Our Story

History of Emmaus Abbey

Our Beginnings…

EMMAUS ABBEY CHURCH was first conceived in January of 1999 while praying in Victory Chapel at Fort Meade Maryland. It would begin as Emmaus Centre for Christian Counseling, INC a 501C3 birthed in January of 2012. Brett was completing his spiritual journey into the Orthodox faith during this time. He was completing his theological studies in classic Christianity and study of the Church Fathers as a Deacon while on active duty and was ordained into the Orthodox Church in 1999. In December of 2001 he was fully ordained an Orthodox priest and re-endorsed on active duty as an Army Chaplain resuming his duties as the Deputy CENTCOM chaplain in Tampa, Florida. He served another seven years on active duty before hearing God’s call back into the civilian ministry. He retired in 2008.

In 2006, Brett He moved his family to Knoxville, Tennessee. I was needing to take a sabbatical between retirement and starting a new ministry. Military retirement was a tough transition for me. I struggled with the change emotionally and spiritually seeking God in the process before launching into such a huge endeavor of church planting. So, I was convinced to serve a church in Knoxville to see how things would pan out. Upon the approval of my Orthodox Bishop I began serving as the Rector of Holy Cross Anglican Church, Knoxville, a small church plant at that time and after a few months resigned. This was a great experience and lesson in church planting because I got to see the importance of having Godly men leading the the flock. If you do not have the right people serving in the right positions, organized prayer teams, and everyone believing in the God of the Bible…you cannot grow a Godly church. Therefore, I resigned. Then, Fr. Brett was asked to provide as an interim Rector for St. Timothy’s Anglican Church Asheville, NC. There were several factors here that God revealed to me about church plants. First, you need to live in the area your planting the church. Two to four hour drives, you cannot be available to the church plant. You must have those attending having the same doctrinal beliefs. The people must be able to accept anyone who God sends to be ministered too. These were Godly men and women, yet again the pastor and leadership must be in agreement about, God, bible and ecclesiology. Finally, Brett was asked to take on another missions project with ALPHA International under leadership of Nicky Gumbel to establish ALPHA programs to all branches of the US military called ALPHA 4 Military (A4M) in 2010. In September of 2011 God had finally given me the signal to begin planting the counseling ministry. Looking back, I began to see God was preparing me to plant Emmaus Abbey in Knoxville, TN. I had to experience all these things, so I could know what to do in planting a church without any financial support.

Birth of the Counseling Ministry

God led me first to organize a counseling ministry to provide support for the church plant. So, my wife and I established Emmaus Centre for Christian Counseling, INC in January of 2012. Not having the support from the Orthodox or Anglican church I decided to launch the counseling ministry on faith that God would help me find support to build his church and ministries. Then through the counseling ministry I met a couple who was a part of the CEC church in Asheville, NC. We counseled for a few months until I became interested in the CEC communion. In February 2013, I visited the CEC church in Swannanoa, NC and then March of 2013 I visited Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA. I decided right then, I would ask to become a part of the CEC communion. The Diocese of the Midsouth is a part of the Charismatic Episcopal Church of North America. I setup a meeting with Bishop Epps and in April 2014 I was received into CEC church as a priest and this is how God moved to bring about Emmaus Abbey Church.

In January of 2012, Emmaus Centre for Christian Counseling flourished into being a 501C3 non-profit in the community of Knoxville, TN. In May of 2013, we starting with 6 Southern Baptists families wanting to plant a three streams church in Knoxville, TN. We studied the CEC doctrines, spiritual gifts, and liturgical forms and found we loved the connection to the Ancient Future church. It was a complete Acts 2 church in doctrine, fellowship and the breaking of bread every Sunday.

We soon developed into a small proprietary chapel and reclassified as a church in July 2013 meeting in our new chapel next to our home. Within three years we were able to purchase 1.25 acres to build a Parish House to further hold bible studies and worship. Emmaus Abbey was received into the Charismatic Episcopal Church of North America in April of 2014. We found a home in the Dioceses of Midsouth, Sharpsburg, GA.

Our Location

We are now meeting at our proprietary chapel at 7317 Glastonbury Road, Knoxville, TN until our new Parish House is completed. Everyone is welcome to check us out for worship on Sunday’s at 1030am. Come have a donut and cup of coffee in the lobby prior to service. Blessings, Emmaus Abbey Church 

History of CEC

Our CEC Beginnings…

Emmaus Abbey Church is a member of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church (ICCEC) (also known as the Charismatic Episcopal Church, CEC ) started with only one bishop and three parishes in 1992 and now reports churches in more than twenty countries all over the world. The ICCEC currently has churches in Europe, Africa, North America, South America, Central America, and Asia.

Today, clergy and laymen of the ICCEC, traveling from their heritage in Evangelical, Pentecostal/Charismatic, Anglican, Roman, and Eastern Orthodox expressions, now have the common vision of making the Kingdom of God visible to the nations of the world. The founding vision of the ICCEC states: “We seek to bring the rich sacramental and liturgical life of the early church to searching evangelicals and charismatics as well as carrying the power of Pentecost to our brothers and sisters in the historical churches, all the while providing a home for all Christians who seek an expression of faith that is equally liturgical/sacramental, evangelical, and charismatic.”

[The Charismatic Episcopal Church is every bit Anglican in its heritage and worship…but, we remain independent from any other denomination. We have never been affiliated with the Episcopal Church USA or the Anglican Communion (ACNA). We believe marriage is between one man and one woman, that we were exactly born with the gender God chose for us and we are confused about our identity in Christ. We simply refuse to follow or incorporate cultural mandates to change our biblical standards or beliefs in God.] 

Our Emmaus Abbey Story

God calls a ministry into existence…

Here’s the “rest of the story” add link here

Emmaus Abbey is named after a famous event on the day Jesus rose from the dead.

Read the Story: Luke 24:13-35

13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

28 And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. 29 But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So, He went in to stay with them. 30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.