STAFF SPOTLIGHT – Abigail Karnes

My strength and my song

She never knows what is waiting on the other end of the line, but Abigail Karnes knows it’s more than just answering the phone.

“I enjoy getting to be of service to people when they’re in need. Somebody may be sent to the hospital, or somebody lost their family member, you never know. Being with them, giving them attention in that moment, whatever their needs are, is so important.”

As Office Coordinator at Chapel Hill UMC, Abigail does a “little bit of everything,” which adds up to a lot of essential needs being filled.

“My biggest role is helping with communications. I answer phone calls, get mail sent out, organize schedules for the building and also for Pastor Jeff. I also do a lot of work with Allison Roth on children’s ministry since Reagan moved to Texas. I help with VBS, and fill in with Sunday School as needed.”

And though she’s passionate about serving and showing Christ’s love through her position, it’s in the choir where you can find Abigail fulfilling her God-calling.

“Most people are surprised to know I have my Master’s degree in Opera Performance. In addition to my work at Chapel Hill, I also perform locally through several musical service companies and sing in the Wichita Chamber Chorale.”

So how did an opera singer end up working as the office coordinator?

“I know a lot of people feel like majoring in opera is too risky because there’s not as much job security, but I’m so glad I chose to pursue my passion. Singing is the talent God has given me and I may never become rich and famous, but I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had performing and I look forward to having more opportunities in the future. I get to help people here at Chapel Hill, and I still get to perform.”

It was more than just fulfilling employment Abigail found here, though. It was the opportunity to grow in Christ and in her leadership.

“I’ve found that Christ is a common connection for all of my positive relationships. All of my ‘go to’ people are Christ- centered, and I think that is proof of God’s love and peace. And when I came to Chapel Hill, I really liked how accepting it felt. There’s a lot of women in leadership here, and I hadn’t seen that at church growing up. I was raised in a very conservative church, and women were not allowed to have leadership positions. Here, it shows me how it’s possible.”

When Abigail isn’t working or serving others, you can find her pursuing several different hobbies, including boxing and reading. Recently, though, she’s spend much of her free time pursuing Pinterest.

“I’ve spent a lot of my time planning for my upcoming wedding. My fiance David and I have been living apart for two years as he’s pursued his doctorate in clarinet performance in Florida. Of course, we’ve had to change a lot of things about our wedding given the current health crisis. We’re providing personalized wedding face masks for our guests, and trying to make the most of it. We’re just ready to finally be living together after this time away! It helps you focus on what’s really important.”

We congratulate Abigail on her upcoming nuptials, and what a blessing it is to have her in our family at Chapel Hill UMC. Her passion for serving others while pursuing her passion for music is a sweet melody in our midst!

“The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.” -Exodus 15:2

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