PROGRAM: Bill Haslam will discuss his new book, Faithful Presence: The Promise and the Peril of Faith in the Public Square, joined by retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade


DATE: Thursday, September 16, at 6:30 p.m.


LOCATION: First Presbyterian Church, 620 State Street, Knoxville, TN 37902


Registration required on ETHS website

Join us as Bill Haslam, former mayor of Knoxville and governor of Tennessee, discusses his new book, Faithful Presence: The Promise and the Peril of Faith in the Public Square, on September 16 at 6:30 p.m. Retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Gary Wade will join Haslam for this special “Tennessee Conversation” event, to be held in the sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Knoxville.

The publisher, Thomas Nelson, notes that “Haslam has long been at the center of politics and policy on local, state, and federal levels, and he has consistently been guided by his faith, which influenced his actions on a wide range of issues. Yet the place of faith in public life has been hotly debated since our nation’s founding, and the relationship of church and state remains contentious to this day.”

He continues that “Faithful Presence: The Promise and the Peril of Faith in the Public Square calls for a different way. Drawing upon his years of public service, Haslam will discuss his remarkable vision for the redemptive role of faith in politics while examining some of the most complex issues of our time.”

Books are available before and after the event from the Museum of East Tennessee History’s gift shop. They will also be available for purchase and signing the night of the event at First Presbyterian Church.


About the Speakers

Bill Haslam is the former two-term mayor of Knoxville and former two-term governor of Tennessee, reelected in 2014 with the largest victory margin of any gubernatorial election in Tennessee history. During his tenure, Tennessee became the fastest improving state in the country in K-12 education and the first state to provide free community college or technical school for all its citizens, in addition to adding 475,000 new jobs. Haslam serves on the boards of Teach for America and Young Life. In the fall of 2019, Haslam became a visiting professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. He and his wife of 38 years, Crissy, have three children and nine grandchildren.

Gary Wade worked as a private practice attorney in his hometown of Sevierville, Tennessee, where he was elected mayor in 1977 and served five successive terms. He then became a judge for the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals for 19 years and was its presiding judge for eight of those years. Former Governor Phil Bredesen appointed Wade to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2006, where he also served as the court’s chief justice for two years. Wade retired from the Tennessee Supreme Court in 2015, then serving as vice president and dean of Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law until he retired in 2020. He now holds a position at Knoxville law firm London Amburn.



About the East Tennessee Historical Society


Established in 1834, the East Tennessee Historical Society is widely acknowledged as one of the most active history organizations in the state and enjoys a national reputation for excellence in programming and education. For 187 years the East Tennessee Historical Society has been helping East Tennesseans hold on to our unique heritage—recording the events, collecting the artifacts, and saving the stories that comprise the history we all share.