Melinda White made it her mission to help others

Melinda White meant so much to so many people throughout Clanton. (Contributed Photos)

Melinda White meant so much to so many people throughout Clanton. (Contributed Photos)

The Clanton community lost a valuable member with the passing of Melinda White on Sept. 12.

However, her legacy is sure to remain strong for years to come through the many lives that she touched during her time at First Baptist Church of Clanton and West End Baptist Church.

“She had a constant thread that ran through her life, and that was making a difference in people’s lives wherever she was,” said Christl Doody, administrative assistant at West End Baptist Church. “You didn’t forget Melinda White.”

White moved to Clanton from Mississippi in 1997 and though she was new to the area, she immediately accepted it as her own.

Since then, she served as the children’s and preschool director at First Baptist and prior to that taught children’s preschool choir during her time as a member at West End.

“She was not born here or grew up here, but she made such a huge impact from the time that she first visited our church,” Doody said. “We became her people and she became part of us in just a short period of time.”

After years at West End Baptist Church, White transitioned to First Baptist Church of Clanton in 2004 as the music director.

“Her passion was children and music,” said Jane Lawson, the new director at First Baptist Church.

White showcased her caring nature during a mission trip to Peru.

White showcased her caring nature during a mission trip to Peru.

Lawson originally met White when they were each substitute teachers at Clanton Elementary School, where their children also attended together.

During this time spent together, Lawson saw first hand the way that people gravitated to White and her upbeat personality.

“She was a jokester and was loved by everybody who met her,” Lawson said. “If you felt bad and talked to Melinda, you suddenly felt better. I don’t think she ever met a stranger.”

First Baptist’s music programs this year, especially the Christmas show are sure to bring about emotions without White at the forefront making sure everyone and everything is in its proper place.

“It’s going to be tough to get through,” Lawson said. “It just won’t be the same without her.”

The world needs more people like Melinda White, but unfortunately the world now has one less.

“She was my sunshine,” said Danny White, Melinda’s husband.

 

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