Rev. Trey Flowers
Rev. Trey Flowers is the Senior Pastor at Downey Avenue Christian Church, having moved here to Indianapolis for Downey’s commitments as Open & Affirming, Green Chalice congregation with a historic legacy of working for social justice.
Trey has been serving on the staff of Disciples churches for the last 18 years. After directing youth programs for eight years at Lindenwood Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, he then spent nine years as a minister at Woodmont Christian Church in Nashville, where he helped launch its emergent worship service, “The Bridge.” Trey is a graduate of Texas Christian University (recently elected to its National Alumni Board) and received both a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of Public Policy degree from Vanderbilt University. He is a proud alumnus of the Bethany Fellows program and Disciples Divinity House, and he is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching from Phillips Theological Seminary.
Trey is motivated by a passion for social justice and care for those at the margins. In 2007 Trey rode his bicycle across the country from San Francisco, California to Washington, D.C. as a fundraiser for people with disabilities. After surviving the 2010 earthquake in Haiti while on a mission trip to Port-au-Prince, he helped raise money and public awareness for the recovery efforts. He has also served on the boards for Teach for America Nashville’s “Rising Leaders” as well as CommunityNashville (an organization that promotes dialogue among teens of different races, religions, and sexual orientations) and was selected as a 2013 Fellow for Nashville Emerging Leaders.
Trey met his wife, Merillat, on the streets of downtown Indianapolis during the 2009 General Assembly. Merillat works in nonprofit community development and – as the daughter of two Disciples ministers) – she is fifth generation Disciple on both sides of her family. Trey and Merillat are thrilled to be part of an inclusive congregation that works daily for social justice, and they love living in the Irvington community of Indianapolis (along with their English Bulldog, Beasley).
Rev. Melody Merida
Hello Downey Avenue Christian Church, I am grateful to you for welcoming me into your community and ministry. As a resident of Irvington myself, I am eager to worship in my neighborhood and do ministry in a familiar context.
I grew up in southern Indiana the daughter of a youth pastor. From a young age, I was immersed in the church and greater Christian community. My undergrad work took me to Lynchburg, Virginia to attend Liberty University while my seminary education was completed at Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana.
For the past ten years I’ve been a staff pastor at an MCC church in the Broad Ripple area of Indianapolis. My primary roles within that community included leadership of the children, family, and youth programs, small groups leadership, adult Christian education programs, and global/local outreach ministries. But my most important role in life has been as wife to my supportive and loving spouse, Kristin, and parent to our two children Brody and Bellamy. They keep me grounded, focused, and busy.
Thank you for this opportunity to be present with you during this time of transition and growth. I am happy to hear your thoughts and ideas for the way forward.
Amie Vanderford came to Christian Theological Seminary from Memphis, Tennessee, and has had a diverse career prior to taking up her call to prophetic and pastoral Ministry in the Disciples of Christ Christian Church. In addition to working in the corporate and non-profit worlds, she is an accomplished photographer, with a focus on documentary and editorial work, both domestically and abroad. With a diverse multicultural and international background, along with an undergraduate degree in International Relations with a focus on Peace and Conflict Resolution, she has a strong passion for addressing systemic racial injustice, as well as helping to heal the individual people who suffer under it.
Dave has been involved with Downey as Director of Music since 2010. A native of Indianapolis, Dave grew up in Irvington and is currently the Indianapolis Public Schools Fine Arts Coach in addition to serving Downey. Dave and his wife Tricia enjoy the many ways to get involved in the ministries that Downey has to offer.
Monna began serving Downey Avenue Christian Church in 2013. She began her church music journey at age 12 when she played for her Sunday School Opening Assembly. She continued on to play Sunday evening and morning services, before she went on to study organ at Eastern Kentucky University. She has been on the bench since age 16, bringing music to the honor and glory of God.
Cindy has worked in the nursery at Downey Avenue for more than 15 years! She has a big heart for young children and is here every Sunday to greet them with a smile!