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John Morrison, left playing the piano, and Dr. John O'Connor, right, singing for a recording of the online service.

Fairmont State professors aid in online worship experience for local church

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the Mountain State, two Fairmont State University professors are helping in a unique way. John Morrison, assistant professor of music, and Dr. John O’Connor, senior level professor of theatre arts, are working with the First Presbyterian Church of Fairmont to create an online worship format to help their fellow church members experience Sunday services in a safe way. 

Morrison and O’Connor are working with Interim Pastor D.D. Meighen, who is also a Fairmont State alumnus. Morrison is the director of music and organist at the church while O’Connor is Clerk of the Session and member of the chancel choir. 

Every week since March 14, the three gentlemen have gotten together on Saturday morning to record the service for the week. Rev. Meighen records each part of the service and edits the footage to create a seamless worship experience. 

“Online services are reaching a larger community need for worship during the COVID-19 pandemic, beyond the First Presbyterian congregation, having been viewed by over 1,000 people, well beyond the number in the congregation,” O’Connor said. “These viewers also include the FPC Fairmont snowbirds and other members who have been self-quarantined out-of-state.” 

Working together, the service has continued, although in a different fashion than normal. 

“First Presbyterian enjoys a positive relationship with Fairmont State and the incorporation of faculty and staff has been a blessed and helpful union of community and the University,” Meighen said.

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