THE AWAB BOARD
AWAB‘s Board is made up of volunteers from a diverse cross section of our community. We seek to include the voices of our various sexualities and gender identities as well as our ethnic and racial, economic and educational diversities. We also strive to balance lay and ordained as well as geographic representation. This challenge to practice inclusion at all levels invites us to live God’s Magnificent Welcome in all that we do.
Chair of the Board of Directors
Rev. Ann Louise Haak
You could say that Ann-Louise is a self-contained ecumenical gathering - baptized by Methodists, confirmed by Swedish Lutherans, formed in faith by Presbyterians, seminary trained by the UCC, and an ordained American Baptist minister. Most recently, she served the congregation of Lake Street Church in Evanston as their Associate Minister for eight years. She holds degrees from Grinnell College in Iowa and Chicago Theological Seminary.
Ann-Louise is passionate about far too many things - biking, gardening, baking, reading, unlearning her own racism, creating a more just world, and building a truly inclusive church, no matter how challenging that is. Thankfully, her partner, Dr. Shelby Hatch, and her eighteen-year-old son, Marcus, keep her grounded and focused.
Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors
Rev. Dr. David Key
David is the former director of the Baptist Studies Program at Emory University's Candler School of Theology where for 18 years, he taught Baptist history, theology and polity, as well as church leadership and contextual studies. He is the founding pastor of the Lake Oconee Community Church and is on faculty at Grand Canyon University, an Evangelical University in Arizona. His interests include the Religious Right, southern religiosity, Baptist relationships with the ecumenical movement, metaphysics, technological and social change, and cultural/political movements. He is an ordained Baptist minister and a noted activist and national leader for LGBTQ equality in the Southern United States.
Allen is currently retired from a long career in professional accounting and environmental-services companies. He holds an MBA from Georgia State University, a BS in Environmental Science from the Texas Christian University, and an Accounting Certificate from Bellarmine University. Allen is a long-term member of Crescent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville, where he has served as Deacon and Treasurer, and on the Finance, Personnel, Property, and Transportation committees.
Allen has put his financal acumen to work with the United Crescent Hill Ministries, the AARP (volunteer tax counselor) and his homeowners' association. Allen and partner (of more than 40 years) Eileen live in Louisville.
Secretary of the Corporation
Shella retired from the Tompkins County Department of Social Services after 26 years in what she calls the perfect job. She has served on several boards in Tompkins County and remains committed to her identity as a social worker. She is now the Office Manager for the First Baptist Church of Ithaca, which allows her to contniue being a social worker when people contact the church in need of help. Shella is probably most proud of her wonderful daughters and grandsons -- a job that never gets old!
Rev. Rodrick Echols
Rod serves as the Pastor of Congregational Development at Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa, California, where he focuses on nurturing and sustaining the spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being of the congregation. Rod is a political science graduate of Brown University, and the recipient of a master's degree in divinity from Boston University (2009). He has held development roles with several prominent institutions like UC San Diego, Brown, United Way, City Year Rhode Island, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He enjoys books, movies, sports, and non-chocolate candies.
Robin is a Research Scientist with the Intel Labs, where she has been researching software techniques to reduce power consumption in "extreme scale" supercomputers. In 20+ years at Intel, she has been involved with system-software research from mobile devices and laptops through cloud computing, distributed systems, and high-performance computing. Robin holds 39 patents, and is a senior member of the IEEE.
Outside of work, Robin whimsically thinks of herself as an "iconoclastic punny geek Christian, aspiring polymath, incurable horophile". Supplementing her American Baptist heritage, she is a Council Member for the GLAD Alliance (AWAB "sister" group for LGBT issues with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)), and she chairs the Social Justice committee at the First Christian Church of Portland, Oregon. She lives in downtown Portland, with her wonderful cat Libby.
Rev. Madison McClendon
Madison is an Assistant Director for College Stewardship at the University of Chicago Alumni Relations and Development Office, and has his M.Div. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. He is a member of North Shore Baptist Church and is in the ordination process for the American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan Chicago.
Rev. Dr. Randle "Rick" Mixon
Rick is the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto, CA. A graduate of the American Baptist Seminary of the West, he was ordained as an American Baptist minister in 1996 after a 23 year struggle. In 1973 Rick co-founded American Baptists Concerned, the parent organization of AWAB. He has served as co-chair, Board member, or staff person of the group for some 20 years.
Rick has a master's degree in counseling from California State University-Hayward and a California state marriage and family therapist license. He earned his Ph.D. in religion and psychology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley in 1995. More of Rick's story is available at his entry in the LGBT Religious Archives Network.
Immediate-Past Chair of the Board
Rev. David Weasley
Rev. David Weasley has served on the AWAB Board since March of 2010. He is an ordained American Baptist pastor, and currently serves as Youth Programs Director at the First Congregational Church of Bellingham Washington. A graduate of Oberlin College and the Chicago Theological Seminary, he is completing a Spiritual Direction program at Loyola University. His love and support for AWAB began during his years as a member of Peace Community Church in Oberlin Ohio, and at Grace Baptist Church, Chicago.
A self-described "huge nerd", David's extracurricular interests include Dungeons and Dragons, storytelling, enthusastically playing the mandolin, dismantling corporate hegemony, and "whatever the young people in the church youth group are into these days"
photo used by permission Creative Commons/Heather Stone.