Reverend Gary W. Arnold, Pastor of Worship, Communication and Liturgical Arts, holds a Bachelor of Music from Belmont University, Nashville, TN, and a Master of Church Music from Southern Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. He was ordained to the ministry in 1981 at Highland Baptist Church, Louisville, Kentucky. Originally from Southern Illinois, he has served as Minister of Music for churches in Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Georgia.
Gary was a member of, and recorded with, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus for several seasons. For three seasons he served as the Assistant Musical Director and Accompanist of the Atlanta Lyric Theater, where he was responsible for the choral and vocal preparation of the cast and assisting in production responsibilities. Gary led the 100 voice Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus for seven years, first as Principal Accompanist and then as Artistic Director.
Gary was on the staff of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Atlanta from 1992 through the end of 2006 as Organist and Minister of Fine Arts. At St. Mark, he administered programs of The McDowell Fine Arts Center for the thriving inner city congregation of over 1,500 members. Gary served both at the keyboards and on the conductor’s podium, supported worship as the resource for liturgy, supervised a music staff of five, and oversaw the musical and liturgical experiences for singers, hand-bells, orchestra, drama, dance, and the visual arts. In addition to his duties at Saint Mark, prior to coming to the Lake Oconee area, Gary was also Music Assistant at Cannon Chapel, Candler Theological Seminary of Emory University. For many years Gary has led worship, retreats, and conferences for individual congregations, for organizations such as the Lilly Foundation, The Fund for Theological Education, and for the State, National, and International United Methodist Church.
Since moving to Lake Oconee, Gary for two years served as Artistic Administrator for OPAS, (Oconee Performing Arts Society) overseeing musical, production, and education outreach efforts.
Gary and Dan, his partner of over 25 years, are now full-time residents of Lake Oconee. He has served as Pastor for Worship and the Arts at the multi-location, multi-denominational Lake Oconee Community Church since 2008.
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