Michael Cowan serves as music director and organist for Spilman Memorial Baptist Church in Kinston, North Carolina. Michael was born in Edenton, North Carolina on December 27, 1997. Twenty days shy of his third birthday, Michael’s family moved to Fayetteville, Tennessee. Some of his earliest memories are being at church — The West End Baptist Church of Fayetteville.
I remember sitting two pews behind the piano. I was always enthralled by the wonderful music of my church. The church had a wonderful music team which included; a pianist, organist, lively congregational song leader, a choir director, and a 40 member choir. Later, I became absolutely fascinated by the organ.
At the age of five – after many months of pleading with my parents – I began taking formal lessons from a lady in town who was organist for the Huntsville Alabama Philharmonic. I was trained classically through the fourth grade. During this time, I never lost my love and adoration for the songs and hymns of the church. I often begged my teacher to allow me to learn sacred music. After fourth grade, my mom and I moved back to North Carolina to be closer to family. This ended my formal lessons for several years due to us moving several times. This didn’t stop my learning and love of music. I continued to teach myself from hymnals and sheet music.
Fast forward to the age of fourteen. I was approached by the pastor and choir director at my church in Swansboro, NC. I was asked to take over as the choir pianist. Six months later, I was the head pianist. I accompanied all congregational and choral music for the church. After several years of doing this, our organist left, and I became the organist for a few months. Shortly after, our other pianist left. After the final pianist left, I went back to the piano. By the end of my six years at the church, I was music coordinator, pianist, and assistant choir director.
After much prayer, I decided to leave my position as Pianist at Saint Luke UMC. I am excited for this next adventure at the beautiful Spilman Memorial Baptist Church. I am so thrilled to be the face of the music department. I look forward to growing the music program and being a vital and active part of this beautiful church. I have several years of experience in directing choirs and planning worship services. My sacred music styles are various. I love anything from the great hymns of the faith to more modern contemporary praise songs.
Some of my favorite hymns and praise songs include Victory in Jesus, To God, Be the Glory, Shout to the Lord, I Stand Amazed in the Presence, In Christ Alone, Great is Thy Faithfulness, and When the Roll is Called Up Yonder. I look forward to getting to know the friendly faces of Spilman, and I look forward to being your music director and organist for many, many years.