Rev. Tracie Jernigan
M. Music, Baylor University
M. Div., Truett Seminary, Baylor 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 Seasonal Lecturer in Worship 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 children 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, and two boys, Charlie and Sam.
Interim Preaching Pastor
B.A. Philosophy & Religion, Appalachian State University
Course work towards M.Div., Campbell University Divinity School
Graham attended middle and high school in Franklin, NC where he was actively involved in leadership in his youth group at First Baptist Church. He helped organize a community-wide worship series for youth during his senior of high school and continued to assist with leading the youth during his college years, especially during summers when he was back home in Franklin. He was mentored by his youth minister during this as he learned how to teach and cultivate dynamic and thought provoking worship services and Bible Study settings.
After receiving his BA in Philosophy and Religion from Appalachian State University in 2007, Graham served as Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church until attending seminary in 2008. During this time he continued to cultivate bonds and mentor high-risk students from broken homes to live purposeful lives in light of the Gospel. He did course work towards a Master of Divinity at Campbell University Divinity School for two years – focusing on Original Languages, Teaching the Bible, and Evangelism – before moving to Raleigh.
In 2012, Graham returned to the mountains of WNC and Franklin, working at Macon Citizens Habilities where he served and advocated for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He met his wife, Katie, in 2012 and they married in 2014. They now have two kids – Josiah (3) and Malachi (almost 2).
Graham was called as the Youth Pastor at Discover Church in 2015 and served in that role until 2018. During this time he helped to grow the youth group and cultivate in the students a deeper understanding of the Bible and God’s call to live out our faith in a broken world that is almost never black and white. He then served as Small Groups/Discipleship Pastor at Discover Church until 2019, working to build connections amongst individuals as the learn to live in community with one another. He has a passion to teach people to challenge their faith, to gain a greater understanding of why they believe what they believe, and to learn to live out the gospel with love through the various shades of gray that we encounter in life.
Graham also serves as Head Brewer and Manager at Lazy Hiker Brewing Company, with a production facility and taproom in Franklin and a taproom and kitchen in Sylva.
A.A.S., Southwestern Community College
Certificate of Ministry in progress, 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 since enrolled in 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.