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.”
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.
Dr. David Eaton, Interim Organist and Choirmaster
David Eaton joined the Chapel of the Cross in August of 2017 as interim organist-choirmaster. As a church musician, David has held appointments in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Austin, Wisconsin, Iowa, and South Carolina. He served as director of music at the Church of St. John the Evangelist on Beacon Hill in Boston, and as director of music at historic St. Helena’s Episcopal Church (founded 1712) in Beaufort, South Carolina. For ten years David served parishes in Texas, first as director of music and organist choirmaster at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, and then at All Saint’s Episcopal Church on the University of Texas campus in Austin. He recently served as director of music and organist at the Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts.
David is well-known as a concert organist, and has appeared in the great cathedrals and churches in Europe and throughout North America, including Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, Piccolo Spoleto Music Festival in Charleston, Concordia Organ Series at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York, the Old West Organ Society Summer Evening Concerts at Old West Church in Boston, and St. Thomas Church in New York City.
David is recognized for his work to reinvigorate music ministry at his parishes, creating programs that exhibit the highest standards of choral and organ music. He has developed chorister training programs based on the Royal School of Church Music model, founded concert series, managed friends groups that helped support church music programs, and led choir pilgrimages to England. Currently, David serves on the Board of Directors for the Old West Organ Society and as the Region I Chair for the Association of Anglican Musicians.
David has held has held academic appointments at the University of Iowa, Bethany College, University of Massachusetts at Boston, Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
He earned a bachelor of arts from Concordia College; a master of music from the New England Conservatory of Music, and the doctor of musical arts from the University of Iowa. He also attended the North German Organ Academy.
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.
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.
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 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!
Paw Wah, P’Saw, and Jewellery
Tha Dah and Ku Paw