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Minister of music named at Emmanuel Temple

October 16, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Darren Homontowski is reveling in the colors and cooler temperatures of autumn in Washington County, things he missed growing up in Florida.

The new minister of music at Emmanuel Baptist Temple was officially licensed to the ministry Sunday evening in services at the church on the hill just west of Huyetts Crossroads.

Homontowski was born in Wisconsin, but grew up and went to school and college in Florida.

Saved when he was 6 years old, Homontowski said his parents were faithful Christians.

"When the church doors opened, I went in," he said.

His home church was small - about 150 members - but there were lots of activities and he was involved in most of them.

Music was always a big part of his life, too, also beginning at an early age.

Describing himself as shy, Homontowski, 25, said he was OK singing with a group, so he joined the adult church choir when he was in sixth grade.

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"It wasn't until I was in college that I sang a solo," Homontowski said.

Homontowski began his studies at Pensacola (Fla.) Christian College with an eye toward a future in graphic design.

"Then in my first semester, I took a voice class and choir," he said. "I fell in love with music."

Homontowski changed his major to music education. When he graduated in 2003, his degree was in music education and voice.

The job at Emmanuel came about when Pastor Larry Aikens, who attended Pensacola Christian College, contacted a professor he knew there and mentioned that the church was looking for a minister of music.

Homontowski's name came up and the deal was struck.

"Here at Emmanuel, in addition to my music ministry, I also do a lot of publishing - flyers, bulletin inserts, etc.," he said. "And I help produce the weekly radio broadcast."

"Emmanuel Echoes" airs on WHAG AM on Sundays at 6 and 9 a.m.

He also does visitation.

High on his list right now is preparing the Christmas cantata, "Then Jesus Came," which will be performed by the Emmanuel choir Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 17 at 6 p.m.

Homontowski and his wife, Mandi, have a 3-month-old son, Joseph.

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