Milligan to recognize local servant leaders

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (March 20, 2013) — Milligan College will recognize 13 local leaders who have demonstrated servant leadership in their careers and community at the college’s annual Leaders in Christian Service program on Tuesday, April 2, at 11 a.m. in Milligan’s Mary B. Martin Auditorium in Seeger Memorial Chapel. The service is free and open to the public.

“The purpose of this program is to provide examples of people who are doing an outstanding job of integrating their faith with their profession,” said Milligan President Bill Greer. “We see in these individuals wonderful examples of what servant leadership is all about, and what it can look like on a daily basis in a variety of professions.”

The keynote speaker is Dr. George Karnes, a dentist and founder of the TMJ Treatment Clinic in Johnson City, Tenn. Karnes was a Leaders in Christian Service honoree in 2004.

He received his D.D.S. from the University of Illinois and is an Air Force veteran. Eighteen years ago, Karnes moved to Johnson City because he felt God leading him to this area. Through articles in the newspaper and discussions with members of the community, he learned a dental clinic was needed to serve the homeless and indigent. To meet this need, Karnes helped start the Keystone Dental Clinic, serving as the first president of the board and volunteering once a month in the clinic. For the past 24 years, Karnes also has led dental mission trips to Mexico.

He is a member of the Rotary Noon Club and has been honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. As a member of Central Baptist Church, Karnes serves as a deacon, a Bible Class leader and is a well-known greeter.

The 2013 Leaders in Christian Service honorees include:

Larry Calhoun, of Johnson City, is the founding dean of the East Tennessee State University Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy. He attends First Christian Church.

Tabatha Gonzales, of Johnson City, works for Good Samaritan Ministries. She attends Taylor United Methodist Church.

Jim Heaton, of Johnson City, is retired from Johnson City Schools. He attends First United Methodist Church.

Jeff and Jennifer Keller, of Johnson City, attend Central Baptist Church. Jeff works with the Social Security Administration; Jennifer is employed at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz.

Ann O’Quinn, of Johnson City, is a private piano teacher. She attends Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church.

Lynn Parker, of Church Hill, is retired from Eastman Chemical Company. He attends First Baptist Church.

Tom and Donna Seaton, of Johnson City, are the owners of The Firehouse restaurant. They attend Grace Fellowship Church.

Mark Sitter, of Johnson City, works at VinTech Manufacturing. He attends St. Elizabeth Church.

Phillip Timp, of Bristol, Va., works with The Beth Foundation. He attends Central Presbyterian Church.

David Torgerson, of Gray, is retired from Washington County Schools. He attends Central Church of Christ.

Thomas Torbett, of Gray, is retired from the Appalachian Bible Company. He attends Westminster Presbyterian Church.

For more information, contact the Institute for Servant Leadership at Milligan College at 423.461.8316.


MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit or call 800-447-5922.

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