The Idlewild Church family extends a warm welcome to our newest members! If you don't know them yet, please introduce yourself. And as always, when you see someone you don't recognize at church, ask them, "Are you new here? Or just new to me?"


February 2020

Robert "Bird" Cook lives in Cooper Young now. Bird is the name his father gave him as a young boy while sporting a flat-topped hair cut. Bird trained as a social scientist. We are happy to welcome him to our church family!


Heather Donaho
relocated to the Memphis area 14yrs. ago to be closer to her parents, the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Joe B. Donaho, and sister Amy Howell. Heather resides in the Midtown area and has been searching for a church home. Heather visited for the first time last year and felt a strong calling to join, making Idlewild her new church home. She looks forward to serving this church in any capacity called upon. Heather is a former C.O.O and business owner that has a few contacts in the church, but her childhood best friend is also a member of this church.


John and Sara Thatcher live in East Memphis with their son Jack, a first grader at Grace St. Luke’s. John and Sara both attended the University of Memphis. John is the Director of Advancement at Christian Brothers High School. Along with joining the church, John was baptized on Sunday, February 9. Sara was confirmed and baptized at First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville, TN. She is Director of Communications at Medtronic.


January 2020

Jerusalem Alleyne was drawn to Idlewild to meet other people of faith and because it reminds her of her home cathedral in Trinidad. She is from Port of Spain, Trinidad, where she attended St. Crispin’s Anglican Church. Her mother was instrumental in building the St. Crispin Home for the Aged. Jerusalem and her cousins helped with fundraising and gathering clothes. She is now a research scientist at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and loves traveling, arts and crafts, and music.


Cliff and Leigh Johnson are former members of Northside Baptist Church in Clinton, Mississippi. Cliff is a civil rights attorney and Leigh is a registered nurse. Their primary home is in the country outside of Oxford, where they grow vegetables and raise chickens; on the weekends, they live at Crosstown Concourse. Leigh is an avid runner. Cliff especially enjoys golf, kayaking, and 901FC soccer. They were drawy to our church’s emphasis on social justice and community involvement.



November 2019

Bill Patterson was a member of Idlewild from 1984 to 1992, and we are glad he has returned to Memphis after his career as a healthcare executive took him away. Upon retirement, a desire to be close to his children and grandchildren brought him back to Memphis. He has served as both a deacon and an elder at other churches in St. Petersburg, FL, Murfreesboro, TN and Meridian, MS. Bill enjoys outdoor recreation, travel, church and community.

Haylee Reed 
was born in Memphis and has a younger sister and older brother. She attended Harding Academy and The Beauty Institute. She is a hairstylist and the salon manager at Gould’s Salon and Spa. In her free time, she enjoys being active and spending time with her dogs. He looks forward to becoming involved in community outreach.

Eric Taylor was born in Memphis and is the youngest of five boys. He attended Christian Brothers High School and CBU, where he was a member of both soccer teams. In his free time he enjoys fishing, hunting, running and being with family. He grew up attending Hope Presbyterian. He looks forward to becoming involved in community outreach.

Ira Gail White and Ann White

Ira Gail and Ann are from Batesville, MS and were active members of Batesville Presbyterian Church. Ira served as both deacon and elder. Ann’s great-great-grandfather Lawson Green Taylor was one of the three founding fathers of the Batesville Presbyterian Church in 1841, and her father was a ruling elder. She was baptized at Batesville Presbyterian. As an adult, she taught youth Sunday school, led PYF for five years, and served as Women of the Church Circle Chairman. They both enjoy music and being with their grandsons.


October 2019

Hayden Perry
is a second year medical student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He grew up in Cordova and attended Houston High and Mississippi College in Clinton. Hayden enjoys the church’s welcoming atmosphere and looks forward to getting involved and serving the city of Memphis alongside other members.

Alaina and Jimmy Gresham
grew up here, then Alaina went to Belmont University and Jimmy attended UT Knoxville. They moved back to Memphis after getting married in March. Jimmy works at FedEx and Alaina is the Expressive Arts Therapist at a community for adults with intellectual disabilities. They love being active and spending time with their cat, Arthur. Alaina and Jimmy are looking forward to joining Idlewild’s wonderful community. 

Satya and Divya Alleboina
moved to Memphis in 2016 and live on N. Belvedere. Satya, who grew up in a Hindu family, moved to the U.S. from Telangana, India in 2014 for postdoctoral studies at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He is now a research scientist at UT Health Science Center. Divya works as a home minister (housewife). They are excited to learn, grow and serve in the church and to have their daughter, Sudhamai (7) and son, Agastya (4) be a part of our community.



September 2019

Hayes and Elizabeth Bowman met in college at Ole Miss and married in 2012. Hayes is originally from Jackson, Miss., and Elizabeth is a Memphian (and went to U of M grad school). They lived in Jackson before moving to Memphis in 2015. Their first child, Hal, was born in July 2019—and they love spending time with him!  “We’re excited about joining the church and getting involved in the community!”

Ed and Farley Ezekiel lived in Atlanta for several years. After countless trips to Memphis for holidays and family visits, they were thrilled to be able to move back just in time for the birth of their baby girl, Amy Caroline “Ace” Ezekiel, who was born May 10, 2019. Ed is an attorney-turned software developer at Ubiquisoft Technologies, Inc., a blogger, science fiction reader, and Grizzlies fan. Ed says, “I am very excited to join the wonderful community at Idlewild.”

Cary Holladay
 grew up in Virginia and Pennsylvania and has lived in Memphis since 1992. She is a professor of English at the University of Memphis, and writes fiction. She and her husband live on South Evergreen, just a block from the church. Cary says, “I should have joined Idlewild a long time ago, because I enjoy it very much.”


