Clergy & Staff
The Reverend Elizabeth Marie Melchionna, Rector
The Rev. Elizabeth Marie Melchionna was called as the rector of the Chapel of the Cross in July of 2016. The Rev. Melchionna (pronounced mel-SHO-na) is a native of Roanoke, Virginia. She holds degrees from Davidson College and Yale Divinity School. Prior to joining the Chapel of the Cross, she was Canon for Discipleship and Parish Life at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver, Colorado. She was the associate rector and Davidson College Episcopal campus minister at St. Alban’s in Davidson from August 2009 through June 2013. She speaks several languages, has traveled extensively, authored numerous publications, and is in demand for her preaching and presentation skills.
The Rev. Melchionna is married to North Carolinian Will Roberts. They have two sons, Liam and Edward.
The Reverend Tambria E. Lee, Associate Rector for University Ministry
“This is not a boring place: there’s always something to learn and explore. “
The Reverend Tammy Lee is happy to be challenged, eager to listen, informed and sincere in response: a willing, wise partner for the thrills and agonies of college life, a supportive mentor for discerning God’s place in them. As Associate Rector for University Ministry, she shares in the general priest work of preaching, teaching, and pastoral care with a focus on students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Through individually relevant, intensely personal life-on-life ministry, she connects her faith, experience, and education to that of the parishioners she serves, helping them seek, meet, and follow God.
“We urge students to be authentic, to practice radical honesty,” she said. “If you’ve felt abandoned by God, acknowledge it. If you’re angry or if you feel defiled, claim it. You can’t cling to the religion of your parents without asking questions because—as a college student—you’re being asked to take responsibility for your life, including your life in God.”
Tammy’s life in God began in Athens, Georgia where her father was in law school. She earned a double major in English and religion at Florida State University in Tallahassee and her Master of Divinity degree from Yale University. Only her dissertation remains for completion of a Doctor of Ministry from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. In the Diocese of North Carolina, she chairs the Clergy Wellness Committee and has been elected to the Disciplinary Board. She authored much of the Episcopal youth curriculum for Virginia Theological Seminary, and serves on the diocesan Commission on Higher Education. As part of the UNC-Chapel Hill Campus Ministers Association, she meets bi-weekly to address interfaith campus concerns.
She is married to David Exum Brown and they are the proud parents of a precocious golden retriever Noah and two cockatiels, Gracie and Squeaker.
“The Chapel of the Cross stands as a place that, in turn, helps students understand their place in the world. Students want to connect: I walk into our chapel any day of the week and see faces I’ve never seen before,” Tammy said. “Our chapel was founded as a chapel of ease—a way station to take your rest. That’s what it is for Carolina students. If we do nothing but keep these doors open for them—welcome them—we are doing a tremendous service.”
The Reverend Scott Balderson, Deacon
Scott Balderson came to the area after completing his training as a Physician Assistant to join the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Duke University in 1998. His specialty is minimally invasive thoracic surgery in patients with lung cancer, esophageal cancer and other malignancies of the chest.
Scott, while active as a parishioner, spent a long time in discernment before entering the deacon formation process 4 years ago. His work with oncology patients is also very much part of his diaconal ministry to serve with one foot in the Church and one foot in the world.
Scott and his wife Christina are both natives of Virginia Beach, Virginia having grown up together attending the same Episcopal Church. They started dating in high school and have been married since 1992. They have two high schoolers, Carter and Isabel.
The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, Bishop-in-Residence
The Right Rev. Peter James Lee has served the church for more than 50 years in positions both domestic and foreign. And he and his wife Kristy are well-known and beloved parishioners at the Chapel of the Cross.
At the end of June 2017, Bishop Lee retired from serving as the Assisting Bishop of North Carolina and we are lucky to welcome him back to the Chapel of the Cross as our Bishop-in-Residence!
This is a non-stipendiary position in which Bishop Lee is volunteering his time. In this one year appointment Bishop Lee will be present among us in the pews. You also might encounter him celebrating or preaching on a Sunday, celebrating Eucharist on a Thursday afternoon, teaching an occasional adult forum, or in a pastoral visit at the parish.
The Rev. Dr. William H. Morley, Priest Associate
The Chapel of the Cross is fortunate to have the assistance of a Priest Associate.
Dr. Morley brings with him years of experience. You will find him assisting with preaching, teaching, and celebrating at services as needed.
Joe Causby, Director of Music and Organist
Joe Causby, a native of North Carolina is a highly talented musician who believes in the power of collaboration and inclusivity. Joe built one of the most active music programs in the country at St. Mark’s, San Antonio, working with the Choral Society of San Antonio, the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, Trinity University, and Montessori Schools.
Joe grew up in Morganton and holds a bachelor of music from Appalachian and his master’s degree from Rice University. He was the first American Organ Scholar at Durham Cathedral, in Durham, England, where he received his PhD.
Prior to his tenure at St. Mark’s, Joe served as organist and choirmaster at Trinity Church, Houston.
