Debbie Mentch
Director of Finance and Administration
debbie@stjamesepiscopal.com

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 was lucky to have 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
karen@stjamesepiscopal.com


Elly Withers
Director of Programs
elly@stjamesepiscopal.com
694-6923

I am a cradle Episcopalian and grew up attending Grace Church in North Asheville. I graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Spanish and Global Studies. After graduation, I served as a Young Adult Service Corps (YASC) volunteer in the country of Panama for the Episcopal Church from 2015-2016 and before that I worked at the WNC diocesan camp, Camp Henry. I have worked at St James as the Director of Programs since February 2017. I usually have my 6 lb furbaby, Pookiebear, with me in the office at St James. Feel free to visit us!


Brad Gee
Director of Music Ministries
brad@stjamesepiscopal.com

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
Allelu!

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
teri@stjamesepiscopal.com

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
Bookkeeper


Rebecca Levi
Bookkeeper


Perry Jones
Sexton