Rev. Malu Fairley-Collins
Rev. Malu Fairley- Collins is passionate about affirming the value, worth and opportunities for all persons as created in the image of God. In her work in the church she is passionate about creating and sustaining faith-filled relationships, that are grounded in the awareness of self and other's social location & intersectionality, which seek to live out love as social justice. She also serves as the Director of Spiritual Care & Education for the Palliative Care Group within Carolinas Health Care system. Malu is a board certified chaplain and an Associate Certified Pastoral Educator. In her work at CHS Rev. Fairley-Collins is passionate about cultivating the integral role of spiritual care in caring for the whole person as CHS lives out its mission of providing health, hope & healing for all. She is happily married to Briana Fairley-Collins and has one vivacious tween-age son.
Rev. Dr. Chris Ayers
Chris feels like he's the luckiest pastor in the world and the luckiest pastor in the history of the historical church, having been blessed to get to know so many incredible people. He particularly appreciates the courage of transgender people. And Pastor Chris has found his transgender friends to be so dang nice and smart.
Dr. Ayers has been at Wedgewood since 1989 and has seen the church be transformed from a moderate Southern Baptist Church to a church with Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic, and atheist members, along with Christians from many different backgrounds. Among other ministries, Chris participated in the Hope Chapel ministry to Charlotte's homeless community for 20 years, was on Wedgewood's RAIN teams (Regional Aids Interfaith Network), and sponsored a prison inmate, with whom he continues to have a relationship. Chris has been blessed with many close friends who are transgender. Currently, Chris is focusing on establishing new close relationships with transgender people, mentoring young/new clergy, and providing leadership for several Facebook pages/groups (Wedgewood Church's page, Sharing Writings For Liberal, Questioning Christians, and Charlotte Tesla Owners/Enthusiasts). With respect to the latter, Chris believes climate change requires new modes of transportation. Chris is a geek, loves reading seminary type books, is a better than average photographer - you can see his (and Vicky's) photographs at: https://chrisandvickyayers.smugmug.com/. Co-Pastor Chris celebrates not only diversity but creativity, the Wedgewood Art gallery creation being one of his favorite things about Wedgewood. Chris also gets great joy from talking trash before and after playing golf with Wedgewoodians, and though he is only average at golf, he's taken enough lessons to teach people how to play, and is even able to provide video analysis of their golf swing.
Chris is married to Vicky Ayers, who has worked at Bank of America since 1989 in Legal, Compliance, Risk, Audit, and now in a Front Line Unit. They Ayers have a 27 year-old son, Will, who does a great impression of them, and is very kind and sweet to them.
Co-Pastor Chris is proud to be the Co-Pastor along with Co-Pastor Malu of one of the most diverse congregations in Charlotte, a beloved community which has heard from people all around the globe thanking us for our ministry and existence. We invite you to join us as we change the world to make it a better place for all human beings and all of creation.
To see Chris's resume and a list of his publications click here.
Rev. April Johnson
Minister of Education
Rev. April Johnson loves teaching the Bible, loves preaching, loves working with children, loves God. She also loves being a geek. April is a graduate of Wake Forest Divinity School. Rev. Johnson teaches a Bible Study on Sundays at 11 a.m. and on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. She also is one of the Wedgewoodians who do The Children's Sermon during worship, as well as works with those children who go to Children's Church after The Children's Sermon.
Mary Ann (Mimi) Ruth
Mimi is a Certified Spiritual Counselor, Certified Spiritual Director, Life/Career Coach, Leader of Spiritual and Business Retreats, Meditation Facilitator, Executive Organizational Consultant specializing in Human Resources Management, and a Writing Coach. As an ordained Interfaith minister, she also celebrates baptisms and weddings. For Wedgewood, Mimi currently serves as chair of the Deacons’ Ministry, is a member of the Leadership Team, and offers free services to members, including spiritual “companionship” sessions, grief consultation and six -week grief recovery workshops, meditation training, and spiritual retreats. Mimi offers similar services on a fee basis to the public. Rev. Ruth also helps Wedgewoodians write their spiritual autobiographies as part of their personal spiritual development, facilitate individual and group conversations about God’s presence in our lives and uses her experience as an adult educator and coach for writing projects at the Church, including poetry and essays. She enjoys intimate conversation, deep listening, reading metaphysical and spiritual literature, and exploring nature’s beauty.
Choir Director, Instrumentalist/Vocalist
Monica leads Wedgewood's rock your socks off choir. Her love of God and music is infectious. She makes the piano sing, her voice is an instrument, and the choir under her leadership inspires us to do more and be more for God and the world. Monica also is part of the musical group, Groove Food https://www.facebook.com/GrooveFood/. If you love to sing or if you want to learn to sing, don't miss out on the chance to be a part of a choir that has fun and sings it heart out.