Worship Service and Reception will Celebrate Former Lake Junaluska Singers Director Glenn Draper


LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — A free worship service led by the Lake Junaluska Singers and the Lake Junaluska Singers Alumni Association will take place on Saturday, July 7 at 10 a.m. in Memorial Chapel to honor the legacy of former Lake Junaluska Singers Director Glenn Draper. Draper is celebrating his 90th birthday this year.

Draper led the Lake Junaluska Singers, Lake Junaluska’s prestigious residential choir, from 1956 to 2009. During that time, he grew the chorus from a quartet to a 16-voice ensemble that toured extensively across the Southeast and beyond. 

Over the years, the Lake Junaluska Singers have produced numerous recordings, as well as performing at the White House for presidents from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush.

“Glenn founded the Lake Junaluska Singers and that is a tremendous legacy that has been given to this place,” said Kathy Geyer McNeil, associate director of the Lake Junaluska Singers. “As long as the Singers continue, he will always be remembered as the person who provided beautiful music and inspiration for everyone who comes to the lake.”

Draper’s first visit to Lake Junaluska took place when the chorus he was directing at the time, the Keesler Male Chorus made up of airman stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, was invited to sing at the dedication of Memorial Chapel in the summer of 1954. Lake Junaluska invited the group back for the 1955 Independence Day Celebration, and after that performance Lake Junaluska’s then-superintendent extended a job offer for music director to Draper. He accepted and began what would become a 53-year long career leading the Lake Junaluska Singers.

Music remains an important ministry to Lake Junaluska, with the Lake Junaluska Singers performing several concerts, hymn sings and worship services throughout the summer.

“Music and Lake Junaluska are almost synonymous during the summer,” said McNeil. “So many people come here just for the music. It’s why my family continued to come back to the lake after our first visit, and it has a tremendous effect on everyone who experiences it.”

The worship service to celebrate Draper on July 7 is entitled “When in our Music God is Glorified,” and attendees can expect a celebration of song.

A reception and birthday party for Draper will take place directly after the service at 11 a.m. in the Harrell Center Auditorium. 

Both the worship service and the birthday party are free to attend and all are invited. 

In lieu of birthday gifts, Draper asks that attendees consider giving to the Glenn Draper Endowment, which directly benefits the Lake Junaluska Singers and ensures the continuation of this music ministry at Lake Junaluska. You can visit www.lakejunaluska.com/support to give or bring gifts on the day of the event.

“He started this whole thing all those years ago and we wouldn’t be here without him,” said current Lake Junaluska Singer Emily Arbour. “It’s amazing what he’s created. We’re excited to show our gratitude.”

To learn more about upcoming Lake Junaluska Singers events, including the worship service and birthday party, visitwww.lakejunaluska.com/singers

Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit www.lakejunaluska.com.

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at hfleming@wnccumc.net.


  • Resources
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