Christ is the Head of the Church

Jesus Christ—Son of God, Son of Man, God from God, and Light from Light, Messiah and Redeemer: His name means, “The Lord saves.” He is referred to as “Immanuel”, which means, “God with us.” These two names show us God’s plan for saving and redeeming mankind: God would come to us to save us. The writer to the Hebrews describes Jesus’ divine nature, His role in history and His present ministry in this way: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Heb 1:3 NIV)

Salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone who is the only begotten Son of the Living God. Through Him, all who come to Him by faith and repent of their sins, receive forgiveness through Christ’s death on the Cross and live in newness of life through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor: Rev. Dr. Brett Travis | Email: bretttravis@comcast.net

Dr. Brett Travis has been in the ministry since 1984. He is an ordained priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church of North America. Fr. Brett has a PhD degree in Clinical Christian Psychology and a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Liberty University and University of Kentucky. He pastored churches in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Hawaii, Belgium, Germany. He retired in 2008 after spending 24 years on active duty as US Army Chaplain.

Fr. Brett is the pastor of Emmaus Abbey Church of Knoxville, TN and Executive Director of Emmaus Center for Christian Counseling located in Karn’s, TN. On May 5th, 2018, Bishop Epps appointed Fr. Brett Travis to serve the Diocese of the Midsouth as Canon Missioner and sit on the Bishops council. He will assist the bishop by providing leadership and ministry beyond their local parish overseeing church planting, commission on ministry, missions, evangelism and discipleship ministries. 

 He has served many chapel congregations in Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, Hawaii, Maryland, Alabama, Florida, Sinop, Turkey, Heidelburg, Germany, Casteau, Belgium and Tacoma, Washington. Upon retiring, he pastored two Anglican churches one in North Carolina and one in Knoxville before accepting a position with Alpha, USA. He develop the Alpha basic courses for the military as the Director for Military Alpha (A4M). He then started Emmaus Center for Christian Counseling a (501C3) non-profit ministry in 2011.

Community: Believing that community service is an integral part of being a priest and Christian counselor, Brett and his church has volunteered significant time, sharing Christ with indigent persons, Vet to Vet Tennessee and the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council, Angelic Ministries and other agencies in Knoxville area. He has provided hundreds of pro-bono hours in following areas of counseling: addiction, suicide prevention, emotional, grief, anger management and relational problems. Dr. Travis also is a mentor and counselor to other pastors and family’s dealing with stress in ministry.

Education: Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary; Masters of Divinity, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Masters of Clinical Counseling, Liberty University; Bachelors in Psychology & Respiratory Therapy; University of Kentucky and commissioned in 1977 as 2LT through UKROTC- as a Medical Service CORPS Officer. Fr. Brett completed his studies through the Orthodox Church completing his ordination into priesthood in 2001. Brett holds credentials and licensure through the NCCA as Licensed Advanced Certified Clinical Pastoral Counselor in Marriage and Family Counseling, Diplomat NCCA as Clinical Supervisor for Emmaus Abbey and Center for Christian Counseling, a Certified Academic Institution for National Christian Counseling Association, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Brett and Pam have two daughters, Misty & Erin; three grandsons actively involved with music and outdoors.

Email Pastor Travis: bretttravis@comcast.net

Rev. Canon John B. Boggs- Missions ClergyOutreach

John’s serves as an assisting priest for Emmaus Abbey. In that capacity, he ministers in pastoral care, worship planning, teaching, and preaching. Also, he is one of the most giving person I know. Without he and Sharon, Emmaus Abbey would not be on the map. They have taken self-less service to heart. Thank you Father John and Sharon for so many blessings you have shown this church plant now blooming into a self-supporting church of believers.

John is a graduate of Barry University, BA – John Knox Seminary, Miami, Fl.; St. Michael’s Seminary, M.Div.,San Clemente, California; International School of Divinity, DMin – Evansville, Indiana. John has served in the USA military for six years and was secular employed by IBM Corporation for 23 years. His Christian ministry has included that of lay minister conducting Sunday church services in Minnesota, that of assisting clergy at two parishes and that of Director of Chaplaincy for Hospice – all taking place in southeast Florida. He then became the founding Vicar of Christ the Redeemer Mission Church in Cookeville, Tennessee. He presently serves those clergy in Tennessee who are in the process of planting new churches.

Since 1973, John has held leadership positions in conducting three day retreats for Christian men and women. Currently, John is involved in Tres Arroyo retreats. It’s a dynamic time of fellowship, delicious dining, worship, healing, singing, laughter, sharing, and study planned to strengthen and equip the Christian to better overcome the challenges of living in a secular world.

John and his wife Sharon have been married fifty-five years. They are the parents of three adult sons and grandparents to twelve grandchildren.

