Pastor Walker and his wife Heather met while attending Southwest Baptist University. The Walkers have found that their bi-racial partnership has opened ministry doors for them in surprising ways, both in Africa and America. They were long-time missionaries in Uganda and Botswana when, in 2013, Michael injured his arm and it became infected. The Walkers came to Huntsville for what they thought was a temporary furlough for Michael's treatment and stayed in the house that Southside offers to missionaries in need of rest. The stay led to a call from Southside to join their ministry team. So the Walkers got involved with Southside while Michael healed. First, they were asked to help with the youth. The church fell in love with them and asked Michael to stay on as interim senior pastor for a few months. By September 2014, we asked the Walkers to remain in ministry in Huntsville.
They prayed, and sensed God had led them to Southside. "We didn't ask to be a pastor here," Michael said. "God just gave us such a heart for these people. I'm convinced that God is doing something - something that involves all of us - something new and refreshing here at Southside. We never expected to leave Africa for good; we were content in Botswana. But all of a sudden, we were uprooted and brought here. It's just something God did. ... When you're open to God, it's just limitless what you can do."
Each Sunday Will leads the praise team and congregation in heartfelt worship. Will majored in Music Composition at the University of Memphis. A gifted musician and songwriter, he usually leads with a guitar, but is often seen playing just about any instrument. Will not only leads worship, but he is intentional about helping others learn to worship and to lead worship as well.
How would you describe Will's style of worship music? He leans toward contemporary songs and hyms with updated tunes. He leads us to sing to God more often than singing about God.
Associate Pastor of Students
Pastor Byron and his wife, Laurel, both grew up in Huntsville, AL and met while serving in another local church. They married and remained in Huntsville for three years. But both felt God’s calling to full-time ministry so they moved to Dallas, TX to pursue seminary school. After graduating, Byron and Laurel moved back and began serving as the student pastor at Southside Baptist Church.
Byron and Laurel celebrated the birth of their first son, Byron Jr. in September 2013. He lived for two years and then the Lord suddenly decided to call him home. Through this dark time, Southside has become a second home and a great place for support and love. They continue to strive forward to serve God and be faithful to the ministry. They desire to help others through difficult times, speak God's word truthfully, and create a second family environment in all their ministries.
Preschool & Children's Minister
Rich and Lisa met in 1983 while attending Jones Country Jr. College in Ellisville MS. Lisa has a BS in Elementary Eduaction from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus Missisissippi and a Master's in Early Childhood from Mississippi State University in Starkville MS. She and Rich married in 1987 and moved to Huntsville in 1992. They have 3 children Julie, Caroline and Brent.
Lisa began serving at Southside as a preschool sunday school teacher. In 1998 the position of Preschool Minisinter came available. Lisa and Rich prayed about the postion and believe that God was leading her into ministry at Southside. Later the position of Children's Minister was combined with Preschool minister. Lisa loves to serve the families at Southside. It is a joy to watch the children hear Bible Stories and then watch as they begin to grow and apply those to their life. And the greatest blessing ever is when one of these children come to know Christ as their personal Savior. Lisa is blessed to be a part of what God is doing at Southside.
I was raised by Godly parents who led me to the Lord at age 9. I was discipled by my parents, children's workers, and youth workers through high school. Addie and Buster Rodgers, former Southside members, were two of them. God has continued the sanctification process until now. I have served as a deacon, worship leader, and taught Sunday School. The primary call God has given Jenny and me in this season is mentoring couples and individuals in conflict.
After meeting at Tennessee Technological University, Wayne and Sharon Allen Eads have been married for 27 years. Huntsville has been their home ever since. Both he and Sharon grew up in a Church of Christ faith family, but following an incredible spiritual journey, in which they grew and were changed by what they learned, were led to Southside, where they have attended for the past 17 years. They have four children and two grandchildren. Wayne enjoys family time, reading and outdoor adventures even more.
My parents were Methodist, but I was mostly nothing--curious about faith, but not serious--until high school when I started attending a small Baptist church in Madison with my future wife, Leilani. That pastor took us under his wing and really taught us so much about Scripture and walking with God. I am so thankful for that.
I went to a small church-sponsored seminary from 1994-1998 where I got a degree in Bible languages. I pastored Skyline Baptist Church in Madison for three years before moving our family to Southside. We loved pastor Murray's preaching, the Awana program for our kids, and the great folks who welcomed us into Randy and Debbie Kidd's Sunday School class.
Tina grew up in Huntsville. She gave her life to the Lord at her grandmother's church during Vacation Bible School. She began attending Southside in 1994 and came on staff in 1996. She has worked with Preschool, Children, Youth, College Students and Single Adults. She is now serving as Office Manager. She loves working with the people at Southside and helping ministries thrive.
Shannon grew up in a small town in Wisconsin where she came to meet her Lord and Savior. She then moved to California in 2012 to pursue a degree at Biola University. She graduated in 2016 with a BA in Intercultural Studies, minors in Biblical Studies and International Relations and a certification in TESOL. Upon graduation, she moved to Meridianville, Alabama to live with her parents and began working at Southside in September 2016. She is passionate about education, missions, culture, and languages.
Food Services Manager
Amanda has been married to Mike Smith for 41 years. They have 4 children that are all married and have 8 grandkids with another one due in late May 2017. Since Amanda has a large family and enjoys cooking for all 18 of them, she finds it almost easy to prepare our Wednesday night supper meals. Amanda stated that it is her calling to minister to people through making sure they are fed. “If one person can see Jesus in me and know how much I love Him, then my task is complete…..at least for that moment.”
Ted was born in Birmingham, Alabama on September 26, 1957. He was saved at the age of 19 and was in the Army National Gaurd for 6 years. Now, he has two sons: one is 28 years old and the other is 22 years old. Both of them are in the Air Force. Ted was been working at Southside since 2015 and really enjoys doing construction work.