Church Music Director Fired, Choir and Attendance Suffers

For 31 years, hundreds of people who went to services at Lexington’s First United Methodist Church were drawn by the music program run by Albin C. Whitworth.

The performances often featured works by Bach, Brahms, Beethoven and Handel sung by a choir of more than 100 accompanied by Whitworth on a massive pipe organ.

Although the size of some mainstream Protestant congregations in Lexington has declined in recent years, the 1,800-member First United Methodist thrived and was especially popular for its all-music service every fifth Sunday.

Now members of the West High Street church say it is suffering from a painful division after the September firing of Whitworth, 70.

The numbers of those singing in the choir have dropped from more than 100 to about 30, members say. And Sunday attendance at the downtown church dropped by nearly 200 from mid-April to mid-October, according to church bulletins.

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One Response to Church Music Director Fired, Choir and Attendance Suffers

  1. Paul says:

    Oh my gosh. He’s a professor at the seminary I graduated from in 2002. He’s a talented musician, but I don’t think his talents are all that useful not in churches w/o an organ.


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