Gena G. Ridgeway

Hello, My Name is Gena G. Ridgeway. I would like to formally introduce myself to you, the congregation of Stockbridge Presbyterian Church. I am so excited to be your new organist and pianist.

I would like to thank the staff and especially Ward Gailey for giving me this great opportunity to serve the Lord in your church.

I was born in Ware Shoals, SC, which is about 35 miles south of Greenville, SC. My parents were George W. Godfrey and Naomi Elledge Godfrey. I have 2 brothers, my older brother, Steve lives in Ware Shoals, and my younger brother, Alan lives in Clemson.

I have been married to my husband, Kenneth, my high school sweetheart, for 32 years this October. We have one daughter Anna, who is 22 years old and a senior at University of North Georgia. She attended Cumberland Christian School and was a member of Atlanta Young Singers, where I accompanied for 7 years. She has performed as a soloist in Ireland and Carnegie Hall in New York.

At the age of 5, I asked my mom if I could take piano lessons from Mrs. Nell Davis, our church pianist/organist. I took lessons from her for $1.25 a lesson. My mom always told me I had been given the gift of music and that gift was from God. When I was starting high school, Mrs. Davis retired and I became the pianist/organist. I started on an old organ by Wurlitzer.

My early education was at Camak Elementary School, then Ware Shoals Jr High and High School. I was in the elementary chorus, Jr high school chorus, and the marching band in high school. In Jr high I learned to play the drums and other percussion instruments. I graduated valedictorian of the Class of ‘74 at Ware Shoals High. I continued to take piano lessons from various teachers and attended the preparatory program at Lander College in Greenwood, SC. I was so fortunate to take from Marianne and Anthony Lenti, better known as Lenti Piano Duo from the Eastman School at the University of Rochester. I also continued my studies on the organ with Dr. Roberta Major, and percussion with Dr. John Hindman, both from University of Georgia. As a Music Education Major, I accompanied many vocal and instrumental students, while working full time at Callie Self Baptist Church. I played there for nine years.

I pursued my Master’s Degree in Music at Georgia and was privileged to be awarded an assistantship in piano and percussion. While there I accompanied many vocals, instrumentals, and also taught ensembles. I furthered my organ performance by studying with Dr. Ennulatt. I was fortunate to accompany the Lander Singers, as well as, some members of the Women’s Glee Club at Georgia.

Over the years, I have subbed in several churches and I have been a piano teacher, and now I look forward to being a part of this church. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve the Lord and SPC. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.