Written by Sheryl Grimes, Wakulla United Methodist Church Wednesday, 21 March 2012 12:20
Wakulla Station - For more than fifty years, pianist and music director, Faye Sweeney has been gracing church congregations with her music all over the state of Florida.“It’s been an amazing journey as God led me to the various churches when my family moved,” said Sweeney. “For example, in 1975, our family moved to West Florida, and the first Sunday we attended worship there was the ‘final’ Sunday for their current pianist, so I was called to the music ministry there.”
While an FSU student in 1962, she began her ministry playing for the Open Bible Church in Tallahassee. Participating in Christian music at nine various churches throughout Florida, Sweeney has served as either the congregational pianist, choir accompanist and/or music director.
In 1998 she became the substitute pianist at the Wakulla United Methodist Church (WUMC) only to begin to serve as the primary pianist and music director one year later. “Since I arrived at WUMC four years ago,” said Pastor Janice Henry-Rinehart, “Faye Sweeney has been a faithful servant of the Lord. I sensed within her a very deep discernment of faith and a person who is ‘the real thing’ when it comes to living out her faith. Although Faye will remain as a member of the church we will surely miss her smiling face from the piano.”
“I have enjoyed serving the Lord in the music ministry at WUMC since 1999,” said Sweeney. “After fifty years of music ministry, I feel it is time for me to retire and allow others the privilege to serve God through music.” Since beginning her ministry, Sweeney has given her talents without compensation.
Chair of the Church’s Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee (SPPRC), Don Grimes said, “We have been blessed to have this talented Christian lady playing the piano joyfully and faithfully and will truly miss her cheerful ministry.”
Recently the SPPRC met to discuss finding a replacement for Faye and are contacting music teachers and music departments hoping to find someone. Grimes also said that the School of Music at FSU has been called as to suggestions for an intern position, perhaps an arrangement similar to what the church has with its new youth director.
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