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. 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.
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. 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 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.