Shepherding Team & Staff

About the Shepherding Team

All Souls Church is led by the Shepherding Team, a group of men and women elected by the congregation with the task of leading the church in both a spiritual role (ministry focus, spiritual direction and support of the body, etc.) and the traditional non-profit board of directors role (managing property, finances, etc.). The Shepherding Team includes the lead pastor and the full-time staff.

You may email Betsy Martin, Chair of the Shepherding Team, at

*The Full-Time Staff*

  • Doug Banister, Pastor -

  • Jill Branson, Office Manager -

  • Matt Spainhour, Pastor of Worship and the Arts,

*For general inquiry and administrative needs, please email Jill.*

2018 Shepherding Team

Ordered Alphabetically by last name


Doug Banister*


Doug has served as the pastor for All Souls Church since its inception in 2004. Doug has a incredible heart for Knoxville and spends a great deal of time building relationships in the inner city, serving as assistant coach for the Emerald Youth Swim Team. Doug has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, a Masters in Divinity at the Talbot School of Theology, a Doctorate in Ministry from Gordon Conwell Divinity School and a Masters in History from the University of Tennessee. Doug has been married to his wife for over 30 years and they have been blessed with four children. Doug has published five books, the latest being, Seeking the Peace of the City. He frequently writes articles for the Knoxville News Sentinel on local social justice issues and has written several essays for Christianity Today.

Sarah Bateman


Because Sarah’s father was in the U.S. Army, she grew up moving to a new town or base every two years. The love of travel developed in her formative years led to an interest in fostering cross-cultural connections and drove her eventual Post-Graduate Degree in English as a Second Language from UT Knoxville. She now teaches at Bearden High School and works hard to be an advocate for her students and an equal opportunity to a rigorous public education for all learners. Sarah has been attending All Souls since 2014 and relishes the opportunity to connect with other grass-root movers and shakers who also desire to seek the peace of the city through the calling that God has given them. She is committed to continue to make All Souls a sanctuary where people can ask hard questions in love and strive to make God’s Passion for His people known to our neighbors.

Jill Branson*

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Jill is the office manager at All Souls. She and her husband have raised three boys. They also have two amazing daughters-in-law; Kylie and Aimee. Jill has a Bachelor's degree in English Education and a lifetime degree in encouraging young women to grow into who God created them to be. Jill is passionate about building relationships with people and connecting people to each other. In her spare time, she loves to be with her family, read, bake, go for walks, or be on the water.

Austin Church


A Nashville native, Austin Church moved to Knoxville in 2006 to do an M.A. in Literature. He started attending All Souls in 2007 and he and his wife met at All Souls in 2008. They have three children. Austin is a writer and business consultant who helps his clients use their websites to get leads online. Austin lives in Fountain City. He loves date nights (without the kids obviously), cooking, throwing parties, traveling, and, of course, Knoxville.

Hannah Houser


Hannah grew up just over the Henley Street Bridge in Seymour, Tennessee. After graduating from Carson-Newman College in 2012, she and her then-boyfriend (now-husband!) began searching for a church to call home. Answering the invitation from friends, Hannah’s All Souls journey began in fall 2012, where she immediately felt at home with the church’s calling and vision for Knoxville. Hannah has helped with the All Souls’ marketing communication strategy and enjoys working in the nursery. She is passionate about issues of racial and societal reconciliation as well as the arts as a function of the Holy Spirit. She works in the music industry. Hannah enjoys reading, time with friends, travel, and spending time with her firstborn cat, Ranger.

Will Littlejohn


Will grew up in Blowing Rock, NC before attending Clemson University in South Carolina.  He studied Civil Engineering, but after college was torn between graduate school, getting a job, and thoughts of attending seminary.  A friend told him about the Knoxville Fellows program, and it seemed to align with all of the options he was considering.  During his time in the program, Will grew to love the city and its people, started dating a girl from college (who is now his wife), and decided to make Knoxville his home.  He began attending All Souls in 2013 after taking classes taught by Doug during the Fellows Program. He loved the idea of an urban monastery and the way the church serves the downtown community. Will works as a Water Engineer for an engineering firm in town.  He loves downtown Knoxville, hiking, traveling, and Clemson football.  

