Full Testimonies

Andrea O’Connell Testimony, November 5, 2017

A few weeks ago, when Melanie asked me to speak today, my first thought was, “Didn’t I just do that?” Well, I have stood here before… but apparently that was fifteen years ago! So, in case some of you have forgotten parts of what I said back then, let me start by refreshing your memory. For me, music has always been the lens through which every aspect of life is focused. In 1985 I was looking for a parish because I was hurting. I came to St. Paul’s because I’d heard the music was good! My family is both deeply musical and deeply rooted in religious tradition.

A Journey to St. Paul's

I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. My father was decidedly un-religious, and to the best of my knowledge, he might have attended church once or twice in my life. My mother’s parents were also un-religious; her mother was an astrologer and made up biorhythm charts for her clients. Her father was an illiterate subsistence farmer and used car salesman. Neither ever attended church, although late in life my grandfather become enamored of evangelical TV preachers and watched them constantly, particularly after my mother and grandmother passed away.