Music Ministry

Welcome to the Music Ministry page! Christ Church has a long history of excellence in Music Ministry that dates back to 1903 with Rev. Samuel Leech who said, “Some action ought to be taken to improve our church music and provide a competent leader for the choir.” By 1904, the church’s first pipe organ was installed and Jennie Gilchrist was hired as the church organist. At that same time, George Thomas was hired as the first choir director. This initial step set us on the path of the Music Ministry we celebrate today.

What has helped the Music Ministry build an excellent program is the continuity of its leadership. Since 1933, there have only been four Directors of Music/Organist, and each of these four individuals, Charlie Greybill, Roy Knight, Peter DuBois and our current Minister of Music/Organist, Rev. David Donathan, have added their unique styles of leadership to add in the success of the ministry for over 90 years. We would love to have you join us and share your God-given gift of music in this place. For more information, please contact Rev. David Donathan at 304.342.0192, ext 210.

Rev. David Donathan, Director of Music Ministry

Music Ministry Groups & Ensembles


The AWEnsemble is the instrumental and vocal ensemble for the 8:45 Alternative Worship Experience (AWE) on Sunday mornings. This group offers music in multiple genres, but is most comfortable with contemporary repertoire.

Current instrumentation includes piano, electric keyboard, electric bass, acoustic guitar, and drums. This group is open to any instrumentalists or singers who would be interested in leading this service on a regular basis.

Chancel Choir

The Chancel Choir, under the direction of Rev. David Donathan, is the choir for the 11:00 traditional worship service. This group is open to anyone 18 years or older. No audition is required to join. All are welcome!

The Chancel Choir rehearses weekly on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 from September to June. Childcare can be provided if requested in advance.

Chancel Ringers

The Chancel Ringers is an adult ensemble that plays 5 octaves of Schulmerich handbells. This advanced group frequently plays level IV and V handbell pieces during the 11:00 worship service. The membership in this group is limited to 13, but a list of potential members is always maintained.

This group rehearses weekly on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30, September through June, and is led by Rev. David Donathan.

Youth Choir

The youth choir consists of 6th-12th graders who are interested in singing in worship a few times per year.

This group meets on Sunday afternoons in conjunction with the activities of the church’s youth ministries. The youth choir is directed by Rev. David Donathan.

Youth Dance Ensemble

The Youth Dance Ensemble, led by Cecilia Ford, is a group open to 6th-12th graders who are interested in using movement to tell a story. Youth in this group learn the art of liturgical dance.

This group shares their talents during multiple worship services throughout the year.

Youth Bells

This handbell ensemble is open to youth in grades 6-12. Participation in this group is currently limited to 11 players, but can be expanded to 13.

The youth handbell choir meets on Sunday afternoons in conjunction with the church’s other youth activities, and is directed by Rev. David Donathan.

Jubilate Children’s Choir

The Jubilate Children’s Choir, under the direction of Rev. David Donathan, is a music ensemble from children in grades K-5. This group meets on Sunday afternoons.

During Jubilate sessions, kids learn stories from the Bible, sing songs, and learn how to play instruments like the drums and xylophone. Basic music theory is also taught.

The Jubilate Children’s Choir performs in worship services multiple times throughout the year.

News & Events

Alter Flowers

The Worship Arts Team would like to encourage members and friends of Christ Church to sponsor altar and/or font flowers on Sunday mornings during 2024. In the United Methodist Church, there is an understanding that altar flowers should be live flowers, not artificial, as discussed in the book, “United Methodist Altars.” Altar flowers are $70 for two arrangements. Font flowers, a larger single arrangement, is also $70. The Worship Arts Team relies on the generosity of the congregation for this. Otherwise, costs for the weekly altar flowers are covered by the Worship Arts annual budget. The new website does not have the altar flowers calendar available yet, but we are working on that. In the meantime, if you would like to sponsor altar flowers, please call Ronda in the church office at 304.342.0192, ext. 223. You can also send an email to to reserve your special Sunday.

37th Annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Christ Church hosted its 37th Annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 10. Music was provided by multiple groups that make up the Music & Arts Ministry of Christ Church including the Chancel Choir, Youth Choir, Jubilate Children’s Choir, and Chancel Ringers. Nine different readers told the story of the birth of Jesus Christ through different biblical readings. If you were not able to join us, we invite you to watch the recording of this beautiful and meaningful service on the Christ Church United Methodist Facebook Page. Thank you to all who were involved in making this annual event so special!

Acolyte Ministry

The acolyte ministry at Christ Church is open to all children/youth in grades 3-8. It is never too late to join this group! A brief acolyte training will be held on Sunday, September 10 following the 11:00 worship service.

Worship Arts Ministries Resume: Fall 2023

The Worship Arts Ministries at Christ Church will be resuming this fall!

  • The Chancel Choir, which sings at the 11:00 traditional worship service, will resume rehearsals on Wednesday, August 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the adult choir room. This group rehearses weekly on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00 and is led by Rev. David Donathan. All are welcome! Child care is provided.
  • The Chancel Ringers handbell choir will resume rehearsals on Wednesday, September 6. This group rehearses weekly on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 and is led by Rev. David Donathan. Child care is provided.
  • Youth Dance Ensemble, for grades 6-12, will resume on Sunday, September 10. This group rehearses on Sundays from 4:00-4:30 and is led by Cecilia Ford.
  • Youth Choir, for grades 6-12, will also resume on Sunday, September 10. This group rehearses from 4:30-5:00 each Sunday.
  • Jubilate Children’s Choir, for children in grades K-5, will resume rehearsals on September 10. Rehearsals begin at 5:00 on Sundays, and will include drumming, singing, movement, and musical games.


2023 Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival

Christ Church presented the 2023 Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival this past January. This festival is put on by the Music Ministry and congregation of Christ Church, and is a celebration of Epiphany. The festival begins with a secular section, featuring Kings, Queens, servants, townspeople, dancers, and more as they decorate the Centrum and prepare for a celebration. The second half of the festival is sacred and tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Participants in the festival dress in full Medieval costume. Music is presented by members of the Chancel Choir and local professional musicians. The festival concludes with a large Medieval reception in the Fellowship Hall. The Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival has become a tradition at Christ Church, and is typically presented in January every other year.

Appalachian Music and Arts Camp

During the week of June 12-16, 15 kids in grades 2-6 attended Christ Church’s Appalachian Music and Arts Camp. This camp was led by Rev. David Donathan, Ashley Wood, and multiple church members who are active in the Worship & Arts Ministry. Students who attended the camp participated in multiple fun activities throughout the week including: Appalachian crafts, storytelling, line dancing, and old-fashioned game playing. Each child also built his or her own dulcimer, and learned to play basic songs on their instruments. On Friday, the children gave a short performance showcasing everything they learned and created at camp during the week.