Joe Ed Furr
1939 – 2019
Joe Ed Furr, Sherman, Texas
History of Church Music, Advanced Song Leading, Ministry of Public Worship Leadership; Board of Directors (President)
Joe is a long-time preaching minister in the churches of Christ, most recently having completed a nearly thirty-year work with the Western Heights Church of Christ in Sherman, Texas. He was the Curriculum Director for the Singing School in Sabinal, Texas from 1973 until the school moved to the campus of Abilene Christian University in 1988. He now serves as Director of the Texas Normal Singing School. Joe teaches the senior-level training class for worship leaders, Advanced Song Leading, and the History of Church Music.
Joe Ed Furr, 79, of Sherman, Texas, died peacefully at home on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.
Services will be at the Western Heights Church of Christ on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 10 a.m. James Tackett and the staff of The Texas Normal Singing School will officiate. The family will greet friends on Friday, September 13, 2019, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dannel Funeral Home.
Mr. Furr was born September 15, 1939, in Brownwood, Texas, to Edgar and Leroy Smith Furr. Furr graduated from the University of Corpus Christi in 1961 and soon began his lifelong ministry as a preacher for the Church of Christ, a career that took him from East Texas, where he married Thana Sue Norris in 1966, and to Louisiana, the Dallas area, and Arkansas. In 1986, he obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
Ultimately, Furr came to preach at the Travis Street Church of Christ in Sherman, Texas, in 1983, a congregation whose growing membership allowed for its transformation into the Western Heights Church of Christ in 1993, from which he retired in 2011, after over 28 years in the ministry there. Another lifelong endeavor was Furr’s leadership of the Texas Normal Singing School, a church worship education program started by his father in 1946, which continues to operate on the campus of Abilene Christian University.
His hobbies were learning and teaching, part of which he practiced in serving as an adjunct in the business department at Grayson County College for many years.
Survivors include his wife, Thana Sue Furr of Sherman, Texas, and his sons Darren Furr and wife Elizabeth of Dallas, Texas, and David Furr of Dallas, Texas.
He was preceded in death by his parents Edgar and Leroy Furr, and brother John Furr of San Antonio, Texas.
Published in The Herald Democrat on Sept. 13, 2019.
I have a music degree from a 4-year college and thought I knew everything I needed to know about singing and writing music. Guess what!!! Didn’t know as much as I thought I did. Learned tons of new stuff. They attract some of the best teachers in their field!! Well worth your time!!Aneva P.
“I highly recommend the Singing School, as there is an urgent need for song leader training.”Keith Lancaster (4/4/16), Cullman, Alabama
“I always thought I was a fairly decent song leader before attending the school. But having gone thru the program, I learned from excellent instructors and have confidence to lead in ways that I would have never tried before. I was challenged to be better, not for me, but for Him.”Robin E., Madison, Alabama
“The fellowship and love we had together in song and spirituality is something I will cherish for the rest of my life … I would encourage anyone who has a passion for leading the church in worship to take the time even for one year to experience what the Singing School has to offer.”Alan D., London, England
“I had a WONDERFUL time with all of you this week! I will work hard this year!”Megan A., Missouri
“We had a good time singing with you all tonight. Thanks for letting us stop by.”Jason F., Abilene, Texas
“What a great, intense week the Singing School was! I want to shout my thanks to all of you who work so hard to make this happen. I can only imagine the time and effort that goes into it.”Kerri R., Grants Pass, Oregon
“I thank all of the teachers, coaches, and staff here at ACU Singing School for helping me get where I am today. I had a long way to go and I’m just barely getting started… thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”Robert H., Temple, Texas
“So stoked to be in our church’s regular song leading rotation. Lead today again and loved it! I love leading people in worship for God! Thank you all for all I learned with you guys!”Jeff R., Abilene, Texas
“So today I was able to song lead in Ladies’ Chapel! I am proud to say that I did the time signature and was on pitch! … I got a lot of compliments and it made me really happy! So glad that I was able to go to this school and learn what I did!”Alejandra G., Lubbock, Texas
“Some of the most talented, sincere, and spiritual people I’ve ever met was because of the Singing School.”Robin E., Madison, Alabama
“I never would have thought or dreamed of being able to even be in front of 2 or 3 people a few years ago. … never would have been possible without the love, support, and teaching of this singing school.”Robert H., Temple, Texas