Over 100 family and friends gathered at First Baptist Church of Mount Gilead to hear a music concert featuring Jeanne McPeek Burkhart playing the church’s 109-year-old tracker organ.
The organ was manufactured by Pilcher and Sons and has only one electrical part, the blower. For over 50 years, prior to marrying Tom Burkhart and moving out of the area, Jeanne was the church organist at First Baptist. Joe Hupfer, who served as choir director and Sarah Smith who played the piano for many of the years that Jeanne was organist, shared their musical talent at the concert. Jennifer and Heather Emberg also joined the concert, sharing their talents on the flute.
Jeanne’s husband Tom has a passion for helping people in the community. Attendees at the concert honored him by donating canned food and non-perishable items that will be distributed by a local food bank run by one of churches belonging to the Mt Gilead InterChurch Council. In addition to canned goods, $140 was donated. The money was used to purchase other non-perishable items that will also be distributed to local individuals and families in need. The food pantry items were dedicated by First Baptist Church’s Interim Pastor Steve Cummins.
After the concert, refreshments and snacks were enjoyed while many people shared stories and memories of Jeanne’s time bringing music to the church for so many years.
First Baptist Church would like to thank Jeanne, Tom, Joe, Sarah, Heather, Jennifer, Pastor Steve Cummins, and everyone who attended the concert and contributed to the success of the evening. Jeanne is already making plans to have another organ concert at First Baptist Church next year.