Malinda was born and raised in Pelham, Alabama, and grew up at Helena United Methodist Church. You could say she was attending church before she was born since her mother was the church organist at Helena for 50 years. Malinda attended college at the University of Alabama where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunication and Film; in layman’s terms that’s broadcasting. Malinda worked for a few years at NBC 13 here in Birmingham, finishing there as the 6:00am morning show producer before answering God’s call to ministry. She went on to attend Emory University in Atlanta where she received a Master of Divinity and also met her future husband while singing in the theology school’s choral ensemble The Candler Singers.
Malinda is married to Disney Weaver, her husband of nine years. Disney teaches Economics at Ramsay High School and college theology courses through Huntingdon College. They have two young daughters, Rose and Margaret, who are both social butterflies. Malinda enjoys gardening with Disney, being amused by her girls, and traveling with all three of them.
Malinda’s biggest passions in ministry are mission work and helping people find their place in the mission of the church. She believes God calls each of us to somehow be in service. From swinging a hammer … to serving meals to hungry people … to writing notes of encouragement to those who need them … we all have a part to play in the kingdom of God. Malinda will challenge you to find your place of service if you haven’t already.
Randi doesn’t have one hometown because her dad was an Air Force pilot. She was born in Hawaii and has lived in ten states and two countries. She moved back to Birmingham in 2005. She has more than ten years experience in educating students of various ages which allows her to meet the many varying needs of families in our congregation and community. She did her undergraduate work at Samford University and went on to receive a Master of Education from Vanderbilt University. Randi has been worshiping with us for a few years and became a member of our congregation in March of 2016. She loves our church and affirms the church’s vision of including all people into our community of faith. In her words, “I feel strongly about our church ministering to families whose dynamics vary from traditional nuclear families, as I believe it is our duty to welcome them with open arms and provide support to their unique situations.” Randi’s role is two-fold: (1) to provide quality learning and fellowship opportunities for the faith development of our children and (2) to offer meaningful avenues for all individuals and families, whether someone has children or not, to engage more fully in the life of the church (for example, through a small group or Bible study). Randi’s husband Ricky is an Inventory Supervisor at Greenbrier Rail Services. Together, they have twin daughters, Addison & Aubrey, and a son, Trenton.
Brooke grew up in Oneonta. She has been a lifelong Methodist and loves our church. Brooke notes that “from our beginnings, the Methodist Church has always had a strong link to education and it is exciting to witness the effect our program is having in this community today.” She definitely has a heart for Avondale and a great vision for our Parents’ Day Out that will carry us well into the future. Brooke graduated from the University of Alabama and in recent years has been a Toddler One teacher for our Parents’ Day Out. Brooke’s husband Reid is a physical therapist at Children’s Hospital. Together, they have two young daughters, Reese and Lane. Brooke remains a die-hard Bama fan to this day.
Richard Byrd, a Birmingham native, is thrilled to be a part of the Avondale UMC community. He studied church music and organ performance at Birmingham-Southern College (Dr. Jim Cook) and Samford University (Dr. Jim Dorroh), and also nursing at UAB. Before coming to Avondale, Richard was Music Associate at St. Mary’s-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church for 15 years. Currently, he works as a staff pianist for the UAB Department of Music accompanying voice lessons, choral ensembles, and musical theatre productions. Richard does regular work for Birmingham area theatre companies and educational institutions including Red Mountain Theatre Company, Virginia Samford Theatre, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham-Southern, Central Alabama Theatre, Spain Park High School, and Briarwood Christian School.
Anne’s duties include Payroll, Accounts Payable, Bank Reconciliations, and Financial Reports for Avondale UMC.
Anne is a widow with 2 daughters and 5 grandchildren. Anne has deep family roots at Avondale, joining at the age of nine. She was married in the beautiful sanctuary and her sister, Gwenn Freeman, is very active at AUMC.
Anne enjoys sewing for her family and reading. She is a dedicated donor of platelets every two weeks.
Attended Auburn University. B.S. in Mathematics from Samford University.
Zoe grew up in Columbus, Georgia with her wonderful parents, sister, and two cats, Snowball and Little Baby Kitty. She attended St. Luke UMC and graduated in the top 10% of her class at Columbus High School. She’s been in church and school choirs for as long as she can remember—and her parents have the home videos to prove it. Zoe loves singing, dancing, acting, writing, and smiling.
Zoe is a music major at Birmingham-Southern College studying opera and vocal performance. She may be one of the only students there who likes music theory! She’s also really involved in the theatre department, always auditioning for their musicals. In addition, she is an RA on campus and part of religious life and the honors program. Interfaith studies is also an interest of hers.
Although not exactly sure what she wants to “do with her life,” Zoe’s focus of study right now is finding meaningful work in performance: opera and musical theatre. She loves how much she can learn from stories on stage: how to communicate, how to push through challenges, and how to “be human in extraordinary circumstances,” as one of her theater professors once put it. She loves being part of that real life experience and sharing it with others.
Zoe is thrilled to get to work with such great kids at Avondale UMC who seem genuinely excited about singing. She loves being greeted with smiles every time she enters our church building and that our church and its leaders truly invest in the “accept everyone” attitude; it’s reflected in the congregation.