One thing to check is if the courthouse where they did file has an online submission area. Here in AZ the court has a website you can file papers through, thus making it so you don't have to actually show up in person, and in your case, TN.
Along with everything else suggested above, I would be trying to see their court documents online, start preparing an response and have it ready so that if/when they do catch up to you, you can simply send off your response. I know if you are out of state here in AZ, you get extra days to respond as well.
This may just be different because it's TN, but how come there is already a court date? Here in AZ, you get a summons, have X # of days to file your answer THEN a court date is set. Have they already done something to try to show you failed to "answer" and get the court date set?