About Miriam’s Promise

Founded in 1985 by the Tennessee Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church to provide unplanned pregnancy counseling and parenting and adoption services.

Our History

What’s in a name?
For Miriam’s Promise,

From the very beginning, the pregnancy, parenting and adoption agency was inspired by the biblical story of Miriam, the sister of Moses. Found in Exodus 2:1-10, the passage tells the tale of a woman who hid her baby in a basket in the Nile, fearing for his life. At the time, the Pharaoh of Egypt feared that the growing population of Israelites in his country might side with Egypt’s enemies; he ordered that all baby boys delivered by the Hebrew midwives be killed.

But this woman made a plan for her son—the boy who would grow to become Moses, leader of his people. His sister Miriam watched from the banks, and when the Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the child and decided to adopt him, Miriam stepped up to offer the baby’s mother as a wet nurse.

The mother made a loving choice. The adoptive parent took him in. And the sister helped bridge the gap.

Today, Miriam’s Promise serves as that bridge. Originally intended to be a small satellite office of Holston United Methodist Home for Children of Greeneville, Tenn., we’ve grown to offer a great variety of services for children and families alike. Miriam’s Promise was established in 1985, and became an independent not-for-profit adoption agency in 2003.

Our Core Values

Along with our mission to ensure the well-being of the child by nurturing individuals and families, we look to these core values to guide all that we do.

Permanency for children

We know that to make healthy attachments, children must feel safe and cared for consistently.

Family nurturing

We take a holistic approach to the family unit and don’t focus on only one member of the adoption triad.

Respect for individuals and choices

It is not our job to force anyone to do anything they do not want to do. If an expectant parent chooses to make an adoption plan, we support them. If an expectant parent chooses to parent their child, we support them.


Our hope is to always assess the expressed needs of the community and then engage in ways that are helpful and hopeful.

Diversity, equity, &

Miriam’s Promise is committed to welcoming and affirming all voices and perspectives throughout our organization. All humans, regardless of color, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, or different abilities are valued. We know that only through diversity, equity, and inclusion will we reach our full potential.

Faith in God

It is through our faith that we, as an organization, can continue to enable our clients to create family situtations that are best for them.

Our team

Meet the Staff

J. Dietz Osborne, M.S.​

President & CEO

Dietz is originally from Little Rock, AR and holds a BA in Theatre Arts from UA Little Rock and a Master’s degree in Management & Leadership from Western Governors University.

Lee-Ann Higgins, LMSW

Director of Program Services

Lee-Ann earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Tennessee.

Joanna Torres, M.A.

Pregnancy & Adoption Counselor

Joanna Torres earned her Master’s degree in Human Behavior from National University in Costa Mesa, CA, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from Hope International University in Fullerton, CA. 

Michael McGarvey, M.S.

Mission & Program Manager

Michael McGarvey is a Nashville native and holds a B.S. in Religious Studies from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Belmont University. 

Charlsey Gibson, LMSW

Pregnancy & Adoption Counselor

Charlsey is a native Nashvillian who earned her BSW from Belmont University and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania.   

Erene’ Bell, MMSW

Pregnancy & Adoption Counselor

Erene’ earned her BSW from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN and her MSW from Tennessee State University.  


Miriam’s Promise Stories

Our Board of Directors



Mr. Joe Bass, Communications Strategist, Pinnacle Financial


Ms. Kasey Hamilton, Early Childhood Specialist, Tennessee Department of Education


Mr. Johnny Peppers, Owner, PMI.,  Adjunct Prof. NSCC

 Incoming Chair:

Ms. Ferrol Thomas, DNP, RN Director of Workforce Strategies, Tennessee Hospital Association

President & CEO:

Mr. J. Dietz Osborne, M.S.


Mr. Fred Brown, Chaplain, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital

Mr. Will Ferrell, Certified Lay Servant, Calvary United Methodist Church

Dr. Helen Cavasin, OB/GYN: Hendersonville Obstetrics

Mr. Rick Fox, Principal/Owner, Fox Associates 

Ms. Elisabeth Garcia, Lead Speech-Language Pathologist, Clinical Sup. Feltz Therapy Services

Ms. Ann Rybka, Director, Atlas Insight LLC

Rev. Sarah McWhirt-Toler, Pastor of Community Life, Connell Memorial UMC

Mr. Jay Rogers,  Senior Clinical Imaging Systems Administrator, HCA Healthcare

Join Our Team!

We are interested in highly motivated individuals with a heart for pregnancy counseling, parenting coaching, and adoption-related services. Since 1985, Miriam’s Promise has offered hope and healing to thousands of Middle Tennessee expectant parents, birth parents, children, and adoptive families coping with issues of grief, loss, and transition. If you are interested in being part of our team, please email Dietz Osborne.

Miriam’s Promise is an equal opportunity employer, fully committed to ensuring equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, creed, gender, age, color, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity or veteran status. Miriam’s Promise’s commitment to equal opportunity is reflected in our advertising, recruiting, hiring, compensation, promotions, transfers, training, benefits, and all other terms and conditions of employment.

The Board of Directors is seeking an experienced and driven Executive Director to lead its team of service providers, rapidly grow funding development, and serve as the face of the organization. Ideal candidates will have a strong connection to our mission and values; leadership and supervisory experience; and successful experience in fundraising and the grant writing process. They will embrace the inclusive philosophy of Miriam’s Promise to include all Federally protected classes and marginalized populations. Direct experience in adoption and family services and/or social work preferred. 

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. They will be expected to maintain consistent, positive relationships with Directors and to keep them informed of the organization’s successes, struggles, progress, needs, and fiscal condition. They will also maintain consistent, positive relationships with church officials and leadership, regulatory authorities, state and local governments, nonprofit networks, and the broader adoption community. 

