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. He teaches Economics and World History and coaches tennis at Ramsay High School. 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.
Mike Higginbotham is a lifelong resident of Alabama, having grown up in Leeds and attended Jefferson County schools. Mike received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and English (1992) and a Master of Public Administration (1995) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he remains an active alumnus. He worked in the Office of Jefferson County Commissioner Chris McNair while obtaining the latter and moved into Jefferson County’s Department of Environmental Protection to do Outreach and Education in 1999. Mike branched out into something completely different in 2005 by entering real estate and continued there until fall of 2018. He is delighted to now serve as the Director of Avondale Samaritan Place.
Along his journey, Mike has been involved in a number of public pursuits, serving on the Planning Committee when Vulcan was renovated, as a Neighborhood President for Five Points South, on a number of Visiting Allocation Teams for United Way, Board President for the Homewood Public Library, and in the 2007 Class of Leadership Birmingham to name a few. He was chosen by the voters of District 3 as a member of the first elected School Board for Birmingham City Schools, and Mike currently serves as a member of the Homewood City Council, where he represents West Homewood.
Mike is married to Lisa Higginbotham, who is the Program Manager for the UAB Benevolent Fund, and they were blessed with their only child, Joshua, in 2004.