Pastor Brad Highum
Pastor Brad Highum was ordained to the ministry in 2007 following a career of more than twenty years in operations and marketing management.
Prior to joining Abiding Love, Brad served his internship and then as mission development pastor at New Life Lutheran Church in Dripping Springs. He served for five years as Minister of Adult Education and Development at Riverbend Church in Austin while studying at the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest, receiving his Master of Divinity degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary. He brings great gifts of spiritual leadership, preaching, teaching and pastoral care to our community. Originally from Minnesota, Brad met and married his Texas sweetheart Nance in Colorado, where their daughters Jesse and Carly were born. Carly and Jesse both make their home in Austin.
I believe spirituality is kinetic, that faith is an intentional lived experience, that what we believe and proclaim must be manifest in our lives. We’re devoted at Abiding Love to helping people discover and live out the faith God is calling them to. Pastor Brad
Denise Alaimo, Business Administrator
Denise Alaimo moved to Austin to go to UT and has never left for more than a couple of months. After teaching high school science (chemistry, physics, biology), she earned an MBA from UT. She worked for the Texas Securities Board for 16 years registering securities offerings, broker/dealers and investment advisors. She has also owned a specialty tax-consulting company. A long-time member of Abiding Love, she is enjoying being a part of this vibrant community. In her spare time, Denise enjoys being with her daughter and son-in-law, two young grandchildren and friends, as well as listening to music, reading, and occasionally hiking.
Dona Brooks, Pianist
Dona studied piano at the Texas School of Fine Arts in Austin, Texas, the Spokane Conservatory of Music in Spokane, Washington under Dr. Hans Moldenhaur (University of Washington), and at the University of Texas at Austin Department of Music. She has taught piano to children and adults, served as church organist for churches in Grand Forks, North Dakota and in Austin,Texas. She served as Children’s Chapel Coordinator and Organist for St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas. She’s a solo and ensemble accompanist and has served as pianist at Abiding Love Lutheran Church since January 1984.
Terry Carnline, Assistant Children's Center Director
Terry has been in the early childhood field for over 35 years and has spent the last 18 and a half years here at Abiding Love where she enjoys sharing God’s love to our youngest, reach out to their families when they are in need, and be there as support for the teachers. On the weekends, she loves spending time with her children and now (2) granddaughters, playing in her flowerbed and reading.
Karron Lewis, Music Coordinator/Choir Director
Karron holds a B.A. in All-Level Music Education from Texas Lutheran College in Seguin, Texas and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in Educational Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis on the Observations and Analysis of Teaching Strategies. She has taught vocal music and music theory in high school and junior high. She has also served in music ministry programs at churches in College Station, Texas; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Austin, Texas. Karron recently retired from the Center for Teaching and Learning at The University of Texas at Austin.
Joshua Mauk, Director of Worship and Arts
Joshua was born in Humble, TX just outside Houston, but was raised in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. He rode lots of school buses and ate several cubic tons of macaroni and cheese mixed with Wolf Brand Chili throughout much of his childhood. Joshua’s spiritual journey, which led him to Abiding Love Lutheran Church is a wild and meandering one pockmarked by nearly one of each of the various denominations out there. Every step along the way, he has chosen to be heavily involved in the music programs at each church. He is married to the amazing Celena Mauk, and they have a son named Samwise who is quite precocious.
Joshua is the Director of Worship and Arts at Abiding Love and is dedicated to working with volunteer teams in creating an atmosphere in which all feel welcome to engage in worship of our Creator.
Julia Miller, Director of Children's and Youth Ministry
Julia was raised in the small town of Santa Fe, Texas. She started teaching and caring for children as a high school student and couldn’t seem to give it up! Julia turned children’s education into a career with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Secondary Teaching Certification in 2006. Having discerned a call to Ministry of Word & Sacrament in the ELCA, Julia entered seminary in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and graduated with a Masters of Divinity in 2012.
Julia joined Abiding Love in September of 2017 as the Director of Ministries to Children and Youth. In addition to a deep well of educational experience with children of multiple ages, she possesses a sense of call to assist young people in the journey of discovering, engaging, and deepening their spirituality. When not surrounded by kids, Julia enjoys reading, movies, cooking, and any ocean she can find.
Debbie Tonne, Children’s Center Director
Debbie Tonne has worked in early childhood education since completing her Bachelor of Arts and Texas teaching certification at Howard Payne University in 2000. Prior to coming to Abiding Love in 2012, she spent 12 years at Circle C Child Development Center, starting as a teacher and then moving into an administration role. She loves the joy that comes from being part of a faith-based center, where we can freely share the love of Jesus with families; providing high quality early childhood education; and empowering teachers through quality professional development. During her free time, Debbie enjoys cooking, symphony in the park, traveling, genealogy, time with friends, and her book club.
Dawn Wetzel, Office Administrator
Dawn has served as a church professional for 16 years. Before coming to Abiding Love in 2012, she worked in the Round Rock School District, then served as Director of Youth and Family Ministry at Peace Lutheran Church in Austin. She is a graduate of Concordia University, Texas. Dawn is an active participant in the First English Lutheran Church community and is a volunteer mentor for Upbring/BeReal. Dawn spends her non-church time antique shopping, gardening, entertaining—basically anything that keeps her moving. She and her husband, Daryl, live in central Austin, see their family whenever possible, and do their best to enjoy life.