Dr. Christy Miller
Pianist & Accompanist for 8:38 a.m. Worship
Christy Miller, FBC’s instrumentalist for the 8:38 a.m. worship service, is a Kansas native and folk music historian with a special penchant for mid-century American folk music. She is Executive Director of Americana Music Academy in Lawrence, and holds a doctorate degree in Musicology from the University of Kansas. Her research has taken her to archives throughout the US and England. A 2015 BMI Woody Guthrie Fellowship allowed her to spend weeks neck-deep in Woody Guthrie’s personal papers and unpublished writings and lyrics, and she has presented her work as part of numerous local and national conferences and publications.
Christy is also an experienced and passionate teacher: she has twenty years of piano teaching experience and has taught collegiate courses at William Jewell College and the University of Kansas. She is the co-founder of Piano Detectives Club, a beginning piano curriculum for children. She is driven by the belief that music is for everyone. Christy also collaborates with FBC’s pastors in planning the 8:38 worship service.
Organist & Chancel Choir Accompanist
Holly Grassy is originally from Towanda—a quaint town near Wichita, which is not a particularly interesting place to be from, except that it is home to a high school having one of the few fully circular buildings in the country when it was built (aptly named “Circle High”). Holly came to Lawrence as a KU student and was drawn in by the charms of the town and decided to stay. A graduate of KU’s Liberal Arts School, she has a B.A. in English Literature. After working for a local software company, and then a brief stint in a start-up company as an HR manager, she came to First Baptist in 1999 as the Office Manager and then began working as the bookkeeper part-time in 2003 after her second child was born. Holly is an avid KU Basketball fan, enjoys reading, hunting around on iTunes, baking and cooking for friends and family, and spending time with her three boys and husband Patrick.
Administrative Support Manager
Jenny Purvis comes to Kansas from, well, Kansas, with a short layover in Texas. She is married to Neal, a retired high school band director, and they have a beautiful daughter, Courtney. Over the past 34 years Jenny has raised twenty-five Labrador puppies, taught piano lessons to lots of kids, and has played with babies & toddlers while running a home-daycare. Jenny has been on staff at First Baptist since 2006, and much like her previous adventures, she’s enjoyed every minute of it! In her spare time, she & her family love cooking together, hiking, traveling, gardening, music, and thoroughly enjoy their current menagerie of pets: 2 dog and 8 chickens.
Director of Worship Music
Mark is a retired music educator whose 30 year teaching career includes stops at Wichita County High School, Arizona State University, Ottawa High School, Central Junior High School, Lawrence High School, Pinckney Elementary School and South Junior High/South Middle School. Mark currently serves as Chancel Choir Director of First Baptist Lawrence. He has served as choir director, off and on, since 1991. Mark is married to Stephanie Renee (Janzen) Robinson, a retired elementary school music teacher. They have two beautiful adult children, Corbin and Claire.
Neal is a retired high school band director of 30 years. Currently he works morning hours as the assistant band director at Southwest Middle School in Lawrence. He enjoys playing in the Topeka Symphony Orchestra as a trombonist and you’ll occasionally hear him play in worship here at First Baptist! Also, one of his favorite hobbies is cooking, and if you’ve eaten a meal at FBC, chances are good that Neal prepared it. Neal has had a long history of service to FBC and the Facilities Ministry. He serves as both the primary custodian and the manager of facilities. He’s married to Jenny, the FBC office manager, and they have a daughter, Courtney.
Digital Media Coordinator
Susan is a long-time FBC member who joined with her husband, John, in 1988 when they came to Lawrence for John to attend law school. When he graduated, they just never left. Susan was raised in the far reaches of western Kansas in a tiny, tiny town called Coolidge. She and John met at Friends University in Wichita, where she majored in English.
Her first foray into working with tech was as a help desk agent and then as a project planner for PARS Travel Information Systems (then owned by Delta, Northwest, and TWA airlines, later named Worldspan, still later called Travelport). She loves riding her road bike, trail running, making jewelry, and diving down tech rabbit holes. Susan and John have two grown kids and a 16-pound beast of a cat named Schrödinger (Ding for short).