Clergy, Staff & Vestry

To contact a member of the clergy, staff, or vestry, please call the parish office at 601.856.2593 or use the Contact Us page.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Clergy

The Rev. Ben G. Robertson, IV

The Rev. Ben G. Robertson, IV

Rector

Ben is the 21st Rector of the Chapel of the Cross. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he graduated from Kenyon College in 1996 and Virginia Theological Seminary in 2003. Before being called to the Chapel in 2014, Ben served as the Assistant Rector of St. Matthew’s, Louisville, Associate Rector of Calvary, Memphis, and Rector of All Saints’, Gastonia, North Carolina. Between college and seminary, he worked as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ben is married to Ellen, an Occupational Therapist and PhD Candidate in Clinical Anatomy at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and they are blessed with two children, Anna and Henry.

Ben’s passions in the Church are many, especially ministry with children and families, leadership development, using social media as an agent for evangelism, and crafting meaningful worship experiences kindled by the grand Anglican tradition.

Ben’s favorite prayer was written by the Rev. Addison K. Groff. It prays, in part, “disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wilder seas where storms will show Your mastery; where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.”

The Rev. William Hewlett Compton

The Rev. William Hewlett Compton

Associate Rector

Will has been at The Chapel of the Cross since July 2015. A native of Meridian, Mississippi, he received his degree in Business Administration from Mississippi State University in 2008. Following college, he worked for four years as a credit analyst at Hope Credit Union. He received his Masters in Divinity from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 2015. He and his wife Sarah, from Brandon, Mississippi, were married in December 2009 and have a son, John Owen, born in March 2014.

As Associate Rector, Will collaborates with Rector on a variety of ministries and responsibilities.  Other duties include the charge of worship volunteers (lay readers, ushers, acolytes, vergers), pastoral care and young adult ministries. He is fed by a deep love for the liturgy which began as an acolyte long ago. His love for the liturgy is rooted in the belief that it is nothing less than an encounter with God that transforms lives.

In his spare time, Will enjoys being with family and friends, reading, and attending Mississippi State athletic events.

Staff

Michael Beattie

Michael Beattie

Director of Music

In addition to serving as organist and choir director for the Chapel, Michael Beattie has served as President and Executive Director of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra since 2004. Prior to that, he was Chief Operating Officer for the Louisville Orchestra. Before his work in arts administration, he served in a 25 year career in full time church music, taking him to Youngstown, Ohio, Louisville, Kentucky, and Omaha, Nebraska. Beattie was selected as one of 12 orchestra executives from across the country to take part in a two-year Executive Leadership Program through the League of American Orchestras (2007-2009). He has been active with the American Guild of Organists on both local and national leadership levels. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master’s Degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

Julie Ray Brown

Julie Ray Brown

Parish Communicator

Julie Ray has been serving at the Parish Communicator since February 2015. Julie wears many “hats” here at the Chapel, including coordinating all of the parish’s written and electronic communications.

Julie Ray is an alum of MRA and a graduate from Woodland Hills Baptist Academy. She recently returned “home” to the Jackson area after nearly 30 years away.  She holds a MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College Graduate School and brings to the Chapel a wide swath of experiences from her time spent as a missionary in Hong Kong and her tenure as a college administrator in the Boston area.

Julie Ray has recently married Geoffrey Brown of Madison and is proud to be the foster mom of two young boys whom she hopes to adopt in the next few months. For fun, Julie loves hanging out with her dogs at the Reservoir, cooking for her family and friends and dabbling in creative writing.

Jarrah Horne

Jarrah Horne

Parents' Day Out Assistant Director

Jarrah Horne joined COTC Parents’ Day Out in February 2015 as our 3 year old teacher and was promoted to Assistant Director in June 2015.  Jarrah has been married to Tripp Horne for 5 years and has a 1 year old daughter, Leigh. Jarrah graduated from Mississippi State University in 2010 with a degree in Public Relations. The Horne’s are active members of Pinelake Church, where Jarrah previously worked as their Preschool Ministry Assistant.

