There are a few rules for those women who would be the wife of a fundamentalist pastor. They must look good in jean jumpers; they must have an aptitude for teaching children’s Sunday School; and they must play the piano.
One cannot over-emphasize how important that last requirement is. Not only does it give a church the chance to grab a two-for-one deal on church staff, but the church can also press the pastor’s wife into service as the music teacher at the ubiquitous Fundamentalist Christian School. Not to mention the many command performances at weddings, funerals, and church picnics as well. Free ministry labor is priceless.
On the other side of things, a pastor with a piano-playing wife can always be assured that his personal music standards will always be upheld in the services. “Honey, you need to tone down that left hand in Honey in the Rock. It’s getting a little carried away.”
Until fundamentalists break down and start using pre-recorded music or (horrors!) a band, there will always be a need for pianists. Until then, pastors wives will indubitably be asked to stand in the gap — or at least sit in it on a piano bench.