office manager for the Knox County Register of
Deeds, where he has been an employee for 22 years. He is a 1983
graduate of Gibbs High School and also holds a Certified Public
Administrator designation from the University of Tennessee.
December 9, 2008
Testimony by Jeff Knisley.
was born December 9, 1937 at Dandridge, TN, into a family that
included 2 brothers and 2 sisters. He was
raised in Morgan County on a small farm that joined Brushy
Mountain prison farm. His father was an educator, farmer, coach
and bi-vocational pastor. His mother was also an educator
teaching in the Morgan county school system. She was an
amazing musician and taught all of her children to love music.
Jeff accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior when he was 8 years
old and he followed the teachings of Christ for several years.
served as music leader in his church and Brushy Mountain prison
farm, where his father served as chaplain and pastor to
Somewhere in his mid teens, Jeff drifted away from the teachings of
Christ and became very rebellious. For the next several years he
lived apart from God and God's plan for his life. He graduated from
high school and immediately joined the Air Force where he spent
the next (20) twenty plus years. After a few years of military
service, God drew Jeff back to Himself and Jeff was forever changed.
His career with the USAF took him to many parts of the world
including multiple tours in Vietnam where he served as a signal
intelligence specialist and airborne maintenance technician.
Individual decorations include the Bronze Star medal, the
Vietnamese Cross medal, the Air medal and the Air Force
Commendation medal. He retired from the United States Air force
in 1975 and began a new career at ORNL where he was employed for
the next 20 years. He has been married to his wife Mary Nell since 1961.
They have 3
children, Dr. Jeff Knisley, Valerie Garland, and Sam
Knisley. All of his children are married and have blessed Mary and Jeff with
8 grand-children and a grand-daughter-in-law.
God led them to Corryton Church 23 years ago and has blessed
the most unimaginable ways. They have had the opportunity to be
involved in several ministries that include music, prayer,
teaching, missions and evangelism. Jeff's hobby is golf and
he has worked at “Three Ridges” golf course
for the past 13 years.
December 2, 2008
Jim is an Engineer working in support of Papermaking
companies throughout North America. With over 20 years in the
paper industry, Jim is widely recognized as one of the top
professionals in his field. A native East Tennessean, Jim serves along with his wife Krista
in Operation Christmas Child as Knoxville Area
Coordinators. They are responsible for managing the effort in
the Knoxville Area to gather shoeboxes full of simple gifts that
are used to spread the Gospel throughout the world. Last year
individuals, groups, and churches in East Tennessee gathered
more than 32,000 shoeboxes as part of a 7.6 million-gift
effort. Knoxville was recognized as one of the top ten
collection sites in the world. Jim was fortunate enough to travel to Lima, Peru this year and
deliver shoeboxes to impoverished children in this poor
country. His wife Krista delivered shoebox gifts to Panama in
2004. They have also participated in missions’ trips to Jamaica
An outdoorsman, Jim is passionate about enjoying God's creating
through hunting and fishing. His two boys, 6 and 9 are beginning
to share that passion.
November 25, 2008
Testimony by Mike Selvidge.
Mike has been
long resident of the Knoxville area. He has been married to my wife Christi
for 24 years. They have two children; Adam and Amanda. He is
currently employed at UPS and Rocky Top Realty Inc. He has been
a member of
Corryton Baptist Church since 1990 as is currently serving as a
deacon and adult Sunday school teacher. His hobbies are golf and
horse back riding.
November 17, 2008
Don served six (6) years in
the United States Air Force. While in the Air Force he continued
his education at the University of Missouri and, after his
discharge, he attended Virginia Highlands College and East
Tennessee State University. He then worked for Sprint
Communications in Bristol, Tn., Raleigh, N.C. and Kansas City,
Kansas, where he was a Staff Manager for Customer Billing and
retired after 31 1/2 years. He
accepted Jesus as his personal savior at the age of 13 and has
been involved in church work. He is married to his wonderful
wife Ruby, who is retired from the Federal Government, and they
have one son, Randy, and two wonderful grandchildren. He served
as a deacon at Fellowship Chapel in Bristol, Va. for thirteen
years and also directed a bible camp for the youth. He is
currently a deacon at Black Oak Heights Baptist Church and
devotes his time of working in the church, teaching Sunday
School at the Windsor Gardens Assisted Living, and spending time
with his two grandchildren.
November 11, 2008
Danny Allen. Danny was born and raised in the Knoxville area and now
lives on his family farm in Strawberry Plains, TN.
He has been married for 24 yrs to his high school sweetheart, who
he first met in the youth Dept of his home church when they were
just teen-agers. They have 3 children. Jordan is in his 2nd
year at the University of Tennessee;
Landon is a sophomore at Carter High school, and Marena is a 7th
grader at Carter Middle school.
He has a B.S. in Logistics from University of Tennessee, and is employed with C.H. Robinson Worldwide were
he works in 3rd
Party Brokerage & Transportation. He is a member at Corryton
Baptist Church, and serve as a deacon, a Community group leader,
and member of the Praise team and Choir.
