Church music director aims for 'happy medium'

Apr. 20—Singer-pianist Damian Christian wants to help build a community of believers at St. Andrew Cumberland Presbyterian Church and music is his means.

Christian plays piano and leads the singing each Sunday at 11 a.m. and he hopes to organize a choir at the 1415 N. Grandview Ave. church for which the main qualification is a desire "to worship God with your voice," he said.

"We just want the sinners here. As long as you can hold a note, it doesn't matter who you are or what you look like."

Christian is a 2020 Permian High School graduate and music and business major at Odessa College who grew up with his grandparents, Edward and Brenda Christian, who also raised his twin sister and three cousins. He was an all-state singer at Permian in 2020.

Christian credits all his teachers for helping him reach the point he is at now, especially Wilson & Young Medal of Honor Middle School Choir Director Erica Lane Garza, who convinced him to develop his talent to the fullest extent. He is also learning to play the pipe organ.

Having grown up attending St. Matthew Baptist Church, Christian said, "We try to hit a happy medium of contemporary Gospel music and traditional hymns.

"St. Andrew Cumberland is a safe place where we cater to people's hearts and needs. We understand that different people worship differently and we try to respect that, too.

"No matter what I do, I know that my help always comes from God."

The Rev. Kyle Rodgers, pastor, said Christian "is a wonderful young man who is way ahead of his time and age.

"Damian is incredibly talented on piano and as a singer," the Rev. Rodgers said. "He is using his gifts for the Lord.

"We enjoy music as part of worship because God has put a song in our hearts."