Rev. Dr. Billy Newton
Following a career in education, chaplaincy, and nonprofit social services, Billy Newton was installed as pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church on August 30, 2015.
In 2013-2015, Newton assisted Highland during a transitional time for the church, while he continued at Maryville College and with community programs, serving as President of the New Opportunity School for Women Foundation in Berea, KY. For twenty years previously, he served as Chaplain and director of engaged learning at Rhodes College in Memphis and as Executive Director of The Center for Strong Communities in Maryville, TN.
Billy attended Rhodes College and graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Ministry degree, focusing on practical theology and community peacemaking. He is ordained as a teaching elder and minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). The focus of his work has always been teaching, social services, and connecting colleges, churches and communities for social justice and education.
He has served on staff and boards with numerous nonprofits and grassroots organizations, particularly with community education and social justice efforts in Memphis and Central/Southern Appalachia. While in Memphis, he taught and wrote curriculum for the School of Servant Leadership and developed college-community partnerships in service-learning and leadership development. He has also led special projects with the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, Memphis InterFaith Association, Heifer International, the Micah 6 Project, and with the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, NJ. For sixteen years, he was friend and pastor to many of the homeless men and women in Memphis.