November 4, 2008
Hugh moved to Knoxville from Frankfort, Kentucky in 1992 and
purchased a local vending company on April Fool's Day. Their
area of service covers North Georgia to the Kentucky line. Hugh
attended the University of Chattanooga and received his B.S.
Degree in Business Administration for Kentucky State
University. He is married to Alice and they have two grown
children. Hugh attends Black Oak Heights Baptist Church where
he is a trustee and Sunday School teacher.
October 28, 2008
Testimony by Jay Smith. Jay is an employee of Grainger
Industrial Supply where he has worked for the past 24 years. As
a child he was raised in the Methodist Church. Later in life Jay
converted to the Presbyterian faith, and in 2005 He was ordained
as Elder at Fairmont Presbyterian Church, and currently sits on
Session-the ruling board of his church where he serves as
receiving treasure, teaches an adult Sunday school class and
serves as Chairman of the Building and Grounds committee. Jay is
married to Mary Ellen Smith and they make their home in
Knoxville, where they take great joy in being grandparents of 7
grandchildren and one great granddaughter. "The most important
things in my life are serving the Lord and taking care of my
October 21, 2008
Jim has been married to the same beautiful lady for 51 years. He
has two grown children, and both are saved. He has three
grandchildren, and they are saved. He is retired from the
Norfolk Southern Police Department, where he spent 32 ½ years;
retiring in January 1991.
He was saved
when he was 9 years old, baptized at First Baptist Church in
Knoxville, where his family attended at that time. Several years later
started attending Washington Pike Baptist Church, which was
closer to where he lived. He has attended there for over 55
years. He sang in the choir, and was an ordained deacon. This is
also where he met his wife, who was the organist. She served 43 years
as church organist. When both of
his children were born, his only prayer was that they would be
healthy, and his prayers were answered.
October 14, 2008
Testimony by Sam Watts.
Sam is employed with
Consolidated Insurance Services in Knoxville. He received his BS
in education from Cumberland College (University of the Cumberlands) in Williamsburg, Kentucky. After graduation, Sam
taught school and served as a principal in Anderson County for
two years. He later became a juvenile probation officer for the
State of Tennessee. He has also worked for the Travelers and
Cumis Insurance companies as a claims representative and
supervisor. Sam is married to his college sweetheart and has a
daughter who teaches school in the Knox County School System He
and his family are members of Black Oak Heights Baptist Church
where he teaches a couples class.
October 7, 2008
Testimony by George Wicker.
George is the Senior Accounts Manager- ADC (ADCT) Broadcast &
Entertainment Products. George started in the field of
electronics equipment sales at the age of 19 at a small
distributor in north Alabama. Subsequently, a venture into the
automobile business as the owner of an AMC/Jeep dealership
proved to be an outstanding failure, and God’s restoration led
George to Atlanta in 1984. Prior to his present position,
George has worked in sales management for companies such as JVC, Fortel and Utah Scientific.
September 30, 2008
Testimony by Mark
Mark is the vice president of membership for the
Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership and has
been on the Partnership Board of Directors, a member of the
Executive Committee and chair of the Marketing Committee since
2002. Mark has been responsible for the business
development and sales areas of the fastest growing managed care
network in East Tennessee. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the
Baptist Health System, the network consists of 75 facilities and
7,000 physicians. He also
serves as chairperson of the Knox County Parks and Recreation
Citizen’s Advisory Council and as a member of the management
team and chair of the personnel committee for Corryton Baptist
Church. He also serves on the board of GraceWorks, a
professional recording studio run by Corryton Baptist Church. He
and his wife, Vickie, have two children and seven grandchildren.
September 23, 2008
Jim Novak. Jim was born and raised in
suburban Chicago. He grew up in a Christian family. He received
degrees from Illinois colleges and met his beloved wife of 38+
years while a student at the University of Illinois. He was a
practicing licensed structural engineer before "temporarily"
joining the U.S. EPA from which he eventually retired in 2002.
He and his
wife moved to and made Tennessee their home in 2003.
September 16, 2008
Testimony by David Dowling.
David graduated in 1968 from
Mennonite University with a double major of Psychology and
Sociology and a triple minor in Math, Natural Science and
Bible. He married Mary Ellen Smucker on
April 10, 1965,
and they have three sons; Leon, Lance and Lynn; who have blessed
them with 10 grandchildren.
David co-founded West End Academy in July of 1971 to help
special area students get through school. David has been awarded the Knoxville Leadership Foundation
Street Saints Award, the Knoxville Leadership Foundations 2004
Accomplishment award, NAACP Unsung Heros Award, and the National
Christian Business Network Humanitarian of the Year Award for
David is a member of Westown Kiwanis and NCBN (National
Christian Business Network).
September 9, 2008
by Zach Henry. Zach is a retired professor from the University of Tennessee. After a distinguished scientific career in teaching
and research, he retired with his wife Norma to raise Christmas
trees on his farm in beautiful northeast Knox County, Tennessee. Zach spoke on the significance
of living a life for Christ in a professional setting.
Testimony by John Brown. Retired U.S. Army, JVC
Professional and co-founder of the Knoxville Fellowship