'He's just someone you want to be around'

A few months ago, The Call began looking for an inspiring person to serve as subject of a future photo essay. The Rev. Bob Bean was suggested by former Knoxville District Superintendent Jim Whedbee.

"Bob is in his late 60s, going strong and as energetic as a 30-something," Whedbee wrote to us. "He's in his 16th year as pastor at Emerald Avenue United Methodist Church and is doing a wonderful job."

We called the University of Tennessee journalism department in Knoxville and asked for the name of a promising photojournalist. Alison Church, a graduating senior, was recommended.

Next, we introduced Bean and Church, arranged some times for them to get together, and left the rest up to the photographer. She came back to us a few weeks later with a stack of photos and glowing comments about the minister she saw at work.

"He's an incredible, caring, nice man," says Church, 22. "You can tell the kids really love him. He's just someone you want to be around."

View the selections from Church's collection of images.
–Annette Bender, Editor


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