Staff & Leadership
The Reverend Vicki T. Burgess
I came to St. Philip’s in May of 2007 and have been blessed by ten years of ministry in this place. In that time, we have focused on the wonderful gifts of hospitality this parish possesses and exercises, welcoming people to Sunday worship... but also welcoming all who wish to build up the community to share our property resources with us.
I grew up moving around – my dad worked for a company that offered opportunity for promotion by transferring its management to new cities… so I lived in several places from the west to the Midwest to, finally, Tennessee. I may have lacked that highly-prized southern commodity – A Strong Sense of Place – but my home was nevertheless easy for me to identify: it was the Church. The Episcopal Church in all those places was the same… at least, the liturgy was, and my place of comfort and continuity was in a pew or Sunday School class or choir on Sunday mornings wherever I lived.
I graduated from high school outside Memphis and from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After my All-But-Thesis master’s work there in English, I worked as a freelance technical writer, a writing instructor at Dyersburg State Community College, and as director of several non-profit agencies that serve the poor and dispossessed. It was in doing that work of serving “the least” who are Jesus’ brothers and sisters that I met Jesus face to face. They showed me more about grace and hope and dependence upon God than I ever knew before and gave me, I am sure, far more than I gave. I graduated from the University of the South School of Theology in 2003.
I'm serving the Diocese of Tennessee in these ways: as Secretary of the Diocese and as a member of the Board of Examining Chaplains, the Disciplinary Board, the Standing Committee, the diocesan Pension Fund committee, and as Spiritual Director for Tennessee Episcopal Cursillo.
I’ve been married to my husband Tom since 1975 and we have four children: Benjamin, Nicholas and our daughter-in-law, Catherine, and Sally. We have backyard chickens who give us beautiful eggs, and Gus, a big, smart cat (who is afraid of the chickens).
Assistant to the Rector for Children and Family Ministry
Growing up, I remember my first images of God being deeply tied to my parents and grandparents. It is a daunting responsibility, one that I am endeavoring to live into each day more fully now as a father and husband myself.
I attended the University of the South in Sewanee then transferred to Belmont University, where I graduated in 2005 with a degree in Religion and Biblical Languages. I began worshipping at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in August of 2008 and was confirmed shortly thereafter. I have been married to my wife Janna since 2004 and we have two children: Samson and Vera.
I first experienced a call to ministry when I was 14 years old in the youth group of a small Baptist church in Franklin County, Tennessee, and since then that call has remained a persistent urging in the back of my mind. In the past 10 years that urge has not only intensified, but has also become more focused. I am a postulant for Holy Orders in the Diocese of Tennessee, and that work of discernment has been some of the most challenging and fulfilling work I’ve ever done. I serve on the diocesan level as a member and communications director of the Tennessee Episcopal Cursillo Commission. I spent a year as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) working with people in poverty and those experiencing food insecurity in the mountain areas of Marion and Grundy County. I learned so much about the economy of the Kingdom of God, and what it means to have neighbors.
In addition to my work at St. Philips, I am a freelance writer, musician, and videographer.
Sharon Green is our office administrator. If you have any questions or need help in any sort of way, call the office 615-883-4595 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org