Donald Fishburne

Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States

Episcopal Priest, Priest, Clergy, Minister, Pastor

Donald Fishburne and Associates

Mentor, coach:

When I was 27 years old, I became an Episcopal priest. I left behind the fun and challenge of a career as a newspaper reporter for the greater fun and excitement of helping people change lives for the good.

I recently retired as rector of St Paul’s, a large Episcopal church in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, which has a staff of 20 lay persons and clergy. The church also functions as a teaching parish, which inspires and equips new lay leaders and clergy. I am privileged to serve our Lord alongside bright, faithful people of all ages - people seeking new direction in their lives and vocations.

Here’s a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet session(s):
• How to “find” yourself and what is important to you in a religious profession.
• How to believe in your abilities and dreams to work among the clergy.
• How to decide where to attend divinity school and pursue theological studies.
• What it takes to have one’s own parish.
• How to strengthen your skills in ministry and use your talents to work with others through a church, other religious organizations or ministries.

For a brief moment in time when I was thinking about leaving news reporting, I was considering going into public relations and marketing in the for-profit sector. I am glad I didn’t. I'm much better at "marketing" eternal truths and good news to people in need of hearing it. I don't sell a product; I am fortunate to offer a free gift.


I love to spread good news and help people discover their purposes in life and define and achieve their goals. I have mentored and advised lay persons in new vocations in the Episcopal Church and outside the church, as well as seminary students, new clergy and clergy in new and expanded positions of responsibility.

I've been the rector of a number of remarkable and diverse congregations and have enjoyed serving on the board of regents of The University of the South and as president of the board of the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes. Each of these exists to educate and equip people to make a difference in the world. I have also served on boards of directors of universities and non-profit and for-profit institutions.