Susan Alsip-Lawson

GUCC Organist

Susan has been organist at Grace UCC since August 1981. She started playing organ in church at age 15 at Grace Brethren Church in Hagerstown, MD. Before coming to Grace UCC, she was organist for nine years at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Hagerstown. Susan grew up in nearby State Line, PA, graduating from North Hagerstown High School. She graduated from Shepherd College (BA in Music Education) and University of Maryland (Master of Music). Susan taught choral and general music at Northern Middle School in Hagerstown, MD for 31 years, retiring in 2007. She is piano accompanist at Smithsburg Middle School and Boonsboro Middle School for their Festival Chorus performances each spring. Susan and her husband, Duane, reside in Hagerstown. In her spare time, she does publicity for the Middleburg/ Mason-Dixon Line Historical Society, enjoys flower gardening, cooking, trips to Williamsburg, VA, and grooming the family dog, Laci....

Patty Stepler

Choir Director

Patty has directed the Grace GUCC choir since the fall of 1982. She has been singing since an early age at her church in Mifflintown, PA where her dad was minister and leader of the children's choir. Throughout high-school she attended district, regional and state choruses and also played the part of Carrie in her senior class musical "Carousel".

After graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Music Education. majoring in voice and minoring in piano and violin, Patty taught elementary and middle school music programs in Washington County, Maryland for 32 years. 

Patty and her husband, Larry, have three grown children, Rachael, Renee and Daniel, and one granddaughter, McKynzie.
Currently, Patty has her own business "
Your Dream Power - High Performance Coaching and Leadership / Team Training".




Organist, Susan Alsip-Lawson, sitting at GUCC's Moller Organ. This  two manual pipe organ was GUCC's 3rd Moller Organ and was dedicated in 1953. It uses the church's original 1880 organ pipes.

Compiled by Susan M. Alsip-Lawson, Organist from “History of the Congregation of Grace United Church of Christ at Greencastle” by Glen L. Cump, 1998

Around 1877, M.P. Moller began manufacturing pipe organs in Greencastle; and, he placed one in the German Reformed Church. This was one of the first M.P. Moller organs to be placed in any church anywhere. In January 1880, a committee was appointed to solicit funds for the purchase of the pipe organ at a price not to exceed four hundred twenty five dollars ($425.00). This new organ replaced the reed organ that had been in use. The pipe organ remained in the church and was used until it was replaced by a newer Moller instrument in 1902.

In 1902 it was brought to the attention of the consistory that the church organ was no longer satisfactory. Andrew Carnegie had agreed to contribute one half of the two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) required to purchase the new M.P. Moller pipe organ, after the congregation had raised the first one thousand dollars. A new pipe organ was installed in 1903. The first public recital was given on July 9; and, Miss Lore Brenisholtz was the church organist.

In 1951 the consistory of the church realized that the organ required extensive repairs. The congregation voted in 1951 to have a new organ installed by the M.P. Moller Company of Hagerstown, Maryland. The two manual pipe organ, installed at a cost of $10, 727.00, was dedicated on November 9, 1953.

In 2007 the Alsip-Lawson Memorial Organ Fund was established. With monies collected from this ongoing fund, an oboe stop was added to the 1953 Moller pipe organ in 2008. The pipes were manufactured by the former Eastern Organ Pipes, Inc. in Hagerstown, Maryland and were installed by Lawless-Johnson Organ Company in Greencastle, Pennsylvania. On September 14, the oboe stop and pipes were dedicated; and, a recital was given by the organist, Susan M. Alsip-Lawson.