Bell Choir Jump-Starts Building Campaign

The Olympia Christian School Bell Choir kicked off a campaign to build a new school by presenting a concert titled, “Possibilities,” on April 23. “I had no idea what the response would be,” says director Anita McKown, “but I felt God impressing me to present the concert and leave the results with Him.” One of the results was a freewill offering of $17,000.

The inspiration for the concert was a combination of need for a new school facility and a desire to honor former OCS parent and board member, Joyce Peterson. Peterson, who succumbed to cancer in January 2005, was a staunch supporter of the bell choir. She played her flute as a solo instrument accompanied by the bells and also donated the funds for a three-octave set of chimes. John Peterson, M.D., Joyce’s husband, established a memorial fund to replace the school’s aging buildings.

The year 2005 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Olympia Christian School Bell Choir. This year’s 12 ringers, students in grades 6–10, have had a busy schedule of performances and workshops, including traveling to Gem State Academy in Caldwell, Idaho, for Total Workout! and performing a concert in the Washington state capitol rotunda for the YMCA Youth and Government Breakfast with guest speaker Governor Christine Gregoire.

“Working with my young ringers over the past 10 years has been a blessing to me,” said McKown, who also teaches grades five and six at the school. “Bell choir is totally a team effort. The students learn discipline, responsibility, and commitment, while striving for excellence in performance. I try to impress upon them that they are ambassadors, not only for Olympia Christian School, but more importantly, for Jesus Christ.”

“The OCS Bell Choir is a powerful witnessing tool,” adds Karen Mallory, OCS board chair. Under McKown’s gentle, patient leadership, the bell choir serves as a draw for new students, as well as for younger students currently enrolled. It’s a way to bless our local area churches, and it’s a beautiful and effective method to share the love of the Lord with our community.”

One of the bell handles is inscribed: To the glory of God. May our music ever praise Him. “That’s our motto,” said McKown.

September 01, 2005 / Washington Conference