From the Staff . . .

From Carey Huddlestun, Minister of Music

Thank You and Blessings, Mary Ellen

Parkway Baptist Church has been blessed to have Mary Ellen Kerrick as a worship leader for the past several years. As recently announced, Mary Ellen is resigning as organist at Parkway Baptist Church. She and Jim are going to spend more time with family and want to develop deeper connections with the community in Gainesville where they live. Mary Ellen’s last Sunday at Parkway Baptist will be August 28.
Mary Ellen truly embodies the best characteristics of a church musician – one who is exceptionally gifted who, because of their love of and personal relationship with the loving God, choose to express that gift through humble service to a local body of believers.
Mary Ellen’s lifetime of performing and composing* testify to her musical gift. We at Parkway Baptist have been blessed by her keyboard skills every Sunday. Through her service music, and her accompaniment of congregational singing and soloists and choirs, we have been skillfully led in worship. We have also richly benefited from her encouraging the Sanctuary Choir to present some of her many music compositions. This is a rare and valuable gift!
Mary Ellen’s gracious and humble character testifies to her belief in God and demonstrates a sincere and profound relationship with Jesus Christ. The way she has chosen to express her love of God is through a lifetime of service through local churches and statewide and nationwide church music organizations.
While many gifted and talented musicians work in a church, not all of them exhibit the gracious, kind, humble, and caring nature of someone who has a profound relationship with God. Mary Ellen does. In all my dealings with Mary Ellen, over several years and in a variety of settings, she has exemplified Ephesians 4:1b-3, “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Mary Ellen – Thank You and Blessings

On a personal note, Mary Ellen has been a joy to work with – and I don’t say that lightly. Time and again I have been amazed by her talent, by her willingness to adapt based on the situation (remember her and Lusia playing duets outside – on a flimsy electric keyboard in the wind?), and by her concern for others. Mary Ellen, it has been an honor to work with you. My life has been enriched by you and your example encourages me to be a better person and a better church musician. Blessings on you and Jim in your next steps!
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*A search of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) website (www.ascap.com) shows Mary Ellen has written some 96 pieces of music. NOTE – Nine-six are the pieces on record with ASCAP; Mary Ellen has written much more music not in ASCAP’s database.
In addition, an author search for “Mary Ellen Kerrick” in WorldCat (www.worldcat.org) shows several of her compositions are owned by libraries around the world. WorldCat is a world-wide library catalog containing all types of material from libraries around the world. While I was not surprised by the number of results from the search, I was surprised by different types of music from the search. WorldCat’s listing of her music includes the following types: solo piano, solo organ, piano and organ duets, handbell choir, various types of choirs, and arrangements for solo instrument and keyboard.