signal crest united methodist church

Meet the PastorS

Dave Graybeal 

Senior Pastor

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Dave is originally from Marion, VA, where he grew up in the First United Methodist Church. He went to college at Emory & Henry, where he majored in philosophy and psychology. He also played on the tennis team and sang in the concert choir. After graduating in 1995, he served at the college for two years as an admissions counselor before heading to seminary at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, where he met his wife Tracy who was the Director of Admissions. 

They married in March 2000. They spent their first year of marriage and ministry serving five British Methodist churches in a one-year appointment in Penzance, Cornwall, England. Back in Holston, he served as the associate pastor at Keith Memorial UMC in Athens, the pastor of the Englewood and Mars Hill UMCs in the Cleveland District, St. Mark UMC in Knoxville, and back again at Keith Church as the senior pastor. He has served as a volunteer hospital chaplain, on the board of the Athens arts center, on the board of Camp Lookout, and as an adjunct professor in the religion department at Tennessee Wesleyan University. He enjoys reading, writing, and watching The West Wing, This Is Us, Stranger Things, Ted Lasso, and all things Star Wars. He also enjoys a good pun (bad puns, too)!

Dave and Tracy have two sons, Noah and Wesley.  Noah attends Vanderbilt University. Wesley is a junior at Signal Mountain High School. They also have a beagle, Tiptoe. The entire family enjoys being in the great outdoors, whether it’s hiking, mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, or hanging out in an Eno, and they are eager to explore the many outdoor opportunities on and around Signal Mountain.

Dave is excited to be a part of Signal Crest, to grow in our faith together, and to share the love and life of Christ in the Signal Mountain community.


Bill Thornton

Associate Pastor, Director of Congregational Care

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Bill has been in a pastoral role at Signal Crest since June of 2015 as he was licensed as a local pastor at that time.  However, Bill has been a long time member of Signal Crest. Bill and his wife Tracey have one adult daughter, Emily.

During the day, you can find Bill working for Comcast. 

In his spare time, he attends seminary classes at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta.  Bill is also very involved in Walden's Ridge Emergency Services where he serves as the Board Chairman an EMT/Firefighter.   

Bill's favorite scripture is: 2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.