First Baptist Blairsville pianist Jackie Hill retires after 51 years of service


BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. — First Baptist Blairsville in Union County, Georgia celebrates the retirement of Jackie Hill, having served 51 years as Church Pianist.

Jackie grew up in the small, rural town of Blairsville in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Her home of yesteryear was a place where everyone knew everyone.   The unpaved roads were not named and referred to by the name of whoever lived on them.  Doors were never locked.  Jackie lived a life of a tomboy preferring to play outside in the small town, high above the road.  She played basketball with her future husband, Charles Hill.  Jackie resided in a household that had a piano, so she was exposed to music from a very early age.  Her Grandmother, Nelle Tarpley , was the pianist at First Baptist Blairsville for many years and taught first grade for 30 years in Union County.

Jackie sang in the choir until she became the Church Pianist at 21 years old, married, and had only one year of formal piano training.  However, she could play by ear and had learned to read music.  Undoubtedly, Jackie had a special God given talent.

First Baptist Blairsville is the only church Jackie has served.  She played in the Rock Chapel building on the beautiful black, grand piano prior to moving into the new sanctuary.  Jackie loved playing the hymns.  It was a unique challenge when she was called upon to add contemporary music to her repertoire.  She played under the direction of 13 Music Directors and 4 Pastors.   Jackie spent countless hours playing for church services, practices, the choir, plays, rehearsals, funerals, weddings, cantatas, Girl's Auxiliary Coronations, Bible School and other special events.

Charles, Jackie's late husband, owned a local pharmacy with Jack Lance.  They were married 48 years.  She is the daughter of the late Jay Lance, Clerk of Court and Lillian Lance, Clerk of Court Clerical, and Administrator of Union General Hospital.  She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren.

Jackie resides in a southern style antebellum house complete with towering white columns.  She and Charles designed the house alongside a very talented architect.

Please join in applauding Jackie Lance Hill for 51 years of faithful Music Ministry in Blairsville, Georgia.  She testifies that "God led her all the way."