August 2019

Peter Wimmer
came to Idlewild from Asbury Church. He is employed at Trezevant Manor. We are very happy to have him as part of our church family.


July 2019

Lee Burrow found Idlewild several years ago and was initially intrigued by the architecture. After searching for a church for a while and after moving into the neighborhood, Lee decided it was time to try Idlewild and has been faithfully visiting ever since. We are pleased to finallly welcome Lee into our church family.


June 2019

Jeremiah Hawkins
was raised in Nashville, Memphis, and Alabama. He spent two years at Union University and then went to a military academy. He came to know Idlewild when he was at Central High School and lived on Belvedere, and came to free play in the gym. He is excited to join a church where he can help make a difference.

Ronald David Greene
was born and raised in Memphis, lived in Texas for a while before returning here about thirty years ago. He served in the Navy for eight years and is a retired Shelby County Schools Reading Specialist. David lives with his sweet dog, Babe, and is looking forward to getting involved at Idlewild.


May 2019

Caitlin Neal and Bruce Butler
moved here last summer for Bruce’s job in paper science engineering. Caitlin’s work is in agriculture. They are from opposite sides of North Carolina (Bruce in the mountains and Caitlin on the coast) and met in the middle, at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Caitlin and Bruce are enjoying Memphis and getting involved in church and community activities. They are to be married in December.

Chris Fuchs
came to Memphis from Birmingham, where he was a physician at the UAB Medical Center. He began visiting about a year and a half ago. Since his schedule varies a great deal, he isn’t able to attend on Sundays as often as he likes. He was eager to make this his church home, though, so he joined at Session last Wednesday evening.


April 2019

Beth Heflin
attended Rhodes College (then Southwestern). She now has three adult children. Her brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Beth Spencer, introduced her to our outreach ministries and she is excited to get involved. She says, “The people here are so warm helpful and friendly and the sanctuary is not only beautiful but is truly a special place to worship.”

Julie and David Nanney
have two children, Charley, an 8th grader at Maxine Smith STEAM Academy, and Bo, a 4th grader at Campus School. David is a Fed Ex pilot and Julie is HR Manager for Muddy’s Bakeshop. They are excited to be in a church which they feel recognizes their values.

Sarah Veazey
grew up in the Presbyterian church and attended St. Mary’s and Ole Miss. She is a pharmacist at Walgreens and lives in High Point Terrace. She has been visiting here with her parents, Tommy and Diana Veazey, who are members. Sarah and Scott Finney will be married in June.

Scott Finney attended St. George’s, Briarcrest, and then Auburn University. He works with businesses to prepare for blockchain technology. He loves live music, bicycling, walking, and traveling with his fiancé, Sarah Veazey. Scott discovered Idlewild after hearing Pastor Steve at a Levitt Shell Easter Sunrise Service.


March 2019

Joanne Barringer has been attending worship service for some time and we are glad to welcome her as a member. She is part of the Covenanters Sunday School class.

Dr. Alexander Bibighaus
is a retired physician from Tupelo. He has been faithfully worshiping at the 8:30 service with Marcia Rhodes for several years and says that during his time at Idlewild he has “experienced a renewed spiritual journey” and he’s excited to make it official. We are excited, too!

Laura and Robert Stroup
are both originally from Tupelo, Mississippi. Laura attended Rhodes College and discovered Idlewild while in school. Robert attended Mississippi State University and joined Laura in Memphis after graduating. Robert is starting a new job in March as a Senior Engineer at Grace Medical. Laura is a CPA and works as the financial controller at Oak Hall. They live in High Point Terrace with their dog Mila.


February 2019

Jake Brown & Suzanne Lamb

Suzanne is originally from Murfreesboro. She went to the University of Tennessee and then the University of Memphis School of Law. She met her fiancé, Jake, on the first day of law school. Suzanne has been an attorney at the Shelby County Public Defender’s office since August 2017. Jake and Suzanne plan to be married in Hawaii in November, with their parents. She has an adorable cat, Kiki. They are thrilled to be joining such a community-oriented church.


Phillip & Carey Pontius

Phillip grew up in Memphis and at Idlewild. After graduating from Christian Brothers, he earned a degree in accounting from the University of Alabama, then moved to Atlanta, where he and Carey met. Carey grew up in Marietta, Georgia and attended First Presbyterian of Marietta. Although Carey also attended the University of Alabama, she and Phillip never met there! They met in Atlanta and worked there for about 10 years until a job opportunity brought them to Memphis. They have two children, Meyers (3) and William (2 months), and Carey is enjoying spending time with them. They enjoy spending time together as a family, especially walks through their neighborhood, watching football, and trips to the lake.


January 2019

Allyn Chapman and Alex Fraser

Alex Fraser was born in the U.K. and moved to the Memphis area with his family in 2001. He went to Lausanne and graduated from Millsaps College in 2013. After working for education and hunger relief nonprofit organizations, Alex moved closer to home to be with his family here in Memphis. He currently works as part of the sales team at Mimeo, and enjoys singing, playing guitar, and hanging out with his Pups.

Allyn Chapman was born and raised in Memphis but graduated with a degree in painting from the University of Southern Mississippi. She now works for a residential architecture firm here in town and is excited to join the Idlewild family!

Jason & Apryl Potter (Blythe) 

Jason and Apryl Potter have lived in Cooper Young for 14 years. Jason is from Memphis and attended Indiana University; he is now Director of Sports Marketing at ALSAC-St. Jude. Apryl, originally from Greenville, Mississippi, attended Ole Miss. She serves as the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Director of Brand Strategy and Communications. Their daughter Blythe attends kindergarten at Idlewild Elementary.




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