EmmausAbbey Church

Spirit,  Word  and  Sacrament

Our Leadership

Christ is the Head of the Church

Jesus ChristSon of God, Son of Man, God from God, and Light from Light, Messiah and Redeemer: His name means, "The Lord saves." He is referred to as "Immanuel", which means, "God with us." These two names show us God's plan for saving and redeeming mankind: God would come to us to save us. The writer to the Hebrews describes Jesus' divine nature, His role in history and His present ministry in this way: "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Heb 1:3 NIV)

Salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone who is the only begotten Son of the Living God. Through Him, all who come to Him by faith and repent of their sins,
receive forgiveness through Christ's death on the Cross and live in newness of life through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

                Rev. Dr. Brett Travis

Emmaus Abbey  www.emmausabbeychurch.org

ABOUT:Dr. Brett Travis has been in the ministry since 1984. Oh my goodness..., I wear a clergy collar. Why, because I am a minister of the Word of God. I want to be identified as one of God's servants in the faith. Now that everyone knows I am not a Roman Catholic we can now move past judging our brothers and sisters in Christ who as I last remember are Christians who worship differently than us. The Roman Catholics were the first Protestants who split from the Eastern Orthodox Church in 1054 AD.

SOME BACKGROUND ON CHURCH HISTORY [Two Schisms]: On July 16, 1054 AD, Patriarch of Constantinople Michael Cerularius was excommunicated from the Christian church based in Rome, Italy. This excommunication severed the largest faction of Christianity, called Chalcedonian Christianity. The split is known as the Great Schism. There are some churches in America that remain orthodox and liturgically sound in their worship. The problem is many denominations have become very judgmental against the worship of the early church to move even further into denominational hersesy called the post-modern church. These churches are what I call smoke and mirror churches. Heavy metal bands, concerts and rock and roll for what they call worship. No reverence to Christ, the Cross and the Word of God. These are churches who neglect the sacraments of the church such as marriage between one man and one woman, communion, healing, etc are called post modern churches.
The Great Schism divided Chalcedonian Christianity into what are now known as the Roman Catholic (First Protestants) and Eastern Orthodox faiths.  It is from Roman Catholicism that we now have over 50,000 denominations. Every church in America is PROTESTANT!
The Great Schism was both a spiritual and practical conflict. For instance, one of the spiritual differences between the western (Roman) and eastern branches of the church was whether it was acceptable to use unleavened bread for the ceremony of communion. (The west supported the practice, while the east did not.) A more practical conflict that led to the Great Schism was whether the pope, the spiritual leader in Rome, had authority over the patriarchs, religious leaders in the east.
The Great Schism was long-lasting; the two branches of Christianity are still split. Catholicism is the single largest Christian (Protestant) denomination, with more than a billion followers around the world. Eastern Orthodoxy is the second-largest Christian denomination, with more than 200 million followers. Eastern Orthodoxy includes national churches such as Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox.

SECOND SCHISM: REFORMATION OF 1517: In Germany, the country of the Reformation, a deep animosity divided Catholic and Protestant Christians up until a few decades ago. This division had deepened over the centuries through religious conflicts and wars.  It all started when Reformation took place, 500 years ago, as Martin Luther (1483-1546) tried to reform the Catholic Church. His attempt to do so instead led to a schism in the church.  On October 31, 1517, the publication of his Ninety-Five Theses, which outlined various abusive practices of the church, is considered the founding event that led to this division in Germany and the creation of the Evangelical Church.

The problem:  There has been two attempts to correct two wrongs, but unforgiveness and power has never broken through to these two groups.  Until reconciliation is completed God is not happy with his church here on earth...how could he. His bride is being attacked from within by power hungry leaders who refuse to come together at the altar of reconciliation. 

MY JOURNEY: Dr. Travis is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Liberty University.  He pastored Baptist churches in Kentucky, Tennessee and spent 24 years on active duty and is a retired US Army Chaplain. He is a conservative Christian who believes the Bible is the inerrant word of God. He is an ordained evangelical Anglican priest and has had a long and interesting journey in the Christian faith. In Seminary, he loved John Wesley [An Anglican] and Thomas Oden [a Methodist] and his works on living the Christian life. He maintained belief in historical, classical Christianity and Theology.  I found the liberal teachings during my seminary years appalling and it was suggested I read the "Essentials for Ministry" and later in 1989 volume 2 "The Word of Life" by Dr. Thomas Oden.  I began reading his writings and found a harmony of faith in his life, in his Words and teachings on the holy spirit and sacraments very comforting and a very practical theology to live.  I would consider myself a Classical Theologian. I love the Church Fathers and historical Christianity. To me the Reformation was one of the worst things that could have happened to the Christian church.  It was just another break away from true Christianity of Roman Catholics adding to the scriptures and Doctrine and the Protestants taking away ffro scripture. We have yet to see the end of the churches demise, unless we return to our Christian "Roots."