Jarrah says, “I could not ask for a better place to work! I’m thankful to be a part of such a great team, as well as, the opportunity to work somewhere I can have my baby with me. I feel so blessed God opened this door for me and am excited about a future with PDO!”

Janet King

Janet King

Director of Children's Ministries

Janet King has served the Chapel of the Cross as Director of Children’s Ministries since September, 2015. After graduating from Ole Miss, she spent 30 years as a special educator and speech/language pathologist in Mississippi and Hawaii. Now retired, she has two grown children, Lendon and Mary, and enjoys cooking, sewing, traveling, and spending time with her family. She brings experience to her position, having served as the Director of Christian Education at St. Peter’s Church, Oxford, under our retired bishop Duncan Gray III.

Gail Mateer

Gail Mateer

Parents' Day Out Director

Gail joined COTC Parents’ Day Out in February 2016.  She was born and raised in Jackson and graduated from the University of Alabama. Gail and her husband, Clay, have been married 41 years.  They have 3 daughters and 4 grandchildren.

In the 1980’s, Gail and Clay were called into full-time ministry with Beginning Again In Christ, a prison and halfway house ministry.  In the early 1990’s, Gail’s family moved to Hattiesburg, where she began teaching preschool and later became Preschool Director at Main Street United Methodist Church.

Gail loves being around preschoolers and loves their joy, laughter and excitement.  She has fond memories of children she has taught in the past and looks forward to making new little friends at COTC.  Her view of children: “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.” Psalm 127:3

Gail is still active in ministry, including women in prison, women transitioning back into society, and the elderly in nursing homes.  Gail is an active member of Pinelake Church in Madison.  She enjoys arts and crafts, gardening, and Alabama football.

Dana Tiffin

Dana Tiffin

Parish Administrator

Dana Tiffin joined Chapel of the Cross staff in July of 2014 as Parish Administrator.  In addition to providing general oversight for the office administration, Dana handles our parish memberships, pledges, vendor information for Day in the Country and  cemetery plot information. Prior to coming to the Chapel Dana worked for 7 years on staff at Pisgah High School providing a broad spectrum of clerical and administrative support.  She also served for 6 years in the Pre-School at Ridgecrest Baptist Church teaching 3 & 4 year olds.

Dana was born and raised in Jackson before moving to Madison in Jr. High and graduating from Madison Central High School. Dana is married to Michael Tiffin and they have four children Hunter, Savannah, Chase & Sarah. The Tiffin’s are active members of Ridgecrest Baptist Church and reside in Madison.

Dana says, “I am so blessed to be able to be part of the Chapel of the Cross.  I have loved getting to know the parishioners and see God working within the parish.  I am equally blessed to be a part of such a great team to work alongside every day.”

Vestry

The Chapel of the Cross is governed by a committee of twelve people called a Vestry.  The Vestry, which is led by the Rector and two Wardens, helps define and articulate the mission of the parish, supports the Church’s mission by word and deed, ensures effective organization and planning, and manages resources and finances.  The Senior Warden leads the parish between rectors and is a support person for the Rector.  The Junior Warden is responsible for parish property and buildings.  Both wardens are elected by the prior year’s Vestry, and the other members are elected by an Annual Meeting of the parish.  The Treasurer and the Clerk are elected by the Vestry, and may or may not be members of the Vestry.  The Vestry meets monthly, usually on the third Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in the Library, and all members of the Chapel of the Cross are welcome to attend their meetings.  Minutes of said meetings are posted here.

The Chapel’s 2017 Vestry:

  • Chair: The Rev. Ben Robertson, Rector
  • Senior Warden: Molly Meeks
  • Junior Warden: Jon Woodward
  • Treasurer: Oscar Hartman
  • Clerk: Grace Simmons
  • Youth Representative: Grayson Guillory
  • Class of 2018: Dick Lawrence, Brian Martin, Richard Roberson
  • Class of 2019: Amy Barker, George Ezell, Bob Williams
  • Class of 2020: Amanda Camp, Debbie Lominick, Jim Russell