Wade’s selection by the other justices was announced Tuesday.
He has been on the five-member court since 2006. Before that Wade, of Sevierville, was a Court of Criminal Appeals judge for 19 years and an attorney.
He founded the Tennessee Judicial Conference Bar Foundation, which awards need-based scholarships to law students, and is co-founder of Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Wade will succeed current Chief Justice Cornelia Clark, who has served in the role for two years. Gov. Bill Haslam will give him the ceremonial oath Sept. 1 in Knoxville.