Kent McNish, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, has served as the executive director of the McKendree Village Foundation since May 2006 as executive director of the Golden Cross Foundation (now known as ENCORE Ministry) since May 2013.
Previously, he was in marketing at United Methodist Communications for almost 10 years, worked in the Nashville advertising agency business for 14 years and book publishing for 10 years. McNish began his career as a United Methodist minister, serving as pastor of the North Culpepper Charge (Hopewell, Richardsville and Brandy Station) in the Virginia Conference from June 1967 to June 1970. He returned to the Tennessee Conference, serving as associate minister of Belmont UMC in Nashville from June 1970 until December 1973. At that time, he “retired” from ordained ministry at the age of 29.
He is a graduate of Martin Methodist College, now known as the University of Tennessee Southern in Pulaski, where he has served on the Board of Trustees and president of the alumni association. McNish also graduated from Scarritt College in Nashville with a degree in Religion and has a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary at American University in Washington, DC.
McNish and his wife, Ellen, are charter members of Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, Tennessee. They have three children — Kevin, Emily and Laurel. McNish has three other children — Mindy, Meg and Amy — and six grandchildren.
McNish served as an elected member of the Board of Education for the Franklin Special School District from 1994 until 2012. He was elected to the All-Tennessee School Board in 2008 and has been an active Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow in Franklin. He has served as the Finance Committee chairperson of the Nashville District of The United Methodist Church and the chairperson of the Committee on the Episcopacy of the former Tennessee Conference. He was an alternate delegate to General Conference, 2016, and a delegate to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Currently he serves as an annual conference delegate from Christ UMC. He is also a member of the Scarritt Bennett Center Board of Directors.