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2022 Conference Speakers

Greetings Episcopal Churchmen of Tennessee!

I hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to a fantastic experience BACK ON THE MOUNTAIN!!! Yes, we are planning to return to a fully in person conference this year without a virtual option. So please plan to make your reservation once we are ready to start taking them — we will send another notice soon once that is an option.

I am very appreciative of the work of our board in helping make this year’s conference a reality. It takes a lot of planning and diligence on their part to pull off a successful gathering.

This year the theme is based on Matthew 25:40–The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do for me.” With that in mind, we have lined up some inspiring speakers who have made their life’s goals to care for those less fortunate than ourselves.

1) Becca Stevens: Episcopal priest who founded Thistle Farms, an amazing organization that houses women who are victims of addiction, prostitution,  and sex trafficking and trains them in skills to be successful contributors to society.

2) Onnie Kirk: Executive director and founder of Family Foundation Fund, “helping mentor boys with absentee fathers, training them to become Christ-centered men who will impact their families and communities for generations to come.”

3) Jarad Bingham: Director of Dragonfly Collective of Memphis, “a social impact development firm specializing in harnessing market forces to create and implement social change.” It has been instrumental in implementing The Hub in Memphis, an effort to address homelessness from many directions including shelter, employment, and health services, all in one location.

So please mark your calendars for August 19-21, 2022 to join us at DuBose. We will send out more info soon about registration. 

I look forward to seeing all of you back on the mountain soon!

Tom DiNella

2022 President
Episcopal Churchmen of Tennessee

Message from President Tom DiNella


I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and are starting the 2022 New Year with gusto! Your board has been hard at work on the 2022 conference so I want you all to mark your calendars and plan to attend. Plans are for the conference to be in person (not virtual) at DuBose again this year. The conference dates are:    AUGUST 19-21, 2022.   Please put these dates in your calendars NOW so that you can reserve this time for your own enrichment (and so that the women of your lives can get a break from you!). 

Our theme this year is based on Matthew 25:40. The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” We are lining up some dynamic speakers, champions in our communities for the under-served. We’d love for you to join us for some wonderful fellowship! Lastly, as a physician, I am extremely aware that the pandemic marches on. Rest assured that we are well aware of this fact and will continue to hold essentially all activities outdoors, thereby making this gathering as safe as possible (safer than shopping or dining indoors anywhere!). 

In Christ, 

Tom DiNella, MD

Registration is Open for 2021 Laymen’s Conference

Greetings Episcopal Churchmen of Tennessee, I hope this day finds each of you well and enjoying God’s Blessings,

I am excited to announce that registration for the 75th Annual Laymen’s Conference, to be held in-person at DuBose Conference Center, is now open!  Please register today at this link:  https://tnchurchmen.org/register/

Since last year’s all-virtual Laymen’s Conference, the board has been preparing for the 2021 conference with great excitement and anticipation.  We are confident the 75th Annual Conference will give laymen the opportunity to enjoy an in-person conference experience on the mountain, following the prevailing public health guidance in August, 2021. 

For those unable to attend in person, we will also offer the opportunity to virtually participate in a limited conference experience.  This will look very similar to last year’s conference when we uploaded pre-recorded content of the bishops and music, as well as the keynote speakers.  Registration for the virtual conference will not be open until in-person registration has closed.  The conference brochure is at the printer and should be mailed to Key Men in each diocese within the next few weeks.

I think we have a tremendous lineup of speakers this year, all addressing the conference theme:  “Life After…a look at the Christian perspective on dealing with life transitions and how we approach, embrace, and thrive after them”.  Our Scripture link to this year’s theme is Romans 8:28 “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”

Our keynote speakers will be:

  • Mr. Willie Roaf (brother of Bishop Phoebe), NFL Hall-of-Famer on “Life After the NFL” (Pre-Recorded)
  • Dr. Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate in Infectious Diseases on “Life After COVID” (Pre-Recorded)
  • Bob Corker, former U.S. Senator on “Life After Politics”  (IN PERSON)

In addition to our standard keynote speakers, we are also planning on adding informal “campfire discussions”, on theme-related topics, to be led by laymen Friday and Saturday nights.

Also new in 2021:  a Friday afternoon tailgate and Friday night fish fry, moving the BBQ contest to Saturday to hopefully allow for more participation, and a beer brewing contest.  Additionally, we are also coordinating with the 3 Bishops to include a new Friday afternoon offering called “Episcopal 101”.  Plus we will have all the other regular activities on the mountain that we have enjoyed at the conference over the years.

I don’t need to tell each of you that 2021 is a pivotal year for this conference.  Not only is it our 75th Anniversary, but obviously we are anxious to come back from last year with a stellar conference experience.  Please consider joining us at DuBose Conference Center August 20-22nd, and also consider bringing friends from your parish this year.

I look forward to gathering on the mountain with you on August 20th.


Rob Clark, President
Episcopal Churchmen of Tennessee

An Update from President Rob Clark

Dear Episcopal Churchmen of Tennessee,

On behalf of your Board of Directors, I bid you all a happy and healthy 2021 as we move out of an eventful first month of the new year.

