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 for Campus 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 for Campus 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 Victoria Jamieson-Drake, Associate for Pastoral Ministry
“The depth of our parishioners’ faithfulness, compassion, and honest concern is exceptional.”
Vicky Jamieson-Drake’s ministry takes place in what she calls, “the holy of holies of peoples’ lives.”
“In the hospital room of a dying parishioner, in the nursery of a newborn baby, in counsel with a couple contemplating marriage—these are the most tender moments in peoples’ lives, and I am invited in,” she says. “It’s awe inspiring to see how our parishioners allow the spirit to move through them, to work in their lives … their faithfulness in these sacred times.”
As Associate for Pastoral Ministry, Vicky practices face-to-face faith in action. In challenging—or changing—spiritual, emotional, or physical circumstances, she reflects God’s love, mercy, and grace to those who seek it. She’s an eager listener, a great hugger, and a wonderful advocate for God’s presence and love in the midst of uncertainty. Her open, full, easy laugh warms hearts and lifts spirits.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Vicky graduated from Wellesley College in 1978, attended Yale Divinity School from 1980 – 1981, and earned her master’s degree from Duke Divinity School in 1985. She was ordained a deacon in 1986 and a priest in 1987. She began her life of service in the Episcopal Church as Assistant Rector at St. Philip’s in Durham, followed by a position as Vicar in the Church of the Holy Spirit in Greensboro. She joined the staff of The Chapel of the Cross in 1995 as Pastoral Assistant to the Rector, becoming the Associate for Pastoral Ministry in 2002. She actively represents The Chapel of the Cross in the Diocese of North Carolina as Dean of the Durham Convocation. Previous diocesan appointments include service on the Committee on Pastoral Concerns on Homosexuality, the Inclusive Language Committee, the Commission on Ministry, and as board member on the Summit Diocesan Camp and Conference Center.
She is married to David Jamieson-Drake and they have three children.
“The parishioners at The Chapel of the Cross are like a family—a very gifted, diverse family of people who have a wide range of talents, abilities, and energy,” she says. “I’m regularly inspired by them: not only by the many ways they care for one another, but how they respond to needs well beyond our congregation. Participating with this congregation in sharing the love of God is a privilege and joy.”
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.
Chapel of the Cross is fortunate to have the services of two priest associates who assist with preaching, teaching, and celebrating at services as needed.
|The Rev. Dr. William H. Morley
|The Rev. Martha Brimm
Wylie Savanas “Van” Quinn, III, Organist/Choirmaster
In 1970 as Kumbayah resonated from choir lofts throughout the country, Van Quinn accepted a position as organist and choirmaster at the Chapel of the Cross because our music library cataloged Tallis’ The Lamentations of Jeremiah—one of the 16th century’s greatest hits. “There is a great nurturing, sustaining, spiritual force in music that has stood the test of time,” Dr. Quinn says. “It deepens us and opens us up to the realities of God.”
Each week, Dr. Quinn — B.A., Davidson College, B.D. and M.S.T., Yale University, and Ph.D., Duke University—urges us closer to the realities of God through liturgically appropriate music interpreted through the carefully modulated harmonies and articulations of our choirs: Senior, Parish, Compline, Junior, and for our youngest parishioners, Cantus. All are charged to create, “transcendent moments in our experiences with God.”
Dr. Quinn’s most transcendent moments come as he’s playing hymns on the sanctuary’s Detlef Kleuker organ. “The most fun, the greatest high, is to work the congregation up into a righteous frenzy,” he says. “The words are great, the tune is great, and everyone is caught up in something greater than themselves. I love it more than a Bach fugue.”
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.
Walker Mabe, Chief Administrator
Chief administrator Walker Mabe joined Chapel of the Cross in March of 2012 from the North Carolina Museum of History Associates, where she was executive director. A Duke graduate and the mother of three daughters, she and her husband John live in Raleigh, where they are members of Christ Church.
Walker has experience in marketing and communications, recruiting and development, and organizational design and strategic planning for management consulting, architecture and engineering, and sports and entertainment marketing firms. Her volunteer career has included heavy involvement with the Junior League of Raleigh, Christ Church, SAFEchild, and other organizations.
In her focus on engagement of parishioners, organizational development and strategic planning, and communications and fundraising, Walker is happy to help tell the story of the Chapel of the Cross.
Travis Powers, Assistant Parish Administrator
Travis Powers is assistant parish administrator. Travis manages the front office and helps greet visitors, volunteers, and parishioners. He is responsible for the church database, meeting scheduling, and the myriad of administrative tasks at our busy parish. Travis came to the Triangle from Oklahoma City. He has a BA degree in administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma. Prior to joining the Chapel of the Cross, he was traffic manager at the Oklahoma Gazette, a weekly much like our Independent.
Nick Jaeger, Communications and Technology Manager
Nick Jaeger is the parish communications and technology manager. He is part of the team that conceives, designs, and produces all of our parish publications and electronic communications. Nick graduated from Gardner Webb University with a degree in communications and publishing design. His prior experience includes work with Image Marketing Group in Charlotte. Originally from Nevada, Nick is also a session musician and producer. He and two partners own and operate Arbor Ridge Studios in Carrboro, where they will produce about a dozen new releases this year. He plays the guitar and bass guitar.
Debby Kulik, Parish Accountant
Debby Kulik has served as parish accountant at Chapel of the Cross for more than a decade. When her entrepreneurial bent led her to start her own bookkeeping and accounting service, “the Chapel,” as she calls us, remained her lead client. Her work with the church has resulted in a special expertise in church accounting and a deep understanding of the requirements of religious organizations. Debby and others at her company, NC Professional Accounting Services, manage payroll, accounts payable, financial reporting, pledge and pledge payment records, and day-to-day banking relationships. Debby earned her BS in accounting at Greensboro College. She and her husband have two children, four grandchildren, and a Persian named Madeline.
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 Coordinator and Kitchen Manager
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!
Paw Wah, P’Saw, and Jewellery
Tha Dah and Ku Paw