Parish Pastoral Council


Parish Pastoral Council Members, from left: Jim Gold, Warren Hunt (Secretary), Eileen Connolly, Jeff Kirk, Linda Best (President), Dennis Preston, Fr. Ray Powell, and Pete Kilmartin

Linda Best is a retired University Professor with extensive administrative experience in strategic planning; survey design, data analysis, and assessment; and qualitative research in an academic environment and at the Diocesan level. She and her husband Laurence have been members of the Parish since 2012. Linda currently serves the parish as President of the Parish Pastoral Council, facilitates the Women's Prayer Group, and participates in a variety of Faith Formation programs.

Eileen Connolly brings her experience in Human Services to the Parish Pastoral Council. She has worked with youth and adults to improve their lives in the areas of education, employment, and healthcare. Eileen and her husband Jim Lightner have been members of the parish for three and a half years. During this time, she has been involved with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Council of Catholic Women and has enjoyed participating in various Faith Formation classes. Most recently, in addition to her appointment in the Council, she has been a Welcome Committee member and now gives tours of the church campus.

Jim Gold works at ORNL as Team Leader for Site Utilities and Infrastructure Modernization. Prior to coming to ORNL in ’19, Jim worked as Project Director for GE Aviation in Huntsville, AL, and the DuPont Company at various International and Domestic Locations.  Jim and his wife Nadine have been members of St. Thomas since 2019. Presently Jim serves the Priests, Parish, and Community as Grand Knight for Council 12633, enjoys ushering at 9:00 AM Mass, and is chair of the Council's Infrastructure committee.

Warren Hunt brings experience as a materials research scientist, consultant, and nonprofit executive director to the Parish Pastoral Council. He and his wife Shawna have been members of the parish since 2014. Warren serves as the Chair of the Adult Faith Formation Steering Committee, an usher, and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion in addition to his role as Secretary of the Parish Pastoral Council. He is chair of the Council's committee on Communications. 

Jeff Kirk and his wife Rosemary have lived in Tellico Village from 2004-2008 and now since 2015 after his retirement from a career in Human Resources and Global Supply Chain Management. Throughout their time in Tennessee, they have been members of St. Thomas, where he has served as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a lector, an usher and a CCD teacher. Currently at St. Thomas, Jeff is President of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and chair of the Council's Data committee.

Pete Kilmartin has been a member of St. Thomas since 2011 after moving here with his wife Jo from Ohio. He spent his career in the business aviation industry and is currently working on a gradual switch to retirement. Pete serves the parish as an usher at many of the Saturday evening Mass.

Dennis Preston worked for Ford Motor Co for 31 years and over time advanced from apprentice to supervisor. In 1998, Dennis and his wife Diane relocated to Tennessee, where he operated a lawn service, was active in the Knights of Columbus at St. Thomas, served as Grand Knight in 2009, and then worked with the Knights on the state level for seven years. Dennis and Diane attend the 9:00 AM Mass. Currently, Dennis serves the parish as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, usher, and member of the Council's Infrastructure committee.