Betsy Martin


When Betsy came to All Souls, it was out of a desire to be part of a more intimate community and to be led by a teaching pastor. The experience of life and community at All Souls has been deeper and more positively challenging and more enriching than she ever imagined possible.  In many ways, the workplace has been her mission field. She's worked in organizations focused on the safety and security of our nation, care for our environment, scientific research, manufacturing, journalism, substance abuse and mental health treatment, homelessness, academics, and ministry. Betsy has always been in the people business, whether as a human resources professional or a manager.  Her goal is to make a difference in the lives of each employee of an organization that in turns helps them be better family members, friends, and citizens. Betsy cares a great deal about leadership, integrity, and the health of institutions. She's a facilitator, project manager, process improvement nut, and people developer.   

Paige Severance


Paige grew up an Air Force brat. She graduated with her associate's degree from Georgia Military College and then received her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the UT. During college, she spent a semester studying abroad at Jerusalem University College. After college, she worked as a large animal veterinarian technician and also as a laboratory manager in pharmaceutical research.  Her interest in theology led her to pursue her MDiv part-time at Southern Theological Seminary and then full time at Moody Theological Seminary.  She discovered All Souls on her return to Knoxville from Moody Theological Seminary in Chicago nine years ago. She and her husband were newly married with their first baby and desired a church home in the heart of the city where they could put down their roots. Paige is a full-time stay at home mom for their five beautiful children all under the age of 10. Paige enjoys preaching, mentoring mothers, and is passionate about women maturing in Christ and fully embracing their God-given gifts in the church body. 

Andrew Smith


Andrew was born and raised in Knoxville and attended UT where he studied computer science and business. He was raised in a Christian home and became a believer at a young age. He began attending All Souls around 2010 and was involved in a homeless ministry which indirectly led him to meet his wife, who was working for VMC. Andrew works as a cybersecurity consultant. He spends much of their time wrangling his son and has enjoyed living in the downtown area for a number of years. During his time at All Souls, Andrew has been involved in the Monday night prayer group and playing on the worship team.

Tommy Smith


Tommy became a believer at a young age, led by nurturing Christian parents. Raised in South Knoxville and Seymour, he then attended Emory & Henry College for undergraduate studies in Business Administration. After college, he worked in accounting, serving nonprofits in Knoxville, TN before returning school at UT. Soon after completing graduate school, Tommy married a wonderful young lady who still loves him back today. After marrying, he moved to Austin, TX, then moved to Dublin, Ireland and attended a Vineyard Church. Since then, Tommy has returned to Knoxville and was blessed with three lively children.


Matt Spainhour*

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Matt is the Pastor of Worship & the Arts at All Souls. He grew up an Army brat, but claims North Carolina as "home." After studying Religion at Elon University, he spent several years in South Africa, Swaziland, and Montenegro leading long-term mission teams and partnering with non-profit organizations focused on the welfare of vulnerable children. Following an action-packed season as an elementary school teacher, he transitioned to serving the local church while making his way through seminary. In 2018, Matt and his family moved from Alexandria, VA to Knoxville, to put down roots in the All Souls community and seek the peace of the city. Matt's hope is that, as we gather to worship together, we would bring all of who we are into the light of God's presence, hear his voice, soften our hearts, and learn to keep in step with the Spirit who lovingly leads and transforms us.


Russ Walker


Russ moved to Knoxville with his wife in 2006 and joined All Souls in the spring of that year. Soon after, Russ began playing piano on the worship team. Music and songwriting have always been his first love although now he is a painting contractor whose work focuses on downtown buildings and new construction. Russ and his wife have three boys all under the age of five and these days are very active with that! He and his family have lived in Old North Knoxville for ten years and are glad to be a part of the neighborhoods surrounding downtown in both their life and work. Russ hopes to continue the recruitment of All Souls worship musicians and find new arrangements of contemporary and ancient music for All Souls services and maybe even throw in some originals.

Melanie Leach | Children's Director

Melanie Leach | Children's Director

Douglas Graves | Youth Director

Douglas Graves | Youth Director