Email John: johnbboggs@charter.net

Matt Rankin: Licensed Liturgical Minister

Matt was born in Iceland when his father was stationed overseas in the Navy. He partly grew up in Oregon and then Maryland after the Navy transferred his father to NSA. After graduation he began attending Washington College in Washington DC. During this time he held several management positions with Home Depot, including Auditor, Investigator, and Store Mgr. He presently is the GNC Regional Director for 30 stores in the East Tennessee region. He met Misty his wife and got married in 2003 and they have three sons: Jeff, Broden and Liam.

Matt is a Licensed Liturgical Minister for Emmaus Abbey and a deacon candidate for studies through the Diocese of the Mid-south. Studies will be pursued through St. Michael’s Seminary, CA.. Matt assists in areas such as pastoral care, worship planning, teaching, Stephen Ministry in hospital chaplaincy and our website administrator.

Email Matt: Mattmisty112@outlook.com

Misty Rankin- Music Ministry

Misty was born in Lexington, Kentucky and is definitely a southern bell. Her father was an Army Chaplain and missionary and so she is a military and missionary kid (MK) and raised, well pick a state or country. While her father was stationed overseas and in Europe, she claims Hawaii and Germany were her favorite places to live. She loves music, playing the drums and she is actively looking for other musicians to start a praise and worship band for the church. While attending college in Catonsville, Maryland (UMBC) she played drums in an orchestra in a large church and started playing in a Christian band semi-professionally which cut a couple of CD’s.

She attended University of Maryland Baltimore Campus (UMBC), Catonsville, MD. Receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology. During this time she met Matthew, her husband and married in 2003. They now have three sons and live in Knoxville, TN. She is the SR for East Tennessee to develop and plant Home School in East Tn region. She directs our music program and is committed to prayer and starting a young women’s life group.

She is a women’s lay counselor, licensed liturgical minister, works with our acolytes and serves on the church altar guild.

Email Misty: Mattmisty112@outlook.com

Pamela Travis, RN: Counseling and Women’s Ministry

Pam was raised in a small church where her father was the music minister. After attending college for a year she married her husband Brett. Six years later they had two daughters Misty and Erin. Over the past thirty years she has traveled extensively throughout the United States and overseas as a home missionary.

During this time she has raised a family worked as a nurse and conducted ministry primarily with women and children. She is a parish nurse for Emmaus Abbey parish and a Christian counselor for women at Emmaus Center for Christian Counseling and sees that God has definitely prepared her for this new church planting ministry supporting the needs of both the staff and the church. She has over twenty two years’ experience in psychiatric and geriatric nursing.

Pam is a graduate of Kentucky State University school of Nursing, AAS; Cornerstone University (BA); Bachelor’s in Christian Counseling; working on Master’s Degree in Counseling from Cornerstone University. She is a graduate of St. Jude, Parish Nurse Program; Licensed Liturgical Minister, Diocese of Georgia. Her affiliations: Tennessee Association for Nursing, National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA), Sarasota Academy of Christian Counselors (SACC).

Email Pam: Ptravis53@yahoo.com

Mrs. Nichole Zawisza, LLM

Nichole was born and raised in Northern Michigan. Her father retired from the U.S. Air Force and became a Methodist pastor and missionary which qualifies her as a missionary kid (MK) and well versed in what it means to have lived all over these United States. Her passion was music in high school and college. She is a counselor in training (CIT) completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Christian counseling. She will continue to work on her Master’s Degree in Counseling becoming a Certified and Licensed Christian Counselor through Cornerstone University while conducting her counseling practicum’s through Emmaus Abbey Church and Center for Christian Counseling in Knoxville, TN.

She is a Licensed Liturgical Minister (LLM), through the Charismatic Episcopal Church and lay counselor for women ministries at Emmaus Abbey here in Knoxville. Among her many talents in the ministry she loves conducting missions in Kentucky, sewing, substitute teaching, raising four daughters in which two are married, one in college and one in high school. She is married to Mr. Tim Zawisza who is an avid runner and men’s bible teacher. He is on the parish council for Emmaus Abbey Church.


Rev. Wm. David Epps: Bishop, Dioceses of Mid-south

Our biblical model for church government is run by consensus and operated by a Rectors Council consisting of Bp David Epps, Cn Brett Travis, Wayne Lewis, Cn John Boggs. Our 501C3 board members do not have authority over the Rectors council. Our board mainly operates as our church parish council. The parish council is not a ruling board, but are prayer ministers that operate under the direct authority of the pastor to assist in the administration of church matters. The council has no authority to rule over the bishop, rector or the church, but provides helpful guidance in the mission of the church. This may include missions projects, some operational & financial decisions. The Bishop per assignment of a priest in a parish authorizes the Rector to act on his behalf in running the parish. The Rector only answers to the Bishop, not a board or parish council.