Miriam’s Promise was founded by and is still affiliated with the Tennessee/Western Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church. The Executive Director will speak regularly to a broad spectrum of community groups to share the mission, needs, and successes of Miriam’s Promise, including at religious services and gatherings, secular events, and events focused on diversity and inclusion, to name a few. They are also responsible for preparing the annual funding request (apportionment) for the United Methodist Church and for maintaining the overall Conference relationship. 

The Executive Director is expected to maintain a working knowledge of the adoption services industry and all applicable laws and to keep informed of proposed legislation that could affect the organization’s mission and services. 

Applicants should include a cover letter that speaks directly to the mission and values of Miriam’s Promise, the applicant’s connection to them, and relevant leadership experience to push them forward.

Job Responsibilities


  • Provide leadership, direction, and oversight to all personnel.
  • Set individual and team service delivery goals and review performance on a regular basis.
  • Review procedures and goals semi-annually with the leadership team to verify or recommend needed changes in program services. 
  • Accountable for onboarding, development, and continuing education for staff.

Safety and Client Rights

  • Assure practices and procedures that safeguard the physical and psychological safety of clients.
  • Report immediately to the Board of Directors any circumstances of abuse/neglect of clients, or circumstances which otherwise appear to violate client rights.
  • Through training and supervision, provide staff with the knowledge and tools to support clients’ physical, emotional, and psychological safety.
  • Assure that the program provides services that promote an awareness of and sensitivity to the cultural backgrounds and needs of the clients served.

Fundraising /Development 

  • Work with the Board to create and implement a strategic development plan, including measurable objectives and budget, in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner.
  • Increase new donors by setting measurable goals, developing materials, tracking and following up; maintaining and enhancing engagement with existing donors.
  • Identify private and public grant opportunities and oversee the application process.
  • Train and lead other staff to support fundraising and marketing efforts.


  • Assure fiscal accountability which includes:
  • Supervisory approval of expenditures and voucher requests
  • Maintaining records of site expenditures
  • Review financial statements with the Treasurer and Board
  • Prepare the yearly budget and present it to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.
  • Make staff salary recommendations; oversee payroll and employee benefits.
  • Schedule and supervise the yearly audit; ensure preparation and submission of form 990, communicate with the Board of Directors regarding findings.
  • Review accounts receivable and financial statements (monthly and year-end).

Board Development and Relationships

  • Work closely with the Chair of the Board of Directors to develop a strong and effective board to develop and achieve the strategic plan of the agency.
  • Develop and provide Board orientation for new members, including the provision of board manuals, roles and responsibilities, policies, etc.
  • Develop working relationships with individual Board members to determine members’ best use of skills, areas of interest, etc.
  • Maintain appropriate Board correspondence, minutes of official meetings, etc.
  • Monitor, plan, and report progress to the Board at its bi-monthly meetings

Public Relations and Awareness

  • Oversee communication materials for the community-at-large and specific groups.
  • Oversee PR statements, appearances, event communications, website, etc.
  • Network with area churches inside and outside the Tennessee Conference and local agencies to determine service needs, maintain positive relationships, increase awareness, and encourage financial support.
  • Participate in Conference leadership activities to maintain positive relationships within the Annual Conference and local congregations.

Additional Job Duties

  • Prepare and file monthly and annual reports on forms furnished by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, as well as special reports as required.
  • Through individual study and participation in professional conferences, remain informed of current issues and developments in the social services and leadership/management fields.
  • Participate with other local, regional, and state councils and associations in child and family advocacy efforts.
  • Maintain cooperative working relationships with funders, foundations, government agencies, community agencies, referral sources, schools, juvenile justice authorities, etc.

Knowledge and Experience
Qualified candidates will:

Key Skills
The ideal candidate for this position must:

  • Abide by the organization’s mission and be committed to the core values of the agency; demonstrate, communicate, and represent those to others
  • Demonstrate leadership ability in strategizing and coalition-building
  • Demonstrate effectiveness and leadership experience in fund development, including the grant process
  • Demonstrate an awareness of and sensitivity to the various cultural and socioeconomic characteristics of the clients and staff members
  • Have strong leadership and supervisory abilities, with a focus on building relationships and creating a positive work environment for staff and clients
  • Have the skills and comfort necessary to grow the organization and its public profile
  • Be comfortable speaking and networking in both faith-based and secular groups, including those focused on diversity and inclusion
  • Demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strength in preparing and tracking an annual budget
  • Possess professional demeanor and skills in working with staff, clients, volunteers, and members of the community
  • Have knowledge of and abide by rules of confidentiality
  • Have a vehicle for business use and a valid TN driver’s license and current automobile insurance
  • Be able to use computers efficiently (i.e., word processing [Microsoft Word, Excel], data storage/retrieval, donor tracking systems, etc.)

Additional Information


Negotiable Package
Salary and benefits are to be determined in partnership with the Board of Directors. Medical, dental, pension, and other benefits are available. Base salary can be negotiated based on which benefits are needed. The total compensation package, including salary, benefits, and social security, starts at $70,000.

Incentive Potential
Together with the Executive Director, the Board of Directors may establish a bi-annual incentive schedule based on meeting goals for funding growth. 

How to Apply


Applicants should send a cover letter and resume to MiriamsPromiseSearch@gmail.com. Cover letters should speak directly to the mission and values of Miriam’s Promise, the applicant’s connection to them, and relevant leadership experience to push them forward.

Support Our Mission

We rely on the generous support of volunteers and donors to make a difference