Rev Travis is the Pastor of Emmaus Abbey Church, Knoxville, Tn.  On May 5th, 2018, Bishop Epps appointed Fr. Brett Travis to serve the Diocese of the Midsouth as Canon Missioner and sit on the Bishops council.  He will assist the bishop by providing leadership and ministry beyond their local parish.  Cannon Missioners often act as a spokesperson for the bishop and may act as his representative for diocesan concerns. Canon Brett Travis is the Rector of Emmaus Abbey Church CEC in Knoxville, Tennessee. He also oversees the state of Tennessee and Saint Philip the Evangelist Church in Tullahoma, TN.  As Canon Missioner for the state of Tennessee, Fr. Brett oversees the church planting, commission on ministry, missions, evangelism and discipleship ministries.

Emmaus Abbey is an “Ancient Faith Church” with a vision to “Reclaim the Ancient Faith, Reaching a New Generation, Lived in Holy Community. We are a 21st Century church grounded in 1st Century classical Christianity engaging our culture through “Spirit, Word, and Sacrament” called the “Three Streams or Convergence Worship.” Our worship focus is to align man’s identity with “The Cross of Jesus Christ.” Gal. 2:20 

During my years in seminary and while on active duty I began seeing many liberal and cultural shifts away from churches unifying in the faith.  I began seeing in 1984 the cultural theological and historical shifts of what the church always believed. I began seeing a major shift in the belief in God. I saw this first hand in Southern Baptist Seminary professors denying there was a God, the shift in sexuality and the denial that God made us male and female. Within the military I began seeing our government supporting ungodly agendas supporting abortion, gay marriage and homosexuality within our ranks. Then in 2015, our Christian Faith and principles were shattered by Americans voting for same-sex marriage to destroy the basic foundation of American family structure: the Home.  The Godly structure of one man and one woman raising their children in the Christian Faith has caused an immense disintegration within the Christian church.   Within my 24 years on active duty I saw a shift from believing in the fundamentals of the Christian Faith to total disbelief in the fundamentals and doctrines of the Christian Faith. Thank goodness, I began a deeper study of the apostolic faith, reading church fathers and seeking God in a deeper walk with him.  This lead me to moving away from the protestant church's beliefs in that the reformation was the answer to our returning to a more Christian world-view. I turned to the Holy Bible, prayer, the gifts of God and the early Church Fathers for answers. Here is a fundamental question to ask yourself about where you and your family attend church.  Has your church left the historic faith once delivered? Has your church stopped preaching and teaching the total sufficiency and complete teachings of Christ in the bible?  If your answer is yes...then your church is a cult...not a church.  Yes, an apostate church!  Can Christians attend their church and be deceived by its teachings or think they can change its leadership?  Yes, absolutely.  A majority of mainline churches in America are not teaching the sufficiency of Jesus Christ and are teaching heresies and those people are dying and going to hell. Beware of where you attend and these denominations are avid in making sure you do not leave there clutches by using guilt and political correctness to keep you blind to the gospel truth. 

My search for answers led to theologians like the early church fathers, Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Fr. John Wesley, Dr. Thomas Oden's works on classical Christianity and Dr. Robert Webber...on convergence worship, apologetics by Ravi Zacharias and found myself drawn to the Holy Orthodox Church.  As you read this, you will quickly understand why I am not seeking mega-church worship or every new post-modern fad under the Christian tent.  So, after years of soul-searching I have been drawn back to the early church in my walk with God.  It may be time you take a good re-evaluation of where you are at in your life as well?  This is why I led my family and those I know into the CEC church.  Here's my story in short.

I was ordained in 1984 after receiving a call to pastor a Southern Baptist church in Kentucky.  I also was attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary completing my Master's of Divinity degree until I graduated in 1988.  After graduating I was appointed and endorsed as an SBC Army chaplain and remained on active duty until I retired in 2008.  During my stint on active duty my journey of faith was challenged when I went to Turkey for a year.  There I learned about the early church, early church fathers and saw that God had not left the church for us to change it, but continue in the faith once delivered.  Yes, I feel the reformation has led the church astray from its CORE roots. I began studying the Seven churches of Asia and the early Church Fathers. When I returned from Turkey, I began a long serious study of church history and doctrine and found the Protestant church has not maintained the Apostolic Faith.  The Protestant church is now ran by Ruling 501C3 Boards rather than an apostolic ministry. Therefore, after years of further study, I was reordained a Priest. 

