A Servant's Heart: Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC) and St. John's Parishoners


There are many parishioners at St. John’s Cathedral who share their time, talents, and compassion with our neighbors at the VMC. We began a series last week to introduce you to those who support and serve VMC.

Melissa Gill is in her fourth year of study in Education for Ministry. Traditionally it is the third year of EfM when one begins to develop a vision of personal ministry. Coincidentally, it was Melissa’s third year when Carney Ivy encouraged her to get involved at VMC. At first Melissa believed that would mean being present at the Ministry Center to interact and support clients; that just never felt like a natural fit. Once she admitted that to herself, she was able to help them in a more tangible way. What began as a plan to design a simple craft for clients to make and sell to earn points for the Holiday Store morphed into an amazing and creative personal ministry. Melissa designs and creates beautiful crosses to sell, with all proceeds going directly to VMC. As an artist and designer she felt clearly God’s hand as paths opened to vendors who had supplies she didn’t even know she needed. Most surprising to Melissa has been how eager people have been to purchase the crosses for themselves and as gifts, and furthermore how those who have received them as gifts have sought her out to purchase for their friends and family. She has sold several right off her own neck. Just before last year’s VMC Carry the Torch Luncheon, a friend of hers contacted the News Sentinel who wrote up a lovely article about Melissa’s cross ministry. She took 40 crosses with her to the luncheon. The response was overwhelming. She had to scramble for pieces of paper from neighboring tables to take an additional 144 special orders. Of her opportunity to serve, Melissa said “More than my work being with the clients of VMC, I’ve found it’s more about the work between me and the Spirit of God…It’s not me doing this – I’m a puppet and I love being His puppet.”

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413 Cumberland Avenue Knoxville, TN 37902

P.O. Box 153, 37901

(865) 525-7347


Service Times: Sundays 8:00 AM & 10:30 AM

Office Hours:  Tuesday - Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
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