Frazer UMC mourns passing of music minister who served nearly 70 years
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - One of Montgomery’s largest churches is mourning the loss of a life-long member who made it his mission to share the gospel through music.
Joseph Patrick Cox, known by many simply as “Joe Pat,” died Wednesday after serving for nearly 70 years in Frazer’s music ministry. He was 85.
Cox’s service at Frazer started long before it grew into a multi-thousand member congregation on Atlanta Highway. As a young child, he accompanied his father to clean when it was still a small church on Clayton Street in downtown Montgomery.
Then, in 1951, when he was just 15, Cox’s career with Frazer started. Not yet old enough to drive, he was appointed director of the choir.
The position was part-time, but Cox committed himself to it for 29 years. It was then in 1980 that the church named him its full-time Minister of Music.
One could retire after doing almost anything for three decades, but for Cox, he was just starting. And he would continue bringing music to the church’s congregation full-time for another 28 years.
Even after part and full time roles spanning 57 years, retirement in 2008 wouldn’t silence the instruments of Joe Pat’s service.
He simply moved into the role of Music Minister Emeritus.
And with that, he continued on, this time as the part-time director of Frazer’s Speeder’s Choir for older adults and as the leader of Sunday evening music.
“During his tenure, Frazer’s music ministry grew considerably to include children, youth, and multiple adult choirs, ensembles, soloists, instrumentalists, and an orchestra,” the church said. “He oversaw the development of a drama ministry and assisted with the early days of our television ministry. He continually innovated in music, introducing gospel, revival-style, and Contemporary Christian music to the Frazer congregation alongside classic hymns of the faith.”
“Joe Pat Cox embodied the spirit of Frazer,” said Senior Pastor Chris Montgomery. “He loved people deeply, worshipped God joyfully, and gave of himself constantly in service to others. We have been blessed beyond words by his life. Our love and prayers are with his family.”
The church is planning a special Night of Singing in Cox’s honor. It’s set for Nov. 15 at 6:30 pm in the Frazer Main Sanctuary.
His family has requested that donations be made to the Frazer Music Ministry and Amedisys Hospice in lieu of flowers.
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