Fifty years of faithfulness

Marty Kiser recognized for 50 years leading the Princeton Bible Church choir

Marty Kiser has faithfully served as the Princeton Bible Church Choir director for 50 years.

Marty Kiser was on the choir at Princeton Bible Church for about two years after moving to town when choir director, Dwight Olson, moved away in January of 1971.

The late Pastor Harold Burkey asked Kiser if she would take over as director, convincing her to fill in on an interim basis until he found someone else.

“Pastor Burkey asked me if I would take over and I said, ‘Oh, I can’t do that. I’ve never done that before, I don’t know anything about directing,’” she said. “He said, ‘Well, OK, would you just fill in until I get somebody?’ So, I agreed to that.”

“I asked him several times before he died, if anybody was coming to relieve me. It was our little joke.”

Fifty years later, Kiser is still waiting for her replacement.

Faithfully serving as the PBC Choir director for 50 years, it is estimated that Kiser has directed more than 90 cantatas, 2,000 Sunday morning songs and at least 2,400 rehearsals.

This is not including the countless, immeasurable amount of hours of service she has spent selecting music, creating set design and costume designs, participating in community events and rewriting scripts.

“It made me tired just thinking about it,” Kiser joked.

On Sunday, March 12, Kiser was recognized by her church for the many years of faithfulness as the PBC choir director.

At first, Kiser believed it to be like any other Sunday morning as she prepared the special music for the day’s service, joined by her husband, Steve, on the guitar, along with their daughters, Rachel, Sarah and Libby.

When they were finished, the choir committee surprised her, stepping in to salute her 50 years.

She received a standing ovation from the congregation and was presented gifts and a corsage from the choir.

A slideshow was played with many pictures of choirs and cantatas past. Her daughter, Sarah, had gone around her mom’s house pulling pictures out of scrapbooks.

Anyone in attendance who had ever participated in choir or a cantata was invited to come up on stage, and sing to Kiser. The stage was full of singers who sang the song that Kiser always leads before performances: “I Love You Lord.”

Kiser said she feels a little guilty being honored for doing something that she loves.

“I love it, I just love it,” Kiser said. “It’s not been hard. I’ve just enjoyed it every bit of it. The Lord has been so good to give me direction. I pray about what cantatas to do, what anthems to do and He just brings things to mind. It’s just cool. It’s been a real good thing for my faith as well.”

“It’s been a real gift to me from the Lord to do this for all these years and have all that fun.”

Choir committee members Katie McCoy and Deb Pease said Kiser has been a real blessing to the church.

“The ripple effects of her selfless giving are great,” McCoy said. “God has used her in mighty ways for His glory. Through all of her seasons of life, she has remained committed. It is so rare and special to have someone lead a ministry for 50 years straight. God still continues to bless her with so much passion and joy for this ministry today.”

“Everyone at PBC is extremely blessed to have her give of her talents and be involved as such a shining example of Christ,” McCoy said.

“She is always positive, always smiling and most importantly always faithful in her call to share the gospel of Christ in music and drama,” Pease said.

Pastor Curtis Odell has a unique perspective of Kiser’s faithfulness to PBC. He grew up in the church, tagging along with his parents to choir practices, often singing with the cast of the Easter and Christmas cantatas. He now serves as senior pastor.

“Every Sunday morning I’ve had the joy of worshipping with the Christ exalting anthems,” he said. “Through it all, the Princeton Bible Church choir, under the direction of Marty Kiser, has been a part of my weekly worship of Jesus Christ for as long as I can remember.”

“Marty’s service to the body of Christ and to her Lord is a beautiful picture of God’s sovereign grace and providence in her life. We praise God for His faithfulness as shown in her ministry. We praise God for His work in her.”

After the church service, a small reception was held in the gym for Kiser and to share memories together.