A Good Pour: Tammy Hayes

A Good Pour is a series of good conversations with good people. It is inspired by the 100 Cups Academy with the awesome Jason Elkins through the very helpful TN Small Business Development Center at Vol State. Learn more at https://100cups.coffee/.


A Good Pour with Tammy Hayes

How I Know Tammy

I’ve heard the name Tammy Hayes name since 2014 when she ran for school board, but I had never met her until I introduced myself at Hendersonville Night Rotary’s Wine Pairing Dinner in July. We had coffee the following week as Brenda Payne had recommended Tammy for A Good Pour. 

I’ll admit that I’ve procrastinated writing this one because I’m scared that I won’t do the conversation justice. Tammy is a force, but she is a force that is fierce and graceful all at once. Our talk was just short of three hours, and I loved every single minute. I left full, feeling like I had just gone to church. I want her as my mentor and friend and counselor. Also, I need to mention that Myers Front Porch is holy ground – have a conversation with a good person there and see for yourself. 

Her Sumner Story

Tammy grew in South Carolina and spent her summers learning the value of hard work on her family’s farm. Her father was a coach/teacher/principal, and she comes from a long line of educators. Tammy moved to Sumner County 39 years ago with her husband, Jonathan Hayes, who also serves as an elected official for Hendersonville. She has served this community as a teacher at Nannie Berry Elementary, as a women’s leader at First Baptist Church Hendersonville, and now as an elected official on the school board. She helped form Celebrate Recovery at First Baptist and firmly believes that we are all recovering from something. Tammy is an advocate for children and a champion of women. She credits God for giving her the next opportunity to serve, saying the breath of God takes her anywhere He needs her.

Tammy has had the opportunity to visit and serve in places all over the world, including the Ukraine, Afghanistan, Dubai, and Israel. Seeing how other people live changed the way she lives. I identified with this since I’ve had the opportunity to visit Haiti several times. We talked about how once you immerse yourself in another culture, you can’t help but experience life in America differently. This can be greater gratitude for what you have, awarness of all we waste and take for granted, awe and wonder of how much God has done, and frustration about how much work there is left to do. You feel all these things at once, and it is forever life-changing. It’s also easy to forget, which is why conversations like the one I had with Tammy are so needed. We need reminders of the experiences that have shaped us.

We talked a lot about her decision to run for the school board. I love how she described it, and it reminds me of times when God has first whispered what He wants me to do and then ends up having to yell it because my stubborn self doesn’t want to listen. Tammy said that God made her miserable until she pulled the papers to run for office. It was a burden on her heart. Have you experienced that nagging before? The pull at your heart and soul and mind until you obey. Obedience is worth it every time, and Tammy’s entire story is a celebration of obedience; running for school board is just one small example.

Tammy and Jonathan have three boys with the most fantastic names: Jonathan Craft, Robert Chastain, and Caleb Brown. They also have three grandchildren and talking about any of her family members makes Tammy so happy.

She said so many amazing things, but there is one quote she said that I want to live into as I get older: “I’m too young to quit and too old to be bullied.” Amen, and thank God.


What is helping her right now? 

  • Her faith in the Truth that comes from God’s Word
  • Running and biking are a type of therapy for her and allow her time to think.

tammy hayes hendersonville quote

What is an organization or cause near and dear to her heart?

The Grace Place Women’s Alliance – a network of community-minded women who want to support single mothers and children experiencing homelessness in their struggle for stability and survival. (I think this concept is brilliant, and I’m encouraging my mom to join.) 

What is a movie, television show, podcast, writer, song, etc., to add The Good List?

  • Leadership Sumner
  • Myers Front Porch
  • Jess and Sam Gilbert of Rock Castle
  • Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

(Read more from The Good List.)

Tammy – Simply put, meeting with you was a gift. You are an inspiration.  – KG