After retiring from the military chaplaincy, I was received as a priest into a very conservative Christian Communion of Churches called: The Charismatic Episcopal Church of North America, Diocese of Midsouth, Sharpsburg, GA., which is affiliated with the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church (ICCEC), Malvern, NY.  I was appointed by Bishop William D. Epps, Bishop of Midsouth Dioceses on 5 May 2018 to be the Canon Missioner to oversee Diocean missions for state of Tennessee. Emmaus Abbey is a three streams conservative Christian church, reaching out to other like minded conservative Christians who have had their churches fall away from Scriptural teachings of Christianity in 21st Century.   Our Communion's mission is to give a home too and reunite all disenfranchised Christians whose churches have moved into unethical, political correctness and unbiblical teachings. See our website (ICCEC.org).  Our Patriarch is Bishop Craig Bates.

Brett has thirty-eight years of pastoral ministry. He pastored two Southern Baptist churches prior to entering the United States Army Chaplain Corps serving twenty-four years, retiring in 2008. He has served many chapel congregations in Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, Hawaii, Maryland, Alabama, Florida, Sinop, Turkey, Heidelburg, Germany, Casteau, Belgium and Tacoma, Washington.  Upon retiring, he pastored two Anglican churches one in North Carolina and one in Knoxville before accepting a position with Alpha, USA, to develop Alpha basic courses for the military as the Director for Military Alpha (A4M). He then started Emmaus Centre for Christian Counseling a (501C3) non-profit ministry in 2011. He is the Clinical Director and Marriage & Family counselor for Emmaus Centre for Christian Counseling and senior pastor for Emmaus Abbey Church formed in January 2013. Fr. Brett was appointed the Canon Missioner with oversight for training priests and starting church plants in the State of Tennessee.

Community: Believing that community service is an integral part of being a priest and Christian counselor, Brett and his church has volunteered significant time, sharing Christ with indigent persons, Vet to Vet Tennessee and the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council, Angelic Ministries and other agencies in Knoxville area.  He has provided hundreds of pro-bono hours in following areas of counseling: addiction, suicide prevention, emotional, grief, anger management and relational problems. Dr. Travis also is a mentor and counselor to other pastors and family’s dealing with stress in ministry.

Education: Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary; Masters of Divinity, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Masters of Clinical Counseling, Liberty University; Bachelors in Psychology & Respiratory Therapy; University of Kentucky and commissioned in 1977 as 2LT through UKROTC- as a Medical Service CORPS Officer.  Fr. Brett completed his studies through the Orthodox Church completing his ordination into priesthood in 2001. Brett holds credentials and licensure through the NCCA as Licensed Advanced Certified Clinical Pastoral Counselor in Marriage and Family Counseling, Diplomate NCCA as Clinical Supervisor for Emmaus Abbey and Centre for Christian Counseling, a Certified Academic Institution for National Christian Counseling Association, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Brett and wife, Pam have two daughters, Misty & Erin; three grandsons, Jeff attending Lockman University ROTC completing his degree as a Physicians Assistant (PA), Broden and Liam are excellent students and young aspiring musicians for their age.

Rev. Canon John B. Boggs- Missions Clergy-Outreach
Email John: johnbboggs@charter.net

John’s serves as an assisting priest for Emmaus Abbey. In that capacity, he ministers in pastoral care, worship planning, teaching, and preaching.  Also, he is one of the most giving person I know.  Without he and Sharon, Emmaus Abbey would not be on the map.  They have taken self-less service to heart.  Thank you Father John and Sharon for so many blessings you have shown this church plant now blooming into  a self-supporting church of believers.

John is a graduate of Barry University, BA – John Knox Seminary, Miami, Fl.; St. Michael’s Seminary, M.Div.,San Clemente, California; International School of Divinity, DMin – Evansville, Indiana. John has served in the USA military for six years and was secularly employed by IBM Corporation for 23 years. His Christian ministry has included that
of lay minister conducting Sunday church services in Minnesota, that of assisting clergy at two parishes and that of Director of Chaplaincy for Hospice – all taking place in southeast Florida. He then became the founding Vicar of Christ the Redeemer Mission Church in Cookeville,

Tennessee.  He presently serves those clergy in Tennessee who are in the process of planting new churches.

Since 1973, John has held leadership positions in conducting three day retreats for Christian men and women. Currently, John is involved in Tres Arroyo retreats.  It’s a
dynamic time of fellowship, delicious dining, worship, healing, singing, laughter, sharing, and study planned to strengthen and equip the Christian to better overcome the challenges of living in a secular world.   

John and his wife Sharon have been married fifty-five years. They are the parents of three adult sons and grandparents to twelve grandchildren.

Matt Rankin Licensed Liturgical Minister

Matt was born in Iceland when his father was stationed overseas in the Navy. He partly grew up in Oregon and then Maryland after the Navy transferred his

father to NSA. After graduation he began attending Washington College in Washington DC. During this time he held several management positions with Home Depot, including Auditor, Investigator, and Store Mgr.  He presently is the GNC Regional Director for 30 stores in the East Tennessee region. He met Misty his wife and got married in 2003 and they have three sons: Jeff, Broden and Liam.

