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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
May 1, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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May 1, 2019

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May 1, 2019 RepOrter Page 7C By Diane Glidewell t- The sanctuary of Forsyth United Methodist Church resounded with the beauti- ful sounds of its pipe organ on Sunday afternoon, April 28 as Ann Haygood worked its keys and pedals to create the soul-stirring notes and reverberations as she has for the last 40 years. This Celebration Concert was in honor of Ann's retirement as church organist as members of the congregation and com- munity honored her for the beautiful music and service she has given. Ann does not remember exactly when she became Forsyth UMC's organist but knows it was before the church burned on July 29, 1979 and the records that would have shown exactly when Bobby Melton hired her for the position were destroyed. Ann remembers the day of the fire dearly. She and her children--an 18-month- old son and daughters ages 15 and 11-- were at the church. Ann left to take food to someone and re- turned to find the church burning; SueUen Hughes had gotten the children out. The church organ was lost in the blaze. That is one of the many memories Ann has of her years as organist at Forsyth UMC. She first came to the church when a neighbor invited her to visit in about 1965. She began singing in the choir, which was di- rected by Julia Searcy and was about 12-15 voices strong then. "I thought the organ was so beautiful, and we had a wonderful organist who taught at Tift College,' said Ann. Ann was working at Monroe County De- partment of Family & Children Services and continued to do so until she retired after 34 years. But she decided to go back to college, attending first Gordon College and then Tift College as a behavioral science major. She loved the organ and began tak- Ann Haygood stands beside the UMC. She has faithfully created church's services for 40 years. pipe organ at Forsyth beautiful music for the ing her elective courses at Auditorium. middle. Ann said the room Tift in the music depart- Tift there was a big has very good acoustics, ment to learn to play. She Schantz pipe organ" said and the slate floor en- played piano, but had to Ann. "I was not worthy of hances the sound. During learn the manuals, to coor- all that" her last 10 years working dinate her feet and hands, Forsyth UMC then had at Monroe County DFCS, to play the organ. Ann said a pipe organ with 10 or 12 after she moved from that being tall, with a long ranks of pipes, and church services to eligibility, she reach of arms and legs, is member Gilbert Banks came to the church to a great asset in playing the wanted the church to have practice playing the organ organ. Ann doesn't quite a better pipe organ. He during her lunchtime. measure 5 feet but was got permission from the "Everyone who visits or not deterred in learning church board, and Annsings here loves it because to generate music through went shopping for organs the acoustics are so good the imposing organ pipes, with him. Dr. Timothyin this room" she said. She learned the basics Wisler, who had taught at But even better than the at Tift College and then Tift, took them to see and acoustics are the people at found other teachers over hear two or three organs the church. Ann has been the years, like Dennis Mc- in Atlanta and then they a part of the lives of many Cleary at Vineville Baptist went to Tennessee. They families and individuals Church and Gerald Carper chose Randall Dyer ofevery Sunday and has been at Highland Hills Baptist Randall Dyer & Associ- there at turning points in Macon. ates, who owned an organ like weddings, funerals When she began play- company in lefferson City, and special services. She ing at Forsyth UMC, the Tenn. He built the organ said wonderful ministers regular organist had left to and finished it in 1997. and other staff members go to University of Geor- That Christmas Ann was have served at the church gia and a replacement had part of a performance of during her 40 years as only stayed a few months; Handel's Messiah on the organist. so Ann agreed to play be- new organ, combined with "Everyone is good to me. cause she was needed. The an organist from Christ The staff is wonderful" console was in the middle United Methodist Church. said Ann. "We care about of the altar then, hidden They performed it for two one another." in the back instead of on nights, one at each church. She said she actually the side at the front as it is She said the music was loves to play at funerals now. very hard and every organ because they are so touch- "I was terrible, pitiful" is different, ing and loved ones are so she said. friend, who Ten years later Banksappreciative of everything was a piano teacher, said I wanted to enhance the or- done for them. She will was doing okay but needed gan at Forsyth UMC, and continue to play for the to add the principle stop. they went back to Dyer. He monthly chapel that the I had to find out what that said the church sanctuary church preschool classes was." didn't have room for all of have. She said the pre- After the fire, the church the 1,400 new pipes. Dyer's school teachers bring the met for evening vespers at daughter designed an at- students in every Hal- different homes and had tractive plan to install the loween and she plays J.S. Sunday morning worship new pipes exposed, rather Bach's "Toccatto" for them. at Tift College's Roberts than concealed, and in the One of Ann's favorite songs on the organ is "It is Well With My Soul" "I love it, and I love the per- son who arranged it" she explained. She described leaving her position of church organist as bittersweet. She said she has been told she can come practice on the organ any time she wants. Dr. Fletcher Anderson, who taught at Wesleyan, has agreed to play dur- ing May while the church searches for a new perma- nent organist. "It's not a job for her, it's pure love," said Jan Collins-Free, who has worked with Ann in the church's music ministry for the last three years. "In the postlude, when she presses that big old base pedal, it will send you up to the stars." Ann's family includes her husband of 32 years, Jack, her daughters, Theresa Forrester Spencer and Lisa Forrester Gaskins, son, Robbie Forrester, and grandchildren, Maggie, Forrest and Gavin, who is in heaven. Charlie Pelt, Agent 12 E. Johnston St. Forsyth, GA 31029 Charl ie@ Auto Home Life Medicare Supplement Vehicle Loans Mortgages Call for a quote today! Save up to 40%! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ D DELICIOUS MEXICAN MENU Great variety of dishes to choose from! We Serve all your favorite beverages too! SPECIALS: Margarita Special- Small Ume On the Rocks- Two for One Bud- Draft $2 EAT IN or CARRY OUT! 478.993-2266 We are located next door to the Red Roof Inn 480 Holiday Circle, Forsyth, GA 31029 m Mort Fri l lain - lOpm Sat 11:30am- lOpm Closed Sunday OPEN MONDAY - SUNDAY YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD FAMILY RESTAURANT 1993, Preparedfresh 103 Patrol Rd Forsyth, GA D