Crapps honored as FUMC organist

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 10, 2009

For 15 years, Lyra Crapps has been the organist at First United Methodist Church of Troy. At the morning worship service on Sunday, Sept. 6, Crapps was honored for her long and dedicated service to the church and the congregation and for the Glory of God.

Crapps said she was very appreciative of the recognition and humbled by it.

The music ministry of the church placed two urns of roses in the church in her honor and presented a devotional book to the prayer ministry in her honor. The book, “Grace for the Moment” by Max Lucado will be placed in the prayer room of the church.

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“Sunday was very special, especially since it was on the first Sunday of September 15 years ago, that I first played the organ as organist of First United Methodist Church of Troy,” Crapps said. “Don and I had just moved back to Troy where we had lived years ago. So, Sunday was a very special time for us.”

Crapps said she has been blessed to be able to share her talents for the glory of God.

“To play the piano and organ brings me great joy and, in the music of the church, I find that it brings me closer to God,” Crapps said. “

Crapps has been playing piano and organ for churches for more than 60 years.

She started playing piano with her mother at age five and then took piano lessons at school. She began playing the piano at church at age 12.

“My love for music grew as I continued to practice and as I was exposed to different styles of music,” Crapps said. “In college, I majored in music and developed a love of singing and choral music. During my college years, I made improvements in both the piano and organ and in choral music.”

After she graduated from college, Crapps had opportunities to play in many different churches and for many different denominations.

“Surprisingly, the churches played similar hymns but the text was usually different,” she said.

Although Crapps has played primarily at churches, she enjoys playing other types of music as well.

“I enjoy many types of music, especially the popular tunes of the 1940s and 1950s,” she said and added with a laugh, “I even enjoy playing boogie-woogie. It’s fun.”

Although Crapps “leaning” is toward traditional hymns and gospel music, she also enjoys the contemporary Christian music and praise and worship songs that are played in churches today.

“Hymns are our praise to God and gospel songs are more our personal feelings,” Crapps said.

“My personal favorite hymns are ‘How Firm a Foundation,’ ‘God of Grace and God of Glory’ and ‘Oh, God, Our Help in Ages Past,’” she said. “And there are several contemporary songs that I like. One is ‘My Life is in You, Lord’ and another is ‘Awesome God.’ The reason that I love them is that the youth of our church love them and feel more a part of the worship service. The youth that I’ve worked with love the hymns of the church as well.”

Crapps came to Troy with extensive musical experience, having served as organist and pianist in churches in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Indiana. She also had extensive choral experience and was director of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home in Troy for 10 years.

Her training includes a bachelor of music degree from Samford University, a masters of religious education from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a masters of music from Florida State University.

Crapps has served on the music faculties of North Greenville College and Troy State University. She has also taught private piano lessons in her home.

In addition to her duties as organist at FUMC, she has directed the children’s choirs, the adult and youth handbell choirs and the youth choir.

Crapps is active in community activities, including the Troy Woman’s Club, Troy Music Study Club, 19th Century Study Club, Troy Arts Council Auxiliary and is a patron of the Troy Arts Council. In 2008 she was awarded the Troy Arts Council’s Music Award.