Joey Fala, Organ Scholar
Joey Fala is a recent graduate of the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale and currently serves as organ scholar at Duke University Chapel. While pursuing his MM in organ, Joey assisted with the chorister program as organ scholar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Norwalk and also served as a teaching artist in New Haven schools as a part of the Yale Music in Schools Initiative. He previously graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he received his Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Science in Lighting degrees. Most recently, Joey accompanied the Duke Chapel Evensong Singers on their UK residency at Gloucester Cathedral. He is excited to be a part of the music ministry at Chapel of the Cross and continue to broaden his skills in his newfound interest in Anglican choral music.
Boykin Bell, Director of Christian Formation
Experience counts: Boykin Bell traces her Episcopal lineage all the way back to the 16th century. “A Presbyterian or Baptist here or there,” she says, “but otherwise, pretty monotonous all the way back to Henry VIII.”
Boykin graduated from Wellesley in 1990 with a major in philosophy followed by a M.A. in philosophy/bioethics from the University of South Carolina. By 2006, she was home with a husband and three kids, tinkering with a thesis and some ideas for short fiction when former Chapel of the Cross Director of Christian Formation Gretchen Jordan invited her to join the staff as her part-time assistant. It was a match made in—pardon the pun—Heaven. Following Gretchen’s retirement, Boykin made the seamless transition to full-time Director of Christian Formation—a fun, creative, talented and enthusiastic advocate for Christian education and Godly Play.
Mike Peterson, Family and Youth Minister
Mike Peterson joined the staff in 2017. He comes to us from The Church of the Good Shepherd in Austin, where he was youth and family minister. Prior to the Good Shepherd, Mike was director of youth ministries at St. Catherine’s in Marietta, Georgia. For more than 15 years, Mike has also served as a musician and group facilitator for Episcopal conferences throughout the southeast and along the eastern seaboard.
In addition to his work as a youth minister, Mike worked as assistant director of Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana, supervising construction projects for 20 simultaneous worksites in the rebuilding of houses damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He trained crew chiefs in volunteer management and oriented volunteer crews. He met his spouse Mary Bess while working for ECSLA in New Orleans.
Originally from Greenville, NC, and a UNC undergraduate in the class of 2004, Mike was very active in Episcopal Campus Ministry and lived at COTC as a student resident. Following graduation from UNC, Mike worked extensively with individuals with developmental disabilities at Pathways for People in Cary and at the Carolina Living and Learning Center in Pittsboro. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history, with a minor in religious studies.
Faith Turchi, Parish Administrator and Stewardship Manager
Faith holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in Management Information Technology and received her MBA from Brenau University. She has spent the last two decades at Swisslog, a logistics and automated solutions company where she worked as a project manager, customer account manager, and business analyst.
Faith also brings a breadth of leadership experience in volunteer organizations including the Junior League of Gainesville, GA, the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties, and the Preschool at Chapel of the Cross. She currently serving as a board member for the Carrboro Elementary PTA and a chair of the Community Outreach committee for the Chapel Hill Service League.
Nick Jaeger, Communications Manager
Nick conceives, designs, and produces all of our parish publications and electronic communications. Nick graduated from Gardner Webb University with a degree in communications and design. His prior experience includes work with Image Marketing Group in Charlotte. Originally from Nevada, Nick is also a session musician and producer.\
Ron McGill, Facilities Manager
When Ron McGill joined the staff at Chapel of the Cross in 2007, he was attracted by the opportunity to work with a historic property and the parish’s link with the University. Ron’s grandmother was one of the first African Americans hired to work on the campus, and Ron’s family has always felt a strong affinity with Chapel Hill. Tall, athletic, and often dressed in Tarheel blue and white, Ron is a familiar figure to the members of the parish as well as the students and Chapel Hillians on Franklin Street. He takes his responsibility for the buildings and grounds of Chapel of the Cross seriously—often checking by at odd hours and working with volunteers and vendors in the ongoing task of maintaining our historic buildings.
Ron played basketball at Elizabeth City State University and is still keenly interested in sports. He and his wife have what he calls a “Brady bunch plus one” family—three girls (hers) and three boys (his) plus their youngest son. Prior to joining Chapel of the Cross, Ron was facilities manager at Durham Exchange Club Industries and at Data Flow in Durham. In addition to sports, Ron loves photography and vintage car shows.
Ellen Cole, Parish Life and Worship Coordinator
Through her work in the kitchen and across the parish, Ellen focuses on fellowship and engagement. She manages and motivates volunteers, develops fellowship opportunities, and coordinates special events. She is a resource for newcomers who want to get involved and acts as a matchmaker between parishioners and volunteer opportunities. She monitors the talents and interests database on COTC Connect and works with student and community groups who need volunteers or want to use church space. In the kitchen, Ellen trains new kitchen users, orders supplies and equipment, and manages kitchen volunteers. Her monthly Kitchen Notes column brings everyone inside the busy world of the COTC kitchen!
Kelly Connelly and Ben Thyer, Student Residents
Kelly is from Hendersonville and a member of the 2021 class at UNC. Prior to UNC, Kelly traveled to India, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. She spent three months in each country, teaching and tutoring, working construction, and working on a coffee farm.
Ben is from Charlotte and a member of the class of 2020, majoring in geology and music. He attended Myers Park High School, where he was senior drum major for the Marching Mustangs.
Paw Wah, P’Saw, and Jewellery
Tha Dah and Ku Paw