Dr. Karen Eckenroth, began her service to St. Alban’s in 2014. Karen’s ministry with us is to provide music that supports and enriches our worship. She does so at both the early (8:00 am) service and at the later (10:15 am) service. During the later service Karen directs and supports the choir of St. Alban’s. While small in number of participants, our choir is skilled, enthusiastic and dedicated to provide vocal music each Sunday for most of the calendar year. (Shameless plug and invitation: please join the choir! Karen and other choir members are eager for more voices to join them.) We are privileged to have her skill as a director of vocalists and her ability as an organist and pianist to enrich our worship. In addition, Karen’s leadership helps us benefit from “special” music during the high feast days of Christmas and Easter along with providing music for both comfort and celebration of life during funerals and memorial services.
In her “other life,” Karen is Associate Professor of Music at Otterbein College. She is Director of Vocal Activities and Opera Theatre & she also teaches studio voice and classes in Opera and Art Song Literature, Women in Music, and Vocal Diction and Pedagogy. She has also been conductor of both the Otterbein Vocal Ensemble and the Otterbein Women’s Chorale. As a singer, she has performed with many orchestras and she has an impressive solo repertoire including works by Beethoven, Poulenc, Mendelssohn, and Verdi among others. Opera credits include Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro along with several other works. In October of 2007, she premiered Twilight, a cycle of three songs on the poems of Christina Rossetti which was written for her by New York composer Richard Pearson Thomas.
She received her Bachelor and Masters degrees in vocal performance and pedagogy from The Pennsylvania State University and her Doctor of Musical Arts in voice and choral conducting from The University of Arizona where she studied voice with Elizabeth Mosher and Paula Fan and conducting with Maurice Skones. EMAIL HER HERE
Ernestine Ujah is a long-time member of St. Alban’s and has worked on the St. Alban’s staff since 2015. She is a social worker who retired after 30 years of public service working to protect elderly people from abuse, neglect and/or exploitation. She also worked with Ohio counties to help lower error rates and improve overall service by training in counties where federal guidelines were not being followed.
Her current duties at St. Alban’s include overseeing a “walk-in” ministry that provides financial and spiritual support to St. Alban’s and the Columbus community at large. In addition, she serves in a leadership role with our Pastoral Care team. Her pastoral care duties include attending to the spiritual needs of parishioners who are able to attend church services as well as those unable to attend. Our Pastoral Care team offers in home communion, prayers, encouragement for joyous occasions, and current news and updates about the parish.
In 2012, Ernestine felt a call to another path in her faith life. She realized Spiritual Direction (the Art of Listening) is something for which she had a gift. She realized people trusted her with their stories while she felt blessed to hold them in her heart and pray for them. After praying about God calling her to Spiritual Direction, she enrolled in a three-year ecumenical program with Wellstreams, offered through The Spirituality Network in Columbus. She graduated in 2015 with training in Spiritual Direction. She also served as an on staff Spiritual Director.
In 2018, she was awarded the The Living Faith Award presented by Wellstreams.
She was born in Mississippi and also lived in Chicago before moving with her husband, Chuks Ujah, to Columbus in 1972. She graduated from Ohio Dominican with a degree in Social Work. She and Chuks have one son, three grandchildren & one great grandchild. After 31 years of marriage, she became a widow in 2003.
In life outside of work, Ernestine writes: “I love Jesus, solitude, time with family and friends, music, cooking, gardening, travel (before COVID-19), writing prayers and poetry, looking for Christ in everyone and sharing the love of Christ with all. Email Ernestine HERE
Stoker Lewis, St. Alban's Church Dog
Stoker is a wise, old soul who enjoys spending his time relaxing in the office and helping his human Janet Lewis. In addition to going to the dog park, Stoker also enjoys taking walks around Bexley. If you see him in the office be sure to give him a gentle pat and say hello!