Sunday, August 02, 2009


Final Notes from Pianist Pat Hollingsworth

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Tinney Talk, Observations by Joe Dan Boyd

PAT HOLLINGSWORTH HAS ANNOUNCED HER RETIREMENT as pianist for Tinney Chapel United Methodist Church, a position she has held since 1991, the first year of Pastor Mike Green’s tenure here. She answered a newspaper ad for the job, and had two good reasons for doing so. “I thought I was a pretty fair country church piano player, and playing at Tinney Chapel offered an opportunity for me to be a good daughter-in-law,” recalls Pat, whose father-in-law was Joe Hollingsworth, then one of the pillars of the quintessential country church, but who was no longer well enough to drive himself to worship service.

PAT JOINED TINNEY CHAPEL SOON AFTER becoming pianist for the church, and—with husband Derrell—has since served faithfully as pianist and choir director.

“MUSIC HAS ALWAYS BEEN PART OF MY LIFE,” says Pat, who remembers when her Grannie sang from a long-ago shaped-note hymnal at another country church near Vernon, Florida, not far from Pensacola. “All of us in our family were singers,” explains Pat, the oldest of six children fathered by a Baptist preacher. “We gathered around the piano at our home and at the snap of our dad’s fingers when someone on the church program failed to show up.”

ABOUT THREE YEARS OF PIANO LESSONS, endured reluctantly during the fifth through seventh grades, in obedience to her preacher papa, and a few lessons on the organ completed her musical education except for the usual exposure in music during public school work. There were also a few voice lessons in the third and fourth grades. Otherwise, she credits her ability to a natural gift and an eventual willingness to practice—something she did not enjoy when her father insisted on those piano lessons.

“BUT I PRAISE GOD THAT DAD MADE ME LEARN AND PRACTICE MUSIC as a child,” she emphasizes. “Being permitted to work in the ministry of music has allowed me to put a little bit of joy in someone’s heart and a smile on someone’s face, blessings that have come only by God’s Grace during my 34 years of playing piano for various churches in East Texas. I love the old hymns, Blessed Assurance, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, and I know that Jesus is my Friend!”

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