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Church Music Conference slated June 6-8 in Nashville


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Church Music Conference will be June 6-8 at First Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn.
Among the featured musical groups during the conference: Carson-Newman College’s a capella choir; Nashville Children’s Choir; Arkansas Jubilation Brass; Georgia Jubalheirs; Tennessee Baptist Chorale; and the Mississippi All-State Youth Choir and Orchestra.
A forum to discuss the 750-member conference’s future will be at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June. 8, the organization’s president, Rob Hewell, a member of the leadership and worship team with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, has announced.
The conference’s 17-member council has “spent four years in earnest discussion about the mission and future of the SBCMC,” Hewell wrote in the conference’s newsletter. “We’ve surveyed the membership, and have proposed and accomplished some changes. We now believe it is time to take that discussion to the conference in session.”
For the first time this year, a couple will receive the conference’s Hines Sims Award for distinguished service to the field of church music, A.L. “Pete” and JoAnn Butler. Members of the music faculty at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Mo., for 16 years, Butler is professor of church music and his wife is associate professor. Previously, Butler was minister of music at First Baptist Church, Ada, Okla., for 23 years, while his wife was children’s choir coordinator and an organist. She also taught music education 15 years at East Central State University, Ada. Butler has four hymn tunes in the current Baptist Hymnal. JoAnn Butler, meanwhile, has written more than 160 articles on children’s music for publications of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The conference-commissioned anthem and worship chorus will be premiered. The new anthem, “Make Music,” is by Jane Martin, associate minister of music/organist, Wieuca Road Baptist Church, Atlanta, and R.G. Huff, minister of music and worship, Colonial Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, Mo. The anthem is being dedicated in memory of the Evelyn Marney Phillips, who died in April 1998 and was associate professor of church music education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, from 1948-52 and 1967 until her retirement in 1988. The new worship chorus, “Sing for Joy” is by Bruce Greer, a freelance composer and arranger from Flower Mound, Texas, and Keith Ferguson, minister of music, First Baptist Church, Dallas.
Bill O’Brien, director of Samford University’s Global Center in Birmingham, Ala., will speak three times on the conference theme, “Let the Nations Be Glad and Sing for Joy!”
Feature speakers for the divisional meetings will be:
— Local church: Tommy Yessick, LeaderCare wellness specialist with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
— Educational: Donald Hustad, senior professor of church music and worship at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.
— Denominational: Lloyd Elder, director of the Moench Center for Church Leadership, Belmont University, Nashville, Tenn., and former president of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (now LifeWay Christian Resources).
Further information about the conference can be found at the Internet website, www.sbcmc.org, or by writing to Louis Ball/SBCMC, Carson-Newman College, Box 71934, Jefferson City, TN 37760.