Rev. Dr. Michael Edwards has served as May Memorial's pastor since September, 2011. A native North Carolinian, Michael enjoys jogging, reading, and spending time on the James River with his family. Michael is married to Beverley, and they have three daughters, Anna, Sophie, and Laura. Michael attended Bob Jones University, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, and completed his doctorate at Columbia Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.
Ashley Edwards, Minister of Children and Youth
Ashley Edwards is married to Wes Edwards and they have 3 children, Linden, Peyton and Walker. Ashley is a graduate of N.C. State University and attended Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Ashley worked as a home school mom up until the spring of 2017, when God directed her to use her seminary training in other ways. Ashley is so blessed to be a part of a church where children and youth are not only loved and appreciated, but where they hold a great importance in the eyes and hearts of the entire church family.
Joan Maples, Minister of Music
Joan Weinbender Maples earned a BA in German (business administration minor) from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, studied at Albert-Ludwigs Universitaet in Freiburg, Germany, and graduated with a Master of Church Music/Vocal Pedagogy degree from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky (1983). Joan has taught voice and piano since 1982. Before coming to May Memorial, Joan served as minister of music in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where she directed handbells and the Chancel Choir. Joan served in myriad music leadership roles in Kentucky, Florida, and Virginia, led a women’s ensemble called Gloria Deo for 11 years, directed youth, children, and pre-school choirs, and flute choir. Joan participated in church and community choirs and bands (flute, tenor saxophone) since childhood, most recently singing with Virginia Baptist Women’s Chorale and Nashville Opera Chorus. Joan loves to sing solos and especially enjoys singing duets with fellow church musicians.
Joan is married to Terry L. Maples who serves as coordinator for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia. Joan and Terry have two adult children, Andrew and Anna.
Diana Schmitz, Church Secretary
Diana has served as church secretary for over 7 years. She enjoys singing and playing guitar occasionally in the service. She received an Associate’s Degree from the University of Richmond with an education and music concentration. Her father’s side of the family were Pennsylvania Dutch Mennonites. On her mother’s side, her great-grandmother was an American Indian from Oklahoma. Her husband Karl is also a member and helps with the audio/visual needs of the church.
Mary Ellen Balarzs, Organist
I began organ lessons my senior year in high school and still enjoy playing The King of Instruments. I am a member of the American Guild of Organists.
Some background includes a BS degree in music from Longwood Un and a MA in church music from VCU.
There have been many memorable experiences in the Richmond area churches on pipe organs and wonderful choirs through the years.
May Memorial Baptist is a spiritual - loving musical church and it is my pleasure to serve here as pianist/organist.
My hobbies are growing orchids, knitting, sewing and scrap-booking. God is good!
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