The Rev. Dr. Marshall A. Jolly was elected the 26th rector of Grace Episcopal Church in May of 2015. In the wider church and community, he serves as chair of the board of the Burke County Department of Social Services, as volunteer chaplain at Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge Hospital, as board secretary of the Valle Crucis Conference Center, as a member of the Standing Committee in the Diocese of Western North Carolina, and as a Deputy to the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. In 2020, Marshall was honored to be appointed by North Carolina State Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley to the Faith & Justice Alliance Steering Committee.

Prior to his arrival in Morganton, Marshall served churches in the Diocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Lexington. A native of Paris, Kentucky, Marshall is a proud alum of both Transylvania University (BA, American Studies) and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (DMin, MDiv, Certificate in Anglican Studies). His published essays, articles, and sermons have appeared in the Journal of Appalachian Studies, The Anglican Theological Review, Forward Day By Day, and in a variety of other publications. A former NCAA soccer referee, Marshall has officiated in two NCAA championship tournaments, and enjoys running, reading, and cooking–though not at the same time! Most important and life-giving of all, he is married to Elizabeth Jolly, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Coordinator of the Forensic Services Department at Broughton Hospital.



Pastoral Care Coordinator

Kathy Peters is a two-time graduate of Appalachian State University, earning a BS in Recreation and a MA in Special Education. In 2017, she retired after 38 years at the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center.

She is a “big sister” with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and she is a trained spiritual director, having completed the Haden Institute’s rigorous spiritual direction training program. She is also a trained SoulCollage and Labyrinth facilitator. She works closely with Fr. Marshall to coordinate pastoral care and spiritual formation in the parish.



Parish Administrator

Trish Keene and her husband Robert have been attending Grace Church since 2016 and became members in 2018. She graduated from Western Piedmont Community College in 2000 with an Associates in Arts degree. Originally from Michigan, Trish has called North Carolina home for thirty-one years. Together with her husband, she has 3 children, seven grandchildren, and 2 curious cats. Trish enjoys spending her free time making precious memories with her large family and hiking wherever the trail may lead her.




Drew is a native of Burke County, and is currently the director of bands at Table Rock Middle School. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in music education and was awarded the Unsworth Music Scholarship and the Carl Anderson Memorial Scholarship. While at ASU, he studied bassoon with Dr. John Beebe and conducting with Chung Park. Drew is currently completing a master’s degree in music education at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Drew is also a talented organist and avid bagpiper. In 2019, Drew joined students from the Peabody Conservatory organ studio on an organ study tour of Paris and Rouen where he received the privilege of playing the great organs of Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Ouen, Rouen among others. He also competed with a pipe band in the 2010 World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.




Jennifer Bagley came to North Carolina in 2007 from Mississippi, by way of Florida and New York. She began playing the piano when she was 6 years old and added organ to her instrument repertoire.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Delta State University and a Master of Music in Music Therapy from Florida State University. Her day job is as a music therapist at a state psychiatric hospital. She is currently working towards her Master of Social Work at Florida State University. Jennifer loves music and the joy and therapeutic value it holds. She has been married for 14 years, and her daughters are the light of her life.



Children and Youth Minister

Brittany Deal began attending Grace in 2015 and joined the staff as the Director of Children and Youth Ministries in 2018. She is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University, where she earned a degree in Human and Community Service.  In May of 2022 she graduated from Luther Seminary with her Masters of Art in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. She was also awarded the Children, Youth, and Family Award for her thesis "The New Middle Class's Acceleration of Childhood and the Church's Complicity". 


Brittany is active in Morganton. She serves as the Chair on the Burke County Literacy Council Board of Directors. She and her husband Daniel are parents to their rambunctious daughter, Landry.



Financial Assistant

Brandy Cline has served as Financial Assistant at Grace since 2018. She earned a BS and MS in accounting from Appalachian State University, and is married to Jeffrey Cline. Together, they have three boys that keep them on their toes!


Caroline Avery (2022)

Sam Avery, Parish Treasurer, ex officio

Paul Crutchfield (2024)

Daniel Deal (2024)

Norma DeFago (2023)

Jacques Geitner (2024)

Nancy Hart (2022)

Debbie Hutchins, Vestry Secretary (2022)

Robert Keene, Junior Warden (2023)

The Rev. Dr. Marshall A. Jolly, Rector, ex officio

Evan Peterson, Senior Warden (2023)

The basic responsibilities of the vestry are to help define and articulate the mission of the congregation; to support the church’s mission by word and deed, to ensure effective organization and planning, and to manage resources and finances. Vestry members are usually elected at the annual parish meeting. The senior warden leads the parish between rectors and is a support person for the rector. The junior warden often has responsibility for church property and buildings.