Matt is a Licensed Liturgical Minister for Emmaus Abbey and a deacon candidate for studies through the Diocese of the MidSouth. Studies will be
pursued through St. Michael’s Seminary, CA..  Matt assists in areas such as pastoral care, worship planning, teaching, Stephen Ministry in hospital chaplaincy and our website administrator.

Email Matt


Misty Rankin- Music Ministry

Misty was born in Lexington, Kentucky and is definitely a southern bell. Her father was an Army Chaplain and missionary and so she is a military and missionary kid (MK) and raised, well pick a state or country. While her father was stationed overseas and in Europe, she claims Hawaii and Germany were her favorite places to live. She loves music, playing the drums and she is actively looking for other musicians to start a praise and worship band for the church.  While attending college in Catonsville, Maryland (UMBC) she played drums in an orchestra in a large church and started playing in a Christian band semi-professionally which cut a couple of CD’s.

She attended University of Maryland Baltimore Campus (UMBC), Catonsville, MD. Receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology.   During this time she met Matthew, her husband and married in 2003. They now have three sons and live in Knoxville, TN. She is the SR for East Tennessee to develop and plant Home School in East Tn region.  She directs our music program and is committed to prayer and starting a young women’s life group.    

She is a women’s lay counselor, licensed liturgical minister, works with our acolytes and serves on the church altar guild. 

Email Misty

                                                                            Emmaus Abbey Centre Staff Counselors

Dr. Travis is the pastor and executive director of Emmaus Abbey Church and Centre for Christian counseling. He has an advanced degree in Marriage & Family counseling and extensive training in working with individuals, couples and families. He is the NCCA International representative, Director for the Emmaus Institute for Christian Counseling and Clinical Supervisor.  More information can be found on Dr. Travis above.  Thank you. 

Pamela Travis, RN, BA

Counseling and Women’s Ministry

Pam was raised in a small church where her father was the music minister. After attending college for a year she married her husband Brett. Six years later

they had two daughters Misty and Erin. Over the past thirty years she has traveled extensively throughout the United States and overseas as a home missionary. 

During this time she has raised a family worked as a nurse and conducted ministry primarily with women and children. She is a parish nurse for Emmaus Abbey parish and a Christian counselor for women at Emmaus Centre for Christian Counseling and sees that God has definitely prepared her for this new church planting ministry supporting the needs of both the staff and the church.  She has over twenty two years’ experience in psychiatric and geriatric nursing.

 Pam is a graduate of Kentucky State University school of Nursing, AAS; Cornerstone University (BA); Bachelor’s in Christian Counseling; working on Master’s

Degree in Counseling from Cornerstone University. She is a graduate of St. Jude, Parish Nurse Program; Licensed Liturgical Minister, Diocese of Georgia. 

 Her affiliations: Tennessee Association for Nursing, National Christian Counselors Association (NCCA), Sarasota Academy of Christian Counselors (SACC).

Email Pam


  Mrs. Nichole Zawisza, LLM

Nichole was born and raised in Northern Michigan. Her father retired from the U.S. Air Force and became a Methodist pastor and missionary which qualifies her as a missionary kid (MK) and well versed in what it means to have lived all over these United States. Her passion was music in high school and college. She is a counselor in training (CIT) completing her Bachelor's Degree in Christian counseling.  She will continue to work on her Master's Degree in Counseling becoming a Certified and Licensed Christian  Counselor through  Cornerstone University while conducting her counseling practicum's through Emmaus Abbey Church and Centre for Christian Counseling in Knoxville, TN. 

She is a Licensed Liturgical Minister (LLM), through the Charismatic Episcopal Church and lay counselor for women ministries at Emmaus Abbey here in Knoxville. Among her many talents in the ministry she loves conducting missions in Kentucky, sewing, substitute teaching, raising four daughters in which two are married, one in college and one in high school.  She is married to Mr. Tim Zawisza who is an avid runner and men's bible teacher. He is on the parish council for Emmaus Abbey Church.

Email Nichole

The Most Rev. Wm. David Epps

Bishop, Dioceses of Midsouth

    Our biblical model for church government is run by consensus and operated by a Rectors Council consisting of Bp David Epps, Cn Brett Travis and Cn John Boggs. Our 501C3 board members do not have authority over the Rectors council.  Our board mainly operates as our church parish council.  The parish council is not a ruling board, but are prayer ministers that operate under the direct authority of the pastor to assist in the administration of church matters. The council has no authority to rule over the bishop, rector or the church, but provides helpful guidance in the mission of the church. This may include missions projects, some operational & financial decisions. The Bishop per assignment of a priest in a parish authorizes the Rector to act on his behalf in running the parish. The Rector only answers to the Bishop, not a board or parish council.

See more at: http://www.emmausabbeychurch.org