By Craig Moorhead

The Caledonia Argus

On Sunday, December 20, church pianist/organist/keyboard player Lorene Miller was honored for her long and faithful service to a Brownsville house of worship. “She has played faithfully at Zion Evangelical Church for 65 (years) and counting,” pastor Raymond Anderson told the Argus.

Playing the piano has been a lifelong source of pleasure for the Brownsville native. “I took piano lessons from John Bates of Caledonia,” she said. “I was probably about six years old when I started...

“I always enjoyed playing the piano.”

Lorene’s mom even found some interesting ways to make practice fun. “We had a canary,” the musician recalled with a chuckle. “She would let the canary out of the cage and it would come and perch in my hair while I played the piano. It was a sing-along, I guess.”

So when it came time to play in front of the congregation, Lorene was ready. “I was probably about 15,” she said. “I wasn’t playing in church all the time, but I played now and then. Then I played for real - all the time - when I was about 18.”

Getting recognition for service was never on her mind, so Lorene was unprepared for the honors which the church bestowed. “It surprised me Sunday morning. I had no idea... “ she noted. “They were saying how great it was, but I mentioned that the glory does not go to me, it goes to God...

Even so, actually sharing a God-given talent is still up to each person. “It was a little embarrassing for me because I don’t do it for the recognition,” Miller said. “I do it because I’ve been given the talent. I just get a little uncomfortable with this kind of thing. But my daughter said, ‘Just appreciate it, mom.’ And I do appreciate it. I really enjoy playing.”    

So what’s the best thing about playing for a church full of people?

“When you play a hymn, and the congregation really sings... sings their heart out. I like the spirit of it.”

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