Debbie Mentch
Director of Finance and Administration

I was blessed to join the St. James team in December of 2016. Most of my career has been in public and private accounting, with a concentration on financial management and taxation; my degree is in Finance and Accounting from the University of South Florida.  After marrying my husband Mike, we moved to Atlanta, GA where we were lucky to have our two beautiful daughters, Sheridan and Casey.  We relocated to the beautiful mountains of Hendersonville in 2003 where we were excited to raise our kids in a small town full of all the outdoor activities we love. Before I joined St. James I had my own consulting business where I helped local businesses and nonprofits with their business/financial planning.  

I have met so many wonderful people at St. James, and love our community. In my free time I love yoga and hiking. Nothing brings me more joy than cooking a big meal and having family around, and a good game of cards! 

Karen Kuykendall
Parish Secretary

I have been part of the staff at St. James since October of 2012.   Not having been raised in a liturgical church, there was a bit of a learning curve at first; but both clergy and parishioners were patient while I learned the difference between servers and chalice bearers, the flower guild and the altar guild, Rite I and Rite II, etc.  I have lived in Hendersonville since 1994 and love our beautiful little town.  In my free time, I like taking long walks and checking out local attractions, usually with my sons, Douglas and William.  I also play the violin and lead singing at my church each Sunday.  I really enjoy being a part of both church communities in these different ways.  It is a blessing to serve the people of St. James!

Brad Gee
Director of Music Ministries

I have been Director of Music and Organist at St. James Episcopal Church since 2002. I conduct the St. James Choir, play the Harrison & Harrison organ for services, and oversee a multi-faceted music program which includes services of Choral Evensong followed by organ recitals. I have been a member of the Association of Anglican Musicians since 1996, have served twice as the Region IV Chair, and was co-chair of the Palm Beach national conference in 2000. I also served on the planning committee for the 2011 AAM national conference held in the Carolinas. I have served as housemaster at the Royal School of Church Music summer courses in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Wilkes-Barre, PA. Prior to this position, I was Organist/Choirmaster at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church in Winter Park, Florida where I played organ and harpsichord in Winter Park Bach Festival Performances, served as guest clinician for the Orlando Liturgical Conference and Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida workshops, and was Dean of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Lisa Whitfield

Born and raised in Bartow, Florida, I hold BSEd(’76) and MME (’89) from Western Carolina University. Retired from teaching elementary music and folk art in Henderson County Schools, I currently work part time as Education Coordinator at the Smith-McDowell House in Asheville in addition to leading Allelu!, our contemporary music group.  I also play guitar with Sassafras, a local bluegrass band, and I enjoy quilting, reading, TV, and traveling on my motorcycle.

Teri Smith
Director, St James School for Little Folks

I came to the St. James School for Little Folks in June of 2017. My education includes a degree in Child Development, as well as a graduate certificate in Leadership in Early Childhood, both from University of North Carolina in Greensboro. While living in Greensboro, I was the director of a large faith-based center downtown for fifteen years. When my husband and I decided to move to the mountains, we were drawn to the Hendersonville area. After our move three years ago, I worked for UNCG as a research assistant and traveled to centers all over the state doing program assessments. I also worked for the Migrant Head Start program, but was led to St. James after hearing what a good reputation the church had in the community for providing education to young children. The School for Little Folks immediately felt like “home” and I’ve been pleased by the support I’ve received from the church. My goal is to continue to offer a quality experience for young children and to find ways to connect the church and the school.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking in this beautiful area and spending time with my three grown children and six grandchildren. My husband, Ed, works in IT for Transylvania Regional Hospital and we plan to put down roots in the mountains and stay for a long time.

Sharon Miller

Rebecca Levi

Perry Jones

Born and raised here in the mountains of NC, I love the small town feel and exploring the mountains around the state with my family. While spending my childhood being homeschooled by my family, I discovered the Episcopal church through the Holy Family Church out in Mills River and immediately fell in love with the warm reception, open minds, and loving faith. It wasn’t long before we came to St. James and joined our community here and found that same spirit and love in every part of the people that call this church their own. With my schooling finished, I set out into the workforce and worked a variety of jobs both big and small, but always with the support of my family and community behind.  Being hired on to work at St. James in 2019, I hope to do this church proud and keep the place running as best I can!  I love to go out into nature and photograph, but I also like to watch movies and other media when weather comes a’ calling.