The Advent House chaplains serve the students in various ways and helps further the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on UTK’s campus.

Keila Carmona

Keilla is our assistant chaplain

Keila Carmona serves as the assistant chaplain of Advent House. When she is not preparing for a vespers or shopping for a spaghetti dinner, she spends her time exploring Knoxville, reading and writing. Keila also likes to travel and enjoys a good old fashion movie night with friends.

Keila completed her Bachelors in Social Work at Andrews University, a degree that has helped to refine her listening skills, her ability to empathize and provide holistic support. Before coming to Advent House, she worked in the undergraduate women’s dormitory, on the campus of Andrews University, as both a Resident Advisor and Student Dean. These positions have helped to build her social programing spiritual programming skills as well as her mentoring abilities. Some of Keila’s passions that she is able to put to use at Advent House include creating genuine connections and relationships with those around her as well as empowering young adults to be leaders for the kingdom of God.

Keila can be best contacted by email, at


Michaela Lawrence Jeffery (and her husband Justin) Chaplain/Director

Michaela (and her husband Justin Jeffery)

Pastor Michaela Lawrence Jeffery serves as chaplain and director of Advent House along with director of Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF) in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference. She is a wife and mother and as a family, the three enjoy music, travel, and food from a variety of cultures. Michaela tries to be a gardener but (sadly) her plants don’t always hear from her. Her competitive side is most humorously seen during a game of Dutch Blitz.

Michaela especially enjoys helping students through mentoring. One of the ways she’s improved her listening and guiding skills is by participating in the Cypress River Coaches Training Program led by Nick Howard. In 2013, she earned a coaching certificate at the end of the training. Michaela is a member of the Campus Ministers Council at UTK and a commissioned Seventh-day Adventist pastor. 

For advising, coaching, individual Bible studies or other specifics, feel free to contact Michaela directly via email or by calling 865.522.3193.