SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Elneda Miller has performed a music ministry for St. Paul United Methodist Church in South Charleston for eight decades.
"As long as I'm able and they'll have me, I'll stay with it," said Miller, who will celebrate her 93rd birthday Sunday. "I am blessed, pretty much, with good health so far."
Miller, who grew up in South Charleston, has been part of St. Paul since her parents took her there as a child.
She was only 7 when she began taking piano lessons. When she switched to the organ at age 12, she had found her niche.
"It just appealed to me," she said. "On the organ, you set up your own stops and do your own thing with it. A teacher once said it brings out your personality."
She believes her love for music stems from listening to her uncles play the clarinet when she was young. She isn't sure what steered her to a different instrument, but recalls her mother always encouraged her to practice.
Her parents were both schoolteachers and her sister went into nursing.
Miller chose a career with Union Carbide, where she worked for 40 years, including many in the employment office where she enjoyed getting to know people.
Meanwhile, she was also a minister's wife. Her husband, the Rev. C.T. Miller, was a United Methodist pastor who retired from the conference in 1985. He also taught at Morris Harvey College (now the University of Charleston) for 32 years.