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 a local news station 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. He teaches Economics, Sociology, and World History at Ramsay High School, and he coaches the school’s tennis team. 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.
Jeanne Baker is delighted to serve in the role of Bookkeeper for Avondale United Methodist Church. Recently retired after 30 years, Jeanne worked for the Jefferson County Department of Health, first as a Nutritionist for the W.I.C. program and the past 12 years as District Nutrition Director of that program. She lives in Avondale with her husband, Neal, also retired and her two golden retrievers, Lucy and Olive, and two cats, Eva and Kieran. Jeanne loves to work outdoors, enjoys crafting, and is an avid reader.
Michael Wilson was with the Birmingham City Schools from 1992 until his retirement in November of 2019. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Wilson completed his Master’s and Ed.S degrees in special education from The University of Alabama, Birmingham, as well as an Ed.S. in Educational Administration from the University of Montevallo. In 2003 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership from the University of Alabama.
Dr. Wilson served as a special education teacher, assistant principal, and led two elementary schools within the Birmingham City School System. He first served as principal at Whatley Elementary and then as principal at Glen Iris Elementary which was under his leadership for 14 years. During his first year as principal at Whatley Elementary, his school was one of six schools across the state to move from Alert III status to Academic Clear. Whatley was converted successfully from a K-5 to a K-8 school in 2003. He also oversaw the first Kaboom playground construction in the district at Whatley Elementary and the last at Glen Iris. Dr. Wilson left Whatley in 2006 with 100% of their accountability goals reached.
Dr. Wilson worked tirelessly to ensure that the curriculum implemented is one that is rigorous and relevant in order to meet the diverse needs of the over 700 students at Glen Iris. He empowered teachers to utilize an integrated approach to learning thereby improving the achievement of all students. This is accomplished by having the literacy standards as the driving force across all curriculum areas. Another avenue he instituted in order to ensure continuous learning for teachers and students was a partnership with the UAB Curriculum and Instruction Department. This partnership provides strategic professional development for teachers during and after school. Under his supervision Glen Iris was awarded two prestigious academic achievement awards: Bronze winner of National Center for Urban Transformation and CLAS Banner School.
As principal of Glen Iris Elementary school Dr. Wilson experienced many accomplishments. He partnered with B.R.E.A.D (Birmingham Regional Empowerment and Development Center) and was awarded a 21st Century grant. Dr. Wilson also served as Alabama’s Ambassador for the Afterschool Alliance whose mission is to ensure that all children have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs.
Dr. Wilson’s dream of an outdoor classroom came to fruition through a partnership with Jones Valley Teaching Farm. It includes several plant habitats, a vegetable washing station, a pond with a variety of living creatures, and a seasonal farmer’s market, run by students, that supports our local community. Thanks to this partnership the Good School Food Program was created and has since been replicated at seven schools within the Birmingham City School district.
Dr. Wilson retired after successfully opening The Magic City Acceptance Academy, a charter school located in Homewood, Alabama.
Dr. Wilson has served on several advisory committees such as Partners in Education, Family Involvement, Hands on Birmingham, and Community Education South.
Associations and Honors
State President of Alabama Association of Elementary School Principals
Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, Board of Directors
Chairperson for Alabama Council for Leadership Development
Jenna is a student at Samford University studying nursing with a minor in nutrition. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and chose Samford because of the community, the faith-based education, and the beautiful city of Birmingham! She is so excited to be a part of the Avondale community.