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Senior Pastor: The Rev. Michael D. McLaughlin

The Rev. Michael D. McLaughlin was born and went to high school and college in Knoxville, Tennessee. A 2001 graduate with a Bachelor's of Science in Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology from The University of Tennessee, he received a Masters of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia in 2008.

Michael is married to Lisa, a Registered Nurse. Lisa and Michael are blessed with daughters Madeline and Sophia and their son, True. Other McLaughlin family members include Opal the beagle, and Ophelia the large cat.    

Michael’s interests include ministry, theology, art, music, politics, the sciences, and elephants.

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Director of Children and Youth Ministry

Katie Ory was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She received her undergraduate degree from Mississippi College in International Communications and has since earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Tennessee Tech University. Katie has had the opportunity to study abroad in Salzburg Austria with Harvard’s international program and at Duke Theology School.  She is currently working on her Master’s of Divinity from Asbury Theological School.  Katie has lived in Cookeville, Tennessee for 16 years and has spent the last dozen working as a counselor for the Putnam county school system and as a therapist for a nonprofit. She is also an ambassador for the Appalachian Service Project. 

Katie has a 13 year old daughter, Anne, two dogs, and loves to travel and participate in musical theatre around town.  She is currently the Artistic Director for Prescott’s musical theatre program. 


Administative Assistant: Amy Ainsley

Amy Ainsley is our office administrator.  Amy has an extensive skill set.  Qualified in Microsoft Office, certified in QuickBooks Pro, and website administration.  Amy has been a full charge Bookkeeper and Administrator for over 30 years and possesses a A.A. Theology Degree and is a certified Crown Financial Budget Counselor.   

Amy and her husband, Tom, live in Sparta. Tom is a retired member of the USAF. They both love all the parks and waterfalls that Tennessee has to offer. 

Music Director and Organist: Paul Thurmond

Organist and Director of Music, Paul Thurmond, performs frequently as a soloist and accompanist. A native of Winder, Georgia, he earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Berry College and a Master of Music in Accompanying and Vocal Coaching from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with John Wustman. He has served on the faculties of Interlochen Arts Camp, Delta State University, and The University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He is presently an Adjunct Professor at Tennessee Tech University, where he teaches Class Piano, coaches voice majors, plays for the Tech Chorale, and accompanies many students and faculty in recital. He also appears occasionally with the Nashville Symphony. At his website,, you can listen to and purchase albums of his piano compositions. When not making music, he enjoys Brazilian jiu-jitsu, woodworking, and brewing his own beer.



Director of Children's Services: Virginia Fillers

Virginia was raised in Oak Ridge, TN. She moved to Cookeville in 2008 to complete her BS in Elementary Education at TTU. Her experience working in schools spans more than a decade and encompasses private and public education. She credits much of SoulSong’s program to her experience at Knoxville Montessori School. In 2014-2015, she served as captain of the art committee for the Heart of the City Playground project. She has been the MOPPETS childcare coordinator for Cookeville MOPS, as well as the current president of Cookeville Roller Derby.  She lives in Algood with her daughter Charlotte, who has attended SoulSong since it opened in 2015. Virginia and Charlotte enjoy having adventures together: hiking, day trips to zoos and Dollywood, and going to musicals. They both love ABBA, Icees, and flamingos. 

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Security Officer: Mr. Dave

Our thanks to Mr. Dave.  We really appreciate you!