The Summit Church Leadership


Rev. Dr. Tracie Jernigan

Lead Pastor

M. Music, Baylor University

M. Div., Truett Seminary, Baylor University D. Min., McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University Tracie Jernigan moved to Cullowhee with her family in December of 2013 and quickly found a church home at The Summit. She was born and raised in Plano, Texas, and is not ashamed of her love affair with chips, queso, and Blue Bell ice cream. Tracie spent some good time at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, earning a Bachelor of Music in Church Music with concentration in pipe organ, a Master of Music in Church Music, and a Master of Divinity from Truett Theological Seminary. She served as Associate Pastor of Worship & the Arts at Willow Meadows Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, for six years. Tracie has served on the Advisory Board for the Center of Christian Music Studies at Baylor University since 2006. She also serves as Lecturer in Worship  Studies at Yellowstone Theological Institute in Bozeman, Montana. God called Tracie to worship and church ministry early in her life, and she feels passionate about providing excellence and diversity of style through creative worship. Her passions extend to sharing God’s truths and promises with all ages through music and the arts. She uses her organizational skills to curate worship with creatives (musicians, artists, speakers and more) while leading with her own creative gifts. She is primarily a keyboardist and harmonist, but has dabbled in mandolin and banjolele since moving to Appalachia. Tracie spends her free time enjoying life in the mountains with her husband, Nick, two boys, Charlie and Sam, and two red golden retrievers, Ginger and Pennie.

Jim P

Rev. Jim Pressley

Associate Pastor

A.A.S., Southwestern Community College Certificate of Ministry, Truett Seminary, Baylor University Jim Pressley is a Jackson County native, but spent most of his childhood and youth in Transylvania County, NC.  He and wife Tammie have lived in Cullowhee since 1985.  Jim loves to cook a wide variety of dishes from many regions and ethnicities, and is especially fond of barbecue.  In fact, he spends many Saturdays each year judging BBQ competitions.  Jim loves to share his cooking with others and considers ministries focused on food and hunger to be one of his primary callings. Jim earned dual A.A.S. degrees in computer-related subjects from Southwestern Community College and has worked for NCDOT and NCDIT as a User Support Analyst for 24 years.

God called Jim to the ministry in 2018 and he has completed the online Certificate of Ministry program through Truett Seminary at Baylor University.  He has been a frequent fill-in preacher at the Summit since 2018 and is currently Discipleship Coordinator.  He has also been a deacon, serving one term as Deacon Chair, and has served on both the church Advisory Council and the “Dream Team” helping develop the current church profile and prospective pastor profile.

Rev. Steve Jamison

Co-Pastor Emeritus

B.A. Religious Studies, Gardner-Webb University Born and raised in Sylva.  1983 Graduate of Sylva Webster High School.  2008 graduate of Gardner-Webb University with a BA in Religious Studies. Called to ministry in 1991.   Served as pastor of four North Carolina churches in 28 years of ministry. Experience in pastoral care, theological reflection, and crisis ministry. Passion is preaching sermons that present God as loving and gracious to all people, with emphasis on social justice, compassion and community.  Always taking part in seminars, webinars, and individual study, seeking ways to be a better communicator of God’s love. Most quoted phrase in sermons:  “God is not a monster.  God is not like Zeus…God is like Jesus.” On a local level, served as a volunteer with United Christian Ministries and Jackson County Meals on Wheels.   Love Teaching baseball to youth and children, Collecting Sports Memorabilia, playing Golf (once a week, without fail) and giving free hugs. Wife- Kim (34 years married) Children- Stephanie and Taylor We live in Sylva in the Dillardtown Community, 100 yards from where I grew up.

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