Where were you born and raised? I was born in Columbus and raised across the river in Smiths Station, Ala. It was a good place to grow up. It was a smaller town then. Everybody knew everybody.
What’s the latest book you read, or current one? We are currently reading C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters” for a study group at church. It is fascinating. It’s for a Bible study on Wednesdays. I always wanted to read it and study it.
What have you learned so far? It’s an interesting look into how we think. It’s a spiritual warfare book — how Satan can turn our thoughts away from God. It’s not a typical C.S. Lewis book; it was probably the hardest one he wrote. I’d read excerpts but never in its entirety. Our young adults are doing the study as well.
Favorite movie? My husband and I love movies of all kinds. Perhaps one of our favorites is “Stranger than Fiction.” It has a wonderful theme of sacrifice at the end.
Who’s in your family? My husband, Shannon, and our two children, Grant and Isabel. Shannon is the youth minister here at St. Mark. Grant is in first grade and Isabelle is 18 months old. They are such a joy.
How did you and Shannon meet? At Auburn, at the Wesley Foundation (a United Methodist campus ministry). We married in 2001 at Auburn United Methodist, and we’ll celebrate our 10-year anniversary in June.
Do your parents still live in Smiths Station? They’re close by, in Salem.
What’s the best part of your job? Most definitely, the people. It is such an honor to share in other people’s lives, both in the good and the bad times.
Explain the difference, in your denomination, between a deacon and elder. How did you decide to be a deacon? Both are ordained members of the clergy, but the biggest difference comes in the calling on their lives. Elders are generally called to the more traditional role of a pastor. Their call stems out of a desire to preach the word, offer the sacraments and order the life of the church. Deacons are called to a life of service ministry that can be realized in a number of specialized ministries either within the local church or beyond. My call is to a life of teaching, nurture and service to the world. So, the Deacon route was the best fit for me.
Baxter, a graduate of Duke Divinity School at Duke University, has been on staff at St. Mark since 2007. She is a member of the Alabama-West Florida United Methodist Conference.