St. Paul Baptist Church to honor Kinchen, Johnson
Editor's note: This article was excerpted from an article that originally appeared in the Saturday, March 31, edition of the Journal Times. It was written by reporter Lee Roberts. The entire article can be viewed in the Press Room section.
Singers, musicians, friends and family--from churches throughout Racine and beyond--ll come together on April 14 to pay tribute to two men who have given much to the community through their music ministry. Tim Johnson, minister of music at St. Paul Baptist Church, and James Kinchen, professor of music at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, will be honored at a special Legends Celebration at St. Paul Church, 1123 Center St. And all are invited to join in the afternoon of performance and community.
Both Johnson and Kinchen are members of St. Paul's congregation and have devoted many years of their time and talents not only to the church, but to the larger community, according to the Rev. Della Buckley, senior associate minister at St. Paul. The Legends Celebration is meant to recognize their efforts and give honor, where honor is due, said Buckley, who is organizing the event.
"These men of God have contributed to this community in our churches, universities and in other students lives, promoting their love for their craft," Buckley said. "They are legends, not only within our church but in what they give to the community."
Bishop Lawrence Kirby, pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church, agreed.
"These two men will serve any church they are called upon to serve, if their schedules allow them to do so," Kirby said. "To me, they really live out the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe both of them are two of the most committed men I have known in the City of Racine, for the last 31 years."
Kinchen, who has been involved with the music program at St. Paul for about 21 years, has also been teaching and inspiring young musicians at UW-Parkside--where he is also director of choral activities--nce 1989. He is the music director of the Milwaukee Choristers and has traveled the world both as a conductor and choral scholar, and has served in leadership roles with various national music organizations (for more, go to www.uwp.edu/departments/music/kinchen.cfm).
Johnson, who has been at St. Paul for about 12 years, is a longtime music teacher and producer who has coached many young musicians in Racine. Through the years, he has also created community choirs, designed to give area youth an opportunity to sing together and praise God through music. And his compositions are sung in churches across the country.
The audience may...have a chance to hear Johnson and Kinchen play, but the idea is really to let others pay tribute to these two musicians, both of whom are as humble as they are talented and giving...and both of whom seem a little uncomfortable with all of the attention being focused on them.
"I'm still somewhat awestruck by the whole notion," said Kinchen. "We come and do what we do for the love of it, and for the love of the people we serve-- and first and foremost for the love of the Lord," he said.
Johnson's and Kinchen's sharing of their gifts is a blessing for both the congregation of St. Paul and the community, Kirby said.The Legends Celebration honoring James Kinchen and Timothy Johnson is Saturday, April 14, at 2 p.m. in St. Paul Baptist Church, 1123 Center St. Admission is free. For more information, call 262-634-0428.