On Sunday February 7, Deacon Jean C. Fleischer was honored for 50 years of service as a volunteer organist, elder and choir member at Concordia Lutheran Church in Kingsport, TN. At the suggestion of Pastor Paul Becker, the congregation commissioned Kantor Matthew Machemer of Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, to compose a setting of Paul Gerhardt’s hymn, “Why Should Cross and Trials Grieve Me”(756 LSB) for choir and congregation, organ, flute and violin. The choir rehearsed secretly and gave a wonderful premiere performance assisted by organist Dr. David Runner, director/violinist Jane Hillhouse and accompanist/flautist Becky Grese.
Dedicated to Mr. Fleischer, the first page of music was beautifully framed with room for members to sign their good wishes. His two sons, Morris and Clay, traveled from Virginia and Kentucky, respectively, to be on hand for the presentation and worship service. Jean’s wife Sharon played a key role in making this surprise possible, and was thanked at the reception afterwards for her equal years of volunteer service as a dedicated Sunday School teacher and faithful servant of Christ.
Contributed by – Pr. Paul Becker
Concordia Lutheran, Kingsport TN