Wife: Elisabeth Bellah, a first grade teacher at Sam Houston Elementary School. They have two daughters, Gracie and Anne Lauren.
Occupation: Director of the Maryville Fund at Maryville College.
“I’m a Knoxville native. Elisabeth and I married 6 months after graduating from UT. We moved to Charlotte, N.C. with the intent of moving back home after attending Reformed Theological Seminary and ended up sticking around Charlotte for 10 years. The desire to move back home exploded after having two children. We are thrilled to be back home with family and friends, and working for two wonderful educational environments.”
What was your first paying job?
“Caddied for golfers.”
If you could do one impulsive thing, unrestricted by cost, what would it be?
“Climb Mt. Everest. The challenge of it being it is the highest place on earth. It would be nice to see the world from the highest peak.”
What’s your favorite television or movie quote?
“It’s actually a quote from Blaise Paschal: ‘The heart has its reasons for which reason knows nothing.’”
What are you guilty of?
“Underestimating the impact I can have in the world around me.”
What is one thing you have always wanted to do but haven’t?
“Become fluent in Spanish. Free lessons anyone?”
What is your favorite material possession?
“Books. I really enjoy reading rich stories that touch the soul.”
What are you reading currently?
“‘Stones From The River,’ by Ursula Hegi, and ‘The Reason For God’ by Timothy Keller.”
Who has been the most influential person in the 20th century?
“Thankfully, there isn’t one single person but the pioneers of the world wide web sure should get a lot of credit.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“Too hard to pick from the list - which is still growing.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Friendly, because I want everyone to feel liked. And yes, I want everyone to like me.”
When you were 5 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“Tall, fast, and athletic. I’m one out of three.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“Three out of three in the answer above.”
What is your passion?
“My family, even though I know I’m lousy at showing it.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“Whoever is willing to pick up the tab.”
What do you hate?
“Loneliness, I know that when I feel lonely is when I become desperate and look for things to get rid of that loneliness. I like solitude but the feeling of being lonely is like you’re the only one and you can get up and not seek help.”
What is your all-time favorite movie?
“‘The Color Purple’ because of the pain that the main character felt and experienced was real and you saw the wrongness of people and yet at the end you saw redemption come from that pain that brought people together.”
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
“Anything by Philip Yancey and ‘Lonesome Dove.’”
Would you travel in space?
“Only if I’m guaranteed a round trip.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“In 1804 with Lewis and Clark to explore an unknown land. There are parts of America that are beautiful and it would have been neat to see it when it was uninhabited.”
What character in a book or movie would you most like to be?
“Superman, without the kryptonite setback.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“A Bible, because that is one present I continue to pick up and read every year. It’s still with me. I refer to it to learn, be convicted and be inspired and become more human.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Listen to try and understand where others are coming from and how they see things.”
Did you ever get paddled in school and if so, why?
“Many would say not enough, but yes for fighting. I won by the way. Hopefully he’s not reading this.”
Who is your hero?
“It has to be my wife for being married to me 13 years and counting.”
What was your first car?
“Mazda B2200 pick-up truck.”
What’s your favorite all time song?
“Any Steely Dan song.”
Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
“It depends on the day and the person I’m talking to. It’s not always half full, and it’s not always half empty.”