Clergy and Staff


The Rev. Rob K. Gieselmann– Rector

What an honor and privilege it is to find myself in the position of welcoming each of you to The Episcopal Church of the Ascension! On a personal note, the full-circle journey has been long and all-encompassing, one that began early in my life at baptism and continued through seminary and ordination, as I passed many of life’s markers, becoming a priest and a father, living in both Sewanee and Cleveland, Tennessee, in both Maryland and California. I am especially humbled to find myself here with you, serving alongside such a professional and caring staff. Grace and Peace!


The Rev. Brett P. Backus – Senior Associate Rector

Fr. Brett joined the clergy of Ascension in August 2008 as a transitional deacon directly after receiving his M.Div from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA.

He was then ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of East Tennessee in 2009.

He is happily married to Carla and they have two children, Haven and Bella.


The Rev. Larry Beach – Deacon Associate

The Rev. J. Lawrence (Larry) Beach is a retired deacon making his home at Ascension with his wife Faye. Deacon Larry was ordained on Epiphany III, 1985, at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Kingsport was home to the Beach family until his retirement from Eastman Chemical Company in 1997. Upon retirement they moved to Knoxville.

After a brief time Larry was assigned to St. James Parish in Knoxville. He served as deacon there until 2008. He now joyfully sings in the parish choir and fills in as needed in worship services. His heartfelt occupation is serving the Knoxville Hospitality Pantries (FISH) helping to make food available to the hungry and homeless in Knoxville. Larry and Faye have three children and six grandchildren.

The Rev. Christopher W. Hogin – Assistant Rector





The Rev. SuZanne Seavey – Priest Associate

The Rev. Sarai T. Wender – Deacon



Megan Alden – Director of Children’s Ministries
Contact Megan Alden




Virginia Branum – Office Assistant
Contact Virginia




Tristen DeAngelo-Hicks – Executive Assistant to the Clergy




James Garvey – Director of Music Ministries
Contact James




Linda Hawley – Parish Administrator
Contact Linda




Beverly Hutto – Senior Bookkeeper
Contact Beverly




GiGi Logan – Youth Ministries Director
Contact GiGi




Sabra Martin – Graphics Secretary
Contact Sabra




Donnie Moore Night Sexton





Andrew Morehead – Associate Music Director and Communications Coordinator
Contact Andrew




Byron Proaps – Facilities Plant Manager
Contact Byron




Drew Weaver – Day Sexton