I am very thankful to work alongside this board; they are an outstanding group of men leading our organization.  They care deeply about growing the fellowship experience of gathering on the mountain each year, and about preserving it for generations to come.  We weathered an unprecedented fully virtual conference last year.  And through the board’s strong stewardship, we are on sound financial footing as we look ahead not knowing exactly when full in-person gatherings will be allowed again.

The board had an excellent virtual meeting just this past weekend.  While exact plans for the 75th Annual Laymen’s Conference, set for August 20-22, 2021, are still being developed, there is a great deal of enthusiasm for gathering together on the mountain.  It is looking more and more that we will be able to offer an in-person meeting experience at DuBose Conference Center, while maintaining a virtual offering for those who cannot, or choose not to, gather in person.  I will keep you all posted as plans come into greater focus, but please go ahead and hold August 20-22 on your calendars.

As I shared with you at the end of last year, the conference theme for 2021 will be “Life After…a look at the Christian perspective on dealing with life transitions and how we approach, embrace, and thrive after them”.  The Scripture basis for the conference theme is taken from Romans 8:28, “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  Details about speakers and specific conference activities will be forthcoming over the next few months.

Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers for the ECT and for the DuBose Conference Center.  We are all hopeful that the conference center will be able to begin the process of returning to full operation this spring.  As you can imagine, they are struggling financially during this difficult time.  If you would like to donate to help support DuBose you may do so here:  https://www.duboseconferencecenter.org/donate

Thank you for your continued interest in, and support of, the Episcopal Churchmen of Tennessee.  I look forward to sharing more details of our Semisesquicentennial Conference with you in the near future.

Until then, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any comments, suggestions or question.

Yours Faithfully,

Rob Clark, President
Episcopal Churchmen of Tennessee

2020 Conference Update from President Haralson

Dear Churchmen,

We are just over one week form the 74th annual conference and the first ever virtual conference, of the Episcopal Laymen of Tennessee. The excitement is growing!

We will send the links to access via Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook by next Wednesday.

A reminder –to listen to the Bishop of your diocese or to participate in the question and answer session that follows, and to vote in your diocesan elections, YOU MUST REGISTER for the conference. Otherwise we cannot send you the unique links to that part of the conference. You may register via our website, tnchurchmen.org. It’s easy, and no payment is needed.

Music will feature old and new hymns.

We videoed Bishop Roaf’s powerful sermon “Inside God’s Grace” last week at All Saint’s Chapel, Sewanee. To prepare, the readings are:
                Isaiah 56:1, 6-8
                Psalm 67
                Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
                Matthew 15:10-28

For the necrology, if you have any names of men who have attended the conference and have died since our 2019 conference, please send them to me at habitatnut@aol.com.

An updated schedule is posted on our website. Small changes may be made.


Eric Haralson
2020 Conference President

President Root says get excited

President Sean Root wants you all to get excited about a wonderful conference in 2019. Also, buy a hat and a shirt!

Inky Johnson’s amazing story

When Greg Champion shared with us that he had secured former Tennessee football star Inky Johnson as a speaker, I was immediately reminded of one of that fateful Saturday almost a decade ago. A bunch of friends of mine had gathered to watch the pay-per-view feed of the UT-Air Force game. It was a tough game and it wasn’t supposed to be. I don’t remember the score, just that it was close, but everyone who watched remembers what happened to star defender Inky Johnson. Please join us on the mountain to meet Inky and hear about his journey, it will change you.  – Peter Abell

SportsCenter Intro for Inky Johnson

2017 Conference theme set

2017 President Greg Champion from East Tennessee has set the dates and theme for the 71st annual laymen’s conference. The theme is:

The Mission of the Church is the Mission of Christ
“Don’t be afraid from now on you will fish for people” Luke 5:11

We hope to see you on the mountain August 18-20, 2017!

A message from Shelton Clark

Dear Brothers in Christ,
As the summer begins, I hope that each one of you is planning to come to the mountain for the 70th Annual Conference of the Episcopal Churchmen of Tennessee–which we’ve all come to know as the Laymen’s Conference–August 19-21, 2016. Hopefully, you already received the registration flyer in the mail.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.” (Ps. 96:1). One of the things that I always enjoy about the Laymen’s Conference is when we lift up our voices in the pavilion and in All Saints’ Chapel on Sunday morning. I found three speakers–Gary Morris, Phil Madeira, and the Rev. Geoffrey Butcher–for whom music has been an integral part of their Christian faith and how music likewise has shaped us in our lives in Christ. As always, we will also have our famous rib-cooking contest Friday evening and our Saturday recreation time.
Register online at www.tnchurchmen.org — we look forward to seeing our old friends, making new ones, and celebrating our common life in Christ.
Shelton Clark
Christ Church Cathedral, Nashville
President, Episcopal Churchmen of Tennessee
Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/EpiscopalChurchmenOfTennessee/
Follow us on Twitter @TNEpiscopLaymen

2016 Conference Theme Set

2016 ECT President Shelton Clark has set the theme for the 70th Annual Conference.  With a focus on music, the theme for this year is “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.” Ps. 96:1.  Look out for more information, or learn more about the speakers here.