Timothy Hankins is a theologian, pastor, and writer who seeks to teach and live the fullness of the ancient Christian faith. Anglican in a Wesleyan way (read: Methodist).
Timothy is the pastor at Oakland UMC in Greenback, TN. He also chairs the Communications Advisory Council for the Holston Conference.
A word from Timothy:
I am an ordained elder (presbyter, sometimes shortened simply to “priest”) in the United Methodist Church. I have just begun my sixth year of pastoral ministry and serve as pastor of a church in East Tennessee, about 30 miles south of Knoxville.
I grew up in Southern Indiana. I was born into a ministry family, the son and grandson of ordained ministers. My spiritual formation has taken place in the Charismatic/Pentecostal, Roman Catholic and Anglican faith traditions. My grandfather was an independent Pentecostal preacher who was eventually ordained deacon in the Arkansas conference of the United Methodist Church, where he served as an associate member of the conference until his death. My father was ordained priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church and served as a priest and pastor in that communion for a number of years. In 2006 he was received into the Roman Catholic Church, where he participated in the discernment process for ordained ministry until his death in 2016. My mother is a pianist and church musician, and has served in that capacity since her youth. She currently serves as accompanist for a Baptist Church and a Roman Catholic Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.
I felt called to be a priest as a young person. But, like George Herbert describes in his wonderful poem “The Collar,” I resisted. “I struck the board, and cry’d, No more. / I will abroad.”
And so I quit the Church, thinking that God would leave me alone. I was wrong. I left Indiana and wandered the world for a while, living in Europe for a little more than a year, then in Western New York, before making my way to Tennessee. Even in those wandering years, God’s prevenient grace continued to work in my life and speak to my heart until I was ready to hear and heed God’s call on my life.
It was here in East Tennessee I came back into a relationship with Jesus and his Church. I was invited back into communion with God’s people by a United Methodist Pastor. One thing led to another, and I found the call to ministry I had experienced early in my life rekindled. I was soon in the candidacy process for ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church.
Before leaving the Knoxville area to attend seminary, I worked as Assistant Managing Editor for online at The Daily Times, a daily newspaper serving Maryville and Blount County, Tennessee. At the newspaper, I was one of those responsible for managing the digital side of the newsroom. I also got to do some original reporting and opinion writing.
My approach to Christianity is “Anglican in a Wesleyan way.” I fully embrace the catholic and evangelical faith of Charles and John Wesley along with the liturgical and sacramental traditions of the Anglican heritage bequeathed to United Methodists by the Wesley brothers. My commitments are aligned with the values of the early Methodists: weekly communion; dedication to daily, disciplined prayer and Bible reading; and care for the marginalized. I am passionate about worship, preaching, and bible study; spiritual formation and the use of the Means of Grace; and outreach ministry. I care deeply about racial reconciliation and ecumenical partnership, taking seriously Jesus’ desire that we “all may be one.”