Music In Worship

Chancel ChoChancel Choirir  

The Chancel Choir is open to all adult singers, high school age and older. Be part of a diverse and friendly community of musicians. Develop vocal and musical skills, singing great works of sacred choral literature of all styles and periods. The Chancel Choir provides musical leadership during worship and presents occasional special concerts.

Time Commitment 
The choir sings during the 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning services from September through June. Sunday morning warm-ups begin at 9:45 a.m. in the sanctuary from September through May. Weekly rehearsals are on Thursday nights, 7:00-8:15 p.m. from late August through May. There is no Thursday rehearsal during June, and Sunday morning warm-ups begin at 8:45 a.m. for the 9:30 a.m. service.

Attendance Policy
With an understanding of how busy life can be, choir members are simply expected to participate as fully as they can. While regular attendance at rehearsals and Sunday services is desired, choir members are encouraged to communicate absences in advance. Conflicts due to work or family are a normal part of life.

Singers should be able to sing in tune and hold a part. Basic music reading skills are also very helpful.

Simply come to one of our rehearsals or contact the Director of Music in advance.

Benefits of participating in the choir

  • Perform beautiful music to God’s glory.
  • Be a part of a diverse and friendly community of musicians that strives for excellence.
  • Rehearsals are fast-paced and energetic.  Singers often leave with a “spring in their step.”
  • Serve the Lord using your musical gifts.
  • Improve your singing and musicianship.
  • Feel more “connected” within the church.

For more information, please contact Dr. Kevin Kellim, Director of Music, at (785) 231-9540 or at


Handbell Choir The opportunity to ring handbells and handchimes is available to adults and high school students who have some music reading skill.  The choir rehearses weekly on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. September through May.  The ensemble plays for the 10:30 worship service 7- 8 times during the year and occasionally for special services.  Sometimes some of the members travel to area workshops or festivals.



M.P. MÖLLER Pipe Organ  First Presbyterian Church has a tradition of outstanding music ministry that has nurtured and encouraged music within the congregation and throughout the Topeka community. The pipe organ has played a significant role in the music ministry for many years. The church archives include the organ contract from Hook & Hastings from 1905.

The M. P. Möller Pipe Organ in the Sanctuary originally dates from 1935, opus 6328. At that time it was a three manual and echo organ of 48 ranks, given by Miss Innie Payne in memory and honor of her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Matthew Payne. Cost was $12,500.00. A new antiphonal organ replaced the echo division in 1961, given by Fred Retschlag. In 1976 there were extensive tonal additions and revisions and a new four manual console installed by the Möller Company. Cost was $75,000.00. The console was given by Kelsey and Edna Petro in memory of their parents and the tonal work was made possible by gifts from Richard Gayhart, Walter and Constance Menninger, Paul and Nancy Kindling, and Robert Jacoby II. There were further tonal additions from 1990-1993. Releathering projects occurred as needed. In 2002 the console was sent to the Hagerstown Organ Company for renovation and the addition of Peterson solid state mechanism. Technical work was also done in the chambers. Thanks go to Richard Gayhart, Roy Knisley, Robert Jacoby II, and Walter and Connie Menninger for making this upgrade of $80,000.00 possible.

A fine 80 rank, four manual and antiphonal organ, with 99 levels of memory now enhances the music ministry of First Presbyterian Church for worship services and recitals. It is the largest pipe organ in the city. Refer to the Specifications link. The Chapel of First Presbyterian also has a 2 manual 14 rank Möller pipe organ, opus 11534, installed in 1981. Curator of both instruments is Doug Funston of Mid-States Pipe Organ Company, Liberty, Missouri.

Organists at First Presbyterian over the past 70 years include:

  •       Bernice Hemus: organist when 1935 Möller installed
  •       Arnold Lynch: 1936-1947
  •       Richard Gayhart: 1947-1994 & Chapel organist 1994-1999
  •       Marie Rubis Bauer  1994-1997
  •       Robert Jacoby II: Asst. organist 1975-present
  •       Norma Pettijohn: 1997-2014
  •       Song Yi Park: 2015-present

Organ Specifications