Presbyterian Association of Musicians receives a $360k gift

The gift comes from the estate of Dana Mitchell, who for 28 years administered PAM’s Worship and Music Conference

by Presbyterian Association of Musicians | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Dana Mitchell

LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Association of Musicians has received more than $360,000 from the estate of Dana Mitchell. Mitchell was the Worship and Music Conference administrator for 28 years.

Mitchell’s gift will be designated to establish two funds: one to support one or more conference faculty members to address the needs of small church musicians, and the other to provide registration scholarships and partial lodging and meal scholarships for participants from small congregations.

Mitchell died on February 21, 2021. In June of that year, PAM dedicated the 2021 Worship & Music Conference to her memory.

Prior to her death, Mitchell had a deep, personal desire to include small churches in PAM-sponsored national and regional events. She was working to set up a gift to the organization’s 50th Anniversary Campaign that would provide scholarships for the worship leaders and musicians of small churches.

 Mitchell requested that her gift to PAM be designated to establish two funds:

  • The Robert E. Stigall Fund to support one or more faculty member positions at the Worship and Music Conference to address the needs of small church worship leaders and musicians.
  • The Ann H. Stigall Adult Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for conference registration and two-thirds of lodging and meals to adults from small churches attending the Worship and Music Conference.

The gift allows PAM to invest the donation for permanent retainment and use the annual earnings from the investment to support the faculty position(s) and fund adult scholarships.

PAM Executive Director Kelly Abraham said, “As Dana served on PAM’s Thankful Hearts and Voices Raise 50th Anniversary campaign committee, it is fitting that her generous gift fulfills multiple goals of the campaign, which include annual stipends for multiple conference faculty persons and scholarships to provide housing and registration scholarships, resulting in a goal to slow increases in participant registration fees.”

Abraham noted that the gift creates an immediate impact on the organization and its members by providing opportunities for multiple adults from small churches to participate annually in the Worship & Music Conference.

Mitchell spent nearly three decades with PAM as the Worship and Music Conference Administrator, and the ripples from the lives she influenced as a result reach far and wide. Current PAM President and 2014 Conference Director Mark Kemp remembers her as “supporting, encouraging, and constantly drawing out the best from each person she had the opportunity to know and love during those summer days. Her gift continues to encourage every member of PAM and brings out the best we have to offer in service to our God.”

About the Presbyterian Association of Musicians

The Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM) is a national organization of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for people who are involved in the areas of worship, music and the arts. Choir directors, organists, Christian educators, clergy, worship musicians, and lay people will find PAM to be a valuable resource for creative worship planning. PAM, a 501(c)(3) organization, is not just for Presbyterians. Other denominations find PAM’s resources, conferences, and publications helpful in their service to God.


PAM membership is open to everyone and is designed to assist worship and music leaders in worship planning, enrichment, employment, attending conferences, networking, engagement and education. Membership in 2021 included more than 1,200 individuals. More than 1,000 churches across the country were served. The annual Worship and Music Conference saw 1,245 in-person conferees and 113 online conferees at the 2022 conference.

 PAM believes that formative and collaborative experiences with God and neighbor nurture relationship and create community.

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?